NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/29) + 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-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.
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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Monday Nights with WBGO: Amina Figarova Sextet
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center/ 7:30, 9:30PM, $30
“With pianist Amina Figarova, trumpeter Alex Pope Norris, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, flutist Bart Platteau, bassist Luques Curtis, and drummer Jason Brown
“Among the most important composers to come into jazz in the new millennium” – JazzTimes

“Hailing from Azerbaijan, the New York-based Amina Figarova is an internationally influenced—and recognized—composer, pianist, and bandleader. Those three roles come to the forefront in Figarova’s sextets, bands with a remarkable chemistry that brings her detailed arrangements to life. Every member of the group stands out as a first-rate individual, but their dedication to Figarova’s eclectic and powerful compositions gives this group its depth of feeling and elite status. The Amina Figarova Sextet has been a hit at major festivals like the Newport Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and it’s always a treat to have Figarova back in the intimate Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>> Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci
>> ROBERTA GAMBARINI
>>Kevin Smith Kirkwood: Classic Whitney—Alive!
>> We Are Thomasse
>> Going Blind: A Documentary Screening & Discussion
>> Tony Shalhoub | The Band’s Visit: Screening and Conversation

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci (next performance Feb.01, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $25+
“Roberto Alagna takes on the leading tenor roles in both parts of opera’s most popular double bill. In Cavalleria Rusticana, Ekaterina Semenchuk and Eva-Maria Westbroek share the role of the woebegone Santuzza, with Aleksandra Kurzak as the hot-blooded Nedda in Pagliacci. Nicola Luisotti conducts Sir David McVicar’s production, which heightens the melo-dramaticaction of this timeless verismo pairing.”

ROBERTA GAMBARINI (Jan. 29-31)
at Blue Note / 8 and 10:30PM, $20-$35
“Ms. Gambarini, a vocalist, is all assiduous precision and formidable strength. She brings it to bear on jazz standards and classic Brazilian fare, always with the help of top-tier accompanists. For this run her band includes Jeb Patton on piano, John Lee on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Kevin Smith Kirkwood: Classic Whitney—Alive!
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30pm; $25
“On a night off from his ensemble role in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, Kirkwood takes center stage as Whitney Houston in a show that impressively re-creates the doomed diva’s greatest hits and concert banter.” (TONY)

We Are Thomasse
Peoples Improv Theater / 9:30pm; $8
“We Are Thomasse, the British-American duo that’s been compared to both Monty Python and Key & Peele, serves up sharp wit and lightning-quick sketch comedy—over two dozen sketches in 45 minutes!—at its cheeky show.” (TONY)

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

Going Blind: A Documentary Screening & Discussion
The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave./ 6PM, FREE
In recognition of Glaucoma Awareness Month, and the ongoing critical need to address issues and needs of millions of Americans dealing with vision loss, the Academy is pleased to host a screening of the documentary Going Blind: Coming out of the Dark About Vision Loss.

Produced and directed by Peabody Award winner Joseph Lovett, the documentary looks at all aspects of vision loss: detecting, treating, and coping.

This documentary provides important learnings on early detection and treatment options as well as thoughtful insights on coping with vision loss for both medical professionals and general audiences.

Following the screening, the director and a panel of experts will discuss the film and answer questions from the audience.”

Tony Shalhoub | The Band’s Visit: Screening and Conversation
Temple Emanu-El, 1 E. 65th St./ 7PM, FREE
“The misadventures of an Egyptian “Ceremonial Police Orchestra” stranded in a remote Israeli town are hardly the ordinary fare of a Broadway musical. Nonetheless, The Band’s Visit has captivated both audiences and critics, straight from a sold-out run at the Atlantic Theater Company last season. “It is time to fall in love with one of the most ravishing musicals ever,” wrote Ben Brantley of the New York Times. Rex Reed called it “a work of perfection.”

But that fictional Egyptian band didn’t start off on stage. It sprang to life in a 2007 Israeli film of the same name, one of the best movies of the year according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Streicker Center is delighted to present the film and a fascinating discussion with key players in its screen-to-stage journey.”

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BONUS:

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

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Continuing Events

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER’
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)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

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

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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.

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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.

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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)

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,’ (LAST DAY) “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)

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)

‘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 01/27 and 01/25.
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