NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/15) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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-MAY”
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:

Bill Charlap (May 8-19.)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“There’s a deep soul in the machine that is the Bill Charlap Trio, a precision engine that mates the lyrical and expressive pianist with his joined-at-the-hip partners, the bassist Peter Washington and the drummer Kenny Washington. A special treat finds Charlap playing solo at an early set.” (NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Vijay Iyer
>>Shaina Taub
>> AMERICAN BALLET THEATER
>> Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
>>Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Conversation
>> Secret Science Club Presents Out-of-This-World Geneticist Chris Mason
Continuing Events
>> Red Bull Music Festival
>> Mad. Sq. Eats
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Vijay Iyer (May 15-20)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at W. 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Far from Over,” the 2017 ECM release from the socially conscious pianist and composer, may not broadcast a specific political message, but its pointedly intense nature speaks directly to our roiling times. Iyer reconvenes the sextet that graces the acclaimed album, including the saxophonists Mark Shim and Steve Lehman. (The drummer Jeremy Dutton will sub for Tyshawn Sorey from Tuesday through Friday.)” (NewYorker)

Shaina Taub
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $20
“Accomplished piano songstress and theater composer Taub, whose wrote the score for the Public Works productions of Twelfth Night and As You Like It, shares new material in her latest Joe’s Pub set. Though her musicianship sometimes outstrips her lyrics, there’s no doubt she’s a rising talent.” (TONY)

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER (May 14-July 7)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $22+
“Giselle” was a smash hit from the moment it had its premiere in Paris in 1841, and more than a century and a half later, it remains the quintessential Romantic ballet. Performances of “Giselle” (Monday through May 19) open American Ballet Theater’s spring season with seven of the company’s principal ballerinas trading off in the title role of the peasant girl who is deceived by a nobleman in disguise but nevertheless defends him against the wilis, those famously fierce, vengeful sirens.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Elsewhere, but for fans of Flamenco this is worth the detour:

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
BAM Fisher / 7:30PM, $25+
“This U.S.-based Spanish dance troupe celebrates its 35th anniversary with new dances by Belén Maya — including Mujeres Valientes, for six dancers, which represents Latin American women (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Manuela Saénz) who have challenged authorities and fought against ignorance and injustice. Gaspar Rodriguez’s score for five musicians will be performed live. The program, enacted by a cast of eight dancers and five musicians, also includes new solos by José Maldonado and Guadalupe Torres, both of Spain; special lectures; and chats. Belén Maya is the New York–born daughter of two great flamenco dancers, Carmen Mora and Mario Maya; her performance in Carlos Saura’s 1995 film, Flamenco, opened new avenues for female interpretations of flamenco dance.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

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

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in Conversation
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $38
“Ehud Barak, one of the most highly decorated soldiers in Israeli history, a classical pianist, and the tenth Prime Minister of Israel, will talk about the lifetime that led him to his proposal of a two-state solution. Barak’s story is the story of the nation itself, in all its complexity. Join this veteran soldier-statesman for a look back at his life of service for Israel and a look ahead at what lies in store for the country and the Middle East.
A book signing of his new memoir, My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace, follows.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Elsewhere, but this space story is worth the detour.

Secret Science Club Presents Out-of-This-World Geneticist Chris Mason
The Bell House, 149 7th St., Brooklyn / 8PM, FREE
When astronaut Scott Kelly returned from 11 months in space his body mass had decreased, his gut bacteria had changed, and he was two inches taller. Oh, and his genes were different. Thanks to an identical twin back on Earth and the research of geneticist Dr. Chris Mason, we know that 7% of Kelly’s gene expression permanently changed as a result of his sojourn. Join the Secret Science Club as Mason talks about the twins’ “omics” and the ramifications for future space travel.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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Continuing Events

Mad. Sq. Eats (May 07-31)
General Worth Square (5th Ave btw 25/26 St.) / near Madison Square Park
11AM-9PM; FREE
“Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. Highlights include Roberta’s sensational pizza, MeltKraft grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesesteaks by the Truffleist.” (TONY)

“Mad. Sq. Eats brings the diverse flavors of the city’s best restaurants and food entrepreneurs to Worth Square, a prime location in the heart of New York’s historic Flatiron District. The highly anticipated bi-annual event draws hungry crowds of neighborhood residents, workers, and tourists who enjoy this unique opportunity to savor offerings from buzzworthy eateries.”

