NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/24) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“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 better check the tab above: “NYC Events-November
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
The curated list of events you will find in the “This WEEK” tab ain’t bad, either.

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

The New Drum Battle: Kenny Washington vs. Joe Farnsworth (Nov. 24-26.)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, (btw105th/106th Sts.) / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“There’s always been a gladiatorial aspect to jazz. For a taste of this blood sport, head uptown for this mano-a-mano fight to the finish between two supremely accomplished drummers with a mutual taste for hard-bop intensity. Stoking the contestants will be such familiar cohorts as Gary Smulyan on baritone saxophone and Brian Lynch on trumpet.” (NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Requiem – Giuseppe Verdi
>>Hush Point
>>Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen
>>Dee Dee Bridgewater
>>JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON
>>Maria Schneider Orchestra
>>BOB DYLAN AND MAVIS STAPLES

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Requiem – Giuseppe Verdi (Nov.24 – Dec.2; next Nov.27)
The Metropolitan Opera / 8PM, $220 (but a few standing room @$17)
“For the first time since 2008, James Levine conducts a special series of concerts of Verdi’s great mass, written in memory of Italian poet Alessandro Manzoni. The company has assembled a quartet of extraordinary soloists to join the incomparable Met Orchestra and Chorus: Krassimira Stoyanova, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Aleksandrs Antonenko, and Ferruccio Furlanetto.”

Hush Point (Nov. 24-25)
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St./ 8:30PM, +10PM, $10
“Controlled dynamics, mindful counterpoint, and a leaning toward the serene pleasures of cool jazz define Hush Point. The group weaves John McNeil’s brainy trumpet lines and Jeremy Udden’s ultra-lyrical alto saxophone into the work of a contained yet ever-alert bass-and-drum team.” (NewYorker)

Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen (Nov.21-25)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $65+
“Fosse muse, jazz cat and showbiz-blooded triple-threat entertainer Ben Vereen—of Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar and All That Jazz fame—struts his still-slick stuff. His show is a potent mixture of sweat and veneer; the man has a firm place in Broadway legend.” (TONY)

Dee Dee Bridgewate(Nov.21-26)
@ Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30, $45
“Grammy and Tony Award-winning performer Dee Dee Bridgewater has demonstrated her talents in jazz clubs, in the recording studio, and on the Broadway stage. Now she’s bringing her career to where it all started, by dedicating her next album to her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Titled Memphis… Yes I’m Ready, the album will feature the Blues, R&B, and Soul classics that came out of “Bluff City.” This week Bridgewater is celebrating the album’s release at the Blue Note.” (The Jonathan Channel)

JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON (Nov. 21-26)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $
“As Mr. Moran has grown into his identity as a conceptualist and curator and boundary-crossing collaborator, his piano style has grown only richer, more heartfelt and more engaging. Should we find that remarkable, or entirely unsurprising? Either way, it’s partly due to his commitment to a few core practices and creature comforts. Chief among them is this trio — featuring the bassist Tarus Mateen and the drummer Nasheet Waits — which has been together since the turn of the millennium, and has played a weeklong run around Thanksgiving at the Village Vanguard for the past five years. The band, one of jazz’s most durable institutions, features the bassist Tarus Mateen and the drummer Nasheet Waits.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Maria Schneider Orchestra (also No.24-26)
Jazz Standard / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“Maria Schneider has a handsome collection of Grammys, and the accolades are well deserved: This protégée of the late bandleading/arranging genius Gil Evans fronts the most polished modern jazz orchestra on the planet, a vehicle for her lush, intricate and refreshingly accessible works. Catch her at this annual Thanksgiving engagement.” (TONY)

BOB DYLAN AND MAVIS STAPLES (Nov.20-25)
at Beacon Theater / 7:30PM, $155+
“Seeing Bob Dylan in 2017 is a wondrously strange experience. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he seems uninterested in giving his live audiences a close approximation of their favorite records; instead, he twists his songs into wild new forms, laying on the brimstone and blues. It’s anything but a canned nostalgia trip, which is refreshing in an age with plenty of nostalgia to go around. Opening for Mr. Dylan at this five-night stand, which begins on Monday and continues into next week, is his longtime friend Mavis Staples, whose latest album, “If All I Was Was Black,” arrives Nov. 17.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

Continuing Events

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (6th Ave. & 42nd St.)
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Enjoy Bryant Park through the winter with the Holiday Shops food and gift boutiques (thru Jan.02), Danny Meyer’s pop-up rinkside eatery Public Fare (thru Mar.04), and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 28, 2017 – March 4, 2018
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting)
Tree Lighting
As one of the most popular holiday markets in NYC, the Winter Village has big plans to make their tree-lighting ceremony (held 6PM, Friday, December 1) a smash. When you go, you’ll be dazzled by a theatrical ice-skating show starring World Champions and Olympian skaters Kimmie Meissner, Meryl Davis and Charlie White as well as Jeff Buttle. The legendary Johnny Weir will also hit the 17,000-square-foot rink.

