NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/21) + 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-January”
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.

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

Lyrics & Lyricists: The Bobby Darin Story (Jan.20-22)
92nd Street Y / Sun. 2, +7PM, Mon. 2, +7:30PM, $85
“Celebrate the music of celebrated 1960s nightclub and pop entertainer Bobby Darin for three days only as two-time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (Hamilton) and four other singers take on Darin hits including “Splish Splash,” “Dream Lover” and “Mack the Knife.” Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) directs a show, scripted by new L&L leader Ted Chapin, that covers the singer’s meteoric rise and tragically early death.” (TONY)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Sondheim Unplugged
>>Al Foster Quartet
>> Jenny Scheinman’s Mischief and Mayhem
>> Tom Harrell
>>Malpaso Dance Company
>>The Story of Cinerama: An Illustrated Lecture
>> Talking Movies: Master Class with Sam Pollard

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Sondheim Unplugged
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $30
“Talented singers from the Broadway and cabaret worlds sing side by side in this monthly tribute to the master of musical theater that has often featured former cast members of Sondheim shows.” (TONY)

Tom Harrell (Jan. 16-23)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Parsing the components of the trumpeter Harrell’s stylistic identity is the easy part—bebop, post-bop, Latin, and classical influences clearly run through his playing. But understanding just how this admired veteran absorbed it all and emerged with a thoroughly integrated and distinctive musical approach is more difficult. His robust quintet finds room for the saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and the pianist Danny Grissett.” (NewYorker)

Al Foster Quartet (LAST DAY)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“Those who can still picture Foster as a young eager-beaver drummer pumping galvanic rhythms behind Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins might be taken aback to realize that he is acknowledging his seventy-fifth birthday at this celebratory weekend gig. Still itching to turn up the intensity, the venerable percussionist is at the helm of a quartet that includes the saxophonist Danya Stephens and the pianist Adam Birnbaum.” (NewYorker)

Jenny Scheinman’s Mischief and Mayhem (LAST DAY)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St. / 7:30 9:30, $30
“Angels and demons frolic about like old pals in Jenny Scheinman’s Mischief & Mayhem, an infectiously inventive and witty quartet led by the soulful California violinist. Long the mistress of a peculiar vein of cosmopolitan Americana, Scheinman explores more combustible environs with Wilco stunt guitarist Nels Cline, the constantly surprising drummer Jim Black, and nimble bassist Todd Sickafoose — longtime associates and frequent collaborators with deep West Coast roots of their own. Scheinman, an emotionally rich font of improvisation, channels dark folk undercurrents, hot-club jazz, and anything else floating through the room. As heard on the foursome’s eponymous 2012 release, elliptic grooves and barely restrained caterwaul duke it out in tunes like “Blues for the Double Vee,” start-stop rocker “The Mite,” and ethnomusicologically playful “Ali Farka Touché.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)

Malpaso Dance Company (LAST DAY)
Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $41+
“The Joyce has taken this ten-member, five-year-old Cuban contemporary dance troupe, whose name means something like misstep, under its wing, which has led to the commissioning of new works by several North American choreographers. Malpaso’s winter season includes the New York premiere of Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz, to music by Alexander Balanescu, Michael Nyman, and Nils Frahm, as well as Face the Torrent, a new dance by Emmy nominee Sonya Tayeh, and a 2013 piece, Ocaso, by the troupe’s artistic director and resident choreographer, Osnel Delgado.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

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

The Story of Cinerama: An Illustrated Lecture
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St./ 4:30PM, $12
“Cinerama was a screening system created on Long Island and introduced to audiences on Broadway in the 1940s; its unparalleled success launched the widescreen revolution of the 1950s. The Cinerama, Inc., digital restoration team of David Strohmaier and Randy Gitsch will discuss the history of the Cinerama and the Cinemiracle process, including its motion pictures, and the unique problems they faced in restoring their three-strip format legacy library.”

Talking Movies: Master Class with Sam Pollard
Film Society of Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza/ 4PM, FREE
“Join Emmy and Peabody award-winning director Sam Pollard for a behind-the-scenes master class on documentary filmmaking.”


PLUS “The Outsider Art Fair runs from the 19th to the 21st, focusing on odd and unique art created outside the mainstream by self-taught artists.

