Selected NYC Events (12/03) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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.
For those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

MEGAN HILTY (through Tuesday)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday; 7PM on Sunday and Monday; $
“Megan Hilty is a Tony-nominated Broadway powerhouse, so it makes sense that she would try her pipes at cutting a Christmas album. And on her new release, “A Merry Little Christmas,” Ms. Hilty delivers lovely, piano-jazz renditions of the modern holiday-music canon. She will perform many of those tunes, including the sultry “Santa Baby” and the misty-eyed “Count Your Blessings,” during this intimate five-night run.” (O’Donnell-NYT)

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

‘JOSIE LONG: SOMETHING BETTER’
New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits
BETH ORTON
HIP-HOP NUTCRACKER
DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP
Exploring The Secret Tunnels, Rooftops, and Historic Rooms @ City College
bonus picks: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
METROPOLITAN OPERA

==============================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

‘JOSIE LONG: SOMETHING BETTER’
Barrow Street Theater, 27 Barrow St. at 7th Avenue South/ 7:30PM; $30
“Ms. Long is one of Britain’s finest storytelling comedians, with a knack for beautifully interweaving the personal and the political and finding rays of sunshine in even the bleakest of situations. This show, partly a response to the Brexit vote, is about “wanting more from life than it might be up for giving out.” (Czajkowski-NYT)

WINTER RHYTHMS 2016 (thru December 11)
today: New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits
Urban Stages – 259 W30 St./ 7PM, $30
“Launched in August 2015 at the Metropolitan Room, New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits (Created and Produced by Stephen Hanks; Associate Producer Fr. Jeffrey Hamblin, MD) has become one of the city’s most popular monthly cabaret events. The series features celebrated cabaret performers reprising their Award-winning and critically acclaimed shows of the past. This show presents highlights from many of the 16 outstanding productions. With Mark Nadler, Julie Reyburn, Meg Flather, Karen Oberlin, Jim Brochu & Steve Schachlin, Maureen Taylor, Susan Winter, Jenna Esposito and Adam B. Shapiro. Musical Director: Mark Janas. Hosted by Stephen Hanks.” (BroadwayWorld)

BETH ORTON
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall / 10PM, $45-$53
“Singer-songwriter Beth Orton blends folk and electronica to create strikingly original and expressive music. She has collaborated with such electronic music stars as The Chemical Brothers, and her songs have been featured in film and on television, including Vanilla Sky and Grey’s Anatomy. Orton’s latest album, Kidsticks, is inspired by her new home in Los Angeles, and features electronic and vocal explorations that are fresh and daring.” (WFUV)
Part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.

HIP-HOP NUTCRACKER
It’s a holiday classic with a twist or two. The score is still Tchaikovsky’s, but the choreography trades classical ballet for hip-hop and break-dancing. There’ll also be an onstage DJ, an electric violinist, digital scenery and an emcee, rapper Kurtis Blow.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, Dec. 3, at 2 and 7 p.m., United Palace of Cultural Arts, 4140 Broadway
INFO $10-$100; 212-568-1157, hiphopnutcracker.com, unitedpalace.org” (STAV ZIV-Newsday)

DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP (through Dec. 4)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“The turbocharged fusion band led by the saxophonist Donny McCaslin gained an emotionally charged form of renown for its heavy lifting on David Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar.” This engagement will feature the group — with Jason Lindner on keyboards, Nate Wood on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums — drawing from Mr. McCaslin’s own new album, “Beyond Now,” which bears a dedication to Mr. Bowie and features brooding covers of two of his songs.” (Chinen-NYT)

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Exploring The Secret Tunnels, Rooftops, and Historic Rooms @ City College
City College of New York, Convent Avenue and 138th St./ 1:30PM, $34
“Join New York Adventure Club for an exclusive behind-the-scenes exploration of the historic City College of New York (CCNY), the real-life Hogwarts of Manhattan.

Built in 1906, this historic campus contains some of the most beautiful Neo-Gothic buildings in New York, which boast over 1,000 unique grotesques and gargoyles (more than anywhere else in the country!).

Our experience will include exclusive access inside many of its historic buildings, rooftops, and even the secret tunnels underneath the campus.”

