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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - June 18, 2016

 

Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
June 18, 2016

 

The 2016 70th Annual Tony Awards took place at the Beacon Theatre. We photographed the arrivals, and then the winners in the media room at the Jewish Community Center, 334 Amsterdam Avenue. There were no surprises. The Best Musical was Hamilton and the Best Play was The Humans. Jessica Lange and Frank Langella won as Best Actress and Actor in a play, and Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom, Jr. (that may have been a surprise, because he beat Lin-Manuel Miranda) for the Musicals. I was personally pleased that Jayne Houdyshell and Reed Birney won as Featured Actress and Actor in a play. They were well deserved. I have never seen a bad performance by either of them. Rick Miramontez's Tony After Party at the Baccarat Hotel was the highlight of a very long evening to morning, with many of the winners arriving to celebrate in one of most elegant hotels in New York, with delicious hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.

 

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) presented Swan Lake, choreography by Kevin McKenzie, music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, the most popular ballet in its repertoire, and the Metropolitan Opera House was packed with eager ballet fans. They were not disappointed. They saw a spectacular production, with the outstanding ballerina Gillian Murphy as Odette-Odile. She was simply brilliant, one of the finest performances in the difficult role ever seen on stage. Her technique is astounding. Her acting is superb. She is totally believable as a princess turned into a swan, and in Act III, she is sensational as the black swan Odile, who causes Siegfried (Cory Stearns) to betray Odette. It was a memorable performance. The music is incomparable, and the orchestra, under the baton ofDavid LaMarche, played it beautifully. It was an unforgettable night at the ballet.


 

The Irish Repertory Theatre presented a Gala performance of Finian's Rainbow in Concert at Town Hall. It was magnificent, as always. The Irish Repertory Theatre, led by Artistic Director Charlotte Moore and Producing Director Ciaran O'Reilly is one of finest companies in New York, which presents the great works of Irish Theatre, with superb actors. I have had the pleasure of seeing them perform since their inception, and it has been one of most enjoyable experiences of my theatre reviewing over the past forty  years. Saorise Ronan hosted the event, and among the excellent performers, were Melissa Errico, Megan Fairchild, Malcolm Gets, Angela Grovey, Jim Norton, David Staller and Max von Essen. I had the pleasure of congratulating them at the scrumptious Filet Mignon dinner, with exquisite wines and cocktails and an after dinner shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey, at Bryant Park Grill, after the performance. It was a delightful evening, and we all went home very happy.


 

At MoMA, there is a wonderful series Universal Pictures: Restorations and Rediscoveries 1928-1937 until June 15. Broadway, by Paul Fejos, USA, 1929, is an historical oddity. The director used the biggest crane on a movie set with a camera attached to film one of the biggest nightclubs ever seen on screen. The film itself takes place over one night while the leading performer tries to get a chorus girl away from being involved with a bootlegger. The plot is silly, with two gangsters murdered, and a detective hanging around the club eating, drinking and solving the crimes. There are numerous different dance numbers with 24 sexy chorus girls and the leading man, and the final scene is in technicolor.
 


 

Also, at MoMA, there is Modern Matinees: Fifteen by Otto Preminger until June 30. Bonjour Tristesse, USA, 1958, is based on a novel by Francoise Sagan, with a screenplay by Arthur Laurents. It is an intelligent film about a spoilt 17-year-old daughter (Jean Seberg) living with her womanizing, widowed father (David Niven), who becomes romantically involved with a middle aged friend (Deborah Kerr). Not wanting a stepmother to interfere in their blissful lives, she plots to break up the romance, with tragic consequences. The film is well acted, and is beautifully photographed, with glorious views of the French Riviera.


The Moon Is Blue
, USA, 1953, was a very controversial film, when it was released. It dealt with frank dialogue about illicit sex, and seduction of a young girl (Maggie McNamara) by middle age men (William Holden and David Niven). Of course, like all romantic comedies, all's well that ends well. It is an enjoyable comedy, that seems mild today. The three actors are splendid, and McNamara lights up the screen.

 

The Origin Theatre's 3rd Annual Bloomsday Breakfast, at Bloom's Tavern, 208 East 58th St., was delicious. A scrumptious buffet, with Bloody Marys, Mimosas and red or white wine satisfied every guest on this happy occasion, that featured wonderful performances by David Staller, Jim Norton, Malachy McCourt and many other talented artists, plus selections from the Off-Broadway Himself and Nora with Matt Bogart and Whitney Bashor. It was worth rising early to join the merry crowd at 7:30am to celebrate James Joyce and his brilliant literary genius


 

We attended a cocktail reception for The Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons at Romona Keveza's Penthouse Flagship, One Rockefeller Plaza. A model Jolynn dispayed Keveza's exquisite fashions as guests drank champagne and ate macaroons in the elegant atelier. It was a charming event.


 

I received an advanced copy from St. Martin's press of Some Enchanted Evenings: The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin, by David KaufmanMary Martin was a dear friend, and I miss the charming lady, who was a wonderful singer and a fine actress. The book is an excellent, well researched examination of her life. Her childhood is revealed in detail, growing up as a tomboy in Weatherford, Texas. The first ot her two marriages was not successful. Her first child was a problem, and her relationship with him was not easy. He became the famous television star, Larry Hagman. Her second marriage was also quite strange. Richard Halliday was a homosexual. He dominated her life and took care of everything. Under his care, she became a superstar on the Broadway stage. From South Pacific to Peter Pan (where she became also a television star) and The Sound of Music, she became one of the most beloved musical comedy stars in America and in England. It is a fascinating story, and she lived a remarkable life. But as the author shows, her character was never truly revealed. Her outgoing personality was for the public. Her hidden life remained hidden for ever. I could not put the book down until I devoured every page. It is certainly one of the finest biographies I have read in years. Before I met her in the last years of her life, I had already seen her in the films she made for Paramount (I loved especially The Birth of the Blues), and found her unforgettable on Broadway in the three magnificent musicals already mentioned above. I was photographed hugging her opening night when she appeared in her last play on Broadway Do You Turn Somersaults? in 1978. And two years later, I was photographed on opening night between her and her best friend, Janet Gaynor, when Janet opened on Broadway in Harold and Maude. The photos are two of my most treasured possessions. If you are passionate about theatre as I am, I suggest you read this marvelous biography of a very special lady.

 

 
 

06-18-16 (L-R) Cast member Melissa Errico. director Charlotte Moore. Lisa Dwan at the dinner following the Gala performance of "Finian's Rainbow" for The  Irish Repertory Theatre at Bryant Park Grill. 25 West 40th Street. Monday night 06-13-16.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

06-18-16 Reed Birney "The Humans" won the Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play at the Jewish Community Center. 334 Amsterdam Avenue. Sunday night 06-12-16.  Photop by:  Aubrey Reuben

06-18-16 (L-R) Cast member Melissa Errico. director Charlotte Moore. Lisa Dwan at the dinner following the Gala performance of "Finian's Rainbow" for The Irish Repertory Theatre at Bryant Park Grill. 25 West 40th Street.
Monday night 06-13-16

06-18-16 Reed Birney "The Humans" won the Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play at the Jewish Community Center. 334 Amsterdam Avenue. Sunday night 06-12-16

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

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