Selected NYC Events (04/26) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s Nifty 9 NYC Events > WEDNESDAY/APR.26, 2017

“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 future NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Notable NYC Events-April”

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

Duke Ellington Orchestra: Celebrating Duke & Ella’s 100th Birthdays
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30, $45
“Considered one of the greatest American composers in history, Duke Ellington and his music influenced millions of people over the course of his 50-year career. Thanks to a body of work that transcends boundaries and renews itself through every generation of fans and music lovers, his legacy lives on and will endure for generations to come.

Ellington’s popular compositions set the bar for generations of brilliant jazz, pop, theater, and soundtrack composers to come. He is best remembered for the over 3,000 songs that he composed during his lifetime, including “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” “Solitude,” “In a Mellow Tone,” and “Satin Doll.”

These compositions guarantee his greatness, but what really makes Duke an iconoclastic genius and an unparalleled visionary are his extended suites. From 1943’s “Black, Brown and Beige” to 1972’s “The Uwis Suite”, Ellington used the suite format to give his jazz songs a far more empowering meaning, resonance, and purpose: to exalt, mythologize, and re-contextualize the African-American experience on a grand scale.

Although Ellington himself has passed, his music lives on, as does the orchestra that bears his name. A world-class big band, The Duke Ellington Orchestra continues to perform Duke’s music at venues worldwide, preserving the legacy of one of this country’s greatest national treasures.”

8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>>The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America
>>Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital
>>Selected Shorts: Recommended Reading with Electric Literature
>>“Irving Berlin: A Musical Biography”
>>Scent Track: What Can the History of Olfaction Tell us About Theorizing in the Life Sciences?

Queens Taste 2017
New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park/ Tuesday May 2 – 6PM to 9PM
Not exactly Manhattan’s WestSide, but my mouth waters just thinking about this.

More than 60 vendors will serve samples of their delicious dishes, divine drinks, and dazzling desserts. This is Queens, America’s most ethnically diverse county, so expect Cypriot, French, Georgian, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Kosher, Malaysian, Moldovan, Paraguayan, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, and Thai cuisine! And if you need a beverage Chris Murillo, who owns the local distillery Queens Courage, will mix gin-based drinks. In addition, four wine purveyors will pour and at least seven beer products will be on tap. Tea totalers will be able to quench their thirst with – what else? — bubble tea provided by Chatime.

Tickets ($125 each or two for $200) are available at Proceeds support the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s ongoing efforts to attract, create, and maintain jobs in the borough. As QEDC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, proceeds are tax deductible as permitted by law.

For more information, call Rob MacKay at 718.263.0546 or send him an email via


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at Terminal 5, 610 W56th St. / 8PM, $43
“Over nearly two decades, this Canadian collective — featuring the frontman A. C. Newman and the singer-songwriter Neko Case — has turned out seven remarkably consistent albums of sprightly power pop. Despite the recent departure of the singer and guitarist Dan Bejar, the group is as unflappable as ever on its latest collection, “Whiteout Conditions.” The record skillfully pairs uplifting rock arrangements with lyrics that playfully allude to geopolitics, the economics of rock ’n’ roll, and how the New Pornographers have managed to endure successfully for so long. To wit: Each ticket to the concert comes with a free download of the new album. With Waxahatchee.” (KEVIN O’DONNELL – NYT)

ASPEN SANTA FE BALLET (through April 30).
at the Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave./ April 26, 7:30PM; April 27-29, 8PM, $61-$81
“Aspen Santa Fe Ballet returns to the Joyce with three New York premieres and its usual penchant for contemporary ballet. Formed in Aspen in 1996 with just seven dancers, the company — under the artistic direction of the former Joffrey dancer Tom Mossbrucker and the executive direction of Jean-Philippe Malaty — shows off its sleek, athletic sensibility. Along with Cayetano Soto’s “Huma Rojo,” a humorous homage to the women in Mr. Soto’s life, the company performs Alejandro Cerrudo’s “Silent Ghost” and Cherice Barton’s “Eudaemonia.” (GIA KOURLAS – NYT)

at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, 307 W 26th St. Chelsea / 11PM, $5
“Every month, a team of writers and producers build a brand-new, one-of-a-kind late-night talk show around a different comedian and his or her distinct personality. Each episode features a new theme and structure, in addition to field pieces, sketches, music and guests. This month, the show will be hosted by Julio Torres, a writer at “Saturday Night Live” whose comedy has a quiet, surreal quality and an otherworldly vibe.” (ELISE CZAJKOWSKI – NYT)

