NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/20) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “January NYC Events
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

34th Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
at the Brooklyn Academy of Music / 10:30AM
“This full day of free events commemorating King’s legacy will feature a keynote speech by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a domestic correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, focusing on racial injustice. The musical performers include Son Little and the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir. As usual, free tickets will be distributed on a first come, first seated basis.” (NYT)
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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Natalie Douglas: Tributes – Ella Fitzgerald.
>> Harlem Gospel Choir celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day
>> The Glorious Death of Comrade What’s-His-Name
>> Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me
>> The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> MLK & Mary Shelley

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Natalie Douglas: Tributes – Ella Fitzgerald.
Birdland / 7PM, $35
“The Broadway at Birdland concert series is proud to announce that singer Natalie Douglas will return to the historic music room with more “Tributes!” On Monday, January 20 at 7pm, she will celebrate the music and magic of the one and Ella Fitzgerald.

Natalie Douglas – the acclaimed vocalist hailed as “a true, true star” by BBC London Radio, “a true force of nature” by The Times (UK), “sensational” by Time Out New York, “a monstrous talent” by Next Magazine and “simply everything” by The Daily News, – will return to her home perch at Birdland Jazz Club with a new monthly residency as part of Jim Caruso’s Broadway at Birdland Series with another edition of her hit series entitled “TRIBUTES.” One Monday each month, Natalie will perform a new tribute show.”

Harlem Gospel Choir celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Sony Hall / 12:30PM, $35
“The Harlem Gospel Choir will mark the day joyfully with a concert featuring the sounds and singers from Harlem’s black churches. The choir itself was founded in 1986 when its founder Allen Bailey attended a celebration in honor of MLK at the Cotton Club.” (TONY)

The Glorious Death of Comrade What’s-His-Name
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 9:30PM, $45+
“A miserable man in Stalin’s Soviet Union contemplates ending it all—as his communist friends and neighbors try to capitalize on his demise—in this one-night concert of a musical by David Bridel, Simon Gray and Raymond Bokhour. The cast, directed by Don Stephenson, includes Bokhour, Drew McVety, Jim Borstelmann, John Jellison and Madeleine Doherty.” (TONY)

Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me (LAST DAY)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85
“The gutsy, funny Tony-winning star of The Drowsy Chaperone (and survivor of Baby, It’s You!) does her Leavel best to entertain in a show that surveys the ups and downs of her three-decade career onstage.” (TONY)

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South (btw W11th/Perry St.) / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $35
“World class big band with 16 members on that small stage, a monday night institution.
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition.” (NYT)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $20-$30
“The witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.”
“Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

MLK & Mary Shelley
Patricia Kim at Federal Hall / 2PM, FREE, but RSVP to reserve a seat.
“Social worker/professor Patricia Kim hosts a Think Olio session that looks at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s observations on society through the lens of Frankenstein. MLK Day is a perfect time to consider “our obligation to remain maladjusted to racism, religious bigotry, economic inequality, and violence.” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

COMING SOON.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/21 Temples, Webster Hall
1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
LAST DAY
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.

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Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Triad – 158 W72nd Street (btw Amsterdam/Columbus Ave.)

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/19) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “January NYC Events
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

==============================================================

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

Let it all out at a Colombian Carnaval celebration
(Le) Poisson Rouge / $28
Colombia’s Barranquilla Carnival is the world’s second-largest carnival, after only Rio de Janeiro’s. Featuring costumes, music, and dancing in the streets, it’s a four-day celebration of life and renewal. New York is having its very own Barranquilla Carnival (on a much smaller scale, of course) on the dance floor of (Le) Poisson Rouge. There’ll be dancers in authentic Colombian costumes, live music, and a DJ spinning salsa, reggaeton, and Colombian tropipop. Best of all? It’s a three-day weekend, so you can sleep it all off on Monday.” (thrillist)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Cyrus Chestnut
>> Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me
>> Julian Lage Trio
>> 4th Mediterranean Jazz Festival
>> Soul to Soul
>> Under the Radar 2020
>> Documentary & Discussion – The Green Book: Guide to Freedom

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Cyrus Chestnut (Jan. 16-19)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7PM, +9PM, $38
“The pianist Cyrus Chestnut exudes such cherubic ebullience in both his appearance and his playing that it’s sobering to learn he’s turning fifty-seven. His ever-joyous blend of jazz, blues, classical, and gospel influences may be best appreciated when he’s in charge of a trio; at this birthday celebration, he’s joined by the bassist Eric Wheeler and the drummer Chris Beck.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me (Jan.14-20)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85
“The gutsy, funny Tony-winning star of The Drowsy Chaperone (and survivor of Baby, It’s You!) does her Leavel best to entertain in a show that surveys the ups and downs of her three-decade career onstage.” (TONY)

Julian Lage Trio (Jan.14-19)
Village Vanguard / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Guitarist Lage has been a musician’s musician since youth. He’s graduated from child-prodigy appearances with Carlos Santana and Pat Metheny to grown-up sideman gigs with Gary Burton and his pianist pal Taylor Eigsti. Expect shimmery fireworks, as Lage leads a hot trio that includes the Bad Plus’ maestro drummer Dave King.” (TONY)

4th Mediterranean Jazz Festival (Jan.18-19)
DROM / 6:30PM, $20+
“The Mediterranean Jazz Festival takes you on a musical tour of the region with performers from all over the globe. Multi-instrumentalist Adam Maalouf takes the stage along with the a capella Bulgarian Voices Trio of Vlada Tomova, Valentina Kvasova, and Shelley Thomas; jazz pianist Angelo di Loreto; and Catalan clarinetist and singer Carola Ortiz. Now in its 4th year, the festival continues to give a platform to global artists worth discovering right here in New York City.” (thrillist)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Soul to Soul
@ Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl./ 2PM, $35
“Get a jump-start on MLK Day at Soul to Soul, a theatrical concert exploring the parallels between African-American and Jewish communities, experiences, and history. Produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the performance features Yiddish theater songs, classic spirituals, an interwoven narrative, and multimedia imagery and video celebrating diversity and strength in unity. Performers include singer and actress Lisa Fishman, cantor Magda Fishman, Broadway veteran Elmore James, Yiddish folk authority Zalmen Mlotek, and actor Tony Perry.” (Gothamist)

