NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/19) + 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-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:

Wall to Wall Leonard Bernstein
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (at Symphony Space)/ 3PM – 11PM, Free, premium seating with $100 donation
“The 2018 edition of Symphony Space’s annual marathon concert honors the centennial of composer, maestro and music educator Bernstein. Tickets are mostly free and available on a first-come/first-served basis on the day of the performance; reserved seats cost $100. The day is divided into three segments, with the first two devoted to Bernstein’s classical career and the final one (starting at 8:30pm), to his songs for Broadway shows including West Side Story, Wonderful Town, Candide and On the Town. Performers include Ryan Silverman, Betsy Wolfe and the dance troupe Keigwin + Company.” (TONY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Carole J. Bufford: Come Together—When the 1960s Met the 1970s
>> AMERICAN BALLET THEATER
>> LEE ROY PARNELL
>> VIJAY IYER SEXTET
>> Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana 
>> SEAN JONES QUINTET
>> Taste of the Upper West Side
Continuing Events
>> Jerome Robbins Centennial
>> Mad. Sq. Eats
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Carole J. Bufford: Come Together—When the 1960s Met the 1970s
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 9:30PM, $30+
“Bufford is one of cabaret’s brightest rising stars, with a distinctive, bluesy voice and a flair for the theatrical. Her new set surveys the musical landscape stretching from 1965 to 1975, including songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Dusty Springfield, Carole King, Roberta Flack and others.” (TONY)

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER (Thru July 7)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $22+
“This weekend, the company wraps up its performances of “Giselle,” the first full-length ballet of the season. On Monday night, the spring gala unveils a pièce d’occasion by the tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance. Set to recorded music by the Brooklyn acoustic ensemble Dawn of Midi, it features 15 dancers. The evening also includes excerpts from Alexei Ratmansky’s “Harlequinade,” with Isabella Boylston as Columbine and James Whiteside as Harlequin. The week continues with a new program pairing Wayne McGregor’s “AfteRite” — his premiere set to Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” — and Mr. Ratmansky’s “Firebird.” (NYT)

LEE ROY PARNELL
at Opry City Stage / 8PM, $40
“Lee Roy Parnell has hits, but you may not have heard them unless you’re an aficionado of early 1990s country music. They’re sturdy rock-and-blues-tinged tunes that sound positively alien compared with the work of today’s pop-country stars, but they’re totally in line with the style of the era. What sets Mr. Parnell apart, and what he’s leaned into since his heyday, is his remarkable guitar playing; he even has his own signature Gibson. His songs endure, equal parts confessional and craft, yet their punctuation — woeful slide solos and impressionistic a cappella arrangements — make them transcendent.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

VIJAY IYER SEXTET (May 15-20)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30PM, $ hot tkt may need to look for Sunday show.
“Mr. Iyer’s sextet provides a resonant vessel for his heady, hot-blooded compositions; the group’s debut album, “Far From Over,” was one of last year’s best. The band includes the trumpeter Graham Haynes, the alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, the tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, the bassist Stephan Crump and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey. For the first four nights of this run, Jeremy Dutton replaces Mr. Sorey.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, saw them Wednesday night and for fans of Flamenco this is worth the detour:

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana (May 15-20)
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)

SEAN JONES QUINTET (May 18-20)
at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $40
“Intrepid and smoky toned and nearly always convincing, Mr. Jones held the first trumpet chair in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for many years. Now he leads his own small ensembles and is preparing to begin his first year as head of the Peabody Institute’s jazz program. This weekend Mr. Jones returns to Columbus Circle for three nights in a stellar quintet with the alto saxophonist Brian Hogans, the pianist Orrin Evans, the bassist Luques Curtis and the drummer Mark Whitfield Jr.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Taste of the Upper West Side
Columbus Ave between 76th and 77th Sts./ 7PM, $
“The two-evening affair, held outdoors beneath a grand tent, celebrates the best grub the Manhattan ’hood has to offer. On Friday 18, dine on food from 40 eateries, like Zen Taco, Make My Cake, Fishtag and others. Ticket prices are steep but include all the treats along with unlimited wine, signature cocktails and a DJ dance party. Head back to the scene on Saturday 19 for Best of the West, presented by Park West Village. Sample cocktails crafted by mixologists from spots such as Amélie, Maison Pickle and Prohibition, then gorge on tastes from Michelin-starred chef John Fraser as well as dishes from 40 other illustrious restaurants.” (TONY)

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Continuing Events

Jerome Robbins Centennial (May 3-20)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / Various times, $30+
“A child of immigrants born in Manhattan in 1918, Jerome Robbins — in his tour across the forms of dance, theater, and cinema — probably left as many enduring monuments as anyone. (These include the brilliant jazz ballet Fancy Free; the musicals West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and Gypsy; and a clutch of incomparable lyrical and dramatic ballets made for his home team, the New York City Ballet.) He also made many enemies, his eighty-year jaunt on this planet inspiring several full-length, tell-all biographies. You’ll have forever to contemplate this raft of accomplishments, but you have three weeks this May to savor 22 ballets at Lincoln Center, including his legendary Afternoon of a Faun on one of five all-Robbins bills. A sixth program — a tribute — opens the season and features two world premieres: NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck honors Robbins to a score by Leonard Bernstein, another child of immigrants also celebrating a centennial in 2018; and Tony-winning director Warren Carlyle creates a medley of Robbins’s dances from Broadway hits and other sources.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

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

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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 NYC 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
Another outrageous rent increase by a rapacious NYC landlord closed BBKing’s as of April 29 – How Sad.
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite 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 are two exhibitions the New Yorker likes:

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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 05/17 and 05/15.

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