NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/22) + 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-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:

DAMIAN ‘JR. GONG’ MARLEY
at PlayStation Theater / 8PM, $55
“Bob Marley’s youngest son has been a noteworthy reggae standard-bearer in his own right since the early 2000s, scoring an enduring solo hit with “Welcome to Jamrock” in 2005 and collaborating prominently with Nas and Mick Jagger, among others. Last year, he had a scene-stealing turn on Jay-Z’s Grammy-nominated album “4:44.” CyHi the Prynce and Stefflon Don open.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ANDY BEY
>> Tierney Sutton
>>Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On
>> ROMEO + JULIET
>>Peter Bernstein
>>Noche Flamenca

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ANDY BEY
at Minton’s Playhouse / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $
“With his round and crinkled baritone, Mr. Bey can turn jazz vocals into a vessel for close inspection and surprise (that beats the more typical role they play: delivering comfort and emotional payoff, without much work from the listener). Audiences in the 1960s knew him for his work in Andy and the Bey Sisters, a vocal trio, and in the ’70s he staked out distinctive terrain in the funk-fusion landscape. But since the 1990s, Mr. Bey, who doubles on piano, has thrived as a soloist. He performs jazz standards and his own poetic originals, letting the songs open up and slow down and sometimes nearly dissolve on his tongue.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Tierney Sutton (Feb. 20-24)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“A stylish and canny singer determined to usher the pop and rock auteurs of past decades into the jazz-vocal repertoire, Sutton has delved into the Joni Mitchell songbook, and on her 2016 album, “The Sting Variations,” she put her own spin on the work of Gordon Sumner. “Roxanne” didn’t make the cut, but such soundtrack-of-a-generation fodder as “Message in a Bottle” and “Fields of Gold” were given new life.” (NewYorker)

Linda and Laura Benanti: The Story Goes On (Feb.20-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $95
“The enchanting and sharp-witted Laura Benanti has captured Broadway’s heart in shows from Into the Woods and Gypsy through Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, She Loves Me and the recent Meteor Shower (She also stole NBC’s The Sound of Music Live from right under Carrie Underwood’s nose.) In her return to F/54, she performs alongside her mother, Linda, an actor turned voice teacher.” (TONY)

ROMEO + JULIET (Feb.13 – 23)
New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“In defiance of its tragic ending, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains the greatest romance of all time, demonstrating the power of love in its many forms. Peter Martins’ staging of this eternal classic, set to Prokofiev’s glorious accompaniment, embraces naïve excitement, betrayal, despair, and steadfast resolution, emphasizing the innocence and youthful optimism of its two heroes while proving that even in death true love cannot be overcome.”

Peter Bernstein (Feb. 20-25.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“There are plenty of jazz guitarists currently pushing the envelope of the art form, but sometimes expertly performed mainstream picking is the only thing that will do the trick, and Bernstein is the man for the job. A smooth-toned bebopper with an outsized technique (one that the position demands), Bernstein leads a quartet that includes the pianist Sullivan Fortner, the bassist Doug Weiss, and the drummer Leon Parker.” (NewYorker)

Noche Flamenca
Joyce Theater / 8PM, $61+
“One of the pleasures of living in New York City is knowing that Madrid-born Soledad Barrio, flamenco artist extraordinaire, lives here too; one Sunday I found myself sitting next to her on the subway! Even better to sit in front of her at the Joyce during this two-week season, called Intimo, as she performs the series of duets that make up La Ronde, a variation on the carousel plot of intimate human interactions based on Schnitzler, Bergman, Chekhov, and the 1950 Max Ophüls film, and here choreographed by her husband, Martin Santangelo. Also see solos by her frequent partner, Juan Ogalla, and by Barrio herself, accompanied by a clutch of passionate musicians and singers. (She’s sitting out Saturday matinees, so be careful as you book.) (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

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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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Continuing Events

Lincoln Center Balloons
Birthday parties. The circus. Performances by classically-trained ballet dancers in one of the world’s preeminent companies. Everything is made a little bit better with balloons.

Encounter thousands of the aforementioned inflatable objects and enjoy instigators at the New York City Ballet’s home at Lincoln Center. The balloons are an installation by visual artist Jihan Zencirli and will range in size from 10 inches to 10 feet.

You can stop by the NYS / DHK Theater and check out the extra festive atmosphere for yourself during free, public viewing hours from February 17 through February 25 at the following times:
Mon–Fri 10am–6pm
Sat-Sun 10am–12pm
The happy helium habitat will also be on view during NYC Ballet performances on Feb 2 and Feb 24, with tickets going for $30+. (TONY)

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. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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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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)

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)

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)

‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER: JOSEPH CORNELL’S HOMAGE TO JUAN GRIS’ (through April 15). “This small, hyper-specialized, stunning exhibition brings together a grand total of only 13 works — a dozen shadow boxes by Joseph Cornell, the Queens-based assemblage artist, and a Cubist masterwork that he cited as their direct inspiration. Gris’s “Man at the Café” (1914) might seem like a surprising obsession for Cornell, who was not a painter nor a Frenchman. He and Gris never met. But Cornell was deeply moved by Gris, the overlooked, tagalong third in the Cubist movement that also included Picasso and Braque, and the show succeeds in tracking the fluttery ways of artistic inspiration.”
(Deborah Solomon)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘THE FACE OF DYNASTY: ROYAL CRESTS FROM WESTERN CAMEROON’ (through Sept. 3). “Upstairs, the Michelangelos continue to knock ‘em dead; downstairs, in the African wing, a show of just four commanding wooden crowns constitutes a blockbuster of its own. These massive wooden crests — in the form of stylized human faces with vast vertical brows — served as markers of royal power among the Bamileke peoples of the Cameroonian grasslands, and the Met’s recent acquisition of an 18th-century specimen is joined here by three later examples, each featuring sharply protruding cheeks, broadly smiling mouths, and brows incised with involute geometric patterns. Ritual objects like these were decisive for the development of western modernist painting, and a Cameroonian crest was even shown at MoMA in the 1930s, as a “sculpture” divorced from ethnography. But these crests had legal and diplomatic significance as well as aesthetic appeal, and their anonymous African creators had a political understanding of art not so far from our own.” (Farago)

Jewish Museum.

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’  “After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

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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 02/20 and 02/18.
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