Selected Events (04/15) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s “Fab 5″+1/ Selected NYCity Events – WEDNESDAY, APR. 15, 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.”

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Apr.”, 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:

“All or Nothing at All: Origins of a Legend” (also April 16)
20150415_A_Michael_Feinstein_Photo_by_Gilles_Toucas_crop_300_170_0_0_0_90___1161“Frank Sinatra would have turned a hundred this year; at this historically minded celebration, the singer and popular-music maven Michael Feinstein focusses on Sinatra’s early career and his relationship with another paragon of American music, the songwriter Cole Porter. Joining Feinstein are the singers Ann Hampton Callaway, Lynn Roberts, and Nick Ziobro.” (NewYorker)
Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St.
Wed 7pm; Thur 7pm + 9pm / better chance for seats at Thursday shows; act now
212-721-6500 /

Tribeca Film Festival (April 15-26)
The Tribeca Film Festival provides a platform for innovative filmmakers of all stripes to present their latest work. This year’s program includes blockbusters, documentaries, foreign films and shorts and free outdoor screenings. Also on offer are a huge variety of panel discussions and lectures. The first official documentary sanctioned by Kurt Cobain’s estate, “Montage of Heck” will be screened, as will Katie Holmes’ documentary on Nadia Comaneci. A Monty Python reunion will take place in honor of the 40th anniversary of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” (

“Robert DeNiro’s little-alternative-festival-that-could has grown into a juggernaut of hundreds of films, talks, industry schmoozes and whatnot that’s spread over two jam-packed weekends. Two years ago it showcased the premiere of Senior Planet fave “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.” There’s even more in store this year.” (

Visit the festival site; there are tons of worthy options.
Various venues.
Various Times / $10 matinee, $18 evening/weekend, $35 Tribeca Talk

Nelli McKay (April 15-18)
artistimage_nellieblue“Always ready to throw her devoted fans a curve ball, the vocalist McKay fills her new album, “My Weekly Reader,” with interpretations of sixties pop and rock songs, both iconic (the Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon”) and obscure (Moby Grape’s “Murder in My Heart for the Judge”). The result is delightful and eccentric, a reflection of the performer herself.” (NewYorker)
54 Below, 254 W. 54th St.
9:30pm / $55-$100

“Live Ideas” (April 15-19)
This annual festival casts a wide net in bringing cultural leaders and artists together around a theme. The first gathering, in 2013, focussed on the influence of the neurologist Oliver Sacks. In 2014, the symposium was devoted to the writer and social critic James Baldwin. This year, the honor goes to Laurie Anderson, with a twist. “Rather than construct a week of events about her,” Bill T. Jones, the artistic director of the presenting organization, New York Live Arts, said, “we asked her to step into the role of curator.”

A performance-art pioneer, as well as an instrument inventor, writer, director, and frequent collaborator with her late husband, Lou Reed, Anderson is well suited to the task. More than two dozen events are planned, over five days, for what is being called “S K Y – Force and Wisdom in America Today.” The avant-garde musician John Zorn will present original compositions. Rarely heard pieces by Lou Reed will be performed. Anne Carson will début new poems. There will also be a Tai Chi demonstration by Grand Master Ren, screenings of films by Anderson and Julian Schnabel, and a new dance from the choreographer Beth Gill.

In case all the excitement keeps you up, there will also be a late-night music lounge open throughout the festival, with acts picked by the journalist Michael Azerrad, the author of “Our Band Could Be Your Life.”
Most events are at Live Arts Theatre, 219 W. 19th St., Others are nearby.
7:30pm. $40–$50.

Eliane Elias
search“The spring cabaret season has arrived in New York with a saucy Brazilian accent and a whisper of bossa nova as the pianist and singer Eliane Elias continues her engagement at Birdland, through Saturday, performing songs from her recent album, “Made in Brazil.” This lushly arranged collection includes six original songs, along with standards by Roberto Menescal, Ary Barroso and Antônio Carlos Jobim.” (NYT)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9ave)
At 8:30 and 11 p.m.,

Chuck Close + Colin Westerbeck
51L6HCnG-qL._AA160_As a painter, photographer and printmaker, Chuck Close has earned much deserved renown in the art world—most famed for his highly inventive techniques in painted portraiture, he has also produced unforgettable photographic portraits. Join Strand as Chuck returns for a night dedicated to his photography and his new Prestel release, Chuck Close: Photographer, which celebrates the entirety of Chuck’s photographic oeuvre for the first time in a single volume.

Chuck will be joined by his collaborator on the book, Colin Westerbeck, who has been the Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, has taught photography at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. Joe’s exhibition on Chuck’s photography opens in May at the Parrish Museum.
Strand Book Store, 3rd floor Rare Book Room, 828 Broadway, at 12th St.
7 p.m. / Buy a copy of Chuck Close: Photographer or a $20 Strand gift card in order to attend this event.

