NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/18) + 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”
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:

Broadway by the Year
The Town Hall / 8PM, $57+
“Scott Siegel’s valuable concert series opens time capsules to some of the Great White Way’s most memorable seasons. The June edition devotes its first act to shows from 1988 (such as The Phantom of the Opera, Chess and the infamous Carrie) and its second act—in a departure from the series’ usual mandate—to shows that opened in 2017 (including Come From Away, The Band’s Visit and SpongeBob SquarePants). The cast includes William Michals, Brian Charles Rooney, Farah Alvin, Rebecca Faulkenberry, Danny Gardner and Marina Jurica.” (TONY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Ed Palermo Big Band
>> Lillias White: Baby-Makin’ Music
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> J. D. ALLEN
>> Broadway Sings Kelly Clarkson
>> Natalie Douglas: Tributes—Bassey
>> Hamilton Gets Its Shot at The Public
Continuing Events
>> RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL
>> Othello
>> ‘THE LET GO’
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Ed Palermo Big Band
The Iridium / 8:30PM, $25
“Best known for its longtime devotion to the humorous, tuneful, and often technically challenging gratifications of Frank Zappa’s music, the Ed Palermo Big Band has been branching out into other evergreen sources of boomer sustenance. On last spring’s The Great Un-American Songbook: Volumes I & II, Palermo’s solid eighteen-piece crew dusted off the heady delights of British psychedelic rock with inventive new arrangements of FM-radio staples by Traffic, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, and Radiohead. Later in the year, Palermo released The Adventures of Zod Zundgren, a benign confluence of Todd Rundgren’s and Zappa’s brainy pop performed with power and precision. Here Palermo — a saxophonist, conductor, and composer in his own right — belatedly celebrates the Summer of Love’s fiftieth anniversary with a set that should lean heavy on all things psychedelic and Sixties. Expect blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em references aplenty, perhaps integrated into an evening-long conceptual continuity.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)

Lillias White: Baby-Makin’ Music
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, $35
“Nobody stops a show like Broadway’s Lillias White, who has built a career out of superpowered numbers in Once on This Island, How to Succeed…, The Life, Fela and more. In her new set at the Green Room, she performs tunes by Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Ashford & Simpson and her musical director, Timothy Graphenreed.” (TONY)

American Ballet Theatre (thru July 7)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $30+
“The company wraps up the weekend with Kenneth MacMillan’s sumptuous production of “Romeo and Juliet” before moving on to “Swan Lake” starting on Monday. Yes, it’s true that this “Swan Lake” is in need of an overhaul, but there are some mighty dancers cast as Odette/Odile, among them Isabella Boylston, Devon Teuscher and Misty Copeland. And for the matinee on June 20, the powerful, statuesque Christine Shevchenko makes her New York debut as Odette/Odile opposite the charismatic James Whiteside.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

J. D. ALLEN
at Nublu 151 / 8 p.m., $20
“If you’d like to measure an improviser’s sincerity under a harsh light, ask him to play an entire album’s worth of ballads. Without quick tempos or ready-made energy to lighten the load, cracks reveal themselves quickly. But this tenor saxophonist has somehow managed to pull it off. He plays in a style guided closely by his antecedents — Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, Branford Marsalis — but it’s personal and steadfast enough to establish its own convictions. At Nublu 151, Mr. Allen celebrates the release of “Love Stone” — nine ballads, mostly sourced from the back pages of the great American songbook — joined by the bassist Gregg August and the drummer Rudy Royston.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Broadway Sings Kelly Clarkson
Highline Ballroom / 8PM, $35
“More than a dozen Broadway vocalists perform new arangements of hits by the first and arguably greatest American Idol winner of them all, backed by orchestrator Joshua Stephen Kartes and a 14-piece jazz orchestra. Singers include Ben Fankhauser, Frankie James Grande, Arielle Jacobs, Adam Kaplan, Anthony Lee Medina, Matt DeAngelis, Christine Dwyer, Emma Hunton, Eric Michael Krop, Natalie Weiss and producer-director Corey Mach.” (TONY)

Natalie Douglas: Tributes—Bassey
Birdland / 7PM, $30
“Octuple MAC Award winner Douglas has previously plumbed the catalogs of Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln and Billie Holiday, among many others. Now she pays homage to Welsh powerhouse Shirley Bassey, whose James Bond theme songs remain the gold standard.” (TONY)

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

The History of the World in 100 Performances with Adam Gopnik:
Hamilton Gets Its Shot at The Public
With special guest Christopher Jackson
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE,  but get there early for a seat.
“On January 20, 2015, The Public Theater premiered a new musical on Ron Chernow’s 832-page biography of U.S. Treasury founder Alexander Hamilton and set off a theater revolution. Casting only people of color as the Founding Fathers and adeptly blending hip-hop and Broadway showstoppers in ways that felt both authentic and exhilarating, Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda became a household name across America. New Yorker writer and host Adam Gopnik and special guests, including actor Christopher Jackson, the show’s original George Washington, and Yale historian and Hamilton expert Joanne Freeman, delve into the genesis of Broadway’s hottest ticket.”

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Continuing Events

RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL at various locations (June 15-24).
“The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council presents this festival, now in its 17th year, with free dance, music, theater and visual art shows at downtown sites. Of the dance highlights, the most dramatic is likely to be an appearance by It’s Showtime NYC!, a company of street dancers, performing on the steps of Federal Hall (June 18-22). Other notable events include Catherine Galasso’s “Of Granite and Glass,” a site-specific dance inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron” at the Winter Garden (June 15-17); Enrico D. Wey’s “silent :: partner,” an exploration of memory and memorialization held inside Federal Hall (June 15-17); and Cori Olinghouse’s “Grandma,” a look at aging and the ghosts of the American South. The setting? A Lower Manhattan office building (June 16-17).” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Othello (May28-Jun24)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“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.

‘THE LET GO’ (June 7-July 1)
at the Park Avenue Armory
“This large-scale, site-specific multiweek event is masterminded by the interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave, who transforms the armory into a vivid dance landscape in which spectators are invited to do just what the title says they should: let go. Within this dance hall environment are performances, an installation in the form of a Mylar sculpture, dance-based encounters and music provided by D.J.s. For some programs, Mr. Cave works with the choreographer Francesca Harper; for others, there will be dancing by community groups. On June 26, as part of “An Evening of Artistic Responses: The Let Go,” the musician Nona Hendryx, the vocalist and artist Helga Davis, Ms. Harper and Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray and his company, D.R.E.A.M. Ring, respond to the installation, which references issues of social justice, with site-specific performances.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

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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
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:

Damien Hirst (thru June 30)

“Superabundant multicolored dot paintings, randomly composed in sizes from smallish to giant, are as perfectly dead as a trisected shark in formaldehyde-filled glass cases, which is also on view. There’s no formal structure or even optical dazzle, except by occasional accident. These aren’t active pictures. They’re passive slabs, yielding nothing to contemplation that they don’t impart at first glance. Neither good nor bad, they maintain an imperturbable, mortuary dignity—Hirst’s cynosure. He creates visual curios that look like art while dispensing with art’s pesky demands on thought, feeling, and perception. His works are aesthetic cryptocurrency. There are worse things in the world.” () Gagosian, 555 W. 24th St.

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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 06/16 and 06/14.

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