Off-Broadway, has a revival of Blood Knot, by
Athol Fugard, a play about two half-brothers (well acted by Scott
Shepherd and Colman Domingo) living in a dilapidated shack in a
segregated section of a town in South Africa. It was written fifty years ago
when apartheid was enforced and reveals the horrors of the system.
Russian Transport, by Erika Sheffer, is
a play about a Russian family living in Brooklyn, who welcome the wife's
brother from Russia. He turns out to be a sinister character, who causes
untold damage on the decent family. The cast is first rate and the play is
an impressive achievement by a first time playwright.
F. Murray Abraham gives a wonderful performance
in Galileo, by Bertoldt Brecht, and Bebe Neuwirth, David
Ives, Walter Bobbie and Keith Nobbs were at the opening night.
The party took place at Pangea Restaurant.
Givenik.com and The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
held a post-performance reception at B. Smith's restaurant to support
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Many of the cast members, including
NaTasha Yvette Williams attended. It was lovely event.
New Tang Dynasty Television invited us to the launch
party of the 2012 International Chinese Culinary Competition in their
studios. Delicious food was served with cocktails.
A third cocktail reception the same evening took place
at a charming wine and cheese bar Bahr Che, where Distinctive Management,
LLC, Panoramic View & Ocean Dunes held a summer kickoff party to
become acquainted with their resorts and residences in the Hamptons. Summer
The New York City Ballet presented its shortened
version of Romeo + Juliet, choreography by Peter Martins.
Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild were excellent as the
titular couple. Daniel Ulbricht as Mercutio received well deserved
thunderous applause in the ballroom scene, and the five children were
adorable in The Mandolin Dance, again receiving a grand ovation. The
final program of the winter season for me consisted of three ballets, two by
Balanchine and Russian Seasons, by Alexei Ratmansky.
Donizetti Variations is a playful ballet, with two superb soloists,
Tiler Peck and Gonzalo Garcia, and the program concluded with
the delightful Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, with Teresa Reichlen
exquisite in Elegie, Daniel Ulbricht wonderful as always in
Scherzo, and Ashley Bouder and Andrew Veyette leading a
magnificent Tema con Variazoni, one of the highlights of a splendid
Rendezvous of French Cinema 2012 March 1-11 continues its screenings with 18 Years Old and Rising, by Fred Louf, 2011, is an entertaining film, which shows that French 18 years old boys can be as irresponsible as Americans of the same age. I hope the protagonist grows up. It is not too bright to throw oneself out the window. The young actors are quite charming and their adventures are amusing.
Delicacy, by David and Stephane Foenkinos, 2011, is a love story about a widow (Audrey Tautou), who lives a solitary life after her husband's death, totally dedicated to her work. When she suddenly become involved with her Swedish co-worker (Francois Damiens), an off-beat romantic love story begins. Romantically inclined ladies will love this film. 38 Witnesses, by Lucas Belvaux, 2012, is a well-made film, in which a young woman is brutally stabbed to death on a quiet street. Thirty-eight witnesses claim they saw and heard nothing. When one man (a splendid Yvan Attal) comes forward to admit he heard and saw the murder, things begin to unravel. It is a powerful film. The Last Screening, by Laurent Archard, 2011, is typical slasher, horror film, about a psychologically disturbed young man, who is the manager/projectionist of a provincial French cinema. He kills and mutilates many women throughout the film. It is quite bloody, and it is hard to sit through. I cannot imagine who would enjoy this dreadful film. Farewell, My Queen, by Benoit Jacquot, 2012, is a costume drama, that takes place in Versailles during the last days of Marie Antoinette, portrayed brilliantly by Diane Kruger. Her fictitious reader/ a lady-in-waiting is played by Lea Seydoux, who also gives a splendid performance. It recreates the final days of the French court before the French Revolution destroys it. 17 Girls, by Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin, 2011, takes place in a boring working-class coastal town in Brittany, where a high school girl (a wonderful Louise Grinberg) becomes pregnant accidentally. Her influence on her group of friends persuades them to become pregnant also. It is a probing look into the lives of adolescent girls, who live aimless lives without guidance, who will produce children, who may suffer their fate. It is a provocative film, that I recommend highly. Unforgivable, by Andre Techine, 2011, takes place in Venice. A writer (Andre Dussollier) comes to write a novel and falls for the real estate agent (Carole Bouquet), who rents him a house. The film covers the four seasons over almost three years and the convoluted story covers the couple, their previous relationships, a daughter, a grandchild, and other incidents, too many to mention. The acting is fine, the photography is glorious, and the film is exhausting. While not too convincing, I enjoyed it nevertheless.