Under the Radar 2020 (LAST DAY)
See new works from the world’s best playwrights
Public Theater / various times and prices
“The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival presents cutting-edge contemporary work from artists around the world. This weekend, you can catch Grey Rock, written by Palestinian playwright Amir Nizar Zuabi, a play about a man who builds a rocket to the moon in a shed on the West Bank; a production of Samuel Beckett’s Not I that explores neurodiversity; or salt., the show that emerged from two artists boarding a cargo ship to trace the route of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle.” (thrillist)

Documentary & Discussion – The Green Book: Guide to Freedom
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 1:30PM, FREE
Get the real story, not covered by the Academy Award-winning film, at a screening of the Smithsonian Channel documentary The Green Book: Guide to Freedom. A discussion of Harlem postal carrier Victor Green’s travel/survival guide will follow.” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

Prototype
Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, LAST DAY.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/16-19 Public Theater’s “Under The Radar” Festival
1/19 Umphrey’s McGee, Brooklyn Bowl
1/19 Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, Sony Hall
1/21 Temples, Webster Hall
1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
PENULTIMATE DAY
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

=================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change. Always wise to double-check before heading out.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’

“After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish for NewYorkers)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.” (

“Making Marvels”  (through March 1)

“This immense exhibition features a trove of impossibly opulent European objects from the mid-sixteenth to the eighteenth century, showcasing the scientific theories and technologies of the time—as well as the wealth of royal collectors. The parade of curiosities begins with “The Imser Clock,” ca. 1554-61, which astounded the imperial court of Ferdinand I with its representation of planetary positions. A projected montage of closeup footage shows the complex, gilded timepiece in action, ticking and chiming as its mechanical figurines rotate. (The show, which might otherwise be weighed down by its abundance of inert filigree, is enlivened by beautifully produced videos like this one.) Presented among the automata, astrolabes, and spring-powered models of the universe are wonders of the natural world. The astonishing Dresden Green, the world’s largest diamond of its kind, was acquired by August III of Poland, in 1722, and later set in a fantastic ornament for a hat. The Kunstkammer treasures on view may have been primarily intended to entertain, and, indeed, delightfully garish works like the South German “Automaton Clock in the Form of Diana on Her Chariot,” ca. 1610—which shot tiny arrows as part of an aristocratic drinking game—still do.” (, NewYorker)

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW) for NewYorkers

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/17 and 01/15.
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15 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (01/16/20)

Must-see theater coming to New York City stages this fall (amNY)

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)

m

NYT Theater Reviews – NYT theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

and, drum roll, here are all the critics opinions on all the plays – Playbill’s “the Verdict”


For good, comprehensive and current info:

Broadway Shows: What to See and How to Get Cheap Tickets (NYT)

finally, lot’s of useful info on TKTS discount tickets from the headout blog:

Everything You Need to Know About TKTS Broadway Tickets 

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/18) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “January NYC Events
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

==============================================================

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

4th Mediterranean Jazz Festival (Jan.18-19)
DROM / 6:30PM, $20+
“The Mediterranean Jazz Festival takes you on a musical tour of the region with performers from all over the globe. Multi-instrumentalist Adam Maalouf takes the stage along with the a capella Bulgarian Voices Trio of Vlada Tomova, Valentina Kvasova, and Shelley Thomas; jazz pianist Angelo di Loreto; and Catalan clarinetist and singer Carola Ortiz. Now in its 4th year, the festival continues to give a platform to global artists worth discovering right here in New York City.” (thrillist)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Smithereens
>> Jazz Age bash
>> Zlatne Uste Golden Festival
>> GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA
>> Jane Dickson and Scott Dougan Discuss The Deuce and Times Square
>> Barrel-Aged Beer Festival
>> Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Smithereens rock on with Marshall Crenshaw
“They might frequently bill themselves as Jersey guys, but to rock, punk and alt fans around the world The Smithereens are legends. They lost their original lead singer Pat DiNizio in 2017, but have stayed active on the concert scene with a hand from guest vocalists who have been rocking on the scene for as long as they have. For their next show, the band will be fronted by Marshall Crenshaw, center, the acclaimed musician best remembered for the new wave-leaning 1982 hit “Someday, Someway.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Jan. 18, Sony Hall: 235 W. 46th St., Manhattan
INFO $39.50-$90.01; 800-830-3976, officialsmithereens.com

The ’20s are ready to roar at this Jazz Age bash
“This special edition of the New-York Historical Society’s “History After Dark” series is perfectly timed as we enter the 2020s. Travel back a century ago to the party personality of the 1920s and feel free to come dressed in Jazz Age-themed duds and dance to music of Dandy Wellington and his band. Guests can check out an open bar, pose in a photo booth and dance the night away. As a bonus, there will be a voting registration table.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 7-10 p.m. Jan. 18, 170 Central Park W., Manhattan
INFO $25 (ages 21 and over); 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:

Zlatne Uste Golden Festival (Jan.17-18)
@ The Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Bklyn / 6PM, $35-$55
“Bask in Balkan beats at the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival, which has been going strong for a whopping 35 years. Dance yourself silly to more than 60 bands on five stages over two days, like polyphonic Ukrainian folk singers Murmurosi, Macedonian group Gogofski, Armenian trio Zulal, Bulgarian a cappella group Yasna Voices, klezmer band Tsibele, traditional Anatolian singers Ta Aïdhonia, Greek brass band Kavala, Turkish pop musicians Wind of Anatolia, and many more. There will also be a Charshiya Balkan market filled with craftspeople and artisans, as well as all-you-can-eat Balkan meze and drinks all night long to fuel you up for more dancing.” (Gothamist)

GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA (Jan.15-18)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM, +8PM, $35+
“After a brief, recent visit to New York for Fall for Dance, this South African choreographer returns for an evening of his own as part of Prototype, the opera-theater festival. His contribution, “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro,” is a shadowy production set in a graveyard and inspired by the Zakes Mda novel “Cion,” which juxtaposes the story of a professional mourner from South Africa and the legacy of slavery in the United States. What qualifies this show for an opera celebration are the Isicathamiya singers, performing an a cappella style that originated among South African Zulus. The singers deliver a haunting rendition of Ravel’s illustrious score to accompany Maqoma’s grounded, gripping movement.” (NYT-)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Jane Dickson and Scott Dougan Discuss The Deuce and Times Square
Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project, 6 E. 1st St./ 7PM, FREE
“Join Jane Dickson and Scott Dougan, production designer of the HBO series The Deuce, for a conversation about what it means to capture the essence of a particularly infamous time and place in the city—and why we find these visions of New York’s gritty and not-so-distant past so alluring today.” (ThoughtGallery)

Elsewhere, but these two outer borough drinking events look worth the detour:

Barrel-Aged Beer Festival
Get to know barrel-aged beers
Gun Hill Brewing Company / GA tickets are $65; tickets includes souvenir tasting glass, 4-pack of barley wine, and unlimited samples
“The Bronx’s Gun Hill Brewing Company is hosting a Barrel-Aged Beer Festival, where you can taste a range of beers from breweries all over the East Coast. Sip beer aged in rum barrels, sauvignon blanc barrels, and even Kentucky bourbon barrels to discern the flavors and aromas the wood imparts to the beer. This beer-making trend is still pretty new, but it’s growing quickly — and that’s good news for barrel owners and beer drinkers who want to get in on the hot new thing.” (thrilist)

Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival
@ Brooklyn Expo Center / 12PM, $59–$99
“After nearly a decade in Manhattan, the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival is coming to Brooklyn. With 16 breweries, nine bourbon makers, and 10 pork purveyors, it’s hard to imagine anyone could leave hungry or thirsty. There will also be diversions and dares, like bacon-eating contests, Bourbon Bingo games, a “Beast Cage” serving up exotic meats like alligator and bison, and seminars with distillers, brewers, and pit masters from the deep South. When you need a break from stuffing your face, browse a marketplace of “brewerania” like sauces and BBQ accessories.” (gothamist)


Continuing Events

Prototype
Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, January 9 to 19.

==========================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/16-19 Public Theater’s “Under The Radar” Festival
1/17-18 Umphrey’s McGee, Beacon Theatre
1/18 The Smithereens, Sony Hall
1/19 Umphrey’s McGee, Brooklyn Bowl
1/19 Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, Sony Hall
1/21 Temples, Webster Hall
1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
PENULTIMATE DAY
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

=====================================================

A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines,  but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

CAFFE VIVALDI HAS CLOSED, VERY SAD.
I HAVE LEFT THIS REVIEW ON MY SITE AS A KIND OF MEMORIAL and A WARNING. WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES.

As reported in the “Gothamist”:
“Caffe Vivaldi, one of the last bohemian bastions of the West Village, is set to close this weekend. During its 35 years on Jones Street, the casual cafe won the hearts of locals and celebs alike, including Oscar Isaac, Bette Midler, and Al Pacino.

Despite that friendly communal atmosphere, the owners ultimately struggled to survive under their notorious vulture landlord Steve Croman, who they say waged a harassment campaign against the restaurant, and eventually tripled their rent.”
==============================================================
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
========================================================

3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Fish – 280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

========================================================
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
========================================================
NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24,000 eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available SUMMER 2020).
◊ Order before AUGUST 31, 2020 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

=====================================================

Bonus NYC Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

=======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/17) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “January NYC Events
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

==============================================================

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:

Zlatne Uste Golden Festival (Jan.17-18)
@ The Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Bklyn / 6PM, $35-$55
“Bask in Balkan beats at the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival, which has been going strong for a whopping 35 years. Dance yourself silly to more than 60 bands on five stages over two days, like polyphonic Ukrainian folk singers Murmurosi, Macedonian group Gogofski, Armenian trio Zulal, Bulgarian a cappella group Yasna Voices, klezmer band Tsibele, traditional Anatolian singers Ta Aïdhonia, Greek brass band Kavala, Turkish pop musicians Wind of Anatolia, and many more. There will also be a Charshiya Balkan market filled with craftspeople and artisans, as well as all-you-can-eat Balkan meze and drinks all night long to fuel you up for more dancing.” (Gothamist)

========================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> La Bohème
>> Cyrus Chestnut
>> GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA
>> Count Basie Orchestra 
>> Eataly’s Winter Wine and Food Festa
>> Under the Radar 2020
>> Black Comic Book Festival
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Metropolitan Opera
La Bohème (next Jan.21, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House /7:30 PM, $30+
“Three casts of captivating artists bring Puccini’s classic tragedy of bohemian friends and lovers to life in Franco Zeffirelli’s immortal staging. Tenors Matthew Polenzani, Roberto Alagna, and Joseph Calleja trade off as the exuberant Rodolfo, alongside sopranos Ailyn Pérez, Hei-Kyung Hong, and Maria Agresta as the fragile Mimì. Marco Armiliato and Emmanuel Villaume share conducting duties.”