Bonus Pick for my special followers who are Math Mavens:
Birth of a Theorem
FRANCE-SCIENCES-MATHEMATI-007-620x345Joining us for a reading and signing of Birth of a Theorem, his new book in English, Cédric Villani will share his mesmerizing story and other reflections on his life in mathematics. This could be fascinating, I’ll be there.

Fields Medal recipient Cédric Villani’s book is an adventure in mathematical discovery. Birth of a Theorem  chronicles the year leading up to the release and recognition of his award-winning proof. Blending science, history, biography, and myth, Villani’s captivating narrative dives into the intricacies of complex mathematics; brings the math community to life along with its many unique personalities (both living and dead); follows Villani’s love of manga and the stories he tells his children; and paints a vivid portrait of the passion, imagination, anxiety, elation, and despair that all come together in the name of discovery.
Albertine (a really special venue) , 972 5th Ave, (btw 78/79 St.)
7:30pm / FREE

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.

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)

Metropolitan Museum of Art:
‘Reimagining Modernism: 1900-1950’ (continuing)
One of the greatest encyclopedic museums in the world fulfills its mission a little more with an ambitious reinstallation of works of early European modernism with their American counterparts for the first time in nearly 30 years. Objects of design and paintings by a few self-taught artists further the integration. It is quite a sight, with interesting rotations and fine-tunings to come. 212-535-7710,” (Smith)

‘Thomas Hart Benton’s “America Today” Mural Rediscovered’ (through April 19)
THB_FeaturedThe prickly American Regionalist Thomas Hart Benton had his share of detractors. But even they would probably acknowledge that his early mural “America Today” is the best of its kind, a raucous, cartwheeling, wide-angle look at 1920s America that set the standard for the Works Progress Administration’s mural program and has remained a New York City treasure. Now installed at the Met in a reconstruction of its original setting (a boardroom at the New School for Social Research), it captivates with period details (from the cut of a flapper gown to the mechanics of a blast furnace) and timely signs of socioeconomic and environmental distress (exhausted coal miners and hands reaching for coffee and bread). 212-535-7710, (Rosenberg)

Neue Galerie:
‘Egon Schiele: Portraits’ (through April 20)
zakovsek_1“Of the approximately 125 items in this terrific show, there are only 11 oil paintings, which is a good thing. Except for a large picture of his wife, Edith, in a colorful striped dress, Schiele’s works on canvas are dark and turgid. But his drawings are nimble and nuanced. Working on paper with pencil, charcoal, ink, gouache, watercolor and crayons, he portrayed himself and others with infectious avidity. There’s hardly a single sheet here that doesn’t warrant close looking for its virtuoso draftsmanship and psychological acuity. 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street, 212-628-6200, “(Johnson)

Guggenheim Museum:
Guggenheim Museum: ‘On Kawara — Silence’ (through May 3)
The first retrospective of this Conceptual Art giant turns the museum’s spiral into a vortex suffused with the consciousness of time, life’s supreme ruler, in all its quotidian daily unfoldings, historical events and almost incomprehensible grandeur. The presentation of date paintings, “I Got Up” postcards and “I AM Still Alive” telegrams echoes Mr. Kawara’s exquisite sense of discipline and craft. This is an extraordinary tribute. 1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street, 212-423-3500, (Smith)

Kandinsky Before Abstraction, 1901–1911 (through spring 2015)
ex_Kandinsky_Landscape-near-Murnau-with-Locomotive_490Early in his career Vasily Kandinsky experimented with printmaking, produced brightly-colored landscapes of the German countryside, and explored recognizable and recurrent motifs. This intimate exhibition drawn from the Guggenheim collection explores the artist’s representational origins.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (continuing):
rendering-3The stately doors of the 1902 Andrew Carnegie mansion, home to the Cooper Hewitt, are open again after an overhaul and expansion of the premises. Historic house and modern museum have always made an awkward fit, a standoff between preservation and innovation, and the problem remains, but the renovation has brought a wide-open new gallery space, a cafe and a raft of be-your-own-designer digital enhancements. Best of all, more of the museum’s vast permanent collection is now on view, including an Op Art weaving, miniature spiral staircases, ballistic face masks and a dainty enameled 18th-century version of a Swiss knife. Like design itself, this institution is built on tumult and friction, and you feel it. 2 East 91st Street, at Fifth Avenue, 212-849-8400, (Cotter)


Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Ten museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:

• 110th Street – Museum for African Art

• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio

• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York

• 92nd Street – The Jewish Museum

• 91st Street – Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

• 89th Street – National Academy Museum

• 88th Street – Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

• 86th Street – Neue Galerie New York

• 83rd Street – Goethe-Institut

Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
• 82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Additionally, though technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 70th St. and the The Morgan Library & Museum on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave. Now plan your own museum crawl. ========================================================

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 04/13 and 04/11.
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