Selected Events (12/29) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

 Today’s SWEET 6+ > TUESDAY / DEC. 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:
Alvin Ailey at City Center (Dec. 2 – Jan. 3)
New York City Center, 131 W55th St./ 7:30PM, $25+
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.” (newsday.com)
tonight:  Ailey Visionaries: Night Creature / A Case of You / No Longer Silent / Revelations

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)

Chris Potter Trio (LAST DAY)
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)
Fun City:
John Lindsay, Joe Namath, and How Sports Saved New York in the 1960s
NYPL-Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
With Sean Deveney, the national NBA writer and editor for “Sporting News” and author of four books, including “Facing Michael Jordan.
“In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of John Lindsay’s inauguration, on 1 January 1966, this illustrated lecture examines a remarkable time in New York history with a focus on two NYC icons: John Lindsay and Joe Namath.”

Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography (ends Jan.3)
NYPL, Main Branch, 5th ave & 42nd St./ 10AM -6PM, 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.

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Two Beers In
UCB East Village, 153 E3rd St./ 9:30PM, $5, STANDBY LINE
A tipsy political round table! This month’s panelists:
PAT KIERNAN – (NY1, Pat’s Papers),
ZHUBIN PARANG – (head writer of The Daily Show)
NEIL CASEY – (SNL, Inside Amy Schumer, the new Ghostbusters).
Plus an appearance by Donald Trump (ANTHONY ATAMANUIK)!
“It might be rude to talk about politics at the dinner table, but if you’re buzzed and in front of an audience, it’s all good. Join UCB veterans Cody Lindquist & Charlie Todd as they welcome a panel of NYC’s most hilarious comedians, journalists, and politicians to chug two beers on stage and get political. Show up with your Tea Party uncle and your first drink is free.”

SPECIAL EVENT, A MUST SEE:
Noche Flamenca: Antigona (through Jan. 23)
West Park Presbyterian Church, 165 W86th St./ $25-$60
Mondays through Saturdays at 8PM
“The best part of Noche Flamenca’s flamenco musical Antigona—and it is full of astonishing parts—is the way that it tosses you between states of delight. At first, the delight stems from the ridiculous. Stalking the stage at West Side Presbyterian church, our Master of Ceremonies (a hilarious Emilio Florido) sings us the rundown on Oedipus’s family with elaborate disgust. Incest! Suicide! Fratricide! It’s dark. The flamenco company plays an abbreviated version of the entire Sophoclean trilogy with the emotional volume cranked to 11; their operatic intensity is joyful and absurd. (Spanish speakers may have a little extra fun: The elegant supertitles seem to leave out a bit of the cast’s improvisatory swearing.)” (TONY)

a personal note:
Noche Flamenca is Spain’s most successful touring company and its greatest exponent of the art of flamenco. Soledad Barrio is a goddess of dance and brings so much passion to her role as Antigona. Two wonderful Spanish guitarists and two vocalists do not get the credit they deserve. Every piece of this performance is outstanding. Go See It!

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)

‘Andrea del Sarto’s ‘Borgherini Holy Family’’ (through Jan. 10)
“This fascinating gem of a show runs concurrently with the larger exhibition “Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action” at the Frick Collection and adds important layers to it. It both places the Renaissance artist within the political context of his time, and it draws on modern imaging technology to reveal his method for transforming and recycling images. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

‘Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom’ (through Jan. 24)
“Ancient Egypt is box office gold: Do a show, and people will come. Why? Mummies, Hollywood and Queen Nefertiti contribute to its allure. Also, we tend to identify with Egyptians of thousands of years ago. In art, they look exotic, but not out of reach. They drank beer, collected cats and wore flip-flops. They yearned to stay young and to live forever, with loved ones nearby and snack food piled high. Who can’t relate to that? Few institutions have done a better job at illuminating Egyptian art than the Met. And it returns to the subject in an exhibition low on King Tut bling and high on complicated beauty, about a broad swath of history (circa 2030 to 1650 B.C.) that has never had a comprehensive museum showcase till now. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

Jewish Museum:
‘The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film’ (through Feb. 7) “Revolutions sell utopias; that’s their job. Art, if it behaves itself and sticks to the right script, can be an important part of the promotional package. That’s the basic tale told by this exhibition of photographs and vintage films of the 1920s and ’30s, but with a question added: What happens to art when the script is drastically revised? Russia was an experiment in progress in the heady years following the 1917 revolution, and avant-garde art, free-spirited by definition, was officially embraced. When Joseph Stalin came to power art became government-dictated propaganda and its makers, often under threat, towed the line. Remarkably, the show presents a dozen films — some familiar, some not — full-length, on a rotating schedule of four a day, in a small viewing theater built into one of the Jewish Museum’s galleries. 1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street, 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

Frick Collection:
‘Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action’ (through Jan. 10)
“The big-guns highlights of the Frick show, this first major American exhibition devoted to the Renaissance artist Andrea del Sarto, (1486-1530) are three spectacular paintings, including “Portrait of a Young Man” from London and “St. John the Baptist” from the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. But the substance lies an array of 45 drawings, mostly in red chalk, in which we can follow del Sarto as he feels his way into compositions and molds figures into life with an angel’s hand, a scientist’s eye, and a striver’s drive for perfection. 1 East 70th Street, Manhattan, 212-288-0700, frick.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 12/27 and 12/25.
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