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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -September 5, 2015


 

 

Aubrey Reuben

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

September 5, 2015

 


 
Pearl: Spring, River Flower, Moon, Night, inspired by the life of Pearl S. Buck, directed and choreographed by Daniel Ezralow, at the David H. Koch Theater, is an imaginative, inventive dance-theater, virtually wordless production. Five dancers represent Buck at various stages of her life. She was a remarkable lady, who spoke Chinese before she spoke English. She lived in China for many years, before returning to the United States. She wrote the novel The Good Earth, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize. It was also made into an award winning film. She wrote about the life in China, especially the peasant life. The production was beautifully performed by a large cast of thirty Chinese and American dancers, all of whom moved gracefully. It told the story of her love for China, her two marriages, her achievements as a writer and activist, especially for helping abandoned children, and left an indelible impression on the enthusiastic audience.

 
A commercial film Dheepan, by Jacques Audiard, France, 2015, is about a man, a woman and a 9-year-old girl who pose as a family from Sri Lanka to move to France. They are unrelated, and lie as illegal aliens. The man has a job as caretaker in a housing project, infested with violent gangs  dealing with drugs. He also becomes involved with a Sri Lankan wanting money to buy arms to continue the fighting in his country. When the woman tries to leave to go to England, he beats her up brutally at the railroad station. This is not a pleasant film. It is a grim, depressing look at the misery experienced by illegal aliens in a foreign country, a world wide problem. An unbelievable ending, which takes place in England, closes an, otherwise, impressive film.

 
A commercial film Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of The National Lampoon, by Douglas Tirola, USA, 2015, is a documentary about the rise and fall of the magazine. The magazine achieved astonishing success with its irreverent mockery of sex, religion, politics and everything else they could cover in American culture. It went on radio, record albums, live stage shows, television and film, before collapsing. One of its founders, Doug Kenney, a drug addict, slipped off a cliff in Hawaii at an early age, and the co-founder, Henry Beard, withdrew from the scene.




When the film focuses on the actual pages of the magazine with its outrageous stories, photos and quotes, footage of the comics performing, and scenes from the films, it is interesting. Unfortunately, there are many interviews with people associated with the magazine, sitting on chairs, sofas and couches, who repeat over and over again how brilliant everyone was. It contributes little to the film.

Another commercial film Paul Taylor: Creative Domain, by Kate Geis, USA, 2013, is a documentary about one of the Grand Old Men of Modern Dance. The choreographer Paul Taylor has created 133 modern dance pieces. Now, in his 80s, he reveals to us his methods by creating Three Dubious Memories for his superb dance company. We watch its creation in his studio, become acquainted with his dancers, meet the composer, see the rehearsals, and it culminates with the marvelous performance of the work in a theatre in Texas. It is a brilliant documentary about a genius of Modern Dance.

 
Celebrating Frank Sinatra 100th Birthday, the Columbus Branch Library, 742 Tenth Avenue, held a screening of Pal Joey, by George Sidney, USA, 1957. It was a revised version of the Broadway musical by Rodgers and Hart. Many of the marvelous songs were retained, and the film had an enormous success. Sinatra even won a Golden Globe Award as best actor. With glamorous co-stars, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak, it is enjoyable entertainment, and an adorable little dog steals every scene in which he appears. Those involved in film making, always think they can improve Broadway shows. In this case they do not, and rarely does it happen.

 
A personal note. My Manchester cousins, Michael and Alison Reuben, visited New York for the first time on Thursday. September 3. My niece, Susan Moricca, and I met them for cocktails at the Citizen Hotel on West 50th St, joined them for dinner at the Thalia restaurant, 828 Eighth Avenue, and my wife, Xiuli, joined us afterwards to stroll down Eighth Avenue to show them the sights. Alison was a former Bluebell  dancer in Paris, a group of English girls, who performed at the Lido, in a Folies Bergere type show. We had a wonderful time together. It was a trip down memory lan
 
 
 

08-20-15 Cast members (L-R) Tony Revolori. Paul Iacono. Emily Cass McDonnell. Zane Pais, Jack DiFalco at the opening night party of "Mercury Fur" at Lightbox. 339 West 38th St. Wednesday night. 08-19-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

08-19-15 Cast members (L-R) Myra Lucretia Taylor. Tina Benko. director Liesl Tommy. playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer. Pan Bandhu. Jesse J. Perez. DeLanna Studi at the opening night party of "Informed Consent" at Tir Na Nog. 315 West 39th St. Tuesday night. 08-18-15.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

08-20-15 Cast members (L-R) Tony Revolori. Paul Iacono. Emily Cass McDonnell. Zane Pais, Jack DiFalco at the opening night party of "Mercury Fur" at Lightbox. 339 West 38th St. Wednesday night. 08-19-15

08-19-15 Cast members (L-R) Myra Lucretia Taylor. Tina Benko. director Liesl Tommy. playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer. Pan Bandhu. Jesse J. Perez. DeLanna Studi at the opening night party of "Informed Consent" at Tir Na Nog. 315 West 39th St.
 Tuesday night. 08-18-15

 

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

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