NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/23) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s Super 7 NYC Events > FRIDAY/JUNE 23, 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-June”

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

L.A. Dance Project
Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave/ 8PM, $56-$81
“Benjamin Millepied, who turns forty this week, was an early star at the School of American Ballet and the New York City Ballet. He choreographed and danced in the notorious Black Swan, then married his screen colleague Natalie Portman. He founded this distinguished repertory troupe in Los Angeles in 2012, went off to a thorny three-year stint as director of the Paris Opera Ballet, and is now back in California, from whence he brings two programs of promising work. The first, opening Tuesday, June 13, includes Ohad Naharin’s Yag and two of Millepied’s own dances, the 2014 Hearts & Arrows and the world premiere of In Silence We Speak. The second bill, playing in repertory starting Wednesday, June 14, reprises Silence and features Justin Peck’s Murder Ballades, a MinEvent by Merce Cunningham, and Millepied’s Orpheus Highway.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>The Mountain Goats
>>54 Below Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits! 
>>Swedish Midsummer Festival
>>Man’s Separation from Nature and Where to Go From Here


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Mountain Goats (also Saturday)
Beacon Theater / 8PM, $40-$60
Beloved first for his lo-fi boombox recordings of wry, passionate, literature-inflected acoustic songs, John Darnielle has in the last ten years embraced the studio for his full-band recordings as the Mountain Goats. The title of their sixteenth album, Goths, released this May, should not surprise longtime fans: Darnielle has always identified with and championed misunderstood outsiders. He channels this particular subculture through unexpected dulcet tones of vibraphone, brushed drums, and piano. But, weirdly, it works, and the real beauty is as always in the simultaneously heartfelt and nimble lyrics, which tell detail-rich stories of wise, wayward youth. On record these newer studio tracks can come off as dad-rock, but they invariably shine live. The band rocks really hard without losing their jazzlike sense of rhythm, and Darnielle veers between stand-up-esque stage banter and terrifyingly passionate singing. A tour supporting Goths’s tender humor and wacky instrumentation offer a new way to feel the spirit.” (Zoë Beery, VillageVoice)

at the Village Vanguard / 8:30, +10:30PM, $30 (he’s good, may need to try the late show)
“Mr. Potter is a hyper-articulate tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist, subject to all the attendant triumphs and pitfalls. His most recent album, “The Dreamer Is the Dream,” came out this year on ECM Records, and it has the markers of an ECM release: clarity to match the stoutness of its sound; an unfixed sense of time and motion; a broad harmonic palette that guides the improvisations. The sound suits him. There’s a sense of pacing and depth to everything on the album, and it hardly ever sags. He’s joined by the quartet from “The Dreamer”: David Virelles on piano, Joe Martin on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

54 Below Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits!
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 9:30PM, $35+
“Broadway by the Year impresario Scott Siegel curates this monthly concert series, in which Broadway stars sing some of the Great White Way’s best-loved tunes. Performers at the June 23 edition include Jeremy Kushnier, Douglas Ladnier, Brian Charles Rooney and Fun Home’s Beth Malone.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour.

at Prospect Park Bandshell / 7:30PM, FREE
“Mr. Sanders, 76, played with John Coltrane near the end of his life, seeming to inherit Coltrane’s affinity for global folk musics, Eastern spirituality and caterwauling expressionism. In his own music, Mr. Sanders renders long and scorching solos over lovely vamps, balancing fury and enlightenment. (Fans of Kamasi Washington, take note: Mr. Sanders was doing it first.) Mr. Sanders draws much inspiration from Indian classical music, so the intrepid Brooklyn Raga Massive is an apt opener for Friday’s concert.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Swedish Midsummer Festival
Robert F. Wagner Park / 5PM, FREE
“For 20 years, Battery Park has hosted one of the world’s largest Scandinavian summer solstice celebrations outside of Sweden, with more than 3,000 guests showing up to dance around the midsummer pole. If roaring rounds of folk dancing and pro fiddling wipe you out, grab a spiced herring crêpe from Crepes du Nord or malt balls from Fika, and chill out on the grass. For the perfect keepsake, you can even make your own ceremonial flower wreath.” (TONY)

Man’s Separation from Nature and Where to Go From Here
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $20, includes complimentary beer and wine
“Head through the concrete jungle of Manhattan to Man’s Separation from Nature and Where to Go from Here, an event with philosopher Manuel Rodeiro on our unsustainable relationship with nature.” (

and don’t forget this continuing event, an eclectic extravaganza that is an annual highlight in Lower Manhattan –  the very lowest WestSide of Manhattan:

River To River Festival (June 14–25)
The 16th annual River To River Festival will have over 100+ performances — with 12 days of dance, music, theater and the visual arts activities. The festival will take place across 31 unique sites across Lower Manhattan and Governors Island.

“From City Hall Park to the Financial District to South Street Seaport to Governors Island, the Medici-like Lower Manhattan Cultural Council deploys some of our most interesting dance artists, including the Dance Cartel, Netta Yerushalmy, Faye Driscoll, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Beth Gill, Maria Hassabi, Jodi Melnick, and Will Rawls. If I had to choose, I’d definitely catch Melnick’s Moat (June 17–18 at Fort Jay), and the long-awaited, The Set Up: Island Ghost Sleep Princess Time Story Show (June 18–19 and 24–25 at Governors Island), a six-year collaboration among Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey, and multiple international collaborators, all masters of French or Asian dance traditions. Consider taking a week of vacation days so you can wallow in all this talent. Events are free, though some require advance reservations at the website, which offers full descriptions and schedules.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

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):


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.

Here is one exhibition the New Yorker really likes:

Alex Katz (thru June 30)
Taylor 16×34, 515 W19th St. Chelsea
“As a student at Cooper Union, in 1946, Katz was struggling in drawing class, so he started sketching people wherever he went. The pocket-size results, exhibited here together for the first time, are an illuminating example of the contest between an aspiring artist’s attempt to capture every detail of what he’s seeing and the confident ease with which, as a mature painter, Katz came to encapsulate faces and gestures. In one drawing, a pair of women and a pair of men sit kibbitzing on benches in Union Square; Katz captures all four physiognomies and expressions—from a querulous, sharp-nosed woman to a sympathetic, shovel-chinned man—with vigilant specificity.” (NewYorker)


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 better to 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). OR try the NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 06/21 and 06/19.

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