NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/02) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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-December”
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:

Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner: Unattached! (next Dec.06)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $65+
The original stars of the conjoined-twin musical Side Show reunite to perform their first show together in nearly a decade. Both have had substantial careers since their joint 1997 breakthrough, and it will be fascinating to see how Ripley’s edgy presence and rough-edged rock voice interplays with Skinner’s vivacious, Broadway-broad approach.” (TONY)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>PEDRO GIRAUDO
>>Billy Stritch “Lucky To Be Me” 
>>MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO
>>Danilo Pérez Trio: Panamonk 
>>Steve Miller, Jimmie Vaughan & Charlie Musselwhite: The Blues Triangle
>>CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE AND TIP CITY
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

PEDRO GIRAUDO
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $25
“At its best, large-ensemble jazz composition retains the whirling kinetics that defined the original big bands. Perhaps with that in mind, Mr. Giraudo, a bassist, mines the tango tradition of Argentina, his home country. His arrangements have the ducking countermelodies and cross talk of a Bob Brookmeyer chart, and the feisty footwork of Astor Piazzolla’s up-tempo tunes. It’s hard not to hear echoes of another Argentine composer, the pianist and bandleader Guillermo Klein, but Mr. Giraudo’s music has its own character. He performs at the Jazz Gallery on Friday with an eight-piece ensemble, then on Saturday with a full big band.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Billy Stritch “Lucky To Be Me” (also Dec.9)
Birdland / 6:00PM, $30
“Acclaimed pianist/singer Billy Stritch brings his new solo show “Lucky To Be Me” to the Birdland stage for three shows only (November 25, December 2 and 9 – Saturdays at 6:00 pm). This show will include Billy’s arrangements of songs by Gershwin, Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Cy Coleman and other giants of American popular music and stories of his career thus far. These shows also commemorate the 20th anniversary of Billy’s first appearance at Birdland in 1997 when he premiered his Brazilian CD “Waters Of March” and will include selections from that recording as well. Billy will be joined by bassist Neal Miner (November 25, December 9) and Tom Hubbard (December 2).”

“He not only does it all but also makes it look easy!” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Billy Stritch is one of the finest, most entertaining piano players and singers on the planet!” – London Jazz Times

MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO (LAST DAY)
at Birdland / 8:30 and 11PM, $40
“Mr. Roberts, a pianist, has just released “Trio Crescent,” reworking the five original compositions on John Coltrane’s somber, interrogational “Crescent” (the album that came just before Coltrane’s landmark “A Love Supreme”). Mr. Roberts’s inclinations run slightly brighter and less implacable than Coltrane’s did, but the album — which will presumably provide some grist for these performances — attests to both the hospitality of these compositions and Mr. Roberts’s fluency as an interpreter. He appears here with the band from “Trio Crescent,” featuring Rodney Jordan on bass and Jason Marsalis on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Danilo Pérez Trio: Panamonk (Nov.30-Dec.03)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“There really is no end to what can be brought to the durable compositions of Thelonious Monk, and the Panamanian pianist Perez proved it with his compelling 1996 album, “Panamonk,” which adorned these iconic tunes in Latin finery. He calls on one of the recording’s participants, the drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and enlists the bassist Ben Street to round out his rhythmically charged trio.” (NewYorker)

Steve Miller, Jimmie Vaughan & Charlie Musselwhite: The Blues Triangle
Rose Theater, Jazz @ Lincoln Center / 8PM, $35+
“Renowned blues-rock guitarist, singer/songwriter, and 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steve Miller returns to Rose Theater for a journey through the Blues Triangle. Having learned his first chords at age five from his godfather Les Paul, how to play lead guitar from T-Bone Walker at age nine, and then working with the best bluesmen in Chicago — Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, and Paul Butterfield — Miller has a serious affinity for the blues. In this program, he will explore music from three essential blues hubs: Memphis, Texas, and Chicago. As fans of the genre know well, the blues adopts its own unique flavor depending on the location, and Miller is well equipped to highlight the important nuances and similarities between these vibrant musical cities.”

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE AND TIP CITY (Nov.28-Dec.3)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30PM, $30
“Mr. McBride plays the upright bass with a deft assurance, and leads his bands with a sense of avuncular discipline. His recent album, the strong “Bringin’ It,” features Mr. McBride’s large ensemble, but here he appears with a stripped-down trio, with Emmet Cohen on piano and Dan Wilson on guitar. (Mr. McBride will continue his run from Dec. 5 to 10, with his quintet, Inside Straight.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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)

“George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” continues performances throughout the month. It never disappoints, from its onstage snowstorm to the one-ton Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet. And there’s also, of course, Balanchine’s remarkable choreography, which brings the Tchaikovsky score to dancing life. This week, many of the principal dancers get a shot at Sugar Plum — Sara Mearns, Megan Fairchild and Lauren Lovette, among them — but not to be overlooked is the soloist Indiana Woodward, who is scheduled to do the honors on Dec. 7 opposite Chase Finlay as her Cavalier. She’s a delight.” (NYT 12/01-Gia Kourlas)

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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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Let there be light!

Luminaries installation at Brookfield Place in the Winter Garden, a stunning holiday arrangement, comprising 650 LED lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Make sure to pack your skates and enjoy ice-skating next door, along the waterfront.
AND
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. 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 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, 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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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 are two exhibitions that the New Yorker likes:
“L.A. Invitational”    (thru Dec.16)
Gagosian, 555 W. 24th St.
“An armada of West Coast art stars, both old and new, visits New York in the marketing equivalent of gunboat diplomacy. Battleships: installations by Mike Kelley and Chris Burden. Cruisers: huge sculptures by Nancy Rubins, Thomas Houseago, and Robert Therrien. Destroyers: big paintings by Ed Ruscha, Mark Grotjahn, Sterling Ruby, and others. Small craft: whimsical whatnots by Frank Gehry and Piero Golia. What’s Californian? Nonchalant confidence, as an evident rule. Not much else unites these fourteen artists. But each performs at the museum-ready top of his or her game.”

Emma Amos  (thru Dec.16)
Ryan Lee, 515 W. 26th St.
“The political is poetic for this New York artist, who, at seventy-nine years old, is absurdly under-known. Eight large paintings, made across four decades, ring buoyant variations on a theme: “Black Bodies,” as Amos has titled her show. Hung like banners, and often incorporating African fabrics and Amos’s own weavings, they picture athletic, dancing, heroic, and comic figures, with twisty references to art history and racial imbroglios. One adapts a nude photograph of Paul Robeson, taken by Nickolas Muray, in 1926; in another, Amos appears as Wonder Woman, holding up a T-shirt that bears an erotic image by Gauguin. Coming to comprehend the artist’s slow-burn meanings is like learning to dance.”

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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 (nycgo.com) 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.) “

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 11/30 and 11/28.

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