Selected Events (01/01) + Holiday Windows in NYCity

Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, JAN. 01, 2015.
“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.”

Harlem Gospel Choir  — Gospel Music

The Longest Variety Show Ever — Cabaret

Chris Botti  — Jazz

The Temptations and The Four Tops on Broadway — Motown

Eric Alexander & Harold Mabern Sextet — Jazz

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:
♦ “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.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site: nyc123blog.wordpress.com

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Harlem Gospel Choir (Jan. 1 brunch and ongoing Sundays)
download“Here’s a real Sister Act for you. When does a blues club in the middle of Times Square become a church? The answer: every Sunday for over 10 years, when the Harlem Gospel Choir takes over at BB King ’s. Hosted by founder Allen Bailey, this highly inspirational six-member mixed choir offers spiritual salvation (in the words and music of such classics as “Oh Happy Day” and “Amazing Grace”) alongside heaps of biscuits, scrambled eggs and fried fish.

The jubilant mood is much more like a church service than a traditional nightclub set—they leave the house lights on for one thing, and there’s a lot more audience participation than you’re likely to see at, say, the Blue Note. After a while, I found myself standing up, clapping and singing along, even during those rare moments when no one was asking me to.” (WSJ)
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 W. 42nd St.
(212) 997-4144

The Longest Variety Show Ever (Jan. 1-4)
05mayespan-1-articleLarge“If the vivacious—not to mention explosive— Marilyn Maye can’t make you feel alive and in a celebratory mood, on New Year’s Eve or any other night of the year, then check your pulse, brother, because you obviously died a long time ago. This year, Ms. Maye’s annual January run is incorporated into a marathon event: 60 hours of nonstop singing, playing, joke-telling, burlesque-dancing, drag queening, and magic—not to mention puppets, poets (and probably also pirates, pawns and kings).

They’re going for the gold, that is, the Guinness Book of World Records entry for the longest-running variety show that’s ever been staged—a total of 265 different acts performing mostly in 15-minute slots, going all night for three nights—there’s just no letup the live-long night and day. See you at 4 a.m.; the club stands to make a fortune just from the sales of coffee alone. And who else could introduce such an undertaking other than Joe Franklin, Mr. Show Business himself?” (WSJ)
The Metropolitan Room, 34 W. 22nd St.
(212) 206-0440

Chris Botti (through Jan. 5)
“Mr. Botti, whose adult-pop savvy and controlled but brooding trumpet sound have made him a global superstar, descends on the Blue Note each year around this time for an extended engagement. This is his 10th annual run, and as usual he brings a slick but substantial band, and the clout to welcome the occasional celebrity guest.” (Chinen-NYT)
Blue Note, 131 West Third St., Greenwich Village
At 8 and 10:30 p.m./$75 cover at tables (may be sold out), 
$40 at the bar, with a $5 minimum. (sound is fine at these bar seats, vision decent)
475-8592 / bluenote.net

The Temptations and The Four Tops on Broadway (through Jan. 4)
temptations-articleLargeFor the first time ever, for seven nights only, the Temptations and the Four Tops join together live on Broadway at the legendary Palace Theatre. It’s the Broadway event of the holiday season as these two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame groups share the stage. So don’t wait–reach out and you can be there, on Broadway, to ring in the New Year with a night of music you won’t ever forget.
Palace Theatre, Broadway and W47th St.
8pm / $52-$142

Eric Alexander & Harold Mabern Sextet 
Saxophonist Eric Alexander and piano legend Harold Mabern Mabern expand the ensemble to a high-octane sextet featuring trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and alto saxophonist Vincent Herring. They also have one of the best rhythm sections anywhere with bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth. As The Village Voice says, “the blues lives in every drop of sound that comes from Mabern’s piano.”
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St.
At 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m./ $48 cover (limited space)
(212) 864-6662 / smokejazz.com

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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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Holiday Windows in New York City 2014

As we head to the end of the holiday season there are just a couple of holiday windows still on display. Do me a favor, arrange your day so that you check out these windows after dark when the window displays are illuminated. They are so much more impressive at night.

Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows
Bergdorf Goodman was inspired by ice this year: The shop’s holiday windows all present variations on the theme “Holidays on Ice,” with displays devoted to Halloween (with a masquerade party), Valentine’s Day and even Arbor Day. (Ice-skating trees? One can hope.)
Bergdorf Goodman 754 Fifth Ave, at 58th St.
Until Wed Jan 7

Lord & Taylor holiday windows
Children from NYC schools and Women in Need shelters were asked to create drawings based on the theme “What Is Christmas Made Of?” Those works, 125 of which are featured here, inspired the scenes in this year’s display.
Lord & Taylor 424 Fifth Ave, between 38th and 39th Sts.
Thu Dec 4 – Thu Jan 1

Fini – for these see what their creators imagine next year:

Barneys holiday windows
This year, the Madison Avenue shop incorporates video, light installations and more forward-thinking concepts into its holiday displays. The theme is “A New York Holiday,” and elements include an interactive scene with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a “floating city” created with 3-D mapping and light projections.
Barneys New York 660 Madison Ave, at 61st St.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Bloomingdale’s holiday windows
This year’s holiday windows at Bloomie’s puts the famous brown shopping bags into different shopping scenes around the world—everywhere from China and France to Great Britain and Italy (and, of course, Bloomingdale’s right here in New York City).
Bloomingdale’s 1000 Third Ave, at 59th St,
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Henri Bendel holiday windows
Henri Bendel has partnered with the estate of Al Hirschfeld to create window displays inspired by the celebrated cartoonist’s work. In one window, you’ll see 3-D depictions of celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, Liza Minnelli and Woody Allen; in the store itself, Bendel’s giant tree becomes a playhouse for a model of Charlie Chaplin.
Henri Bendel 712 Fifth Ave, at 56th St.
Wed Dec 3 – Wed Dec 31

Macy’s holiday windows
Boasting a “Dream…and Believe” theme, Macy’s 2013 holiday windows depict a young boy’s journey through a magical dreamland. The six windows on the Broadway side of the store—Dream, Giving & Sharing, Joy, Beauty, Magic and Believe—use technology and LED lights to tell the story. Visiting families can also view the classic “Yes, Virginia…” windows on the 34th street side of the store.
Macy’s Herald Square 151 W 34th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves.
Wed Dec 10 – Wed Dec 31

Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows
This year, Saks debuted a new Snowflake Spectacular, a 3-D light show that plays out across the department store’s exterior each evening. The dazzling display is just one element of the shop’s holiday celebration: Window displays tell the story of the Saks Yeti, and also include an interactive window where visitors can display their own Yeti name (visit saks.com/snow for more details).
Saks Fifth Avenue 611 Fifth Ave, at 49th St.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Tiffany & Co. holiday windows
Behind the windows into which Holly Golightly once gazed so admiringly, Tiffany’s conjures an image of a yuppie wintertime fantasia: the Upper East Side on Christmas Eve. The miniature brownstone scenes are replete with tiny chandeliers and garlands, and those well-known baby-blue boxes are strewn beneath the trees.
Tiffany & Co. 727 Fifth Ave, between 56th and 57th Sts.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

This comprehensive description and much more useful holiday info, including a holiday windows slide show, can be found at TONY magazine’s Christmas in NewYork Guide.

For more holiday windows photos, try the slideshows at the NYT and Refinery 29.

For “The Definitive Guide to New York City’s 2014 Holiday Window Displays” try the NewYorkObserver

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