Cyrus Chestnut (Jan. 16-19)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7PM, +9PM, $38
“The pianist Cyrus Chestnut exudes such cherubic ebullience in both his appearance and his playing that it’s sobering to learn he’s turning fifty-seven. His ever-joyous blend of jazz, blues, classical, and gospel influences may be best appreciated when he’s in charge of a trio; at this birthday celebration, he’s joined by the bassist Eric Wheeler and the drummer Chris Beck.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA (Jan.15-18)
at the Joyce Theater / 8PM, $35+
“After a brief, recent visit to New York for Fall for Dance, this South African choreographer returns for an evening of his own as part of Prototype, the opera-theater festival. His contribution, “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro,” is a shadowy production set in a graveyard and inspired by the Zakes Mda novel “Cion,” which juxtaposes the story of a professional mourner from South Africa and the legacy of slavery in the United States. What qualifies this show for an opera celebration are the Isicathamiya singers, performing an a cappella style that originated among South African Zulus. The singers deliver a haunting rendition of Ravel’s illustrious score to accompany Maqoma’s grounded, gripping movement.” (NYT-)

Count Basie Orchestra  (Jan.14-18)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40+
“2020 marked the 85th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William J. “Count” Basie (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935 and proceeded to develop one of the greatest jazz groups in history.

Under Basie’s leadership — with a strong commitment to making sure every tune was danceable — the orchestra featured many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, and many more. They played for Kings and Queens, appeared in movies and television shows, and won 18 Grammy® Awards, the most for any orchestra. Today, under the leadership of director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world, swinging and shouting the blues with precision, in Count Basie’s unmistakable style of Kansas City swing.”

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Eataly’s Winter Wine and Food Festa
Warm up with a sampling of Italian wines
Eataly / 6-8PM, $65
“As the days get colder and the sweaters get bulkier, an endless supply of pasta really has no downside — and Eataly’s Winter Wine and Food Festa is here to make the carbohydrates happen. Featuring a collection of comfort foods and over 20 kinds of wine and cocktails, a ticket lets you walk the space, sampling wintry wonders as you go. Warm up with a few glasses of wine, a bombardino (an Italian eggnog, and all the rage on Italian ski resorts), and pretend that you’re on an Alpine vacay instead of at a grocery store.” (thrillist)

Under the Radar 2020 (Jan.8-19)
See new works from the world’s best playwrights
Public Theater / various times and prices
“The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival presents cutting-edge contemporary work from artists around the world. This weekend, you can catch Grey Rock, written by Palestinian playwright Amir Nizar Zuabi, a play about a man who builds a rocket to the moon in a shed on the West Bank; a production of Samuel Beckett’s Not I that explores neurodiversity; or salt., the show that emerged from two artists boarding a cargo ship to trace the route of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle.” (thrillist)

Black Comic Book Festival (Jan.17-18)
Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Blvd./ 10AM-8PM, FREE
“Don your best cosplay gear and zoom over to Schomburg for the eighth-annual Black Comic Book Festival, two days of panel discussions, film screenings, costume contests, and Black comic creators from across the country. There will be talks on Black anime, female leads, self-published comics, and graphic memoirs; audiences will hear from Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC, scholar Eve Ewing, author Dhonielle Clayton, award-winning creators Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez and Ron Wimberly, and many more.” (Gothamist)


Continuing Events

Winter Jazzfest
Various venues // Various prices
“Since 2009, the Winter Jazzfest has grown from a single evening to a multi-night, multi-venue, multi-disciplinary showcase of the cutting edge of jazz and its many stylistic subcategories, from hot swing to avant-garde to jazz-inflected world music. This year’s festival features more than 600 artists in 150 groups on 20 stages over 10 nights. There will be a British Jazz Showcase, a celebration of Detroit’s jazz history, plus talks, panels, and workshops focused on social justice, immigration, gender balance, and more. The fest also includes three all-night marathons at some 20 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
(last day)  (Gothamist) 

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (last day)
“Ever watched a squash game in a train station? The 23rd annual J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) arrives in Grand Central Terminal, bringing together the world’s greatest squash stars for an exciting week of international competition and live spectator events. The matches are played beneath the iconic chandeliers in Vanderbilt Hall in a state-of-the-art glass squash court with stadium seating for 500 and a free standing room area for commuters and passersby. Gracing the courts with their talent will be all of the world’s top-ranking men’s and women’s players, representing 24 nations and six continents.” (cityguideny.com)

Prototype
Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, January 9 to 19.

==========================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/16-19 Public Theater’s “Under The Radar” Festival
1/17 JD Souther, Sony Hall
1/17-18 Umphrey’s McGee, Beacon Theatre
1/18 The Smithereens, Sony Hall
1/19 Umphrey’s McGee, Brooklyn Bowl
1/19 Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, Sony Hall
1/21 Temples, Webster Hall
1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

=========================================================

WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’
American Museum of Natural History (through Aug. 9, 2020).

“Everyone’s favorite 18,000-pound prehistoric killer gets the star treatment in this eye-opening exhibition, which presents the latest scientific research on T. rex and also introduces many other tyrannosaurs, some discovered only this century in China and Mongolia. T. rex evolved mainly during the Cretaceous Period to have keen eyes, spindly arms and massive conical teeth, which could bear down on prey with the force of a U-Haul truck; the dinosaur could even swallow whole bones, as affirmed here by a kid-friendly display of fossilized excrement. The show mixes 66-million-year-old teeth with the latest 3-D prints of dino bones, and also presents new models of T. rex as a baby, a juvenile and a full-grown annihilator. Turns out this most savage beast was covered with — believe it! — a soft coat of beige or white feathers.” (Farago-NYT)

‘MEMORY PALACES: INSIDE THE COLLECTION OF AUDREY B. HECKLER’  (through Jan. 26).
at the American Folk Art Museum

“Outsider art” is more of a sociological phenomenon than a genre. But in this exhibition, you do find a certain consistency. Heckler, a trustee of the museum, began collecting around the time of New York’s first Outsider Art Fair, in 1993, and she’s assembled a comprehensive introduction to all the category’s varieties, from the stark, primordial silhouettes of Bill Traylor to the exacting architectural drawings of Achilles G. Rizzoli; from Henry Darger’s uniquely majestic epic of little girls battling evil to George Widener’s endless numerology. With about 160 works, from all over the world, the show can be hard to take in, unless you fix your attention on a few favorites. My own would be a handful of sublime paintings and drawings by Thornton Dial Sr. and by Martín Ramírez, the Mexican rancher who spent half his life confined to midcentury American psychiatric institutions. (Heinrich)
212-595-9533, folkartmuseum.org

