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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -October 31, 2015


 

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!

October 31, 2015

 
Some times one needs a good laugh. After sitting through so many turgid plays, one is delighted when one can enjoy a pleasant two hours in the theater watching an amusing play like Sylvia, by A.R. Gurney, at the Cort Theatre. A wonderful four member cast, Matthew Broderick, Julie White, Robert Sella and Annaleigh Ashford, directed by Daniel Sullivan, tell the story of a middle age man (Broderick), who picks up a stray dog (an adorable Ashford) in the park, and brings her home, to the dismay of his wife (White). Sella plays three roles, and steals the scene in the first act, when (as a female friend of the wife) she encounters the dog, and promptly gets drunk. But the entire play, about man's best friend, is a laugh filled riot, and the cast is magnificent. What a pleasure to leave the theater laughing! We celebrated the opening with a glorious party at Bryant Park Grill with guests like Sarah Jessica Parker, Tommy Tune, Jerry Mitchell, Elizabeth Ashley and many more stars.

 
Beowulf Boritt deserves a standing ovation for his scenic design, which covers a multitude of scenes, including a rowboat on a river. Other than that, Therese Raquin, by Helen Edmundson, based on the novel by Emile Zola, at Studio 54, a production of the Roundabout Theatre Company, is a tedious play. Although the cast is quite good, headed by a movie star Keira Knightley in her Broadway debut in the title role, and directed by Evan Cabnet, the play itself is overlong, and extremely dark in lighting as in plot. It is a story of a young woman (Keighley) from a small village, married unhappily to a spoilt man (Gabriel Ebert), who decides to move his mother (Judith Light) and wife to Paris. There, she meets a painter (Matt Ryan) from the same village, and proceeds to have an adulterous affair. It ends badly. It is a shame that a group of fine actors are forced to perform in this slow moving, gloomy, acting exercise. Some novels should be read and not seen.

 
There is a saying Misery Loves Company. Off-Broadway, The Humans, by Stephen Karam, at the Laura Pels Theatre, is about a miserable family of losers at a Thanksgiving dinner in a dilapidated daughter's apartment in Manhattan. The parents (Reed Birney andJayne Houdyshell) and an incapacitated grandmother arrive from Pennsylvania, with the other unhealthy daughter. Everyone, including the daughter's live in boyfriend, have financial and  health, (both mental and physical), problems. They are not pleasant company in this unbelievable play. Again, a group of fine actors, directed by Joe Mantello, are the only reason to tolerate this 90 minute insufferable play.

 
Kick, written and performed by Joanna Rush, directed by Lynne Taylor-Corbett, at the St. Luke's Theatre, is a one woman show, about a young Catholic girl, who is raped on her way to an audition as a dancer. Rush, a young grandmother, shows lots of energy, as she moves, dances and kicks on the small stage, going from a Rockette to The Chorus Line on Broadway, It is story of survival after a horrible, brutal event.

 

Songbird, book by Michael Kimmel, music & lyrics by Lauren Pritchard, directed by JV Mercanti, at 59E59 Theaters, is a musical about a fading country star (an outstanding Kate Baldwin) returning to her hometown, Nashville, and causing trouble. Ten terrific performers act, sing and play musical instruments throughout the show. I enjoyed every moment of this wonderful musical. The opening night party took place at Johnny Utah's, 25 West 51st St., with wine or beer and scrumptious food.
 

A spectacular program was presented at Carnegie Hall. The Hungarian pianist/composer  Havasi made his HAVASI Symphonic debut. The stage was filled with an enormous Dohnanyi Orchestra Budafok, with a choir, and a multitude of guest stars, including Golden Globe Winning Lisa GerrardGigi Radics brought down the house with her version of Amazing Grace with another twelve member choir, as did Endi, a Rock star drummer in his solos. It was entitled A Celebration of Hungarian Culture: When Innovation meets Tradition, where Havasi combined traditional Hungarian music and instruments, with modern and rock style music. It was a sensational program, and a memorable evening. We attended a VIP Post-Concert Party in the lovely Weill Terrace Room, where delicious hors d'oeuvres, and Hungarian pastries, plus excellent Hungarian wines were served. Among the guests were the Ambassador, Consul General of Hungary Ferenc Kumin and his charming wife Viktoria.

 
I attended a press conference at Southern Hospitality, 615 Ninth Avenue, for Kid's Night On Broadway, which will take place on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Kids' Night On Broadway Ambassadors Kelli O'Hara and Marlee Matlin announced the program.Andrew Flatt announced that a new website BwayZone.com was beginning the same day, and a lucky family of four would win a trip to London to see a couple of shows. Child actors from eight Broadway shows posed for photos with Matlin and O'Hara.

 
A commercial film, Burnt, by John Wells, USA, 2015, is about a master chef (Bradley Cooper), who has a serious problem with illegal drugs. He hopes to achieve a three star rating from Michelin for his new, swanky London restaurant. With the assistance of his sous chef (Sienna Miller), he manages to succeed, despite the many trials and tribulations he encounters on the way. Food lovers will relish the many scenes in the kitchen of the restaurant, that are beautifully photographed, in this realistic look at how a modern restaurant is run. The cast is first rate, and includes Uma Thurman, Daniel Bruhl, Matthew Rhys and Tom Kelley, among others. It is, without doubt, one of the finest films about the way an elegant restaurant operates. It is a thoroughly enjoyable film.

 
I missed seeing the film Miss You Already, but I arrived on time to photograph two of my favorite actresses, Jacqueline Bisset and Toni Collette at A MAMARAZZI Breakfast and Talk Back at the Park Avenue Screening Room, 500 Park Avenue. The producer of the film,  Christopher Simon, was also present, and two actresses, and Denise Albert and Melissa Musen Gerstein spoke about the film and answered questions from the audience. The film, about two close friends (Collette and Drew Barrymore), one of whom is diagnosed with breast cancer, is important and should be seen by everyone, women most of all. Cold-EEZE sponsored the screening, and the breakfast catered by Mark Anthony Bailey was delicious

 
The Mid-Manhattan Library showed a screening of Arsenic and Old Lace, by Frank Capra, USA, 1944. It was a delightful, funny film, starring Cary Grant as a drama critic, who discovers that his two charming aunts, living in Brooklyn, have poisoned twelve lonely old men, and buried them in the cellar of their home. It is, despite the theme, a hilarious comedy, and Grant has never been funnier  on screen. I enjoyed the film from beginning to end.
 

10-28-15 (L-R) Cast members Matthew Broderick. Robert Sella at the opening night party for "Sylvia" at Bryant Park Grill. 25 West 40th St.. Tuesday night. 10-27-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

10-28-15 Toni Collette (L) and Jacqueline Bisset at a MAMARAZZI Breakfast and talk back celebrating their film "Miss You Already" at the Park Avenue Screening Room. 500 Park Avenue. Tuesday afternoon. 10-27-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey reuben

10-28-15 (L-R) Cast members Matthew Broderick. Robert Sella at the opening night party for "Sylvia" at Bryant Park Grill. 25 West 40th St.. Tuesday night. 10-27-15

10-28-15 Toni Collette (L) and Jacqueline Bisset at a MAMARAZZI Breakfast and talk back celebrating their film "Miss You Already" at the Park Avenue Screening Room. 500 Park Avenue. Tuesday afternoon. 10-27-15

 

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

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