Selected Events (12/27) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

 Today’s SWEET 6 > SUNDAY / DEC. 27, 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 / 1PM +5PM, $75+
“Usually the seasoned principal dancers of City Ballet star in “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” For the remainder of the weekend, the company is presenting a blizzard of debuts, casting soloists and members of the corps de ballet in the featured roles of the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier, among others, bringing a fresh spark to familiar characters. See a holiday favorite and discover a rising star. Then for the final week of performances, the veterans return.” (Schaefer-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern Group (through Dec 31)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, at 106th St./ 7, 9, 10;30PM, $48
Friday through Wednesday at 7, 9 and 10:30PM; on Thursday at 6:30 and 9:45PM, $
“Mr. Alexander, a tenor saxophonist with a taste for smartly surging hard bop, teams up with Mr. Mabern, a veteran pianist and collaborator. The lineup and size of their bands will shift a few times between now and the close of the year, featuring strong partners like the drummer Jimmy Cobb (on Friday); the trombonist Steve Turre (Saturday and Sunday); and the alto saxophonist Vince Herring (Monday through Thursday).” (Chinen-NYT)

Kenny Barron Quintet (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“The Art of Conversation,” one of last year’s best jazz recordings, spotlighted the inspired partnership between two eminent jazz figures, the bassist Dave Holland and the pianist Barron, a formidable figure since his emergence, in the sixties, and a prime example of early promise turned golden through experience. He leads a quintet anchored by the outstanding rhythm team of Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums.” (NewYorker)

Chris Potter Trio (through Dec.29)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St.& Broadway, 7:30PM, + 9:30PM, $40
“Thinking big has rarely been an obstacle for Chris Potter, a saxophonist of inquisitive temperament and superhuman technique. “Imaginary Cities,” the rather slept-on album he released early this year, featured his compositions for an 11-piece orchestra — but it would be a mistake to assume he’ll work with less vaulting ambitions during this trio run, starting out with the bassist Drew Gress and the drummer Adam Cruz (Saturday and Sunday) and finishing up with the bassist Scott Colley and the drummer Johnathan Blake (Monday and Tuesday).” (Chinen-NYT)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography (ends Jan.3)
NYPL, Main Branch, 5th ave & 42nd St./ 1PM -5PM, FREE
“Thanks to the development of new technology and social media, more photographs are created, viewed, and shared today than ever before. Public Eye, the first-ever retrospective survey of photography organized by NYPL, takes advantage of this moment to reframe the way we look at photographs from the past. Ranging from photography’s official announcement in 1839 to manifestations of its current pervasiveness, this landmark exhibition, drawn entirely from the Library’s collections, explores the various ways in which photography has been shared and made public.”

See the history of photography before this fine, wide ranging exhibition closes. I was blown away. Read what the WSJ had to say about this exhibition.

Kwanzaa 2015: Energize, Recognize!
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St./ 12PM, Free with museum admission.
“Dubbed the “World’s Greatest Entertainer” and “the human beat box” for his unrivaled ability to rock a crowd, Harlem native Doug E. Fresh rings in the new year at the Museum’s 37th annual Kwanzaa spectacular. Artistic Director of Yaffa Cultural Arts Linda Humes, following a special opening by the Harlem School of the Arts, guides us through a joyous holiday that celebrates the African roots of the African-American community, drawing on seven universal principles. Award-winning filmmaker MK Asante introduces his landmark movie The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration, followed by a musical tribute to the film’s narrator, Dr. Maya Angelou. Q&A to follow with Asante and Jamilah Lemieux, Senior Editor of Ebony.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St. joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., 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 – 237W42nd dSt. 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 WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:
‘Picasso Sculpture’ (through Feb. 7)
“Nearly a work of art in its own right, this magnificent show redefines Picasso’s achievement with the first full view here in 50 years of his astoundingly varied forays into sculpture. His materials, not his female loves, become the muses, and are different each time out. The basic plotline: After introducing sculptural abstraction and space, he spent about 50 years counting the ways that the figure was far from finished. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Smith-NYT)

Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960-1980’ (through Jan. 3) “Visiting this big, spirited group show is like walking into a party of intriguing strangers. For every person you recognize, there are 10 you don’t know. One topic everyone’s talking about, at different intensities, is the anti-institutional politics that swept Europe and the Americas in the 1960s, and almost everyone speaks the language of Conceptualism. A product of an in-house research initiative called Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives, or C-MAP, intended to expand MoMA’s narrow Paris-New York view of modernism, the show is very much the beginning rather than the end of a learning curve. But with curators exploring material new to them — just steps ahead of their audience — the show has a refreshing buzz of surprise as it takes the museum in a realistic new directions. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Cotter-NYT)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right sidebar dated 12/25 and 12/23.

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