NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/31) + 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, check the tab above: NYC Events-JUNE” (coming real soon)
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 Opry City Stage / 7PM, $45
“The music hall plays host to an actual member of the Grand Ole Opry with Ms.Tillis, who had a run of country hits in the early ’90s that began, fittingly, with a song called “Don’t Tell Me What to Do.” This spirit of defiance, as well as her deft adaptation of the era’s country-rock trend, helped Ms. Tillis replicate some of the success of her father, the country legend Mel Tillis. These days Ms. Tillis performs with an acoustic trio, allowing her voice, which remains as luminous as ever, to shine through.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Zeshan B
>> Billy Hart Quartet
>> The Bad Plus
>> Michael Feinstein: Swinging with The Count
>> The 10th annual World Science Festival
Continuing Events
>> Othello 
>> Mad. Sq. Eats

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $15
“It’s rare enough to see a straight-ahead drummer writing a full album’s worth of original material. Rarer still to see the same drummer putting lyrics to those songs, and arriving at the sort of idiomatic hybrid — musical theater, soul, chamber music, 1970s pop, midcentury jazz — that Mr. Quinerly has achieved on his new album, “Words to Love.” He will perform selections from that album at this show, joined by the vocalists Melanie Charles and Milton Suggs, the alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, the pianist Sullivan Fortner and the bassist Ben Wolfe.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Zeshan B
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Zeshan B is probably the first interpreter to kick off Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” with an improvisatory Indian-classical alap. But then again, Zeshan Bagewadi’s career has consisted of one revelation after another.

The Chicago-born Indian-American became a singing fixture in his hometown’s Trinity United Church of Christ, where Barack Obama came up, and stands on the shoulders of gospel-nourished soul legends like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, and Donny Hathaway. Bagewadi’s social activism is reflected in a bracing video for his version of George Perkins’s “Cryin’ in the Streets.” And his gruff tenor easily swoops into a plaintive falsetto on his recent debut album, which includes lonely-man heart-wrenchers, a sexy Urdu original, and a two-hundred-year-old Sufi poem sung in Punjabi.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

Billy Hart Quartet (May 29-June 3)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Although the saxophonist Chris Potter is substituting for the official band member Mark Turner, the quick-on-its-feet interplay that has made this unit a benchmark of twenty-first-century jazz will undoubtedly remain intact. The collective features the same rhythmic acuity and tonal sensitivity that the veteran drummer Hart honed with, among many others, Herbie Hancock and Stan Getz. The quartet also includes the pianist Ethan Iverson (of Bad Plus fame) and the bassist Ben Street.” (NewYorker)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 3)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $30+
“The enduring 19th-century comedic ballet “Coppélia” tells of a young man who falls for a lifelike doll until his human girlfriend helps him snap out of it. City Ballet’s production, based on original choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Leo Delibes with enhancements by George Balanchine made in 1974, appears this week and the next.

During the week, City Ballet offers a “Classic NYCB” program featuring Balanchine’s sublime “Mozartiana”; “Not Our Fate,” a recent work by the company dancer Lauren Lovette; “Pulcinella Variations” by the choreographer-in-residence Justin Peck; and Jerome Robbins’s intricate “Glass Pieces,” set to the music of Philip Glass.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

The Bad Plus (May 29-June 3)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St. / 8PM, 10:30PM, $20-$35
Change—often difficult, even when necessary—shook the Bad Plus when the pianist Ethan Iverson (playing this week with Billy Hart’s quartet) left the popular trio, in 2017. But the group quickly rebounded with the pianist Orrin Evans and the aptly titled album “Never Stop II,” a vibrant recording that shies away from the cheeky reinventions of rock standards that originally garnered attention. The band has pulled off a graceful transition.” (NewYorker)

Michael Feinstein: Swinging with The Count (May 30-31)
The Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7PM, $75+
“The 2017–18 Jazz & Popular Song series closes with a swinging celebration of Count Basie. Singer, historian, host, director, and all-around entertainer Michael Feinstein provides a glamorous evening of timeless vocal stylings, entertaining anecdotes, and the Tedd Firth Big Band’s irresistible swing. Audiences will be swept away by The Appel Room’s stunning view of the Manhattan skyline while enjoying hits made famous by Count Basie and vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughan, and Bing Crosby.

Special guest singers Ann Hampton Callaway and Kenny Washington will join Feinstein on classics like “One O’Clock Jump,” “April In Paris,” “The Good Life,” and “Everyday I have the Blues,” and the Tedd Firth Big Band’s virtuosic instrumentalists will round out the uplifting and elegant affair. Michael Feinstein’s Jazz & Popular Song is one of our longest-running and most popular concert series, and this event will be a climactic finale to its seventh consecutive season.”


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

The 10th annual World Science Festival (May30-Jun04)
Various locations, times and places – all the details HERE
“Join us for an exploration of groundbreaking discoveries, encounters with the trailblazing scientists and thinkers who are changing the world, and youth & family events that will inspire the next generation of leaders.

Perennial favorites return, including our main stage Big Ideas programs, the Flame Challenge, Cool Jobs, and free outdoor events that transport science from the lab to NYC’s parks and waterways. This year, we’ll also celebrate the achievements of Women in Science, and explore the impact of the award-winning teachers on the future of scientific discovery.”


Continuing Events

Othello (May28-Jun24)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE*
“Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney) directs the first offering of the Public Theater’s 2018 season of Shakespeare in the Park: an account of the Bard’s fast-paced tragedy of jealousy and misplaced trust, in which a villain preys on the insecurities of a Moorish war hero married to a white woman. The cast is headed by Chukwudi Iwuji as Othello, Corey Stoll as Iago and Heather Lind as Desdemona.”
*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

Mad. Sq. Eats (LAST DAY)
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 05/29 and 05/27.

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