NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/25) + 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.


Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

at the Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $35+
“The doubleheader of Alexei Ratmansky’s “Firebird” and Wayne McGregor’s new “AfteRite” receives three more performances between Friday and Saturday. Mr. Ratmansky, a consummate storyteller, brings colorful intrigue to a mystical avian tale, while Mr. McGregor, a British choreographer known for aggressive physical extremes, reconsiders the ubiquitous dance classic “The Rite of Spring.” Both works are set to celebrated Stravinsky scores. Beginning Tuesday, Ballet Theater switches gears and heads to India for the Russia-born epitome of 19th-century exoticism, “La Bayadère.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Sullivan Fortner
>> Guillermo Klein y los Guachos
>> Coppélia
>> Animaniacs Live!
>> Rene Marie
>> DanceAfrica
Continuing Events
>> Fleet Week 
>> Vision Festival
>> Mad. Sq. Eats

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Sullivan Fortner (May 24-27)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“When you’re an on-the-rise musician like the promising post-bop pianist Fortner, it never hurts to surround yourself with friends with clout. Adding muscle to his trio, the New Orleans-bred musician welcomes, on successive nights, the trumpeters Roy Hargrove, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Peter Evans and the saxophonist Melissa Aldana. It’s an advance party for “Moments Preserved,” Fortner’s new album, which will be released on June 1.” (NewYorker)

Guillermo Klein y los Guachos (May 22-27)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30, +10:30PM, $35+
Ahead of the curve in the nineteen-nineties, when he initially convened his own large ensembles, this ambitious composer, arranger, pianist, and vocalist continues to thwart big-band conventions. Klein’s music delights in shifting time signatures, rich tonalities, and arresting multicultural influences, attracting some of the most farsighted improvisers around, including Miguel Zenon, Ben Monder, and Taylor Haskins.” (NewYorker)

NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $30+
“Most of our enduring three-act ballets are tragedies in which men do bad things and women die. The comic Coppélia, by contrast, is practically a feminist enterprise. A young man steps out on his girlfriend, only to find himself entrapped in a toymaker’s workshop where the plucky title character substitutes her living body for the mechanical doll that has distracted her guy. Originally choreographed in 1870 by Arthur Saint-Léon to a score by Léo Delibes and revived years later for the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg by Marius Petipa, it’s been overhauled by the great George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova for the New York City Ballet, where it runs for the last week of the company’s spring season.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Animaniacs Live! (May 25-27)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, +9:30PM, $45
“Rob Paulsen, who voiced Yakko on the 1990s animated hit Animaniacs (and Pinky on Pinky and the Brain), revisits 20 songs from the show in a night of musical mostalgia. Accompanying him on piano is Emmy winner Randy Rogel, who wrote many of the toon tunes in question.” (TONY)

Rene Marie (May 24-26)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Feisty and outspoken, Marie is no wallflower of a performer—electrifying a room is all in a night’s work for her. Although her 2013 tribute to an earlier musical and social sparkplug, “I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt,” garnered considerable attention, “Sound of Red,” Marie’s most recent recording, is a decidedly personal project offering original songs that confirm her aversion to stylistic pigeonholing.” (NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

“In honor of the centennial of Nelson Mandela’s birth, the DanceAfrica festival, at BAM this weekend, focusses on South Africa. Ingoma KwaZulu-Natal Dance Company is a kind of supergroup, bundling together just for this occasion four companies whose styles range from Zulu traditions to pantsula, the fleet-footed street dance that originated as a response to apartheid. Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre, from Durban, combines the dance forms of many cultures, a mix representative of its region: Zulu dances and pantsula, plus classical Indian and hip-hop.” (NewYorker-Brian Seibert)

Dance Africa is The Brooklyn Festival That Everyone—You, Your Parents, Your Kids—Should Attend – (


Continuing Events

Fleet Week (May 23-29)
“If it’s the weekend before Memorial Day, then it must be time for Fleet Week. On Wednesday, the Parade of Ships will take place, with numerous vessels—including the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington, the missile destroyer USS Mitscher, and the oceanographic survey ship USNS Maury—heading up through the New York Harbor and up the Hudson. The ships are docked afterwards for the public to visit. Besides visiting participating ships and concerts, there are marine demos, Navy diver demos, and aviation displays.” (Gothamist)

The best Fleet Week events in NYC (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Vision Festival (May 23-28)
Roulette / 509 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn / at various times, $40
“Moving across the river to Brooklyn once again, the Vision Festival remains steadfast in its commitment to exploratory jazz and the still active pioneers of the genre; the wide-ranging roster includes Oliver Lake, Matthew Shipp, Roscoe Mitchell, Mary Halvorson, Fay Victor, and the festival co-organizer William Parker. This year, the intrepid showcase celebrates the pianist and composer Dave Burrell, featured on opening night in various ensembles, including a reunion with another crucial free-jazz cohort, the saxophonist Archie Shepp.” (NewYorker)

“Vision Festival 2018: 8 acts not to miss at the annual jazz showcase” (TONY)

Mad. Sq. Eats (May 07-31)
General Worth Square (5th Ave btw 25/26 St.) / near Madison Square Park
“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

♦ 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.


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.,, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St.,, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St.,, 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.,, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.,

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St., 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.

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


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:


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 ( 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.) “

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 05/23 and 05/21.

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