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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - October 29, 2016

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
October 29, 2016

 

On Broadway, a terrific revival, with an all-star cast, directed expertly, by Jack O'Brien, of The Front Page, by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, at the Broadhurst Theatre, delighted the audience. It is an old-fashioned play from 1928 with three acts about the newspaper business in Chicago, and the journalists, in the press room at Criminal Courts Building, who are awaiting a hanging of a prisoner. The playwrights were former newspaper men, and captured the life of the reporters perfectly. The play is very, very funny, and each actor gives a wonderful performance. Outstanding in an enormous cast was Nathan Lane as the owner and editor of one of the newspapers. He is a theatre treasure. Jefferson Mays as a reporter, who fears germs, was hilarious. And it was a joy to see the return on Broadway of veteran actor Robert Morse, in a small, but crucial comic role, as a messenger from the governor. The set design by Douglas W. Schmidt and the costumes design by Ann Roth caught the style and atmosphere of the twenties. I enjoyed every minute of this entertaining play, and the cast deserved the thunderous standing ovation they received. 


 

Off-Broadway, a revival of Plenty, by David Hare, at the Public Theater, with a cast headed by Oscar winner Rachel Weisz, directed by David Leveaux, The play has a convoluted plot about a young girl acting as a spy in France during World War II and her discontent with her life afterwards. It was a success initially on Broadway, thanks to an amazing performance by Kate Nelligan and was followed by an unsuccessful film adaptation with Meryl Streep. Weisz appears quite attractive on stage, and her performance compares well with her predecessors in the role.


 

Vietgone, by Qui Nguyen, is a Manhattan Theatre Club production. It is play about  the war in Vietnam, and the Vietnamese immigrants who experience life in the United States afterwards. A five member cast, with limited acting ability, echo the vulgar language and repetitive hip-hop rhymes loudly. It is a dispiriting theatrical evening.


 

A wonderful concert Nothing Like a Dame, at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Phyllis Newman Women's Health Initiative, which has raised enormous funds to assist women. On this occasion Marin Mazzie received the Inaugural Phyllis Newman DAME Award for her battle with ovarian cancer. Among the performers on stage, were a very funny Julie Halston, plus Bebe Neuwirth, LaChanze, Donna Murphy,Karen Ziemba, and many more talented Broadway singers. We all went to the after party at John's of Times Square, 260 West 44th St, to drink at the open bar and indulge on pizzas and other Italian pastas. It was a lovely event.


 

The Town Hall 95th Gala Benefit at The Princeton Club of New York, 15 West 43rd St, was a splendid affair. It began with a cocktail reception, and a concert by jazz singer Catherine Russell, a superb singer. A delicious dinner followed, where Garrison Keillor  and Jennifer J. Raab, President of Hunter College were honored with the Town Hall Friend of the Arts Award, The New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin is married to Jennifer, and I photographed the proud couple.


 

I attended a lovely cocktail reception at the elegant Bernardin Prive, 153 West 51st St, where Copland House held its Harmonie du Soir: a culinary and musical gala, I met the charming artistic and executive director Michael Boriskin, and photographed him with actor, director and teacher James Kiberd. It is always one of the finest events of the season.


 

I attended a another lovely reception at the Lotos Club, where two playwrights, Jordan Harrison and Zayd Dohm received the 2016 Horton Foote Prizes. Among the many guests were Stockard Channing, Lois Smith and Lisa Emery, as well as members of the Horton Foote family.


 

Adult film (porno) superstar Savanna Samson received the First Vivid Entertainment Hall of Fame Award (VEHOF) at Vivid Cabaret, 61 West 37th St. She is also a producer of fine Italian wine, and we sampled her latest wine, Sogno Vero. She is a charming lady, and is studying acting.

 

I hope to review her when she appears on stage. She posed for photos with her award and with her wine. Two Vivid Cabaret dancers posed with her. It was a lovely occasion

Every lover of Broadway must visit the new exhibition Curtain Up: Celebrating the Last 40 Years of Theatre in New York & London, October 31-June 30, 2017 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. It is one of the finest exhibitions presented at my favorite library. It is a collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum of London. At the press review, I met the two ladies, the charming co-curator Anna Landreth-Strong, V&A, and the equally charming Nora Lyons, the NYPL Press Agent, and expressed my delight at seeing all the costumes, programs, videos and much more of the cherished memories of my wonderful years as a theatre critic. Do not miss it!


 

Off-Broadway, the York Theatre Company held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new renovation of its theater at Saint Peters, Lexington Ave and 54th St. I have been attending their productions since its inception, and have always enjoyed their magnificent work. The Producing Artistic Director James Morgan is to be congratulated for his achievements. Many of the artists who have performed there were present, as well as patrons of  the company. It was a splendid occasion.


 

Unfortunately, I was delayed at the York Theatre Company event on the same evening, and I arrived too late to photograph the two French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) honorees, Jeff Koons, Visual Artist and Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman & CEO of L'Oreal, who received the FIAF Trophee des Arts 2016 Awards at the Plaza Hotel. La Creme de la Creme of the French community in New York were present at the elegant Gala, including the French Ambassador and Consul General.


 

A sad event was the memorial mass at the Church of Our Savior on Park Avenue at 38th St, for John Wegorzewski, a good friend, sweet and charming, and a fine publicist. His many friends gathered after the service at the Park Avenue Tavern to drink and eat and speak of the joy of knowing this truly wonderful gentleman. He will be deeply missed.


 

The Met Breur, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th St, presented a press preview of an exhibition of Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, October, 25-January 29, 2017. His works are devoted to showing black people, who he felt deserved to be recognized in his paintings. It is an impressive, heartfelt exhibition.


 

The Frick Museum, at 1 East 70th St, is, without doubt, one of the finest museums in New York, and it was a delight to attend the press preview of Guido Cagnacci's Repentant Magdalene, where she sheds her clothing and scatters her jewels on the floor. It is an Italian Baroque masterpiece on loan from the Norton Simon Museum. It will be on display from October 25-January 22, 2017. I urge every lover of magnificent paintings to see this remarkable example of brilliant, masterly technique by a superb artist. It is a luminous work of art.


 

We attended a delicious tasting at Bocaditos Bistro, 4863 Broadway at 204th St. It is a new opened restaurant, that features a superb menu of inventive, imaginative dishes that are exquisitely presented to delight the eye. The charming General Manager Ricky Monegro explained each dish. We sampled small bites of Almond & Goat Cheese Croquettes with Black Peppercorn & Honey Glaze, and Eggplant Croquettes with Smoked Mozzarella and Plum Tomato Crudo. Bites followed with Ahi Tuna and Salmon Tartar Cones with Siraca, Sun Dries Tomato, Crispy Rice Paper and Salmon Roe, and Modern Pulpo Gallego with Grilled Spanish Octopus, Molecular Paprika Potato Sauce, and Dehydrated Olive Oil. Then came Bigger Bites with 5-Spice Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly with Cucumber-Mint Relish and Sweet Chili Sauce, and Mustard Seed & Cilantro Seared  Filet Mignon with Coucous and Chanterelle Stew, and Pesto Risotto with Heirloom Tomato, Speck and Buratta. The desserts included Red Velvet Tres Leche with Lychee Cream and Strawberry Spheres, and White Chocolate and Brioche Bread Pudding with French Vanilla Ice Cream with Capuccinos. To drink, we indulged in Prosecco and white wine Sangria, and I tasted three different beers. It was a memorable evening of fine dining,

 
 



 

 

 

 

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

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