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New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 31)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / various times and prices
“As a young dancer in St. Petersburg in the nineteen-tens, George Balanchine performed the lead in the Harlequins’ “Hoop Dance” in the Mariinsky Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” By all accounts, he was rather proud of his performance, and in 1954, when he created his own “Nutcracker” for the New York City Ballet, he included the dance verbatim in the second act, and renamed it “Candy Cane.” With its double hoop jumps, it is still one of the most beloved sections of the ballet, performed by one adult dancer and eight children from the school. This merging of past and present, adult prowess and youthful flair, has helped insure this production’s enduring appeal for more than sixty years. It returns for a monthlong run.” (NewYorker)

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(11/10/17-1/1/18) The NYC perennial holiday favorite Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes® returns. Fan favorites include “New York at Christmas,” where the Rockettes® board a real double-decker bus, and the high-energy tap number “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Of course, beloved classics like “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” will also be back. rockettes.com/christmas

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Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park tonight. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
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, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
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 – UG, 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

Special Mention:
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.

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♦ 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):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

ART AND CHINA AFTER 1989: THEATER OF THE WORLD,  (through Jan 7, 2018). “New York is still behind the curve in terms of familiarity with the explosion of contemporary art produced in China between the 1989 Tiananmen massacre and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This dynamic, canon-affirming Guggenheim survey reprises much of what we already do know, but also adds fresh information about large group projects and, usefully, shift the focus away from auction-favored painting onto Conceptualism. (After protests from animal-right activists, three works in the show, including “Theater of the World” by Huang Yong Ping, appear in altered form.)” (Holland Cotter)

Frick Collection

‘MURILLO: THE SELF-PORTRAITS’ (through Feb. 4, 2018). “Two flawlessly executed selfies by one of the leading painters of the Spanish Golden Age are united for the first time in centuries in this revealing, somewhat melancholy exhibition on mastery and aging. Around 1650, the thirtysomething Bartolomé Esteban Murillo painted himself as an ambitious young painter with pursed lips and arched eyebrows, staring out incongruously from a block of ancient marble. The young painter was already imagining himself as a man for the ages, but success seems to have worn down Murillo in the later self-portrait, from about 1670. His hair has grown thinner, he’s developed a double chin, and he extends his hand as if desperate to connect to us.” (Farago)

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

Morgan Library & Museum

‘DRAWN TO GREATNESS: MASTER DRAWINGS FROM THE THAW COLLECTION’  (through Jan. 7, 2018). “This major group drawing show constitutes a grand summing-up of a career, of an art form and of an institution’s holdings. During the past 60 years, the New York art dealer Eugene V. Thaw and his wife Clare Eddy Thaw amassed a phenomenal drawing collection notable for its chronological breadth, running from the early Renaissance to the near present. This year they gave more than 400 items outright to the Morgan Library, expanding and deepening its range. The 150 works on view include a super-rare Andrea Mantegna, an unearthly Samuel Palmer and a soulful Vincent Van Gogh.”  (NYT-Holland Cotter)

Met Breuer 

“DELIRIOUS: ART AT THE LIMITS OF REASON, 1950-1980” (through Jan. 4). “This provocative multimedia survey ignores the established canon to propose that after the destructiveness of World War II, artists began to answer life’s absurdities with more of the same. It follows a thread of irrationality through the efforts of 63 artists from three continents working with abstract form, language and the body . There are some familiar names — Sol LeWitt, Claes Oldenburg and Lynda Benglis — but the selections and rejiggered context give everything a new spin.” (NYT-Roberta Smith)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish)

‘TALKING PICTURES: CAMERA-PHONE CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN ARTISTS  (through Dec. 17). “One of the wisest, savviest museum exhibitions of the summer may not have much actual art in it, but it circles the subject like a satellite around a planet. Using prints, slide shows, books and iPads, it presents image-only camera-phone exchanges between 12 pairs of artists and is full of flashes of wit, poetry, even genius. Observers will find occasional momentous events, both personal and presidential.” (NYT – Roberta Smith) 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘STREAMS AND MOUNTAINS WITHOUT END: LANDSCAPE TRADITIONS OF CHINA’  (through Jan. 6, 2018). “If you’ve seen only ash-aired Beijing, or that architectural Oz Shanghai, you haven’t seen China. Most of the country is wide-open space, green and blue: hills, plains, water. And it was for an escape to that openness that some Chinese urbanites yearned in centuries past. Their dream: to sit in on a terrace halfway up a mountain, with tea steeping, an ink-brush at hand, a friend at the door, and a waterfall splashing nearby. Not just for vacation. Forever. One way they could live the dream was through images of the kind seen in this show. Technically, it’s a collection reinstallation spiced with a few loans. But the Met’s China holdings are so broad and deep that some of the pictures here are resurfacing for the first time in almost a decade; one is finally making its debut a century after it was acquired. And there’s more than just paintings on view: ceramics, textiles and scholar’s rocks fill out the panorama.” (NYT-Holland Cotter) 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘JAPANESE BAMBOO ART: THE ABBEY COLLECTION’  (through Feb. 4, 2018). “This fabulous show celebrates Diane and Arthur Abbey’s gift of some 70 bamboo baskets and sculptures, which nearly doubles the Met’s already outstanding holdings in this genre and brings them into the 20th and 21st centuries. The curator has embedded this trove within what is essentially a second exhibition that traces bamboo’s presence through folding screens, ink paintings, porcelain, netsuke, kimonos and more.” (NYT-Roberta Smith) 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 11/22 and 11/20.
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