NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/30) + 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-March”
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:

The DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary Celebration (Mar.28-April 1)
Dizzy’s Club, Broadway at 60th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“All-female big bands are nothing new—the International Sweethearts of Rhythm were swinging for all they were worth back in the forties—but they’ve been few and far between. DIVA, under the intrepid direction of the drummer Sherrie Maricle, has nurtured outstanding women jazz musicians for a quarter century now, proving that novelty has nothing to do with this crack ensemble’s success. The band couldn’t have picked a better social moment to celebrate its longevity.” (NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> TIA FULLER
>> Lucia di Lammermoor
>> STEPHAN CRUMP, INGRID LAUBROCK AND CORY SMYTHE
>> Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition
>> Ravi Coltrane
>>Last Works: Lessons in Leaving
Continuing Events
>> New Directors/New Films
>>STREB EXTREME ACTION
>>Macy’s Flower Show
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

TIA FULLER (March 30-April 1)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $38
“Scalding and propulsive, Ms. Fuller always seems to be testing the limits of her own power — as if seeing if she can single-handedly overload your ear’s switchboard. It’s not every alto saxophonist’s way, but with Ms. Fuller’s blend of impeccable straight-ahead-jazz chops and gospelly inflections, it’s engrossing. Later this spring, she will release “Diamond Cut,” her first album in six years. She plays this weekend with the pianist Shamie Royston, the bassist Mimi Jones and the drummer Tyson Jackson.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Lucia di Lammermoor (Mar 22 – May 10, next Apr.3)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $
“The role of the fragile title heroine who teeters between love and madness is shared by sopranos Olga Peretyatko-Mariotti and Pretty Yende, who have each impressed audiences with dazzling bel canto portrayals at the Met. Vittorio Grigolo and Michael Fabiano share the role of her lover in this chilling production by Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman. Roberto Abbado conducts.”

STEPHAN CRUMP, INGRID LAUBROCK AND CORY SMYTHE
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $25
“Ms. Laubrock has a strong, unflinching tone on the tenor saxophone, but she uses it to outline and define space, not fill it. On the album “Planktonic Finales,” released last year, she joined Mr. Crump, a bassist whose playing is more embodied and abundant, and Mr. Smythe, a pianist of cogent articulation who comes at improvisation from the perspective of a contemporary classical musician.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 12PM-9PM, $40
“Valentina Kozlova announces the 8th annual Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition, which celebrates both ballet dancers and contemporary dancers and choreographers. Over 100 dancers from countries around the world will perform before a jury of celebrated judges led by Andris Liepa and including Nina Ananiashvili, Charles Jude, Mikko Nissinen, and Nikolai Tsiskaridze. Prizes include medals, scholarships to schools around the world, and company contracts. The event is dedicated to the late Rudolf Nureyev on this 80th anniversary of his birth. Rounds will be held Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday; Finals on Thursday; announcement of medalists and gala performance on Friday.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Ravi Coltrane (Mar.28-31)
Jazz Standard / 7:30pm, 9:30pm; $30
Expect plenty of inside-outside postbop intrigue here, as the subtly commanding sax star distills the innovative spirit from his jazz-royalty legacy into a distinctly modern style with a killer trio. Keep an eye for a rotating bill of special guests: Pharaoh Sanders’s son Tomoki Sanders (Mar 28), Brandee Younger (Mar 30), and Ralph Alessi (April 1).”(TONY)

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

Last Works: Lessons in Leaving
New Books in the Arts & Sciences: Celebrating Recent Work by Mark Taylor
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway / 12:15PM, FREE
“Living in the shadow of death may enhance the gift of life.
Columbia University professor Mark Taylor’s health problems were so life-threatening that his unlikely survival gave him the experience of “dying without dying.” He’ll speak about his new book, Last Works: Lessons in Leaving, and his insights into mortality, joined by fellow Columbia professors and author Siri Hustvedt.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.
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Continuing Events

New Directors/New Films (March 28 through April 8.)
Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA, / various times, $12-$17
“Delightfully eccentric.
In its 47th year, ND/NF opens with a portrait of freewheeling rapper M.I.A., Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., drawing on videos she made herself, and features Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s three-hour The Nothing Factory — an epic portrait of an elevator-factory strike with musical numbers.” (D.E., NYMagazine)

Love this festival. After the film screens, the Q&A with the directors and cast (sometimes) is always fascinating. Who knows, you may discover the next Pedro Almodovar – we did.

Visit the Macy’s Flower Show
“It’s a floral fairy tale at Macy’s for the store’s annual spring flower show, “Once Upon a Springtime.” Flowers, plants and trees take over windows and countertops, are featured in gardens and on bridges on multiple floors. Events range from a family fun day and breakfast with the Easter bunny to a sip-and-paint class and a men’s grooming and beer tasting.”
WHEN | WHERE Sunday, March 25, through April 8 at Macy’s Herald Square, 151 W. 34th St.
INFO Free (events range up to $24), 212-494-4495, macys.com/social/flower-show/new-york  (Newsday)

This is not Manhattan’s WestSide, but it is Brooklyn’s WestSide. If you have never seen these crazy, fearless performers, they are well worth the detour:

STREB EXTREME ACTION (March 2- April 8, Friday-Sunday at various times)
at SLAM, 51 N 1st St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
“Elizabeth Streb’s cavernous Brooklyn space is known as SLAM (Streb Lab for Action Mechanics), which is also a frequent move that occurs at one of her shows. For the month of March, her fearless team of action heroes, as they’re called, will navigate intimidating industrial contraptions and fling themselves from unnatural heights, seemingly defying physics with the pep of cheerleaders. The hourlong show, “S.E.A.” (“Singular Extreme Actions”), encapsulates all the thrill, humor and energizing fun that makes this company so singular.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

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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. Hit the Hot Link and 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)

Frick Collection

Zurbarán’s Jacob and His Twelve Sons: Paintings from Auckland Castle (thru April 22)

Francisco de Zurbarán was the second-best painter in seventeenth-century Spain—no disgrace when the champion, his Seville-born near-exact contemporary, happened to be Diego Velázquez, who arguably remains better than anybody, ever. In this room-filling show, thirteen life-size imagined portraits, painted by Zurbarán circa 1640-45, constitute a terrific feat of Baroque storytelling: the movies of their day. Each character has a distinct personality, uniquely posed, costumed, and accessorized, and towering against a bright, clouded sky. All appear in the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis, in which the dying Jacob prophesies the fates of the founders-to-be of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. After nearly four centuries, the canvases sorely need cleaning. The brilliance of their colors has dimmed, notably in passages of brocade and other sumptuous fabrics—a forte of Zurbarán, whose father was a haberdasher. But most of the pictures retain power aplenty. Spend time with them, half an hour minimum. Their glories bloom slowly, as you register the formal decisions that practically spring the figures from their surfaces into the room with you, and as you ponder, if you will, the stories that they plumb. (NewYorker)

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

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)

‘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)

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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 03/28 and 03/26.
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