NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/16) + 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.
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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

‘STORYVILLE STOMP: THE LAST NIGHT IN STORYVILLE’
at Symphony Space / 7:30 and 10PM, $50; 7:30 sold out, better try for the late show.
“As part of this year’s New York Hot Jazz Festival, Symphony Space presents a night of New Orleans music meant to evoke the sound and atmosphere of the famous red light district where much of jazz’s earliest history took place. Appearing across multiple stages on the venue’s downstairs level, performers will include Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses, Jon-Erik Kellso’s Mahogany Hall Pleasure Society Jazz Band with Mara Kaye, Dennis Lichtman’s Hottet, and the blues singer Blind Boy Paxton.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>SAMANTHA FISH
>> Stacey Kent
>>Trisha Brown Dance Company
>>YO LA TENGO
>>Gary Bartz
>>Winter Solstice Celebration
>> ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

SAMANTHA FISH
at the Cutting Room / 9:30PM, $30
“This rigorously retro-minded blues/soul singer and guitarist has won impressive plaudits for her work in recent years, including a spot on the New York Times critic Jon Caramanica’s list of the best albums of 2017 for her “Chills & Fever.” Lively and deeply felt, it’s the kind of recording that suggests an even more fun time in concert.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

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).”

Trisha Brown Dance Company (Dec. 12-17)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $51+
“Even before Brown died, in March, after a slow retirement forced by illness, the future of her company, and the top-shelf choreography it preserves, appeared precarious. But the troupe seems to be bouncing back, touring busily and presenting more than the greatest hits. This program focusses on a less celebrated period in Brown’s work, from 2000 to 2009. The music is disparate: the Latin-tinged jazz of Dave Douglas in “Groove and Countermove,” the Baroque opera of Rameau in “L’Amour au Théâtre.” What’s consistent is Brown’s wit and invention.” (NewYorker)

YO LA TENGO (Dec. 12-19)
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)

Gary Bartz (Dec.14-17)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“Although the alto saxophone is Bartz’s main instrument, he has looked to one of the supreme titans of the tenor saxophone, John Coltrane, as a main influence for the better part of his six-decade career. (Bartz, taking after his unofficial mentor, also plays the soprano saxophone.) This tribute to Coltrane includes the guitarist Paul Bollenback and the drummer Lenny White.” (NewYorker)

Winter Solstice Celebration (Dec.14-16)
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine / 8PM, $40+
“Having trouble deciding which one of your friends’ apartments to use to host this year’s solstice bonfire and ritual sacrifice? Avoid all that messy virgin blood, and try a more modern tradition: Paul Winter’s annual concert. You’ll see a slew of dance and musical guests, including the Paul Winter Consort—with Winter himself on sax, right where he belongs.” (TONY)

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (through Dec. 31)
at New York City Center/ 8PM, $29+
“The Ailey company, under the artistic direction of Robert Battle, continues at City Center with encore presentations of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s “Shelter,” Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s “Victoria,” Twyla Tharp’s “The Golden Section” and many others — including works by Ailey himself. But the excellent dancers are the main draw, from veterans including the husband-and-wife team of Linda Celeste Sims and Glenn Allen Sims, to more recent additions, like Ashley Mayeux and Chalvar Monteiro.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

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)
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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)

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 12/14 and 12/12.
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