Selected Events (01/16) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

 Today’s SUPER 7+ > SATURDAY / JAN. 16, 2016

“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:
Winter Jazzfest 2016 (Jan.13-17)
at various locations and times
today: Marathon Saturday
“Tonight’s signature Greenwich Village marathon brings vets and up-and-comers, hordes of music fans and a palpable air of excitement to an array of cozy downtown venues. The shows aren’t individually ticketed, so a wristband grants you access to any of each night’s shows—as long as a given club doesn’t hit capacity, that is. It’s a model that encourages sampling and venue-hopping. The event also requires patience and an open mind: If your preferred show is full, pull out the schedule, and head to one of the nearby spots for something unexpected.” (TONY)
12 venues – my fave is the classic Greenwich Music house, but the New School venues are first class; and 58 sets – oh boy!

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
‘A Darlene Love Christmas’
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St./ 8PM, $
“Her lovelorn “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is a holiday showstopper for the ages; her annual yuletide festivities are a New York institution. Truly, Phil Spector’s former protégée has been an indelible voice in pop since the 1960s — the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame agreed when she was made one of its 2011 inductees.” (Anderson-NYT)

Kurt Elling “Passion World” (last day)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“Starting in Chicago, Kurt Elling — “The standout male vocalist of our time,” (New York Times) — recorded several of his early albums, earned the first of many GRAMMY®nominations and catapulted onto the national stage before moving to Manhattan in 2008. Elling’s recent CD release, “Passion World,” is a tour-de-force program of love songs from around the world. Performing each song in its native tongue, Elling tells rich stories about musical history on a grand multicultural tour of exotic places and cultures.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Zlatne Uste Golden Festival
Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn/ 6PM-2AM, $
“For more than 30 years, this festival of song and dance has brought Balkan traditions to New York. This year’s event features about 50 acts on multiple stages, with Balkan and Middle Eastern food and art vendors to complement the performances.”

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Circus Now (last day)
N.Y.U. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. 566 LaGuardia Pl./ 8PM, $35-$59
“Nine award-winning, innovative companies gather to reimagine the circus once again. More than fifty entertainers, acrobats, and aerialists will push traditional boundaries at “Circus Now: International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2016,” a three-night celebration of the centuries-old art. Acts from France, Sweden, Canada, and beyond perform ceiling-scraping stunts that add new layers to classic circus tricks. The Finnish aerialist Ilona Jantti says her tightrope routine, performed against a multi-colored video projection that serves as her dance partner, seems “more dangerous than it is.” “Circus Now” has extended its stay in New York by popular demand for this second showing.’ (NewYorker)

Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden (thru Jan.17)
Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza / Fri. 8PM, $25+
“Hold your breath and hang on tight for those fateful eight seconds as some of the country’s most fearless bull riders take on their horned opponents in rodeo-styled rides. It may be an MSG show, but that doesn’t mean the mud won’t fly.” (TONY)
If you haven’t ever seen a rodeo, you need to see one. They are so much fun, never a dull moment. Come out and see the world’s top 35 riders, marvel at their fearlessness.

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival (thru Jan.17)
Village East Theatre, 189 2nd Ave./ various times and prices
“This fest is dedicated to flicks inspired by the pioneering sci-fi writer, who authored iconic works like The Man In the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Anatomic Sheep? Check out shorts and feature films that deal with time travel, artificial intelligence, morality and beyond at this packed fan fest, which features a panel discussion on Amazon’s new The Man In the High Castle series and screenings of films including Sympathy For the Devil: The True Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment.“ (TONY)

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 powerful 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 Venues:
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.

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)

‘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,” (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,” (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 01/14 and 01/12.

NEW Feature!
The 100 Books Every New Yorker Should Read
by Kristin Iversen, Brooklyn Magazine (11/09/15)
today’s picks:
1. The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto
This fascinating historical narrative demonstrates why New York is a city unlike any other in America. (Spoiler: It’s because it started out Dutch, not Puritanical and English.) Also, you get to find out all about who Peter Stuyvesant was and why so many derivations of Dutch words are in the New York vernacular.

2. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Containing what is perhaps the sexiest author photo ever (Whitman was quite a looker; it is not the same picture that you see on the cover to the left of this blurb BY THE WAY), this poetry book is seductively brilliant and far ahead of its time. It’s also responsible for the oft-quoted phrase “I contain multitudes,” which has been bastardized to describe a whole number of things, always to great effect. I’m sure Whitman would have approved. He seems like a pretty chill dude.

3. The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld by Herbert Asbury
Easily one of the most fascinating, if ugliest, times of New York City history, the mid-19th century was full of shocking violence, nativist sentiment, corrupt politicians, and truly colorful characters. Asbury shines a light on some of the grimiest parts of New York’s past.

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