————————————————————————————————

In the Company of Harold Prince

A prince with no heir.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (through March 31)

“Losing Hal Prince this year meant the end of an era. No other producer-director will ever again have Prince’s string of stupendous hits; no one man will ever again become so closely identified with Broadway stagecraft. He worked on everything, from West Side Story to The Phantom of the Opera, from Cabaret to Sweeney Todd, and if not everything he touched turned to gold — nonetheless, he did have the golden touch. This exhibition at the NYPL is a dragon’s hoard of scripts, photographs, set models, and even re-creations of his paperwork. Study it closely and you might become the next great theatrical mind … if not a Prince, then possibly a really talented duchess.” (Vulture, NY Magazine-H.S.)

==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/15 and 01/13.

=======================================================

15 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (01/16/20)

——————————————————————–

Must-see theater coming to New York City stages this fall (amNY)

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)

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NYT Theater Reviews – NYT theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

—————————————————————-

and, drum roll, here are all the media critics opinions on all the playsPlaybill’s “the Verdict”

—————————————————————-

For good, comprehensive, current info:

Broadway Shows: What to See and How to Get Cheap Tickets (NYT)

—————————————————————-

finally, lot’s of useful info on TKTS discount tickets from the “headout” blog:

Everything You Need to Know About TKTS Broadway Tickets

======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/16) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square / Theater District)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “January NYC Events
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

==============================================================

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

The Town Hall & Winter Jazz Fest Present Seu Jorge, with Rogê
Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. / 8PM, $57+
“For many, Seu Jorge will forever be Pelé dos Santos, the deckhand in the film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” prone to crooning David Bowie classics in Portuguese. Whether singing Bowie or his own upbeat samba-funk, the Brazilian vocalist boasts a light touch, his every note mocking gravity’s pull. At this Winter Jazzfest concert, Jorge is joined by Rogê, his countryman and collaborator on a forthcoming acoustic album.

The Israeli clarinettist Anat Cohen opens with her bubbly Brazilian band, Choro Aventuroso.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

GD: I think the prime reason for attending this show is Anat Cohen and her Brazilian band. They are awesome.

========================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> LITTLE BIG TOWN
>> ‘WOZZECK’
>> Rizo: Losing the Lady
>> Cyrus Chestnut
>> GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA
>> CHES SMITH
>> Count Basie Orchestra 
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

LITTLE BIG TOWN
at Carnegie Hall / 8 p.m.; $51+
For more than a decade, this Nashville-based quartet has been a staple of the country radio diet. Dense, liberally applied harmonies are their time-tested recipe; as the situation demands, the group’s four-part vocal theatrics can add firepower to country stompers, like their 2005 single “Boondocks,” or bring gravitas to emotional ballads, like their Taylor Swift-penned song “Better Man,” from 2016. In Midtown on Thursday, the group will celebrate the release of their ninth studio album, “Nightfall,” and kick off a six-month tour that includes back-to-back shows at the Apollo on Jan. 17 and 18.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

‘WOZZECK’ (next Jan.19, 3PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 8 p.m.; $
“The artist William Kentridge follows up his pioneering productions of “Lulu” and “The Nose” with Berg’s first opera, a take that my colleague Zachary Woolfe called extraordinary on its debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2017. The Met’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, wields the baton for this run, with Peter Mattei as Wozzeck, Elza van den Heever as Marie, Christopher Ventris as the Drum Major, Gerhard Siegel as the Captain, Andrew Staples as Andres and Tamara Mumford as Margret. Also at the Met are “Der Rosenkavalier” on Saturday and Wednesday evening and the family-friendly “Magic Flute” on Saturday and Thursday afternoon.” (NYT-)

Rizo: Losing the Lady (also Jan.17)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $35
“The winkingly sexy, Victrola-voiced chanteuse formerly known as Lady Rizo returns to Joe’s Pub after a yearlong absence, without her former title but with a collection of original songs and covers by such persona-shifting artists as Beyoncé, Prince and David Bowie.” (TONY)

Cyrus Chestnut (Jan. 16-19)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7PM, +9PM, $38
“The pianist Cyrus Chestnut exudes such cherubic ebullience in both his appearance and his playing that it’s sobering to learn he’s turning fifty-seven. His ever-joyous blend of jazz, blues, classical, and gospel influences may be best appreciated when he’s in charge of a trio; at this birthday celebration, he’s joined by the bassist Eric Wheeler and the drummer Chris Beck.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA (Jan.15-18)
at the Joyce Theater / 8PM, $35+
“After a brief, recent visit to New York for Fall for Dance, this South African choreographer returns for an evening of his own as part of Prototype, the opera-theater festival. His contribution, “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro,” is a shadowy production set in a graveyard and inspired by the Zakes Mda novel “Cion,” which juxtaposes the story of a professional mourner from South Africa and the legacy of slavery in the United States. What qualifies this show for an opera celebration are the Isicathamiya singers, performing an a cappella style that originated among South African Zulus. The singers deliver a haunting rendition of Ravel’s illustrious score to accompany Maqoma’s grounded, gripping movement.” (NYT-)

CHES SMITH (Jan. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Spend more than a few days bopping around New York’s improvised-music scene, and you’ll surely come across Ches Smith. He’s among the most-called-upon drummer and percussionist on the avant-garde today. Seeing him lead his own projects is uncommon, so this residency at the Stone is something of a turning of the tables. And they’ll be spun in a lot of directions: He appears with a different group each night. Of particular note are Tuesday’s show — featuring the pianist Craig Taborn, the violinist Mat Maneri and a special guest to be named on guitar — and Thursday’s program, titled “Drums and Songs,” for which Smith and the bassist Nick Dunston will be joined by a number of vocalists and players of the tanbou, a Haitian drum.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Count Basie Orchestra  (Jan.14-18)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40+
“2020 marked the 85th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William J. “Count” Basie (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935 and proceeded to develop one of the greatest jazz groups in history.