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

The Man Who Designed the Future: Norman Bel Geddes and the Invention of Twentieth-Century America
The Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St./ 7PM, FREE
“A ninth-grade dropout who found himself at the center of the worlds of industry, advertising, theater, and even gaming, Norman Bel Geddes designed everything from the first all-weather stadium, to Manhattan’s most exclusive nightclub, to Futurama, the prescient 1939 exhibit that envisioned how America would look in the not-too-distant sixties.

In The Man Who Designed the Future, B. Alexandra Szerlip reveals precisely how central Bel Geddes was to the history of American innovation. He presided over a moment in which theater became immersive, function merged with form, and people became consumers. A polymath with humble Midwestern origins, Bel Geddes’s visionary career would launch him into social circles with the Algonquin roundtable members, stars of stage and screen, and titans of industry.”

Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital
Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St./ 6:30PM, FREE
“Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Oshinsky tells a riveting history of New York’s iconic public hospital in his new book Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital. The hospital occupies a colorful and horrifying place in the public imagination and has provided care to thousands of immigrants and refugees for over two and half century history. There was hardly an epidemic or social catastrophe—or groundbreaking scientific advance—that did not touch Bellevue. Oshinsky will be in conversation with Morris J. Vogel, President of the Tenement Museum and historian of medicine.”

Selected Shorts: Recommended Reading with Electric Literature
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 7:30PM, $30
The next convening of Selected Shorts at Symphony Space brings together the pop culture-forward lit org Electric Literature and some serious star wattage. Stockard Channing and Michael Imperioli will be among the actors reading the work of the likes of Viet Thanh Nguyen, Phil Klay, and Etgar Keret.” (

Electric Literature‘s mission is to expand the influence of literature in popular culture by fostering lively and innovative literary conversations and making exceptional writing accessible to new audiences.

“Irving Berlin: A Musical Biography”
Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
With Mel Haber, a devoted music lover, primarily of popular music and opera.
“This illustrated lecture traces and life and career of Irving Berlin and features videos of singers, including Eddie Cantor, Ella Fitzgerald, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, Judy Garland, and more, performing his songs from Hollywood and Broadway.”

Scent Track: What Can the History of Olfaction Tell us About Theorizing in the Life Sciences?
The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave./ 6PM, FREE, reservation required
“Perfumery may possibly be the second oldest business in the history of mankind. However, olfaction, the sense of smell, has attracted systematic interest in scientific studies only recently. The discovery of the olfactory receptor genes by Linda Buck and Richard Axel in 1991 catapulted olfaction into neurobiological research.

This talk focuses on the difficulty of scientifically studying olfaction. What is the material “smelling principle” underlying the variety of odorous plant and animal materials? How do you “materialize” the perceptual process of smelling? And by what criteria can you test your ideas about smell as a perceptible and qualitatively rich but invisible dimension of matter?”


Bonus NYC events– 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
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  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):


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)

 Whitney Museum of American Art:

2017 WHITNEY BIENNIAL (through June 11).
This is arguably the best Biennial in years, and perhaps the best ever in its combination of demographics, aesthetics and political urgency. Nearly half of the featured artists are female, and half nonwhite. Their works reach from figure painting to virtual reality. Income inequality, racism, misogyny, immigration and violence are confronted in ways that set a high standard for social engagement sustained by formal ambition. (Smith-NYT)

“Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s presents a focused look at painting from this decade with works drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection.