Also kicking off this week is the Winter Antiques Show, which will run from the 19th to the 28th. Head to the Park Avenue Armory to find one-of-a-kind finds from 70 exhibitors.” (UntappedCities)


Broadway Week began on Tuesday! Get two-for-one tickets to your favorite shows, from Chicago to Wicked

Try  a double header. “NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week will overlap this winter, creating the perfect storm of events where you can sit down indoors. NYC Broadway Week begins first with two-for-one tickets to the best shows from January 16 through February 4. NYC Restaurant Week joins in on January 22, and it runs through February 9, offering lunches for $29 and dinner for $42.”

See TONY magazine:  Your guide to combining NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week


Continuing Events

Metropolitan Museum of Art (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-NYT)

The art world has been agog about this exhibition for sometime. One critic after another exclaims that it is the “Exhibition of a lifetime!” The hype has been over the top. Usually that means you’ll be disappointed when you actually experience it, because it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. Not this time.

This is a huge and marvelous exhibition that shows the evolution of Michelangelo from a young artist to a mature, divine genius. An exhibition that you will remember for sometime. Even the works of other artists that are included for contrast and context are amazing.

Here are a few reviews from the critics to give you a fuller flavor of this exhibition. They strongly encourage you to make the time to see this “once in a lifetime” exhibition. I also encourage you to see it.

Only 23 days left, because the exhibition closes February 12, and that last week it will probably be crazy packed.


Let there be light!
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 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,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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):


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)

Stephen Shore (thru May 28)

“This immersive and staggeringly charming retrospective is devoted to one of the best American photographers of the past half century. Shore has peers—Joel Meyerowitz, Joel Sternfeld, Richard Misrach, and, especially, William Eggleston—in a generation that, in the nineteen-seventies, stormed to eminence with color film, which art photographers had long disdained. His best-known series, “American Surfaces” and “Uncommon Places,” are both from the seventies and were mostly made in rugged Western states. The pictures in these series share a quality of surprise: appearances surely unappreciated if even really noticed by anyone before—in rural Arizona, a phone booth next to a tall cactus, on which a crude sign (“GARAGE”) is mounted, and, on a small-city street in Wisconsin, a movie marquee’s neon wanly aglow, at twilight. A search for fresh astonishments has kept Shore peripatetic, on productive sojourns in Mexico, Scotland, Italy, Ukraine, and Israel. He has remained a vestigial Romantic, stopping in space and 
time to frame views that exert a peculiar tug on him. This framing is resolutely formalist: subjects composed laterally, from edge to edge, and in depth. There’s never a “background.” The most distant element is as considered as the nearest. But only when looking for it are you conscious of Shore’s formal discipline, because it is as fluent as a language learned from birth. His best pictures at once arouse feelings and leave us alone to make what we will of them. He delivers truths, whether hard or easy, with something very like mercy.” (NewYorker)

Whitney Museum

Laura Owens (thru Feb.04)

© Laura Owens

“In the mid-nineteen-nineties, Owens heralded the comeback of painting with a succession of unbelievably cool, well-timed canvases that breezily dispensed with outdated notions of style, gesture, and the mutual exclusivity of formalism and illusionistic space. And she’s made news ever since: this welcome mid-career retrospective neatly charts the hairpin turns of the Los Angeles artist’s rigorous, funny, and very influential career thus far. A mischievously austere painting, from 1997, shows a blue expanse interrupted by seagulls, nominally and stickily rendered, as if piped on with black icing. The artist undercuts our understanding of “sky,” though, by airbrushing the birds’ shadows onto her monochrome. While it’s not so hard to believe that the tricky collisions of painterly quotation from the next few years are from the same artist, by 2002, when Owens deploys decorative painting in an enchanting woodland scene, we’re in a different world; then we’re in another, with her abstractions of chewed-up grids, digital brushstrokes, and sculptural, stuccolike blobs. The through line, of course, is her passionate loyalty to the medium itself, but, as demonstrated by the exhibition’s finale—an installation of two-sided, freestanding paintings, from 2015—she’s not afraid to move off the wall; it’s anyone’s guess what comes next.” (NewYorker)

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/19 and 01/17.

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