NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/02) + 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.


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

The New York Pops: Heart and Soul
Carnegie Hall / 8PM, $21+
“The Pops snap and crackle through a program devoted to the history of R&B, with symphonic arrangements of hits by Al Green, Whitney Houtson, John Legend and more. Broadway stars James Monroe Iglehart (Hamilton) and Capathia Jenkins (Caroline, or Change) are the guest vocalists; Steven Reineke wields the baton.” (TONY)


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Compagnie Hervé Koubi
>> First Fridays: Afro-Latino Edition Celebrating Arturo Schomburg
>> Losers Lounge: Tribute to Barbra Streisand
>> Jamison Ross
>>The Louvre on Fire: History of a False Report

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Compagnie Hervé Koubi
Joyce Theater / 8PM, $10+
“What amounts to a festival of French and North African hip-hop continues in Chelsea as Compagnie Hervé Koubi performs the New York premiere of What the Day Owes to the Night. This eighteen-year-old troupe, whose members hail from Algeria and Burkina Faso, mixes highly athletic moves from capoeira, martial arts, hip-hop, and contemporary dance, performing to a score that ranges from Johann Sebastian Bach and Hamza El Din to the Kronos Quartet and traditional Sufi music. Award-winning director Koubi, of Algerian descent, grew up in the south of France, studying biology and dance en route to becoming a pharmacist, but in the 21st century tossed in his heart with dance and attended Rosella Hightower’s school in Cannes.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

First Fridays: Afro-Latino Edition Celebrating Arturo Schomburg
Schomburg Center, 515 Malcolm X Blvd./ 6PM,
“Kick off Black History Month during the Schomburg Center’s monthly get-down featuring signature drinks and Latin rhythms from DJ IRS and a hip-shaking performance by Afro-Venezuelan drum group Tambor y Caña. Wear your dancing shoes and get ready to bust some serious moves.” (TONY)

Losers Lounge: Tribute to Barbra Streisand (Feb.01-03)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7pm, 9:30pm; $30
The celebrated, stalwart NYC covers act turns its collective hand to the oeuvre of the one and only Barbra Streisand. Thanks to her last studio album, Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, Streisand is the only artist in history to have Billboard chart–topping records in six separate decades, so the Losers will have no shortage of material to work with.” (TONY)

Jamison Ross (Feb.02-04)
The Jazz Standard / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $30
“The winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for the drums, Jamison Ross continues his graceful, gradual transition as a top-flight jazz singer on his excellent second full-length for Concord, All for One. The 29-year-old cites the 1964 Marvin Gaye LP When I’m Alone I Cry as a key influence here, but it’s his current home of New Orleans that ultimately proves to be the creative beacon for this collection of cool covers and poignant originals.

Renditions of Alan Toussaint’s 1966 hit for Lee Dorsey (“A Mellow Time”) and the 1993 Willie Tee single that serves as the title cut emit a sweet, soulful sentiment — something at the intersection of Donny Hathaway and the Neville Brothers. Nods to such early-twentieth-century greats as Kurt Weill (“My Ship”) and Fats Waller (“Let’s Sing Again”) add further credence to Ross’s growth as a singer and bandleader beyond the drumstand. If you’re a fan of the bold paths vocal jazz is taking in 2018, you should make a point to see Ross during his four-night stand at the Standard.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

MARY HALVORSON (Jan. 30-Feb. 4).
at the Stone / 8:30PM, $
“Ms. Halvorson — whose crinkly, caustic sound makes her one of the most distinctive guitarists in improvised music — will begin her weeklong residency at the Stone with aa triplicate of duets. She’ll play with the drummer Randy Peterson on Tuesday, the guitarist Liberty Ellman on Wednesday and the guitarist Ben Monder on Thursday. On Feb. 2, she expands to a trio (with John Hébert on bass and Ches Smith on drums); over weekend she plays with a different quartet each night.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

The Louvre on Fire: History of a False Report
Manfred Posani Löwenstein, Université de Montréal
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway / 12:15PM, FREE
“Learn about a different kind of “fake news” at this event centered on the time the Louvre supposedly caught on fire in 1871 – possibly the first case of a false report, which made headlines around the world.”


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 11 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 01/31 and 01/29.

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