Selected Events (12/19) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s FAB 5 > SATURDAY / DEC. 19, 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:
Piaf: A Centennial Celebration
Town Hall, 7:30PM, $55-$200
“How can any tribute match the impassioned artistry of Édith Piaf? On December 19, when Piaf: A Centennial Celebration marks what would’ve been the hundredth birthday of the Little Sparrow, the nine divas onstage at Town Hall will present a cross-section of musical theater, but they all share the same deep familiarity with and respect for France’s most beloved singer. Even amid an all-star cast that includes Broadway stars, cabaret legends, and Piaf aficianados like Christine Ebersole, Marilyn Maye, Vivian Reed, Little Annie, Molly Pope, Meow Meow and G Gay Marshall, the biggest get is undoubtedly Elaine Paige, revered in London as the “first lady of British theater.” Each vocalist has a unique connection to (and take on) Piaf’s work, making the evening a celebration of the French chanteuse without focusing on the tragedy that befell her.” (Steve Weinstein, Village Voice)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
The New York Pops: It’s Christmas Time in the City
Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave./ 8PM, $40-$122
“The Pops snap and crackle through an evening of holiday-season orchestral delight. Guest singers Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood) and Brian d’Arcy James (Something Rotten) add powerful Broadway vocals to the mix.” (TONY)

Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding (through Dec. 20)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM+10:30PM, $30
“Ms. Allen, a wise and adaptable pianist, teams up with Ms. Carrington, a veteran jazz and funk drummer, and Ms. Spalding, a stylistically fluid bassist and singer. Their trio, sometimes billed as ACS, works with a go-anywhere derivation of the mainstream acoustic jazz tradition, grounded but elastic.” (Chinen-NYT)

NYCity Ballet: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (through Jan. 3)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 7PM, $75+
“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)

Alvin Ailey at City Center (Dec. 2 – Jan. 3)
New York City Center, 131 W55th St./ 7:30PM, $25-$150,
If “Nutcracker” is the only dance you see at the holidays, it’s time to add Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to your repertory. The company will perform new productions of classic works by Ailey (“Blues Suite,” “Cry,” and “Love Songs”) and his signature “Revelations,” as well as dances by Ronald K. Brown, Christopher Wheeldon and artistic director Robert Battle.” (

Bonus – Music Picks:
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 – 34W22ndSt., 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 – 237W42nd dSt., 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.

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide ( Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm).

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/17 and 12/15.

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