Selected Events (08/31) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s Sweet 6 > MONDAY / AUGUST 31, 2015

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.
(click on links for complete event info.)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
>Victoria Shaw “Under the Covers”, with Special Guest Pam Tillis
Birdland, 315 W44th St / 7PM, $30
“The Broadway at Birdland concert series with country superstar Pam Tillis. Hosted by award winning songwriter Victoria Shaw, “Under The Covers” has become a favorite recurring highlight at Birdland, featuring a wide variety of top-selling songwriters and musical acts from across the pop, rock and country worlds, and offering intimate acoustic performances of huge hit songs – along with the little-known stories behind them.”

>Mario Pavone: ‘Blue Dialect’
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St. / 8:30PM, $10
“The rock-solid yet deeply exploratory bassist Mario Pavone has an excellent new album, “Blue Dialect,” featuring his trio with Matt Mitchell on piano and Tyshawn Sorey on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

>Aaron Neville
City Winery, 155 Varick St. nr. Spring St / 8PM, $70-$80
“Built like a linebacker but with a nimble, angelic and aching tenor that could climb into a falsetto, Aaron Neville’s first major single from 1967, “Tell It Like It Is,” became a standard… In 2013, he signed to Blue Note Records and released “My True Story,” which explored the era of doo-wop and vocal pop that preceded his own career, featuring renditions of classics like “Under the Boardwalk” and “Goodnight My Love.” (Andy Beta-WSJ)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Summer HD Festival (through Sept. 7)
Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Ave and W63rd St / 7:45PM, FREE
tonight: LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN
“Star tenor Vittorio Grigolo is the poet-adventurer whose string of failed romances are the subject of Offenbach’s sparkling operetta.”

“For 11 nights the Metropolitan Opera will take over Lincoln Center Plaza to bring some of the company’s most memorable recent performances to the masses. The series features 10 screenings of previously recorded operas. Seating is first come first served. At various times, 212-721-6500, metopera.org” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (through Sept 27)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
“It’s finally here! The new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)

TODAY’S TOP EVENT
Elsewhere, but absolutely worth the detour:

U.S. TENNIS OPEN (Day 1)
IMG_0212The U.S. Open begins play today (11AM) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens (about 45 min. from Times Square) and runs through Sept. 13.This is the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. Everyone is looking for the Serena slam this year.
subway: #1-2-3 to Times Square; transfer to #7 to Willets Point.

Matches to watch today in Louis Armstrong stadium (LA) & the outside field courts:
(prediction per Matt Cronin (USOpen.org)

(LA) KEI NISHIKORI (4) VS. BENOIT PAIRE
“Paire will play ambitiously and make sure that Nishikori will have to run around a lot, but in the end, Nishikori, the 2014 US Open finalist, will get through in four sets.”
(LA) COCO VANDEWEGHE VS. SLOANE STEPHENS (29)
(LA) GAEL MONFILS (16) VS ILLYA MARCHENKO
I never miss the chance to watch the entertaining Monfils.

For those of you (like me) hoping to see Maria Sharapova play today in Louis Armstrong stadium, “there is no joy in Mudville.” Maria scratched due to a leg injury.

Today’s tips: Arrive Early. Security screening seemed to have been ratcheted up last week during qualifying which may cause delays to enter. The best, most comprehensive review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes/Sports.

Early in the tournament forget the Big House (Arthur Ashe Stadium). Get a grounds pass and once inside check out one of the electronic scoreboards listing matches in progress. Find a match or players that interest you. Head over to their court for some great tennis, because in this tournament even the qualifiers are great players.There is no other major sporting event where you can get so close to world class athletes as at the U.S. Open – on the outer field courts, the Grandstand court, or even Louis Armstrong stadium. Courts where you can get a real sense of the pace of the game.

Unfortunately, this is the last year for the Grandstand court, which is being replaced by a larger, less intimate court. It will be sorely missed. Make sure you find your way over there to see some matches while you can.

Bonus – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
City Winery – 155 Varick St. / citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St. / joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34 W22nd St. / metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. / lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St. / beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237 W42nd St. / bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. / caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

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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, 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.
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WHAT’S ON VIEW
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, metmuseum.org.” (Smith)

‘Warriors and Mothers: Epic Mbembe Art’ (through Sept. 16)
If a dozen masterpiece Renaissance sculptures, done in an unknown and wildly unorthodox style, suddenly turned up in the Italian countryside, the find would make the news. You’ll encounter the equivalent of such a discovery in this show of spectacular weatherworn, wood-carved figures, some dating to before the 17th century, that were made by the Mbembe in southeastern Nigeria and taken to Paris by an African dealer in the early 1970s. They caused a sensation among collectors and scholars at the time, and you can see why. But the effort to find more of them proved fruitless. The examples at the Met, which include the original dozen, represent all the fully intact stand-alone Mbembe figures known to exist. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Cotter)

‘Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River’ (through Sept. 20)
This moving tribute to the 19th-century painter who depicted the hardscrabble life along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as spacious idylls of serenity and even timelessness, presents 16 of his 17 river paintings known to exist, among nearly all the exacting studies of men at rest that preceded them. The human dimension of the figures is joined to the golden light and space of the setting by the geometric solidity of the boats and their wonderful details. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Smith)

‘Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met’ (through Sept. 27) Highlighting contributions to the Met’s Japanese art holdings by American collectors from the 1880s to the present, this gorgeous show presents more than 200 superb paintings, drawings, prints, scrolls, folding screens, ceramics, lacquer ware and works in other mediums and genres, mostly dating from the fourth century to the late 19th. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Johnson)

Neue Galerie:
‘Egon Schiele: Portraits’ (through Sept. 07)
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, neuegalerie.org. “(Johnson)

Guggenheim Museum:
Kandinsky Gallery (through spring 2016)
“A pioneer of abstract art and eminent aesthetic theorist, Vasily Kandinsky (b. 1866, Moscow; d. 1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) broke new ground in painting during the first decades of the twentieth century. His seminal treatise Über das Geistige in der Kunst (On the Spiritual in Art), published in Munich in December 1911, lays out his program for developing an art independent from observations of the external world. In this and other texts, as well as his work, Kandinsky advanced abstraction’s potential to be free from nature, a quality of music that he admired. The development of a new subject matter based solely on the artist’s “inner necessity” would occupy him for the rest of his life.”

The Guggenheim collection now contains more than 150 works by this single artist, making it the largest collection of Kandinsky works in the United States.

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, cooperhewitt.org. (Cotter)

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

• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015). ========================================================

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/29 and 08/27.

 

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