NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/29) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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-JULY”
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:

Adrian Cunningham Quintet with special guest vocalist Brianna Thomas (to Jun30)
From My Fair Lady to Camelot: Music by Frederick Loewe and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“An evening celebrating the great musicals of Lerner & Loewe, including My Fair Lady, Brigadoon and Camelot.

With support from the Loewe Foundation, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola celebrates the great Lerner and Loewe musicals by revisiting Lowe’s timeless compositions in a swinging jazz context. This program will continue the popular and fruitful relationship between musical theater and jazz—a relationship in which Lerner and Loewe played an essential role.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Del Close Marathon
>>Ravi Coltrane
>> BRANFORD MARSALIS AND ROGER GUENVEUR SMITH
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> Paulo Szot: Salute to Broadway
>> Kronos Quartet
>> Fraunces Tavern Museum
Continuing Events
>>
World Cup viewing parties
>> ‘THE LET GO’
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Del Close Marathon (June 29-July 1)
multiple locations and times, $12-$45,
“Give yourself a well-deserved weekend of laughter while honoring the best of improv with 56 straight hours of comedy on 11 stages in Manhattan. The Del Close Marathon is dedicated to the legendary laughman who elevated improv into its own art form with over 750 shows spanning one weekend, thanks to the Upright Citizens Brigade. You can buy individual tickets to certain shows or festival passes that allow you to line up for general admission all weekend.” (Metro)

Ravi Coltrane (June 26-30)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“At age fifty-two, the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane has had time to deal with any issues of personal and artistic identity arising from his illustrious family background. It’s been a few years since he’s released an album of his own, but Coltrane’s lyrical work on “In Movement,” with Jack DeJohnette and Matthew Garrison, gained him a well-deserved Grammy nomination in 2017.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
BRANFORD MARSALIS AND ROGER GUENVEUR SMITH
at the Prospect Park Bandshell / 7:30 p.m., FREE
“Fluid and voluble and intuitively connected, Mr. Marsalis’s longtime quartet is a down-the-center post-bop band with decades of jazz history built into its style. With Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass and Justin Faulkner on drums, this group will play two sets at this show, hosted by Celebrate Brooklyn: one before a performance by Mr. Smith and the other after. In between, he will deliver his one-man play “Frederick Douglass Now,” a multidisciplinary show presenting the abolitionist’s work and philosophy with a contemporary flair.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

American Ballet Theatre (thru July 7)
Tonight: Don Quixote
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $22+
“The spring season nears its conclusion with a weekend of “Don Quixote,” a comic ballet showcasing the debuts of Hee Seo as Kitri and Christine Shevchenko as Mercedes on Friday, as well as Sarah Lane’s first performance as Kitri at the matinee on Saturday. The final week of repertory is devoted to Alexei Ratmansky’s “Whipped Cream,” a fanciful ballet about a youngster and his love of sweets that features a score and libretto by Richard Strauss. On Wednesday, Gabe Stone Shayer makes his New York debut as the Boy, followed, on July 5, by Arron Scott in the same role. In that performance, there’s an extra treat: Calvin Royal III makes his mark as Prince Coffee.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas )

Kronos Quartet (June 28-29)
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 8PM, $55
The inveterate explorers of Kronos share an evening uptown with Soo Yeon Lyuh, a gifted young exponent of the haegeum (the two-stringed Korean fiddle, which produces an expressively plaintive keen). Lyuh performs first, with traditional accompaniment; Kronos follows with a globe-trotting mix of African, Indian, South American, and gospel selections. They end together, in Lyuh’s haunting “Yessori (Sound from the Past).” The next day, Kronos travels to Katonah for its Caramoor Festival début, offering an eclectic grab bag of contemporary fare by Terry Riley and Steve Reich, along with arrangements of songs by Gershwin, Rhiannon Giddens, and Laurie Anderson, among others.” (Steve Smith, VillageVoice)

Paulo Szot: Salute to Broadway (June26-30)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $55+
“The vocally superb Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot, who made Broadway audiences swoon as Emile De Becque in the 2008 revival of South Pacific, returns to Feinstein’s/54 with a new batch of favorites from musical-theater history.” (TONY)

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

Fraunces Tavern Museum
“Those looking for a more historical approach to the holiday can head to the Fraunces Tavern Museum, The museum will also offer a special Dawn of Independence walking tour celebrating Lower Manhattan’s Revolutionary-era history during the holiday’s early morning hours. For those who aren’t early risers, the museum will also offer an Independence Eve walking tour covering the neighborhood’s history on June 29.”

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Continuing Events

World Cup viewing parties (starting June 14 – thru July 15)
Don’t miss the World Cup, which only comes every four years. Many bars and restaurants will be screening the games and offering food and drink specials across the city. Here are the best lists of where you can find them:
NYT – where to watch the World Cup in New York City.
Soccer Republic – best bars to watch the World Cup in NYC.
Thrillist – World Cup bars NYC
Remeczcla – the 10 Best Venues to Watch the World Cup in NYC
Metro – NYC’s best soccer bars to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018
NYCGO – Ways to Watch the World Cup in New York City
Daily News – The best bars in NYC to watch your favorite team

‘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: 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.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove 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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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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