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

===========================================================

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

YO LA TENGO (Dec. 12-19, but sold out Dec.16-19)
at the Bowery Ballroom / 8:30PM, $40
“Throughout the 2000s, indie-rock fans looked forward each winter to Yo La Tengo’s eight-night Hanukkah residency at Maxwell’s, a club in its native Hoboken, N.J. Maxwell’s closed in 2013, and so ended the band’s yearly tradition — but like the oil in the legend, Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah shows are burning bright once again this month, at a new location. All eight nights are sold out, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the resale market for miracles.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

==========================================================

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
>>Stacey Kent
>>The Met: “Le Nozze di Figaro” 
>>Tori Scott: Vodka Is the Reason for the Season
>>Christine Pedi: Snow Bizness
>>“Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ’80s”
>>Le Conversazioni: Lincoln’s Warning for America and Other Thoughts
===========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (through Dec. 31).
at New York City Center / 8PM, $29+
“Ailey’s monthlong winter season continues with a batch of premieres. Joining the repertory on Friday is the John Coltrane-inspired “Members Don’t Get Weary,” the first work for the company by one of its most captivating dancers, Jamar Roberts. On Tuesday, the troupe welcomes back “Shelter,” a 1992 work by the esteemed choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar examining the effects of homelessness. On Wednesday, Talley Beatty’s ode to disco-era Los Angeles, “Stack-Up,” returns to the stage. And, of course, more “Revelations,” the company’s staple, created by Ailey in 1960 to a playlist of spirituals, gospel and blues.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

Stacey Kent (Dec.12-16)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
Critically acclaimed, GRAMMY® nominated singer, Stacey Kent, sings from the soul, telling her stories with faultless phrasing and a lucid, enchanting voice. Stacey and her quartet return to Birdland to celebrate the launch of her new album, “I KNOW I DREAM: The Orchestral Sessions.” (SONY)

“I Know I Dream” is Stacey’s first orchestral album and her most ambitious to date. The rich musical tapestry contrasts with her previous intimate collaboration with Brazilian music master Roberto Menescal, “Tenderly,” (2015 SONY) and the exuberant, ”Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent Live,” (2013 SONY).”

The Met: “Le Nozze di Figaro” (next performance 12/15)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $25+
“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)

Tori Scott: Vodka Is the Reason for the Season
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30PM, $25
“Singer-actor Tori Scott mixes classic musical-comedy warmth with a killer range. Armed with smart, saucy patter, she comes off as the best wild friend that a frazzled gay city boy could hope to find. Her annual holiday show features tunes that range from Ella Fitzgerald to Florence and the Machine.” (TONY)

Christine Pedi: Snow Bizness
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 9:30, $40
“When Forbidden Broadway alum Christine Pedi draws from her deep reservoir of celebrity vocal impressions, she shines brightly as a star in her own right. This month, she roasts holiday chestnuts by Liza Minnelli, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews and more; her astonishing “12 Divas of Christmas” alone is worth the price of admission.” (TONY)

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

Le Conversazioni: Lincoln’s Warning for America and Other Thoughts
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West/ 6:30PM, $38
“Abraham Lincoln was confident that the fall of America would not be at the hands of a foreign army. “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher,” he opined, at the age of 28, in the speech known as Lincoln’s Lyceum Address. New Yorker writer Philip Gourevitch drew on that speech last year in his piece “Abraham Lincoln Warned Us About Donald Trump.” He’ll discuss it with Antonio Monda, along with the state of America today and the perils of a declining faith in public institutions.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

“Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ’80s”
Museum of the City of New York / 6:30PM, $12
“When Brooklyn-raised photographer Joseph Rodriguez first debuted his body of work shot in Spanish Harlem in the 1980s, it truly captured the spirit of the neighborhood. At that time, El Barrio was confronted with some of the city’s most endemic problems including crime, drugs, AIDS, and chronic unemployment. Despite this grim prognosis, the neighborhood maintained a vibrant community and sense of pride. Now, three decades later, Rodriguez’s new book Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ’80s revisits his groundbreaking photographs, uncovering new images and re-framing the project as one that pushed beyond documentary into the realm of fine art.”

Continuing Holiday 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)
====================================

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)

====================================

(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

==========================================

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.

===========================================================
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.

==================================================================================
♦ 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):

================================================================================

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)

===========================================================
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).
==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/10 and 12/08.
=============================================================

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s