NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/24) + 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:

Semiramide (next performance Feb.28, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $
“This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast.”

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Black Light
>> SOUNDTRACK ’63
>> Tierney Sutton
>> DAVE DOUGLAS
>>Peter Bernstein
>>New York City Beer Week

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Black Light (Feb.24,25,28)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $45
“Decked out in sequined splendor, Jones is a paradigm of R&B-diva grandeur circa 1982, with impeccable posture and elocution that bespeak an old-school black-star dignity. Created and performed by Daniel Alexander Jones, Jomama has starred in a series of shows, most recently the fascinating Duat; now she joins forces with young pianist Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes for a night of original “Afromystical” songs.” (TONY)

SOUNDTRACK ’63
A Soul Science Lab Production
Special Appearances by Leon Bridges, Rhiannon Giddens, Rapsody & Abiodun Oyewole
The Apollo Theater / 8PM, $54
“A Live Musical Documentary with spirituals, protest songs, and current popular music performed by an 18-piece orchestra, created by Brooklyn’s Soul Science Lab.

From the painful conditions that ignited the 1963 Civil Rights Movement to today’s Black Lives Matter Movement, and much triumphant progress in between, music has always strengthened outcries for justice. This concert event under the direction of creative director Chen Lo and Musical Director Asante Amin, includes a host of dynamic performance artists whose work breathes new life into the sights and sounds that shaped the music of an era. This new interpretation of the music of ‘63 includes jazz, hip-hop, soul, and poetry with a captivating video installation of archival footage and animation.”

Tierney Sutton (last day)
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)

DAVE DOUGLAS
at Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7 and 9:30PM, $60+
“An eclectic trumpet virtuoso who’s been a leading voice on his instrument since the 1990s, Mr. Douglas presents “Dizzy Atmosphere,” a program of improvisations and extrapolations based on Dizzy Gillespie’s compositions. He’s joined onstage by a cast of prodigious comrades: the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the pianist Gerald Clayton, the guitarist Bill Frisell, the bassist Linda May Han Oh and the drummer Joey Baron.” (NewYorker)

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)

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

New York City Beer Week
“For eight crazy nights starting February 24, NYC Beer Week taps into the city with hundreds of events: parties, tastings, plenty of grub, the first-ever Fermentation Festival (gotta get those probiotics) and a closing awards gala that’ll honor the best suds in town. If last year’s fest was any indication of what’s to come—400 events took place over 10 days, and acclaimed composers George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein performed live—you’re in for quite the boozy treat.” (TONY)

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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 – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not exactly WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

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 discovery and enjoyment.
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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 02/22 and 02/20.

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