NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/30) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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-April”
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:

Frances Ruffelle Live(S) in New York
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, $30
“Ruffelle has a place of her own in the hearts of musical-theater fans for her performance as sacrificial waif Éponine in the original London and Broadway casts of Les Misérables. Having recently relocated to New York City, she returns to the nightclub stage with a charmingly game and gamine monthly set at the Green Room 42.” (TONY)

Eponine has all grown up and she puts on one hot show – don’t miss it.

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The New York Pops: Part of His World—The Songs of Alan Menken
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>>Shaw Songs! A Festive Cabaret Evening
>> The Breeders
>>The History of the World in 100 Performances with Adam Gopnik: My Fair Lady Hits Broadway
>> Psychobiography with Dr. Gail Saltz
>>National Bubble Tea Day
>> HOT TICKET – TUESDAY
Queens Taste 2018
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The New York Pops: Part of His World—The Songs of Alan Menken
Carnegie Hall, Perelman Stage / 7PM, $100+
“The Pops snap and crackle through a star-studded 35th-anniversary gala evening of orchestral delight in a tribute to the music of Alan Menken, who helped revivify the moribund world of musical-theater through works including Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Among the Menken veterans scheduled to perform are Michael Arden, Roger Bart, Jodi Benson, Ashley Brown, Kerry Butler, Nick Cordero, Corey Cott, Susan Egan, Harvey Fierstein, James Monroe Iglehart, Adam Jacobs, Judy Kuhn, Patina Miller, Cheryl Freeman, Roz Ryan, Vaneese Thomas and Lillias White. Steven Reineke wields the baton.” (TONY)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 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)

Shaw Songs! A Festive Cabaret Evening
The Players Club / 7PM, $35
“Gingold Theatrical Group’s beloved Project Shaw series departs from its usual mandate—staged readings of every play by George Bernard Shaw—for an evening of songs that the Bearded One might have enjoyed. Expect to hear Gilbert and Sullivan, Rodgers and Hart, Noel Coward and Cole Porter. The lineup of performers includes Ed Dixon, Jeff Harnar, Christine Pedi, Jon Weber, Lauren Worsham, Karen Ziemba and violin virtuoso Aaron Weinstein.” (TONY)

The Breeders
Brooklyn Steel, 319 Frost St., East Williamsburg. April 30. sold out.
Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St. May1. better get tickets NOW / 8PM,$35
“In the mid-eighties, a young musician named Kim Deal answered a classified ad, in the Boston Phoenix, for a female bassist who appreciated Peter, Paul, and Mary and Hüsker Dü, and ended up joining the Pixies, one of the touchstones of the alternative era. As the group’s popularity soared, its internal tensions mounted, culminating in an infamous fax from the lead singer, Black Francis, informing Deal that the band was kaput. (It has since returned, both with and without Deal.) This gave her more time to focus on the Breeders, an outfit she shares with her guitarist twin sister, Kelley. They’re best known for their sophomore record, “Last Splash,” from 1993, a collection of scrappy alt-rock treasures capped by the slinky single “Cannonball.” Their 2013 reunion still hasn’t concluded, to fans’ delight: they play a run of area shows in support of a celebrated new album, “All Nerve.” (NewYorker)

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

HOT TICKET – TUESDAY
Queens Taste 2018
New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park/ Tuesday May 1 – 6PM to 9PM Not exactly Manhattan’s WestSide, but my mouth waters just thinking about this.

Are you a Queens foodie? Sample the many flavors of the borough at Queens Taste 2018.
More than 60 restaurants, beverage companies, dessert makers, and specialty food purveyors will offer samples of their products — everything from crunchy to creamy, fiery to flaky, and sweet to savory. The cuisines to be on display include BBQ, Chinese, Colombian, French, Guyanese, Indian, Italian, Jamaican, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Mexican, Peruvian, and Thai.

Plus, regional wine experts, local spirits stores, and borough-based breweries will pour their products, and clients of the Entrepreneur Space, a food-and-business incubator that QEDC operates in Long Island City, will be on hand with their artisan specialties.

It’s an all-you-can-sample world and it’s for a good cause.

Tickets cost $125 each or two for $200. They are available at http://www.thequeenstaste.com.
Proceeds support QEDC’s ongoing efforts to attract, create, and maintain jobs in the borough. (As QEDC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, proceeds are tax deductible as permitted by law.)

The History of the World in 100 Performances with Adam Gopnik: My Fair Lady Hits Broadway
With special guests Kevin Kline, Melissa Errico, and André Bishop
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE, but get there early for a seat.
“On March 15, 1956, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady arrived on Broadway for the first of its 2,717 performances (the longest Broadway run of its time). Considered by many critics, scholars, and fans as “the perfect musical,” the show’s Tony Award–winning original Broadway production starred Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison as Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. But the show’s life didn’t begin in New York and it certainly didn’t end when the original production closed. Through performance and conversation, New Yorker writer and host Adam Gopnik with guests including actors Kevin Kline and Melissa Errico, and Lincoln Center Theater Artistic Director André Bishop, uncover the history of this landmark musical.”

Psychobiography with Dr. Gail Saltz | On Alexander Hamilton with Richard Sylla
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 12PM, $29
“The inner lives of great people are often more mysterious and fascinating than their public lives. Dr. Gail Saltz, the author, psychoanalyst and television commentator, invites experts and brings her own expertise to bear as she examines the psychology of people who have shaped history.

Dr. Saltz interviews Richard Sylla, author of Alexander Hamilton: The Illustrated Biography, who shows us the incredible story of the founding father who made America modern and became the toast of Broadway. An immigrant from the West Indies, Hamilton played a crucial part in the development of the new nation, playing influential roles in the Revolutionary War, establishing the Constitution, writing The Federalist Papers and modernizing America’s fledgling finances. Sylla and Dr. Gail Saltz will discuss the flesh-and-blood Hamilton — student, soldier, lawyer, political scientist, finance minister and politician.”

National Bubble Tea Day
Head to New York’s best shops for boba. Favorites include Tea and Milk, The Teapsy and Culture Tea Bar.
The best bubble tea spots in NYC
“Bubble tea, a tasty import from Taiwan, is being stirred up all over NYC. Chew on this list of places to find boba.
Bubble tea can provide a sweet, refreshing relief after a hectic work or on a weekend outing. Whether at an established chain or locally owned shop, this tea type can be custom made to suit your liking and lifestyle (plus no mysterious add- ins or super saccharine taste). The Chinatown staple is quickly becoming one of our favorite cheap eats in the city, so go ahead and get a bubble tea from these places throughout NYC.” (TONY)

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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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Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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