Selected Events (02/18) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s “Fab 5″ / Selected NYCity Events – WEDNESDAY, FEB. 18, 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.”  

Silent Films/Live Music  —  Film & Music   (8pm) 

Ballet Rakatan  —  Dance   (7:30pm)

Hot Chocolate Festival —  Food & Drink   (all day)   

“Cuba and It’s Music” with Ned Sublette —  SmartStuff/ Lecture   (6pm) 

Great Battles of the Civil War  —  SmartStuff/ Lecture   (6:30pm) 

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:

♦ “9 Notable Events-Feb.”, 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:

Silent Films/Live Music (through February 20, 2015)
Curated by John Schaefer as part of WNYC’s New Sounds Live Series

Experience two unforgettable evenings of contemporary and classic silent film screenings accompanied by live music! The avant-rock band SQÜRL (Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan) handpicked four silent films by the legendary Man Ray, and then created original scores for these performances. Their curated soundscape will breathe new life into these vintage shorts.

Blancanieves_posterThis alternates with tonight’s award-winning silent hit “Blancanieves” based on the “Snow White” fairy tale, written and directed by acclaimed Spanish director Pablo Berger in 2012. Alfonso Vilallonga’s original soundtrack will be performed by the composer himself along with the acclaimed new-music ensemble Wordless Music Orchestra. Set in a romantic version of 1920’s Andalusia, the silent black-and-white fantasy swept the 2013 Gaudí awards (known as the Spanish Oscars) winning Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Catalan-Language Film, among others, and was one of the year’s most popular films in Spain.
Winter Garden, Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street
8:00 PM – 9:45 PM / FREE

Ballet Rakatan (through Feb. 22)
jr_havana_rakatan_22_1000.sized“Havana Rakatan,” the touring production of this Cuban troupe, a hit for many years in London, is essentially a night-club revue. Loose in chronology and historical authenticity, it traces the development of Cuban music and dance over two hours of routines: Spain collides with Africa to make the rumba, the mambo, the cha-cha-cha. The choreography, by Nilda Guerra, is undistinguished, yet the tight eight-piece band and the cast of vivacious, flirtatious, extroverted dancers make for an enjoyable show.” (NewYorker)
City Center, 55th St. (btw 6/7 ave)
7:30pm / $25-$95
212.581.1212 /

Hot Chocolate Festival (entire month of February)
“City Bakery’s annual Hot Chocolate Festival is underway. Every day in February the famous bakery presents a different hot chocolate concoction. Over the next few days sample “Happy” Hot Chocolate (Wednesday), French Follies (Thursday) and Bourbon Hot Chocolate (Friday). The City Bakery Blog jokingly describes the French Follies drink as “evocative of dark chocolate, sweaty corsets, hand rolled Gitanes and a night of debauchery at Place Pigalle.” (
City Bakery, 3 W. 18th St., Union Square.
From 7:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Check out their list of the most decadent and boozy hot chocolates in NYC here.

“Cuba and It’s Music” with Ned Sublette
“Veteran performer Ned Sublette made the jump from urban cowpunk to scholar a decade ago with the publication of “Cuba And Its Music,” the premier history of how the sounds from the island nation came into existence. Here, he discusses the cultural ramifications of President Obama’s proposed normalization with Cuba with Make Music New York president Aaron Friedman.” (
Arnhold Hall, The New School, 55 W 13th St
6:00 PM / FREE

Great Battles of the Civil War: The Wilderness and Beyond
battle-of-the-wilderness-hero-2-HThe forests of Virginia literally erupted into flames during the 1864 battles for the Wilderness, as Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee engaged in a horrific combat in early May. Renowned historians of the era relive all the great military struggles of this period—including Sheridan’s Ride, The Crater, and Jubal Early’s Raid on Washington—a season of thrusts and parries, danger and daring.

James M. McPherson, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University, is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom. His newest book is Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief. Craig L. Symonds is Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy and the award-winning author of Lincoln and His Admirals. Harold Holzer (moderator) has written and edited more than 40 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era and is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal.
New-York Historical Society
6:30pm / $34, $20 members (that’s a good deal, worth joining)

♦ 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 a record 56 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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

Museum of Modern Art:
107508‘The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters’ (through March 22) In his printed works, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec chronicled and publicized the music halls, theaters, circuses, operas and cafes of Paris with terrific verve, sly wit and surprising subtlety. This enthralling show presents approximately 100 examples drawn from the museum’s permanent collection. 212-708-9400, (Johnson)

‘Sturtevant: Double Trouble’ (through Feb. 22) Among the first things you see in MoMA’s taut, feisty retrospective of the American artist Elaine Sturtevant is work by far better known figures: Joseph Beuys, Jasper Johns, Marcel Duchamp. In each case, however, the pieces are by Ms. Sturtevant herself, who spent much of a long career adopting and adapting the art and styles of others to create a body of work entirely her own, one which raises questions about the value of art, about the hows and whys of producing it, and about the degrees to which quasi-replication can be an exercise in flattery, parody, objectivity, originality and love. 212-708-9400, (Cotter)

‘The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World’(through April 5) Despite being predictable and market-oriented in its choice of 17 artists, this museum’s first painting survey in decades is well worth seeing. About half the artists are exceptional and the rest are represented by their best work. Based on the premise that all historical painting styles are equally available today, the exhibition has been smartly installed to juxtapose different approaches: figurative and abstract, digital and handmade, spare and opulent. 212-708-9400, (Smith)

New-York Historical Society:
‘Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein’ (through April 19) Almost 50 years ago, the picture editor of a campus newspaper at City College of New York assigned himself a breaking story: coverage of what promised to be a massive march in Alabama, led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to demand free-and-clear voting rights for African-Americans. On short notice the editor, Stephen Somerstein, grabbed his cameras, climbed on a bus, and headed south. The 55 pictures of black leaders and everyday people in this show, installed in a hallway and small gallery, are some that he shot that day. The image of Dr. King’s head seen in monumental silhouette that has become a virtual logo of the film “Selma” is based on a Somerstein original. 170 Central Park West, at 77th Street, 212-873-3400, (Cotter)

Annie Leibovitz: ‘Pilgrimage’ (through Feb. 22) No living celebrities are portrayed in “Pilgrimage,” but lots of celebrated figures from the past are indirectly represented, from Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson to Eleanor Roosevelt and Robert Smithson. In the spring of 2009, Ms. Leibovitz set out on a two-year journey that took her to about two dozen historic sites in the United States and Britain. Most of these were house museums dedicated to famous individuals, where she photographed the rooms they inhabited and objects they owned and used. Though often poetically atmospheric, these pictures are disappointingly less lively than her portraits of famous entertainers. 170 Central Park West, at 77th Street, 212-873-3400, (Johnson)

Rubin Museum of Art:
‘The All-Knowing Buddha: A Secret Guide’ (through April 13) This show presents 54 paintings that illustrate step-by-step instructions for followers of Tibetan Buddhism. Delicately painted on 10-by-10-inch paper sheets, most of the pages depict a monk having fabulous visions in a verdant landscape. Thought to have been commissioned by a Mongolian patron and executed by unidentified artists in a Chinese workshop sometime in the 18th century, it is a fascinating and remarkably thorough manual for seekers of higher consciousness. 150 West 17th Street, Chelsea, 212-620-5000, (Johnson)

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 02/16 and 02/14.

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