In the 1980s, painting recaptured the imagination of the contemporary art world against a backdrop of expansive change. An unprecedented number of galleries appeared on the scene, particularly in downtown New York. Groundbreaking exhibitions—that blurred distinctions between high and low art—were presented at alternative and artist-run spaces. New mediums, including video and installation art, were on the rise. Yet despite the growing popularity of photography and video, many artists actively embraced painting, freely exploring its bold physicality and unique capacity for expression and innovation.

The exhibition includes work by artists often identified with this explosive period—Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sherrie Levine, David Salle, and Julian Schnabel—as well as by several lesser-known painters. These artists explored the traditions of figuration and history painting, and offered new interpretations of abstraction. Many addressed fundamental questions about artmaking in their work, while others took on political issues including AIDS, feminism, gentrification, and war. In the face of a media-saturated environment, artists in the 1980s recommitted to painting. Far from dead, painting came to represent an important intersection between new ways of seeing and a seemingly traditional way of making art.”

Museum of Modern Art:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TONY)


PLUS, It’s a rainy day and everyone looking to stay out of the rain will  head to a museum. These wonderful museum exhibitions continue through this period:

‘GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: LIVING MODERN’ at the Brooklyn Museum (through July 23). Given that most artists are to some extent dandies, it would be wrong to view this fascinating show through an exclusively feminist lens. But it does demonstrate the powerful, carefully cultivated aesthetic and inborn independence that connects the art, wardrobe, living spaces and public persona of America’s first celebrity artist. In and around her art, she redefined gender and style. (Roberta Smith-NYT)

(3/3-7/3) Georgia O’Keeffe: “Living Modern” provides a new look at an iconic American artist at the very institution that hosted her first solo museum exhibition in 1927—the Brooklyn Museum. Presenting O’Keeffe’s remarkable wardrobe in dialogue with iconic paintings and photographs, this singular exhibition focuses in on the modernist persona O’Keeffe crafted for herself. With photographs by luminaries like Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, and Annie Leibovitz, the show reflects O’Keeffe’s radical rethinking of female identity, and the artist’s commitment to elements of modernism—minimalism, seriality, simplification—not only in her art, but also in her distinctive style of dress. (NYCity Guide)


(3/20-1/7/18) Mummies at the American Museum of Natural History. For thousands of years, peoples around the world practiced mummification as a way of preserving and honoring their dead. Mummies brings you face to face with some of these ancient individuals and reveals how scientists are using modern technology to glean stunning details about them and their cultures. In Mummies, ancient remains from the Nile Valley of Africa and the Andes Mountains of South America will be on view, allowing visitors to connect with cultures from the distant past. Mummification, a more widespread practice than most think, was used not only for royal Egyptians but also for common people and even animals. Interactive touch tables let visitors virtually “unravel” or see inside mummies as they delve deep into the unique stories of the people or animals who lie within. Other parts of the exhibition showcase the latest isotopic and DNA testing being performed on mummies, and explain how these sophisticated analytical techniques are helping scientists discover important clues about long-vanished practices. Mummies was developed by The Field Museum, Chicago.

(now-9/6/17) The newest show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim, provides a rare chance to explore in-depth some of the key artists of this essential New York institution. Framed by the interests of six leading patrons, Visionaries brings together canvases from masters like Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Yves Tanguy, and sculptures by Joseph Cornell and Alberto Giacometti. In addition, Jackson Pollock’s Alchemy (1947) is being shown in the U.S. for the first time in nearly 50 years. More than a dozen works on paper by Picasso and Van Gogh, rarely on view to the public, can be seen in the Thannhauser Gallery, and paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, and Édouard Manet are displayed on the museum’s legendary ramps.

(CLOSES 4/30/17) Tattooed New York at the New-York Historical Society explores more than 300 years of tattoo culture. The exhibit will feature more than 250 works dating from the early 1700s to today—exploring Native American body art, tattoo craft practiced by visiting sailors, sideshow culture, the 1961 ban that drove tattooing underground for three decades, and the post-ban artistic renaissance.


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