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he leads an acoustic edition of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws. On Wednesday he performs a duo set with the guitarist John McLaughlin, and on Thursday he begins a four-night stretch with Mr. McLaughin, Mr. White and the bassist Victor Wooten.”
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

Plus, for all you Opera fans, this week looks special:

METROPOLITAN OPERA (all week)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
“Perhaps the most anticipated production of the season opens this week: Kaija Saariaho’s mesmeric “L’Amour de Loin” (Thursday at 7:30 p.m.). More important, the production will be the return, after an embarrassing hiatus, of a female composer to the house. But it’s also notable for the reappearance of the director Robert Lepage, and the debut of the conductor Susanna Malkki. Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens are the lovers, Tamara Mumford the Pilgrim. Otherwise, Anna Netrebko continues in the title role of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” (Friday and Wednesday at 8 p.m.). Alongside Marcelo Álvarez’s Des Grieux, she’s the shining light in Richard Eyre’s uninspired production. If that’s not enough, there’s more Puccini in the form of the Zeffirelli “La Bohème” (Saturday at 1 p.m., Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.). Still chugging along, it currently has a little more power than usual thanks to the star voltage of Kristine Opolais as Mimì and Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo. Just one performance of “Aida” to round things off (Saturday at 8 p.m.): Latonia Moore is the heroine, Ekaterina Gubanova is Amneris, and Marco Berti, Radamès.” (David Allen-NYT)

=======================================================
Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi32 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 for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

=======================================================================

WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:
‘FROM THE COLLECTION: 1960-1969’ (through March 12, 2017)
“MoMA shakes up its sanctum sanctorum, installing half of its permanent collection galleries with works chosen by 17 curators from a single decade: the tumultuous 1960s. The limited time frame is balanced by unprecedented breadth and variety. As never before, the presentation mixes together objects and artworks from all six of the museum’s curatorial departments. The blend is alternately stimulating and bewildering, revelatory and infuriating: yet another symptom of the museum’s limited curatorial mind-set. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Smith)
 ‘TONY OURSLER: IMPONDERABLE’ (through April 16, 2017)
“This small exhibition is centered on a 90-minute film in which episodes from the history of spiritualist frauds and hoaxes are re-enacted by people in fanciful costumes while mystic flames, smoke and ectoplasmic phenomena come and go. At certain moments during “Imponderable,” you feel breezes wafting over you and hear loud thumping under the theater’s risers. The crudeness of these effects is part of the generally comical spirit. It’s all about the confusion between illusion and reality to which human beings seem to be congenitally susceptible. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Johnson)

 Whitney Museum of American Art:
‘CARMEN HERRERA: LINES OF SIGHT’ (through Jan.02, 2017)
“At 101, the artist Carmen Herrera is finally getting the show the art world should have given her half a century ago: a solo exhibition at a major museum in New York, where she has lived and worked since 1954. This compact but ravishing exhibition of about 50 works focuses on the pivotal period of 1948-78 — years in which Ms. Herrera developed her signature geometric abstractions, pared-down paintings of just two colors but seemingly infinite spatial complications. Although it’s not the full retrospective Ms. Herrera deserves, the Whitney’s show presents her as an artist of formidable discipline, consistency and clarity of purpose, and a key player in postwar art history. 99 Gansevoort Street, at Washington Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Rosenberg)
‘HUMAN INTEREST: PORTRAITS FROM THE WHITNEY’S COLLECTION’ (through Feb.12, 2017)
“A year ago, the Whitney inaugurated its new downtown home with a permanent collection showcase called “America Is Hard to See.” Its even more immediately engaging successor, devoted entirely to portraiture, is now on view and might well have been subtitled “Americans Are Strange to Look At,” which, in the 250 images here, we sure are: funny-strange, beautiful-strange, crazy-strange, dangerous-strange, inscrutable-strange. The work is arranged by theme and spread over two floors. There are magnetic images everywhere. 99 Gansevoort Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Cotter)

“DREAMLANDS: IMMERSIVE CINEMA AND ART’, 1905-2016′ (thru Feb.05, 2017)
“The Whitney’s new exhibit offers visitors a chance to explore more than a century of experimentation in cinema, mostly by American artists. See works that question and play with elements such as color, touch, music, spectacle, light and darkness, animation and dimension. There will be a film series in addition to the 18,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to the show.” (Newsday)

==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right sidebar dated 12/01 and 11/29.
==============================================================
Holiday Windows

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s