Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – FRIDAY, DEC. 12, 2014
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”
Laura Osnes – Cabaret
Live From the NYPL: Joyce Carol Oates – SmartStuff/ Lecture
Our Point of View – Jazz
Z100 Jingle Ball with Taylor Swift – Pop/Rock
“The Nutcracker” ABT – Ballet
“Back in the day, the standard ploy for a Broadway headliner doing a nightclub act was to reprise all her big numbers from all her big roles. The tactic of Tony nominated Laura Osnes (who, most recently, was outstanding in the Encores production of “The Band Wagon”) is precisely the opposite; instead, she concentrates on key show tunes from the shows she hasn’t yet booked, hitting on key moments from “Brigadoon,” “A Little Night Music,” “My Fair Lady” and many others.
She does some as if she were actually in the show (“Popular” from “Wicked”), but her best interpretations are more original, as when she renders “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” as something like a country waltz, as if it were from “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Nashville.” There’s also an ingenious juxtaposition of Cole Porter and Paul McCartney.” (WSJ-Will Friedwald)
54 Below, 254 W. 54th St.,
7PM / $55-$75
Live From the NYPL: Joyce Carol Oates
Ms. Oates, the prolific author of “Them,” “The Falls” and “We Were the Mulvaneys,” will deliver the annual Robert B. Silvers lecture, titled “Is the Uninspired Life Worth Living?”
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, New York Public Library, 917-275-6975
7pm / $25, $15 for members, students and 65+.
OUR POINT OF VIEW
“This all-star ensemble, specially organized to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of Blue Note Records, features leading lights of the contemporary jazz scene, including the pianist Robert Glasper, the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the guitarist Lionel Loueke, and the saxophonist Marcus Strickland. Drawing on original material from recordings by each of the participants, this supergroup also plucks treasures from the rich Blue Note catalogue, and recasts them with new spirit.” (NewYorker)
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St.
6:30pm / $40
Z100 Jingle Ball with Taylor Swift
“Assembled by the radio station Z100 (WHTZ, 100.3 FM), the stars here shine bright in a way that only pop-music stars can. Topping the list is Taylor Swift, whose term so far as New York City’s “global welcome ambassador” has been divisive. Other acts include the Australian rock band Five Seconds of Summer, vocal acrobat Ariane Grande, fancy rapper Iggy Azalea and happy prancer Pharrell. Still more for a night that promises to go long: Sam Smith, Calvin Harris, Jessie J, Meghan Trainor, OneRepublic, Rixton, Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes, Charli XCX and Nick Jonas.” (WSJ-AndyBattaglia)
Madison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plaza, 7th Ave. at 33rd St.
866-858-0008 / (212) 465-6741 / thegarden.com
8pm / $51 to $451.
Elsewhere, but worth the detour:
“The Nutcracker” ABT
“American Ballet Theatre is bringing “The Nutcracker” back to BAM this month, staging the very last performances of a five-year engagement. Clara and her nutcracker prince will embark on a dreamlike adventure featuring staggering scenery, glittering costumes, enchanted toy soldiers and snowflakes come to life as a chorus of ballerinas. See a cast of more than 100 bringing Tchaikovsky’s score to life in this critically acclaimed adaptation of a holiday classic.” (dna info)
“The Nutcracker” opens today and will close on Dec. 21.
Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House,
Tickets start at $20.
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
Ice Skating in NYCity (nycgo.com)
Winter just isn’t winter without ice-skating in New York City. And though most of us can probably name two or three rinks off the top of our heads, we might be more than mildly surprised to find there are 15 venues open for public ice-skating this holiday season. The best known of the City’s rinks is without a doubt the Rink at Rockefeller Center—tracing figure eights while surrounded by the shops, restaurants and buildings of a NYC landmark provides the quintessential NYC skating experience—but plenty of other (frequently less crowded) options exist. Here are the ice rinks you want to head to in Manhattan:
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Where: Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets
When: Late October to early March
Price: Free; skate rental $15–$19
If you already own skates, this is the most affordable spot in the City—it’s the only rink that offers free admission. Bryant Park also hosts annual holiday shops, a good destination if you want to cross some gifts off your list after your turn on the ice.
Trump Rink in Central Park
Where: Central Park, mid-park between 62nd and 63rd Streets
When: Late October to first week of April
Price: Adults $11.25 (Mon.–Thurs.), $18 (Fri.–Sun.); kids 11 and under $6; seniors $5 (Mon.–Thurs.), $9 (Fri.–Sun.); skate rental $8
Few rinks can match the ambience of Central Park’s Trump Rink, especially after a fresh snowfall. If you’re there at night, be sure to look up for some prime NYC stargazing.
Rink at Rockefeller Center
Where: Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
When: Mid-October through April
Price: Adults $27–$30, kids 10 and under $15; skate rental $12
Millions of visitors plan trips to the City every year just to catch a glimpse of skaters taking a spin on the ice below the famous Christmas tree and gilded statue of Prometheus; others will wait in long lines to experience it for themselves.
Ice Rink at Riverbank State Park
Where: Henry Hudson Parkway between West 138th and West 145th Streets
When: November through March
Price: Adults $5, kids 11 and under $3; skate rental $6
Riverbank, in Hamilton Heights, is the only state park in Manhattan; it offers incredible river views across to New Jersey and gorgeous vistas of the George Washington Bridge.
Where: Central Park, northeast corner between 106th and 108th Streets
When: Late October to late March
Price: Adults $7.50, kids 12 and under $4; skate rental $6.50
Up in the northern reaches of the park, Lasker Rink is a bit less discovered than its sister skate center in the park (see “Trump Rink in Central Park” below)—and a much better deal.
See/Change Ice Rink
Where: Fulton and Front Streets, South Street Seaport
When: Late November to early March
Price: Adults $10, kids 5 and under free; skate rental $6
The seaport relaunched itself in 2013 after Superstorm Sandy with the opening of an outdoor ice rink. Bonus: November 28, opening night, coincides with a tree-lighting ceremony.
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers
Where: Pier 61, West 23rd Street and Hudson River Park
Price: $10; skate rental $5
Want to skate downtown…in mid-July? The enormous rink at Chelsea Piers is the place to head, though it’s a reliable stop-off any time of year.
Where: 848 Washington St., between West 12th and West 13th Streets
When: Late November until early spring (weather dependent)
Price: Adults $12, kids $6; skate rental $3
One of the hipper—and more exclusive—hotels in the City has a ground-level rink available to the public. If you can’t find the info on the main website, check standardculture.com for the latest prices and times.
nycgo.com, the website of New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, has lots of useful NYCity info for the holidays:
Best NYC Toy Stores,
2014 Holiday Events,
Holiday Gift Guide,
This fine site is worth checking out when you are planning your NYCity visit.