Selected Events (11/29) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s SWEET 6 > SUNDAY / NOV. 29, 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 more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
NYCity Ballet: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (through Jan. 3)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / At various times, $
“Thanksgiving leftovers are still in the fridge and yet Christmas is here since “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” is back on stage. Of the dozens of productions in town, none match the scale of City Ballet’s or the giddy sense of childlike awe it inspires. Pantomime dominates the first half but Act II culminates in a breathtaking pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. After all, this is a duet for Balanchine and Tchaikovsky, too, and it’s magical.” (Schaefer-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Terence Blanchard E-Collective
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM, 10:30PM, $
“On his brooding new album, “Breathless,” the trumpeter Terence Blanchard takes both a plunge into electric fusion and a foray into sociopolitical protest. (Its title refers to the phrase “I Can’t Breathe,” a rallying cry against police brutality after the death of Eric Garner.) He draws from this well with a young band featuring Fabian Almazan on piano and synthesizer, Charles Altura on guitar, Donald Ramsey on bass and Oscar Seaton on drums.” (NYT-Chinen)

Take the A Train: Billy Strayhorn’s 100th Birthday
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St./ 7PM, $30
“Take the A train (or whatever subway works) to get to this concert commemorating the centenary of Billy Strayhorn, who co-composed and arranged some of Duke Ellington’s greatest hits.” (

“Saxophonists and clarinetists, Juilliard graduates Peter and Will Anderson and their quintet perform the music of Billy Strayhorn on his 100th birthday. Strayhorn’s 28 years as Duke Ellington’s co-composer and arranger produced songs such as “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Satin Doll,” “Lush Life,” “Something to Live For,” and “Chelsea Bridge.” This concert features the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra drummer Steve Little, guitarist Gabe Schnider, bassist Neal Miner, vocalist Karen Oberlin, and guest speaker David Hajdu, the author of the acclaimed Billy Strayhorn biography “Lush Life.”

Steve Davis Sextet: A Tribute to J.J.
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St./ 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $
“The trombonist Steve Davis pays homage to J.J. Johnson, a giant of his instrument, with an ace hard-bop band that features the trumpeter Eddie Henderson, the tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, the pianist Harold Mabern, the bassist Nat Reeves and the drummer Joe Farnsworth.” (Chinen-NYT)

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, $30
The pianist Jason Moran may tip his hat to the jazz tradition—his latest album, “All Rise,” was a shape-shifting tribute to Fats Waller—but he generally stays focussed on the music’s genre-inclusive future. The Bandwagon trio, with the bassist Tarus Mateen and the drummer Nasheet Waits, can favor rhythmic interaction at the expense of reflection, but the group’s fervor is hard to deny or resist.” (NewYorker)

Nona Hendryx Presents Parallel Lives: Billie Holiday & Edith Piaf
Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St./ 7PM +9:30PM, $ “Ms. Hendryx, the feisty alto of the trio LaBelle, belts with all-in passion and has a punk rocker’s aggressive stage presence. She delivers old-school charisma in this tribute to two talents who have made clear impressions on Ms. Hendryx’s voice.” (Anderson-NYT)

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. /, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St. /, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34 W22nd St. / metropolitan, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. /, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St. /, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237 W42nd St. /, 212-997-2144
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. /, 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.

♦ 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)

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, (Cotter)


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 11/21 and 11/19.
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