NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/12) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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-February”
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:

‘PARSIFAL’ (next and last performance, Feb.15 @ 7:30PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 7:30PM, $
“François Girard’s take — part mysterious, part mystifying — on Wagner’s last opera is one of the Met’s most interesting productions of the last decade or so, and returns for the first time since its premiere in 2013. There is no Jonas Kaufmann this time, but Klaus Florian Vogt is a veteran replacement in the title role, and Evelyn Herlitzius may well make for a fine Kundry. Three standouts from the earlier run return: René Pape as Gurnemanz, Peter Mattei as Amfortas and Evgeny Nikitin as Klingsor. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, future music director of the house, conducts.” (NYT)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Ryan Raftery: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart
>>1492 Retold: A Bicultural Reexamination of Columbus’s Epic Voyage
>>Muldoon’s Picnic with Maggie Gyllenhaal & More
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 9:30PM, $30
“Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of “Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South (btw W11th/Perry St.) / 8:30Pm +10:30PM, $30
world class big band with 16 members on that small stage, a monday night institution.
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition.” (NYT)

Ryan Raftery: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30PM, $35
After scoring a hit with a solo musical devoted to Vogue’s Anna Wintour and her discontents—and then another about Bravo diva wrangler Andy Cohen—the boyish and persistently irreverent singer-actor Raftery returns to Joe’s with a new camp biography. This one uses pop music to tell the story of style maven, media titan and ex-prisoner Martha Stewart.” (TONY)

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

1492 Retold: A Bicultural Reexamination of Columbus’s Epic Voyage
The Explorers Club, 46 E. 70th St./ 6PM, $25
“Andrew Rowen, author of Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold, visited first-hand the key sites in Columbus’s travels, from Europe to the Caribbean. Hear him juxtapose Native American and European thoughts, beliefs, and actions, drawing heavily on primary sources.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Muldoon’s Picnic with Maggie Gyllenhaal & More
Irish Arts Center, 553 W. 51st St./ 7:30PM, $40
[Tonight’s show is now sold out, but I’ve listed it here so that you can be early for next month’s performance.]
“This critically acclaimed feast of music, storytelling, poetry, and more—now in its eighth season—has become a staple of New York’s cultural diet. Led by Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, this words-and-music jamboree features an evolving lineup of world-class special guests from across the spectrum of arts and letters.
Hosted by Paul Muldoon
With house band Rogue Oliphant”

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Continuing Events

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER’
Metropolitan Museum of Art (LAST DAY!!).

”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, BUT YOU MUST DO IT TODAY.

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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 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.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here is an exhibition the New Yorker likes:

“The first in a multiyear series of shows about photographs made for commercial or practical purposes, curated by Brian Wallis, considers the portrait. Most of the images date to the nineteenth century; all of them fit into typologies. Fifteen tintypes of “workers with tools of their trade” include a barber, a piano tuner, and a sword swallower; several mug shots attributed to the California sheriff Thomas Cunningham are so picturesque that they could be mistaken for stills from a Hollywood period piece. Passport photographers across Africa take full-length portraits and cut out the heads, leaving behind accidental studies of fashion. A mesmerizing series of such discards, shown here, were taken against a red background in Gulu, Uganda, and collected by the Italian-born journalist Martina Bacigalupo. A found group of forty-eight color snapshots of migrant farmworkers, each holding up a paper number—their source is unknown—takes the idea of identifying documents in a more chilling direction.”

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For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try the NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 02/10 and 02/08.

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