2018 Vendor List
Burger & Lobster / Jicama / Renegade Lemonade /
the Truffleist / Mayhem Sandwiches / Gotham Poke & Hawaiian Kitchen / Bao by Kaya / La Sonrisa / Frida’s Favorites / Roberta’s /
Duck Season / Daa! Dumplings / Mr. Bing / Baked Cheese Haus / Chick’NCone / Arancini Bros / Top Hops Beer Shop / CousCous /
Melt Ice cream Sandwiches / Ice & Vice / Palenque Arepas /
Coney Shack / Korilla / Casa Toscana / Enfes NYC

“The innovative Red Bull Music Festival (May 03-25) returns for the sixth year with a lineup as diverse as the city itself. This Friday, catch a performance by cult musician John Maus at Deno’s Wonder Wheel, Saturday, see a conversation with Harry Belafonte, and on Sunday, see Brooklyn-based experimental R&B and gospel artist Serpentwithfeet in the Refectory at the High Line Hotel. Beginning Friday, you can also catch an exhibition by hip-hop pioneer and cult artist RAMMΣLLZΣΣ.” (NYMagazine)

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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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WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TONY)

Stephen Shore (thru May 28)

“This immersive and staggeringly charming retrospective is devoted to one of the best American photographers of the past half century. Shore has peers—Joel Meyerowitz, Joel Sternfeld, Richard Misrach, and, especially, William Eggleston—in a generation that, in the nineteen-seventies, stormed to eminence with color film, which art photographers had long disdained. His best-known series, “American Surfaces” and “Uncommon Places,” are both from the seventies and were mostly made in rugged Western states. The pictures in these series share a quality of surprise: appearances surely unappreciated if even really noticed by anyone before—in rural Arizona, a phone booth next to a tall cactus, on which a crude sign (“GARAGE”) is mounted, and, on a small-city street in Wisconsin, a movie marquee’s neon wanly aglow, at twilight. A search for fresh astonishments has kept Shore peripatetic, on productive sojourns in Mexico, Scotland, Italy, Ukraine, and Israel. He has remained a vestigial Romantic, stopping in space and 
time to frame views that exert a peculiar tug on him. This framing is resolutely formalist: subjects composed laterally, from edge to edge, and in depth. There’s never a “background.” The most distant element is as considered as the nearest. But only when looking for it are you conscious of Shore’s formal discipline, because it is as fluent as a language learned from birth. His best pictures at once arouse feelings and leave us alone to make what we will of them. He delivers truths, whether hard or easy, with something very like mercy.” (NewYorker)

Tarsila do Amaral (thru June 3)

Introducing New York to the First Brazilian Modernist
“Forty-five years after Tarsila do Amaral’s death, MOMA presents her first-ever museum exhibition in the U.S. Some artists are so iconic, they’re known by only one name: Brancusi, Léger, Tarsila. Wait, who? The painter Tarsila do Amaral is so famous in her native Brazil that forty-three years after her death she helped close out the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, when a projected pattern of red-orange-yellow arcs graced the stadium floor, an homage to her 1929 painting “Setting Sun.” That chimerical landscape—stylized sunset above tubular cacti and a herd of capybaras that shape-shift into boulders—hangs now at MOMA, in the artist’s first-ever museum exhibition in the U.S., “Tarsila do Amaral: Inventing Modern Art in Brazil.” (NewYorker)


‘TARSILA DO AMARAL: INVENTING MODERN ART IN BRAZIL’ (through June 3). “The subtitle is no overstatement: In the early 1920s, first in Paris and then back home in São Paulo, Brazil, this painter really did lay the groundwork for the coming of modernism in Latin America’s most populous nation. Tired of the European pretenders in Brazil’s art academies, Tarsila (who was always called by her first name) began to intermingle Western, African and indigenous motifs into flowing, biomorphic paintings, and to theorize a new national culture fueled by the principle of antropofagia, or “cannibalism.” Along with spare, assured drawings of Rio and the Brazilian countryside, this belated but very welcome show assembles Tarsila’s three most important paintings, including the classic “Abaporu” (1928): a semi-human nude with a spindly nose and a comically swollen foot. (Jason Farago)” (NYT)

Whitney Museum of American Art

GRANT WOOD: AMERICAN GOTHIC AND OTHER FABLES’ (through June 10). This well-done survey begins with the American Regionalist’s little-known efforts as an Arts and Crafts designer and touches just about every base. It includes his mural studies, book illustrations and most of his best-known paintings — including “American Gothic” and “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” Best of all are Wood’s smooth undulant landscapes with their plowmen and spongy trees and infectious serenity. (Smith, NYT)

‘ZOE LEONARD: SURVEY’  (through June 10).
Some shows cast a spell. Zoe Leonard’s reverberant retrospective does. Physically ultra-austere, all white walls with a fiercely edited selection of objects — photographs of clouds taken from airplane windows; a mural collaged from vintage postcards; a scattering of empty fruit skins, each stitched closed with needle and thread — it’s an extended essay about travel, time passing, political passion and the ineffable daily beauty of the world. (Cotter, NYT)
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 05/13 and 05/11.
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