Selected Events (12/31) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

 Today’s SWEET 6+ > THURSDAY / DEC. 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 more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine / 7PM, a limited number of general admission seats are free and open to the public, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ticketed seating is also available.
“The world premiere of Robert Sirota’s Spiritual for Mother Emanuel will be the highlinght of this concert by Kent Tritle leading the Cathedral Choir. The concert also includes Chichester Psalms (composed by Leonard Bernstein, who orgnaized the first St. John/s Concert for Peace in 1984) and an appearance by folk singer Judy Collins.” (TONY)

“The choir, orchestra and soloists of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine get an early start on New Year’s Eve with this annual concert founded by Leonard Bernstein in 1984. Bernstein is on the program, along with Vivaldi and a premiere by Robert Sirota and his wife, the Rev. Victoria Sirota of St. John the Divine. Ending the concert is the traditional spiritual “This Little Light of Mine.” (NYT-Spare-Times)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
“Matana Roberts Presents: Red, White and Blue(s), A Sound Quilt of Sorts Featuring Her New Year’s Eve Back Room 12tet”
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St./ 9PM-1AM,$50
“As part of the exhibition “i call america,” Chicago-born, New York-based musician and sound experimentalist Matana Roberts has been improvising on the saxophone in the museum’s theater and galleries while interacting with the workers, art and visitors over the past year.

For this special NYE performance, Ms. Roberts premieres a score that she composed in response to the inaugural exhibition “America is Hard to See,” and that’s inspired by the life and work of Archibald Motley, whose show is currently on view. Her 12-piece ensemble includes Mary Halvorson on guitar and Me’Shell NdegéOcello on bass, while the performance is followed by the Global South inspired sounds of DJ Rupture, who has collaborated with Norah Jones.” (OBSERVER)

Gov’t Mule
Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, at 74th St./ 9PM, $
“This splinter project from the Allman Brothers Band continues to prosper via respectable, extremely lengthy Southern rock jam sessions. Unlike the Allmans, however, funk influences have steadily encroached Gov’t Mule’s live shows; the plucky “Countdown Jam” will surely make a midnight cameo.” (Anderson-NYT)

Nutcracker Rouge (thru Jan.17)
Minetta Lane Theatre,18 Minetta Ln/ 8PM, $50-$175
“Nutcracker Rouge is a sparkling reimagining of the beloved Nutcracker tale told with erotic, sensual and opulent flair – a Baroque-Burlesque confection of theatre, dance, circus and sumptuous design. Immerse yourself in a hedonistic display of gorgeous and decadent winter entertainment that includes opera performed by Shelly Watson. The show contains partial nudity – no one under 16 will be admitted.” (TheaterMania)

Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern Group (LAST DAY)
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)

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./ 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 very impressed. Read what the WSJ had to say about this exhibition.

Noche Flamenca: Antigona (through Jan. 23)
West Park Presbyterian Church, 165 W86th St./ $25-$60
Mondays through Saturdays at 8PM
“Traditional Spanish dance and ancient Greek theater are an unlikely but well-suited pair in Noche Flamenca’s sharp production “Antigona,” based on Sophocles’s famous tragedy. The dance lights a fire under the play while discovering in itself a knack for narrative drama. In the title role, the powerhouse Soledad Barrio is both fierce and fragile. The century-old church where the performance takes place is filled with striking sets, darkly amorous music played by a live band and a ferocious Greek chorus of dancers.” (NYT-Schaefer)

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-This week’s fave and FREE NYCity App: 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station.

Bonus – Music Picks:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
City Winery – 155 Varick St.,, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St.,, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St.,, 212-997-2144
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474
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 12/29 and 12/27.

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