Under Basie’s leadership — with a strong commitment to making sure every tune was danceable — the orchestra featured many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, and many more. They played for Kings and Queens, appeared in movies and television shows, and won 18 Grammy® Awards, the most for any orchestra. Today, under the leadership of director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world, swinging and shouting the blues with precision, in Count Basie’s unmistakable style of Kansas City swing.”

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More Smart Stuff tomorrow.


Continuing Events

Winter Jazzfest
Various venues // Various prices
“Since 2009, the Winter Jazzfest has grown from a single evening to a multi-night, multi-venue, multi-disciplinary showcase of the cutting edge of jazz and its many stylistic subcategories, from hot swing to avant-garde to jazz-inflected world music. This year’s festival features more than 600 artists in 150 groups on 20 stages over 10 nights. There will be a British Jazz Showcase, a celebration of Detroit’s jazz history, plus talks, panels, and workshops focused on social justice, immigration, gender balance, and more. The fest also includes three all-night marathons at some 20 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
(Jan.9-17)  (Gothamist) 

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (Jan.9-17)
“Ever watched a squash game in a train station? The 23rd annual J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) arrives in Grand Central Terminal, bringing together the world’s greatest squash stars for an exciting week of international competition and live spectator events. The matches are played beneath the iconic chandeliers in Vanderbilt Hall in a state-of-the-art glass squash court with stadium seating for 500 and a free standing room area for commuters and passersby. Gracing the courts with their talent will be all of the world’s top-ranking men’s and women’s players, representing 24 nations and six continents.” (cityguideny.com)

Prototype
Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, January 9 to 19.

==========================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/16 Seu Jorge, The Town Hall
1/16 Revelry w/Don Flemons, Symphony Space
1/16-19 Public Theater’s “Under The Radar” Festival
1/17 JD Souther, Sony Hall
1/17-18 Umphrey’s McGee, Beacon Theatre
1/18 The Smithereens, Sony Hall
1/19 Umphrey’s McGee, Brooklyn Bowl
1/19 Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, Sony Hall
1/21 Temples, Webster Hall
1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

=============================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. But quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.
============================================================================

A PremierPub

Jimmy’s Corner 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest,” Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe just a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a wonderful old time jukebox, with a great selection of  40s & 50s R&B and soul. On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
————————————————————————————————————————
Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

================================================================================
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.

============================================================

Bonus Live Music  – NYC Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

I MEMORIALIZE THESE TWO WONDERFUL CLUBS AS A WARNING.
WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES

==========================================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/15) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “January NYC Events
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

==============================================================

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

XENIA FRANÇA / LUIS ENRIQUE & C4 TRIO
Brazilian Icon | Honoring Traditions, Blurring Boundaries | Latin Grammy Winners!
Joe’s Pub / 9:30PM, $20
“Xenia França hails from Bahia, the birthplace of Brazil’s most iconic musicians — Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil to name a few. França continues in that distinguished lineage, building a career that’s captivated audiences at home and abroad. Her sound honors the roots of African diaspora in Brazil, blending traditional percussion with electronica, jazz, and R&B. She was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2018 both for her debut album Xenia and for the single “Pra Que Me Chamas?”

Check out the New York Times’ coverage from last week’s epic globalFEST, where França brought “volcanic drama to songs about love, hope, transcendence, and pride.”

========================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Porgy and Bess
>> Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me
>> GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA
>> CHES SMITH
>> Count Basie Orchestra 
>> Drawing NYC: A Conversation with Kim Deitch
>> It’s All Legal on the Upper West Side
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Metropolitan Opera
Porgy and Bess (next Jan.18, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $85+
(Has proved so popular that the Met has added three performances to this second run of the season.)
“One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30 years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved the Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green.”

Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me (Jan.14-20)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85
“The gutsy, funny Tony-winning star of The Drowsy Chaperone (and survivor of Baby, It’s You!) does her Leavel best to entertain in a show that surveys the ups and downs of her three-decade career onstage.” (TONY)

GREGORY VUYANI MAQOMA (Jan.15-18)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $35+
“After a brief, recent visit to New York for Fall for Dance, this South African choreographer returns for an evening of his own as part of Prototype, the opera-theater festival. His contribution, “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro,” is a shadowy production set in a graveyard and inspired by the Zakes Mda novel “Cion,” which juxtaposes the story of a professional mourner from South Africa and the legacy of slavery in the United States. What qualifies this show for an opera celebration are the Isicathamiya singers, performing an a cappella style that originated among South African Zulus. The singers deliver a haunting rendition of Ravel’s illustrious score to accompany Maqoma’s grounded, gripping movement.” (NYT-)

CHES SMITH (Jan. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Spend more than a few days bopping around New York’s improvised-music scene, and you’ll surely come across Ches Smith. He’s among the most-called-upon drummer and percussionist on the avant-garde today. Seeing him lead his own projects is uncommon, so this residency at the Stone is something of a turning of the tables. And they’ll be spun in a lot of directions: He appears with a different group each night. Of particular note are Tuesday’s show — featuring the pianist Craig Taborn, the violinist Mat Maneri and a special guest to be named on guitar — and Thursday’s program, titled “Drums and Songs,” for which Smith and the bassist Nick Dunston will be joined by a number of vocalists and players of the tanbou, a Haitian drum.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Count Basie Orchestra  (Jan.14-18)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40+
“2020 marked the 85th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William J. “Count” Basie (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935 and proceeded to develop one of the greatest jazz groups in history.

