Today’s Fab 5 > MONDAY / APR. 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:
Lyrics & Lyricists: Everything’s Coming Up Ethel
92nd Street Y, / 2PM +7:30PM, $69-$86
“Expert musical director Ted Sperling hosts the latest edition of the 92nd Street Y’s estimable Lyrics & Lyricists series. This one is devoted to songs made famous by Broadway megaphone Ethel Merman, whose voice echoes down the Street to this day. Lindsay Mendez, Julia Murney, Emily Skinner, Clarke Thorell and NaTasha Yvette Williams are the singers.” (TONY)
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Whitney Museum of American Art, (thru April 24)
“An icon of jazz, 87-year-old pianist Cecil Taylor has been breaking boundaries since his 1956 debut album. Mr. Taylor both expanded and exploded the language of jazz, adding complexity and density to the form. His 10-day residency as part of the Whitney’s Open Plan series will feature a handful of performances and reveal how his music—uncompromising, prickly and gorgeous— interacts with dance, poetry and modern art.” (WSJ)
The Mountain Goats (through Tuesday)
City Winery, 155 Varick St./ 8PM, $22-$25, may need to wait list this one.
“This group’s happily eccentric frontman, John Darnielle, has long established himself as a font of verbosity with a keen ear for emotionally gutting hooks. On “Beat the Champ,” the band’s latest record, he also revealed himself as a zealous fan of professional wrestling: In the song “Werewolf Gimmick” Mr. Darnielle takes the perspective of a costumed conqueror, gleefully yelping, “Let him who thinks he knows no fear/Look well upon my face.” With William Tyler.”
Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire
Madison Square Garden, /
“The music world lost a luminary when Maurice White died in February. Steeped in the late-’60s Chicago blues and jazz worlds, he channeled those beginnings into funk, soul, disco and pop when he started Earth, Wind & Fire. The band’s multiplatinum catalog—including megahits such as “September” and “Shining Star”—brims with funky guitars, crisp horns and smooth falsettos. For this tour, they team up with Chicago, another ’70s brass-heavy band.” (WSJ)
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Tribeca Film Festival
various locations, times and prices
“Kicks off its 15th edition. The festival, which originally set out to help revive the TriBeCa neighborhood post-9/11, has grown into an international celebration of cinema at venues throughout the City. Lasting nearly two weeks, the festival focuses this year on some unique documentaries, female directors and local stories.
In addition to screening new films, the Beacon Theatre will host a special 40th anniversary showing of director Martin Scorsese’s NYC classic, Taxi Driver. Afterward, there will be an onstage conversation headed up by festival co-founder Robert De Niro—who also happens to be the film’s star—along with the director and co-stars Jodie Foster and Cybill Shepherd. In addition, the Tribeca Talks series returns with conversations on movies and moviemaking that feature the likes of J.J. Abrams, Tina Fey, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Rock.” (nycgo.com)
Bonus – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village (all six are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
in case you need more options in the Village, these are also fine spots:
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
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.
♦ 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 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016. Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
A PremierPub / Tribeca
B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))
There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.
It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.
There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.
Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.
It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.
This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music iot may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS:
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