NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/06) + 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-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!
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)

“Back by popular demand after several sold out engagements! New York City — they could never leave you. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner are UNATTACHED! and ready to tear the paint off the walls of Feinstein’s/54 Below with both new material and some of their old favorites. The 2016 premiere of this show at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below marked these two leading ladies’ first performance together in NYC in nearly nine years. Powerhouse performances, reminiscing, and memory make it an unforgettable evening. And if you saw Unattached last time… expect some new surprises!”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>The Met: “Le Nozze di Figaro”
>>The Chase Brock Experience
>>REBIRTH BRASS BAND
>>ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
>>Selected Shorts: A Celebration of Agatha Christie
>> Desserts of Nepal and Lebanon
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Met: “Le Nozze di Figaro” (next performance 12/09)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $
“Richard Eyre’s production of Mozart’s whirling comedy “Le Nozze di Figaro” provides a dark, shimmering backdrop for the grownup shenanigans going down at the Almaviva estate. For the first half of the run, Harry Bicket conducts an ensemble cast that includes Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Christiane Karg, Luca Pisaroni, and Adam Plachetka.” (NewYorker)

 “An exceptional ensemble of performers share the stage in Mozart’s comic yet profound exploration of love, betrayal, and reconciliation over the course of one crazy day in a wealthy Spanish household.”

The Chase Brock Experience (Nov.27–Dec. 9)
Clurman, 410 W. 42nd St./ 8PM, $29
“Only thirty-four, with choreography credits that include a video game for Nintendo’s Wii and the ill-fated Broadway musical “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark,” Brock is already celebrating the tenth anniversary of his troupe. His sensibility is peppy, poppy, amped up with theatre-geek zeal. His on-the-beat, on-the-nose illustrations of music and lyrics have a let’s-put-on-a-show innocence. This anniversary program ranges chronologically from the 2007 work “Slow Float,” which treats Laura Nyro songs in the manner of “Hair,” to the première of “Men I’ve Known,” which is set, more ambitiously, to Satie’s austere “Ogives.” (NewYorker)

REBIRTH BRASS BAND
​Blue Note Jazz Club / 8:00PM, 10:30PM, $20-$35
“Whether seen on HBOs Treme or at their legendary Tuesday night gig at The Maple Leaf, Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band is a true New Orleans institution. Formed in 1983 by the Frazier brothers, the band has evolved from playing the streets of the French Quarter to playing festivals and stages all over the world. While committed to upholding the tradition of brass bands, they have also extended themselves into the realms of funk and hip-hop to create their signature sound. Rebirth can be precise whenever it wants to, says The New York Times, but its more like a party than a machine. Its a working model of the New Orleans musical ethos: as long as everybody knows what theyre doing, anyone can cut loose. In the wake of the sometimes-stringent competition among New Orleans brass bands, Rebirth is the undisputed leader of the pack, and they show no signs of slowing down.” (wfuv.org)

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)

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

Selected Shorts: A Celebration of Agatha Christie with Special Guest Fran Lebowitz
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre / 7:30pm, $31+
“The shadowy figures, the missing footprints, the obscure motives and one incisive but unlikely detective staring down suspects in a drawing room: Agatha Christie may not have created the mystery, but she discovered the formula for the page-turner. The all-time bestselling author published her first Hercule Poirot novel almost a century ago, and Shorts celebrates with favorites and overlooked classics from Christie’s trove of more than 150 stories.

Our host, celebrated mystery writer Megan Abbott (You Will Know Me) will be joined by actors including Hugh Dancy (Hannibal), Andrea Martin (Difficult People), Lois Smith (Lady Bird), and Rita Wolf (The Good Wife) as well as writer, bon vivant, and Christie devotee Fran Lebowitz to discover the only thing more fun than reading a whodunit is gasping along to its twists and turns live.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Desserts of Nepal and Lebanon with The League of Kitchens
Museum of Food and Drink, 62 Bayard St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn / 6PM, $25
“With the holiday season in full swing, Rachana and Jeanette from The League of Kitchens will expand your dessert horizons by introducing you to sweet treats from their home countries, Nepal and Lebanon, respectively.

Rachana, from Nepal, will be frying up some Sel (fried rice flour donuts) and Jeanette, from Lebanon, will show you how she shapes her Maamoul (semolina shortbread cookies stuffed with nuts). Afterwards, they will be interviewed about their experiences as immigrants to New York City, how they’ve adapted and improvised their cooking, and what these special dishes mean to their cultures.

Join us for these insightful demos, tastings, and information about the holidays and food customs from each country! ” (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 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)

 Neue Galerie

‘WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, 1903-1932: THE LUXURY OF BEAUTY,’ (through Jan. 29).”Fruit bowls, umbrella stands, swanky wallpapers, lavish curtains: The only thing the Wiener Werkstätte couldn’t make is a profit. This substantial exhibition on the most important design firm in early-20th-century Vienna brings together more than 400 works of Modernist applied arts, designed in a new kind of studio that united artists and artisans in a single enterprise. Their rational, rectilinear creations, made of silver or pricey oak, won a following among imperial Vienna’s bourgeoisie, but perpetual cost overruns and the coming of war pushed the Wiener Werkstätte into decline. The 1920s were the last gasp for the firm, under the blingier designer Dagobert Peche, whose mirrors and cruets were as florid as his predecessors’ were straitlaced.” (Farago)
212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org

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)

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER,’ (through Feb. 12).”A monument to a monument. With 133 drawings by the beyond-famous artist on loan from some 50 front-rank collections, this show is a curatorial coup and an art historical tour de force: a panoptic view of a titanic career as recorded in the most fragile of media: paper, chalk and ink. And it demands that you be fully present. Drawing is more than a graphic experience; it’s a textural one, about the pressure of crayon and pen on a page; the subliminal fade and focus of lines; the weave and shadow-creating swells of surfaces. These are effects that can’t be captured by a smartphone.” (Cotter)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘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

DAVID HOCKNEY (through Feb.25, 2018) “For nearly 60 years, David Hockney (British, born 1937) has pursued a singular career with a love for painting and its intrinsic challenges. This major retrospective—the exhibition’s only North American venue—honors the artist in his 80th year by presenting his most iconic works and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present.

Working in a wide range of media with equal measures of wit and intelligence, Hockney has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions. The exhibition offers a grand overview of the artist’s achievements across all media, including painting, drawing, photography, and video. From his early experiments with modernist abstraction and mid-career experiments with illusion and realism, to his most recent, jewel-toned landscapes, Hockney has consistently explored the nature of perception and representation with both intellectual rigor and sheer delight in the act of looking.” (Metropolitan Museum)

“Give it up for David Hockney, one of painting’s elder statesmen, and for his crystalline retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which proceeds in a string of perfectly curated mini-exhibitions. Check at the door the usual caveats and tsk-tsks regarding this wildly popular Anglo-Californian — that he’s a lightweight; that his “moment” was the ’60s; that he’s obvious. Suspend at least briefly the belief that a tragic vision, or abstraction, is essential for entry into art history’s pantheon.

No, Mr. Hockney, at 80, is not Jasper Johns or Gerhard Richter. But he has his own greatness, which flows from openly following his own desires — including his attraction to other men — while rigorously exploring the ways art and life feed each other, visually and emotionally. Full disclosure, forthright joy and forward motion are the dynamos of his art, which in my book at least, gives him an edge over Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.” (NYT)

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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 12/04 and 12/02.
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