Under Basie’s leadership — with a strong commitment to making sure every tune was danceable — the orchestra featured many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, and many more. They played for Kings and Queens, appeared in movies and television shows, and won 18 Grammy® Awards, the most for any orchestra. Today, under the leadership of director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world, swinging and shouting the blues with precision, in Count Basie’s unmistakable style of Kansas City swing.”

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Drawing NYC: A Conversation with Kim Deitch
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, $20
“Join graphic novelist and Underground Comics legend Kim Deitch and jazz critic and historian Gary Giddins for a discussion of the factual and fictional New York geography created by Deitch in his latest book, Reincarnation Stories (Fantagraphics, 2019). With settings ranging from Central Park to the surface of the moon, and a cast of characters including a feline jazz pianist, cartoonist Spain Rodriguez, Jesus Christ as an intergalactic conqueror, Frank Sinatra, and Deitch himself, Reincarnation Stories blends the familiar with the fantastic.”

It’s All Legal on the Upper West Side
Landmark West!, 45 W. 67th St./ 6:30PM, $15
“A candidate for President – the presumptive favorite – goes to bed thinking they’ve swept the election, only to wake to find they’ve lost the White House… An UWS legal icon known for unwavering honesty had a parent forced to resign a judgeship due to political scandal…

Sound familiar? History often does.

Robert Pigott takes us on a “hidden in plain sight” virtual tour of incredible people, places and it-happened-here events in legal history on the streets of the UWS and the City generally, drawn from his book, New York’s Legal Landmarks. We’ll find courthouses past and present that were sites of sensational trials (both actual and in film), locations that figured in the nation’s constitutional history, law firms where great Americans practiced law and local ties to (guess how many) UWS Supreme Court Justices. Anyone interested in local history, lore, architecture and trivia will love this toboggan ride through all the legal (and not so legal) landmarks of the UWS!”


Continuing Events

Winter Jazzfest
Various venues // Various prices
“Since 2009, the Winter Jazzfest has grown from a single evening to a multi-night, multi-venue, multi-disciplinary showcase of the cutting edge of jazz and its many stylistic subcategories, from hot swing to avant-garde to jazz-inflected world music. This year’s festival features more than 600 artists in 150 groups on 20 stages over 10 nights. There will be a British Jazz Showcase, a celebration of Detroit’s jazz history, plus talks, panels, and workshops focused on social justice, immigration, gender balance, and more. The fest also includes three all-night marathons at some 20 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
(Jan.9-17)  (Gothamist) 

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (Jan.9-17)
“Ever watched a squash game in a train station? The 23rd annual J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) arrives in Grand Central Terminal, bringing together the world’s greatest squash stars for an exciting week of international competition and live spectator events. The matches are played beneath the iconic chandeliers in Vanderbilt Hall in a state-of-the-art glass squash court with stadium seating for 500 and a free standing room area for commuters and passersby. Gracing the courts with their talent will be all of the world’s top-ranking men’s and women’s players, representing 24 nations and six continents.” (cityguideny.com)

Prototype
Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, January 9 to 19.

==========================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/14-15 Hamilton Leithauser, Cafe Carlyle

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

============================================================

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here are a few exhibitions the Vulture (NY Magazine) likes:

One Hundred Drawings
New work from Jasper Johns.
“Matthew Marks curates exhibitions as well or better than most museums.
Witness the dazzling, harmonic optical convergence of 100 drawings spanning three centuries, starting with a Degas from 1859-60 and a late-19th-century ink-and-gouache drawing of a tiger hunt with elephants from northern India. Pros will be astounded at unearthed treasures; art lovers are guaranteed to be transported, surprised, enraptured, and enriched.” (Jerry Saltz, NY Mag)
Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street, through January 18.

See Jordy Kerwick
Beautifully bizarre.
“This gallery right in the belly of the Chelsea beast deserves more attention. Currently there are the oddities of painter Jordy Kerwick, who gives us strange still-lifes of flowers in vases that sit on art books. Your eye zooms in on the florals, the text on book jackets, then gets completely bombarded by the vibrant color, primitive but wonderful touch, and collaged bits.” (Jerry Saltz, NY Mag)
Anna Zorina Gallery, 532 West 24th Street, through January 18.

Ugo Rondinone
A tribute to his love.
“Ugo Rondinone honors his late husband, the legendary poet and former Andy Warhol superstar John Giorno. In a multichannel video installation, Giorno reads a poem speaking to all his friends, lovers, and enemies from the grave. It is as riveting as it is beautiful, filled with love, irony, and triple-edged intensity. He wishes everyone more sex, more drugs, more revelations of life. Amen, poet.” (Jerry Saltz, NY Mag)
Gladstone Gallery, 530 West 21st Street, through January 18.

Mike Kelley
Timelessness.
‘As organized by the vastly undersung curator Jenelle Porter, this survey of work by the late artist Mike Kelley, “Timeless Painting,” gives us so many different ideas about what a painting could and still can be. Packed with passion and visual wisdom, this could inspire scores of future artists, just as his decades-long oeuvre did. ‘(Jerry Saltz, NY Mag)
Hauser & Wirth, 548 West 22nd Street, through January 25.

Rashid Johnson
Monumental.
“At 42, Rashid Johnson is a world-famous artist whose work sells for around a half-million dollars apiece and is featured in museums, biennials, outdoor installations, and more. Johnson’s sheer ambition pushes him to keep expanding his scale, subject matter, and materials (which have included paints, plants, CB radios, shea butter, and mosaics) so much so that his art takes on a shining life of its own.” (Jerry Saltz, NY Mag)
Hauser & Wirth, 548 West 22nd Street, through January 25.

