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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben September 23, 2017



Aubrey Reuben

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

September 23, 2017


Artistic Director Albert Bergeret deserves the gratitude of all Gilbert & Sullivan lovers for keeping the light operas of these two geniuses alive. The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players presented The Sorcerer, libretto by William S. Gilbert, music by Sir Arthur Sullivan, at the Marjorie S, Deane Little Theater, at the West Side YMCA, 10 West 64th Street. This tiny jewel of a theater was the perfect setting for this wonderful production. With piano accompaniment, the nine member cast sang and acted, with perfect gestures, the entertaining musical, about a sorcerer, John Wellington Wells (an excellent James Mills) whose magic and spells turns a village into romantic lovers. Among the cast, the vicar, Dr. Daly (Richard Alan Holmes) sang and acted brilliantly, celebrating his 37th year with the company, with a beautiful sonorous voice. It was a delightful program, that left the audience well satisfied.


It was a gala to end all galas. The American Theatre Wing celebrated its centennial, its 100th anniversary of service to the American theatre. It was held at Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street. A multitude of celebrities attended. Among them, were those who performed like Brian Stokes Mitchell and Norm Lewis. Guests included Tony BennettBobby Cannavale, Natasha Katz, William Ivey Long, Sergio Trujillo, Jack Noseworthy, Daryl Roth and so many more too numerous to name. The president Heather Hitchens addressed the packed audience before the entertainment began. The cocktail reception featured delicious hors d'oeuvres, and the dinner that followed was marvelous, with salmon as the appetizer and tender beef as the entree. It was a splendid, memorable event.


A great evening was held at Tony's Di Napoli, 147 West 43rd Street, at a party for the unveiling of the portrait of the three British stars, Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer from my hometown, Manchester, England, and Henry Lewis of The Play That Goes Wrong for the Broadway Wall of Fame. Valerie Smaldone was the charming hostess, and restaurant manager Bruce Dimpflmaier provided the delicious buffet of Italian food and the open bar. It was, as Cole Porter used to sing, a swell party.



The New York City Ballet opened the fall season with Swan Lake, music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky,  choreography by Peter Martins. It is one of the most popular ballets in every major company's repertory. This version was danced Ashley Bouder as Odette/Odile, and she was magnificent. She was the perfect innocent swan and then the evil swan in Act II. She was well supported by Andrew Veyette. The male dancers in other supporting roles were outstanding, especially Harrison Ball as the Jester, Aaron Sanz in the Pas de Trois, and Joseph Gordon in Divertissement: Pas de Quatre. The female ensemble of swans were a joy to watch on both acts. The orchestra played the glorious music beautifully, under the baton of Andrews Sill. It was an auspicious opening of the season.


A wonderful reception at Sardi's was held for Chinese music producer/song writer Jonathan Lee and China Entertainment Founder & CEO Ivy Zhong to discuss the original global musical Road to Heaven: The Jonathan Lee Musical. Both addressed the invited guests, as well as Executive Producer Don Frantz. Six singers performed one of the songs from the show. The English lyrics are by Richard Maltby, Jr, with book by John Dempsey, directed by Eric Schaeffer. It will be developed at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia in December, and open in Shanghai in 2018, and then in New York. I am sure it will be very successful, and I am looking forward to seeing it.


I returned to Sardi's for director Michael Mayer and his star Michael Moore in the Broadway show The Terms of My Surrender when they received their caricatures. It is always a delightful event.


Ground Central Coffee Company is the fourth cafe to open in Manhattan in the past four years. As this one opened in my building, 888 8th Avenue, I went to welcome the owner Etienne Wiik from Paris and the manager Desiree B. Royer to my wonderful block between 52nd Street and 53rd Street. The cafe is a delight with a library and armchairs at the back, and long playing albums of popular singers like Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles, and Broadway albums like Can-Can, by Cole Porter, which you can listen to, while enjoying their glorious coffee, delicious pastries, and mouth watering sandwiches. It is a splendid addition to our neighborhood.



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

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