Selected Events (12/18) + Nutcracker Performances 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, DEC. 18, 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.”

The New Standards’ Holiday Show  SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music [FREE]

Step Right Up: Classic American Arcade and Target Forms – 
SmartStuff/ Book Talk [FREE]

Walter Martin Holiday Show  – Pop/Rock

Medieval Illumination as a Model for Modernism – SmartStuff/ Museum Talk

“A City Singing at Christmas”  – SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music [FREE]

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

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The New Standards’ Holiday Show
Special Guests Nellie McKay, Rhett Miller, Mike Doughty, Craig Finn, Dessa and more!

The_New_StandardsDescribed as “a little lounge, a little punk, a little rock, and a whole lot of cool,” this trio featuring piano, stand-up bass, and vibraphone reinvents their favorite songs with panache. John Munson (bass/vocals) was an original member of Trip Shakespeare, and then moved on to become part of the double-platinum group Semisonic. Chan Poling (piano/vocals) founded the punk-rock group The Suburbs and continues to write for theater, TV, and film. Steve Roehm (vibes) started his career with the Texas group Billygoat and was a member of the jazz/funk fusion group Electropolis. These three world-class musicians come together as The New Standards, a jazz-inspired, unlikely soul-filled group who command the stage with virtuosity, style, and a wicked sense of humor.

The New Standards’ Holiday Show has long been a Minnesota institution. Audiences have come to expect a show that combines swinging renditions of classic holiday tunes with a smattering of irreverence, inebriation, and spectacle. But it’s the surprises that delight: the special rock star guests, a touching poem or story, dances and comic bits, or a show-stopping version of “Snow Days”— that sweet ode to Minnesota winter— like you’ve never heard it before.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center,
at 7:30 (but get there by 7 to ensure a seat) / Target FREE Thursdays

Step Right Up: Classic American Arcade and Target Forms.
Richard and Valerie Tucker will speak about their book

steprightupbook-coverStep Right Up: Classic American Arcade and Target Forms explores self-taught art of late nineteenth and early twentieth century shooting gallery targets, whole galleries, and arcade forms. Commonly seen on early midways and carnivals as well as in saloons and other public places of amusement, the artworks presented are the rarest and most aesthetically pleasing decorative targets and arcade forms known.

The progression from the world of shooting gallery and arcade forms, as well as painted American fixtures and accessories, to contemporary art and sculpture has been a natural evolution. Also featured are examples of other amusement attractions to which the visitor to the carnival, circus, or midway would have been exposed. A few European forms are included to illustrate the difference to and American forms.
Book signing and reception to follow.
American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th St.)
6PM / FREE
212. 595. 9533 / folkartmuseum.org

Walter Martin Holiday Show
“Amid a few years of change that included the decision of his longtime band, the Walkmen, to go on hiatus and his wife’s pregnancy, Mr. Martin funneled his excess rock energy and familial affection into his first solo album. “We’re All Young Together,” released last spring, is a warmly singsong, folk-inflected dash of wholesome family pop. He hosts a holiday show with Kat Edmonson.” (Anderson-NYT)
Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St, at Astor Place
7PM / $20.
212-967-7555 / joespub.com

Medieval Illumination as a Model for Modernism
Searching for alternatives to the classical Renaissance basis of academic models, modern artists turned to types of representation not based on observation but rather on abstract or imaginative constructs. Barbara Rose, independent scholar and former Morgan Drawing Institute Fellow, examines the imagery of medieval illuminated manuscripts devoted to the Apocalypse and discusses their relevance for artists such as Miró, Picasso, Léger, and Matisse. This program is co-organized by the Morgan Drawing Institute.
The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue
6:30pm / $15
212-685-0008

“A City Singing at Christmas”
“The halls are decked at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; and for one evening only, St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, The Young People’s Chorus of New York City and the New York City Master Chorale will join in song to celebrate the season. Join the congregation for an evening of traditional and contemporary Christmas carols at the 35th Annual “A City Singing at Christmas.” Guests are asked to arrive early to ensure seating.” (dnainfo.com)
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 460 Madison Ave.
7 p.m / FREE and open to all

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♦ 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.
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For many the Holiday Season means a visit to the NYC Ballet to enjoy their performance of the “Nutcracker” ballet. Thought Gallery, a very fine site with event info on a range of NYCity cultural topics, surprises us with a comprehensive list of more “Nutcracker” performances around town than you ever imagined. Who Knew?

Going Nuts: A Roundup of Nutcracker Ballet Performances in NYC
By Troy Segal

“A FINELY AGED NUT Many a native NY-er has grown up with New York City Ballet founder George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a holiday tradition since its debut in 1954. Balanchine based his version on the productions he himself danced in as a child in Russia. Act I serves up the spectacle: a rambunctious holiday party and an epic battle between the armies of the Nutcracker Prince and the multi-headed Mouse King. Act II is devoted to displays of dancing virtuosity by waltzing flowers, jumping candy canes and little clowns that emerge from a lady’s hoopskirt. Nov. 28–Jan. 3.

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN Returning for the last time to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s version of The Nutcracker takes a dramatic approach to the often-saccharine classic: “The Waltz of the Snowflakes,” for example, turns into a nearly fatal blizzard for our heroine Clara, and the Sugar Plum Fairy is explicitly a projection of her desire to be all grown up, rather than just the usual showy anonymous ballerina role. Not that there aren’t plenty of sweet moments, too, from the adorable baby mouse to the magically expanding Christmas tree to the dazzling turns by American Ballet Theatre’s artists. Dec. 12–21.

DANCING IN THE STREETS In contrast to the productions above, The Knickerbocker Suite unfolds the familiar story in modern-day NYC. Those swirling snowflakes turn into shoppers, waltzing in and out of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s; Mother Ginger, traditionally a lady whose skirts house hidden little dancers, becomes the Statue of Liberty leading a host of immigrants. The concepts are as fresh as the cast, all students of Manhattan Youth Ballet. Dec. 12–14 & 19–21.

TINY BUT TASTY The New York Theatre Ballet is a chamber dance company specializing in streamlined stories for the littlest balletomanes. Its version, dubbed Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker (after is its resident choreographer) and set in an Art Nouveau world, runs only an hour, but packs in all the big turns, using its small cast in ingenious ways and with witty fashions (the Metropolitan Opera’s resident costume designer did the garments). Dec. 19–21.

RED HOT If ballet ever merged with burlesque, the result might be something like Nutcracker Rouge. This strictly-for-grownups version—by Company XIV, which loves to mash up music, Baroque dance and texts and acrobatics—has Marie (not so much a little girl as a nubile young thing) embarking on a discovery of the sweet things in life—and we’re not talking candy canes. The classically trained dancers pose, pirouette and gyrate to the Tchaikovsky’s greatest hits, as well as Madonna’s (we said it was a mash-up, didn’t we?). If you like your hot chocolate with a little spice, this is for you. Through Jan. 4.”
(Troy Segal-ThoughtGallery.org)

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