=================================================================================

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try this NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 01/13 and 01/11.
=======================================================

15 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (01/09/20)

Must-see theater coming to New York City stages this fall (amNY)

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)

m

NYT Theater Reviews – NYT theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

and, drum roll, here are all the media critics opinions on all the plays – Playbill’s “the Verdict”

For good, comprehensive and current info:

Broadway Shows: What to See and How to Get Cheap Tickets (NYT)

finally, lot’s of useful info on TKTS discount tickets from the headout blog:

Everything You Need to Know About TKTS Broadway Tickets

======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events -“Only the Best” (01/14) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “January NYC Events
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

==============================================================

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

Count Basie Orchestra  (Jan.14-18)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40+
“2020 marked the 85th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William J. “Count” Basie (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935 and proceeded to develop one of the greatest jazz groups in history.

Under Basie’s leadership — with a strong commitment to making sure every tune was danceable — the orchestra featured many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, and many more. They played for Kings and Queens, appeared in movies and television shows, and won 18 Grammy® Awards, the most for any orchestra. Today, under the leadership of director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world, swinging and shouting the blues with precision, in Count Basie’s unmistakable style of Kansas City swing.”

========================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> CHES SMITH
>> La Traviata
>> Julian Lage Trio
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> LES BALLET AFRIK AND EPHRAT ASHERIE
>> Uncanny Valley: Anna Wiener
>> Marino Marini and Henry Moore: An Italian Friendship
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

CHES SMITH (Jan. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Spend more than a few days bopping around New York’s improvised-music scene, and you’ll surely come across Ches Smith. He’s among the most-called-upon drummer and percussionist on the avant-garde today. Seeing him lead his own projects is uncommon, so this residency at the Stone is something of a turning of the tables. And they’ll be spun in a lot of directions: He appears with a different group each night. Of particular note are Tuesday’s show — featuring the pianist Craig Taborn, the violinist Mat Maneri and a special guest to be named on guitar — and Thursday’s program, titled “Drums and Songs,” for which Smith and the bassist Nick Dunston will be joined by a number of vocalists and players of the tanbou, a Haitian drum.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

The Metropolitan Opera
La Traviata (next Jan.18, 1PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $30+
“Michael Mayer’s sumptuous staging, a highlight of the 2018–19 season, returns with two casts of bright stars. Sopranos Aleksandra Kurzak and Lisette Oropesa share the role of Violetta, the opera’s tragic heroine, opposite tenors Dmytro Popov and Vittorio Grigolo as her ardent lover, Alfredo, and baritones Quinn Kelsey and Luca Salsi as Alfredo’s stern father, Germont. Karel Mark Chichon and Bertrand de Billy conduct one of opera’s greatest scores.”

Julian Lage Trio (Jan.14-19)
Village Vanguard / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Guitarist Lage has been a musician’s musician since youth. He’s graduated from child-prodigy appearances with Carlos Santana and Pat Metheny to grown-up sideman gigs with Gary Burton and his pianist pal Taylor Eigsti. Expect shimmery fireworks, as Lage leads a hot trio that includes the Bad Plus’ maestro drummer Dave King.” (TONY)

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:30PM, $25
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her weekly series at the downstairs Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents.” (TONY)

LES BALLET AFRIK AND EPHRAT ASHERIE (Jan.13-14)
at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / 7:30 p.m.; $ could be a tough ticket.
“The latest episode of the Guggenheim’s Works and Process series focuses on a newly commissioned piece driven by vogueing and house dance styles. Les Ballet Afrik, founded by the distinguished ballroom scene veteran Omari Wiles, presents excerpts from “New York Is Burning,” which commemorates the 30th anniversary of the influential documentary “Paris Is Burning,” and features Wiles’s fusion of African, Afrobeat and house moves. Additionally, the busy B-girl Ephrat Asherie will show parts of “UnderScored,” an upcoming work inspired by the wild, wonderful dancing at the Loft and the Paradise Garage, famed underground clubs of the 1970s and ’80s.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Uncanny Valley: Anna Wiener
McNally Jackson Williamsburg, 76 N. 4th St./ 7PM, FREE
“Anna Wiener comes to McNally Jackson Williamsburg to speak about her new book, Uncanny Valley: A Memoir, which provides a rare first-person look at Silicon Valley. She’ll share insight into an industry “that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building.” (ThoughtGallery)

Marino Marini and Henry Moore: An Italian Friendship
Center for Italian Modern Art, 421 Broome St., 4th fl. / 6PM, $10
“Sebastiano Barassi, Head of Collections & Exhibitions at the Henry Moore Foundation in the U.K., speaks on the friendship between two of the most celebrated sculptors of the 20th century, Henry Moore and Marino Marini.”


Continuing Events

Winter Jazzfest
Various venues // Various prices
“Since 2009, the Winter Jazzfest has grown from a single evening to a multi-night, multi-venue, multi-disciplinary showcase of the cutting edge of jazz and its many stylistic subcategories, from hot swing to avant-garde to jazz-inflected world music. This year’s festival features more than 600 artists in 150 groups on 20 stages over 10 nights. There will be a British Jazz Showcase, a celebration of Detroit’s jazz history, plus talks, panels, and workshops focused on social justice, immigration, gender balance, and more. The fest also includes three all-night marathons at some 20 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
(Jan.9-17)  (Gothamist) 

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (Jan.9-17)
“Ever watched a squash game in a train station? The 23rd annual J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) arrives in Grand Central Terminal, bringing together the world’s greatest squash stars for an exciting week of international competition and live spectator events. The matches are played beneath the iconic chandeliers in Vanderbilt Hall in a state-of-the-art glass squash court with stadium seating for 500 and a free standing room area for commuters and passersby. Gracing the courts with their talent will be all of the world’s top-ranking men’s and women’s players, representing 24 nations and six continents.” (cityguideny.com)

Prototype
Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, January 9 to 19.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/14 On Your Radar with John Platt, Rockwood Music Hall
1/14-15 Hamilton Leithauser, Cafe Carlyle

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.
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A PremierPub / Tribeca

B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St)

b_flat4There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.

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Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Triad – 158 W72nd Street (btw Amsterdam/Columbus Ave.)

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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