NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/04) + 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 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:

Dance Magazine Awards
Ailey Citigroup Theater / 7:30PM, $50+
“For the sixtieth time, the ninety-year-old glossy Dance Magazine presents awards to luminaries. This year’s event honors Mariinsky ballerina Diana Vishneva, hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris (whose Philly-based troupe will perform), Ailey star Linda Celeste Sims (who’ll dance a section of Cry), and physical-therapy genius Marika Molnar (one of whose clients, NYCB star Tiler Peck, will perform her own choreography).

The evening benefits the Harkness Foundation for Dance, enabling the establishment of the Harkness Promise Award for choreographers in their first decade of professional work. Winners, to be announced in June 2018, will receive $5,000, forty hours of rehearsal space, and the mentorship of Joan Finkelstein, the foundation’s executive director. Join the artists and their fans for performances, eloquent speeches, and a glittery post-show reception (which costs extra) in the Ailey company’s glass-walled studio.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Broadway Under the Stars
>>Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim
>>The American Classical Orchestra
>>Amanda Shechtman Hates to Sing 
>>ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
>>Broadway Sings the Beatles
>>Japan – A Nation in Search of a New Path
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Broadway Under the Stars
Time Warner Center-Shops at Columbus Circle, 2nd Fl. / 5PM, FREE
For the next four Mondays you’ll have a chance to nibble on musical theater at Broadway Under the Stars, an annual series on a makeshift stage at the Shops at Columbus Circle. It’s a lot like the ever-popular Broadway in Bryant Park, except later in the year and indoors. (The stars of the title are the massive decorative ones that hang from the ceiling at the Time Warner Center each winter.)

Cast members from a dozen different Broadway shows—plus Off Broadway’s Red Roses, Green Gold—head to Columbus Circle on Mondays at 5pm to sing for their shoppers. Hosted by Broadway actor George Psomas (Fiddler on the Roof), it’s a casual affair, without costumes or sets but with plenty of up-and-coming talent.
Today: Chicago, Waitress and Anastasia•

Melissa Errico Sings Sondheim
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $65
“Errico is a smart-edged musical-theater leading lady whose silvery voice has brightened such shows as My Fair Lady, Amour and the Off Broadway revival of Passion. In this set, she sets her mind on songs by show-tune deity Stephen Sondheim, from the comic neurosis of “Getting Married Today” and “Everybody Loves Louis” to the despair of “No More.” (TONY)

The American Classical Orchestra
St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, 87th St & West End Ave / 8PM, $25+
The American Classical Orchestra and chorus perform a holiday program — Handel’s “Messiah” and Bach’s “Magnificat.”

“Our holiday program features the acclaimed ACO Chorus and soloists in the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, performed in the perfect acoustic setting of St. Ignatius of Antioch Church. For the first time, we will perform Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach’s Magnificat. While CPE Bach, like all of JS Bach’s sons, lives in the shadow of his father, Magnificat is recognized as a masterpiece.”

Amanda Shechtman Hates to Sing
The Duplex / 7PM, $15
“Don’t let the title fool you. That Shechtman can face off with Celine Dion is a certainty; that she might walk out victorious is indeed a possibility. Watch the petite powerhouse crack jokes and roar cabaret standards while she tries to examine her artistic career and exorcise her self-effacing demons. Frequent collaborator and darling pianist Henry Koperski plays by Shechtman’s side as she belts ballads for the gods to hear.” (TONY)

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (through Dec. 31).
at New York City Center / 3PM, +7:30PM, $29+
The Ailey company kicks off the second week of its annual City Center season with the premiere of Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s “Victoria,” set to Michael Gordon’s adaptation of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, on Dec. 1. In it, the Spanish choreographer explores notions of good and evil. Twyla Tharp’s explosive “The Golden Section,” featuring music by David Byrne, returns to the repertory on Dec. 6. And never fear: There are many “Revelations” — Ailey’s 1960 masterpiece — to go around.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

Broadway Sings the Beatles
Highline Ballroom / 7:30PM, $30+
“More than a dozen Broadway up-and-comers perform new arrangements of Fab Four classics, backed by piano man Joshua Stephen Kartes and a jazz orchestra, in the latest edition of Corey Mach’s concert series. The lineup includes Alysha Umphress, Drew Gehling, Steel Burkhardt, Alison Luff, Antoine L. Smith and Christine Dwyer.” (TONY)

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

Japan – A Nation in Search of a New Path
The Explorers Club, 46 E. 70th St./ 7PM, $25
“As a nation that’s been more or less stagnating for two decades, Japan is “in search of a new path.” A visual lecture by Sam Mehta looks at the nation’s history, its interconnection with Korea and China, and the “cultural Galapagos” that can be found on the island today.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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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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)

Grey Art Gallery 

PARTNERS IN DESIGN: ALFRED H. BARR JR. AND PHILIP JOHNSON (through Dec. 9).

“Five minutes on StreetEasy, browsing through seven-figure “contemporary” condos whose furniture was designed a century ago, should offer all the proof necessary that Modernism will never die. This intriguing if incomplete exhibition reveals how two young, Bauhaus-mad men of MoMA — Barr, the museum’s first director, and Johnson, its first architecture curator — imported European design to the United States, and showcased it not only in their new museum but also in their own apartments. Johnson had family money, and hired Mies van der Rohe to kit out his apartment with a rosewood chest, a spare tea table, and a camel-colored Barcelona chair; Barr, who had to work for a living, ordered entirely passable knockoffs from Ypsilanti, Mich. This show is too small for its subject, but if you’re into Modernist revivals, you’ll do better here than at the ghastly new restaurant in Johnson’s old Four Seasons.” (Jason Farago)

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)

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

‘BLACK POWER!’  (through Dec. 30).
“Given the economic, environmental and social policies emanating from the White House, the United States could be headed for its most dynamic era of public resistance since the 1960s. And if you’re searching for cultural models from the past, even flawed ones, that effectively brought a message of social change into the street, the schools and the workplace, you’ll do well to check out this vivid documentary show about a cultural movement that broadened activist art to embrace public murals, fashion and poetry; and protest demonstrations that had the visual allure, choreographic rigor and emotional weight of theater.” (Cotter)

American Museum of Natural History:

Mummies (thru 1/7/18)
“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.”(NYCity Guide)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/02 and 11/30.
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