Selected Events (01/18) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

 Today’s FAB 5+ > MONDAY / JAN. 18, 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:
Rudresh Mahanthappa: ‘Bird Calls’
Joes Pub @ the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM, $20
“Bird Calls,” the most recent release by the alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, takes Charlie Parker as a point of departure if not a distant lexicographical ancestor. The album, widely recognized as one of last year’s best, features the sharp young trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, and a rhythm section consisting of the pianist Matt Mitchell, the bassist Thomson Kneeland and the drummer Dan Weiss.” (Chinen-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Broadway Names with Julie James Live
42West, 514 W42nd St./ 8PM, $50-$90
“Broadway scenester and singer Julie James hosts a showtune-themed show on SiriusXM Radio, and this live concert version is a benefit for Arts for All, a charity that helps bring art to underprivileged kids. The event features guest stars Laura Benanti and Rema Webb, and is headlined by none other than Dreamgirls legend Jennifer Holliday. (And we are telling you: Go!)” (TONY)

“Merman’s Apprentice” Starring Klea Blackhurst, Anita Gillette & More
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 7PM, $25
“The evening will be a return engagement of June 2015’s sold out concert of Merman’s Apprentice celebrating the release of the Original Cast Album produced by John Yap for Jay Records! Once again, Birdland favorite Klea Blackhurst will star as Ethel Merman with a star-studded supporting cast.”

Hand Eye
Zankel Hall (at Carnegie Hall), 154 W 57th St./ 7:30PM, $43-$50
“The Grammy-winning Chicago ensemble eighth blackbird plays a program of works by the Sleeping Giant composers collective, including pieces by Timo Andres, Christopher Cerrone and Ted Hearne, with a stage set by CandyStation, known for work with Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent and Wilco.” (TONY)

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $
“Nina Stemme, one of the great dramatic sopranos in the business takes on the title role of Puccini’s drama set in ancient China. Marco Berti will perform the role of Calàf in this revival of Franco Zeffirelli’s opulent production, conducted by Paolo Carignani. The role of Liù is performed by Leah Crocetto.” (da Fonseca-Wollheim-NYT)

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-This week’s fave and FREE NYCity App
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

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.

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 01/16 and 01/14.

NEW Feature!
The 100 Books Every New Yorker Should Read
by Kristin Iversen, Brooklyn Magazine
today’s picks:
8. Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace
This Pulitzer Prize-winning tome is as compellingly written as any straight history book we’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. It’s an entertaining look at the city before the Great Mistake of ’98.

9. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Houdini! Evelyn Nesbit! Booker T. Washington! Emma Goldman! This historical novel manages to cram in just about every fascinating character of early 20th century New York and its narrative is as rollicking and lively as the best ragtime songs.

10. Call It Sleep by Henry Roth
Roth takes readers through the coming-of-age version of a young Jewish boy on the Lower East Side, who is grappling with issues of identity, family, and belonging. The historical context is fascinating, and the sentiments it evokes are timeless.

If your interests lead you to Brooklyn, then be sure to peruse Brooklyn Magazine. It’s a high quality, high info, smart monthly.

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