NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/26) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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:

Catherine Russell (July26-29)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $45
With guitarist Matt Munisteri, pianist Mark Shane, bassist Tal Ronen, and drummer Mark McLean.

“Grammy Award winner Catherine Russell has been one of the most widely recognized jazz vocalists since the release of her debut album in 2006. Her latest album, Harlem on My Mind, was nominated for the 2017 Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy Award. Russell’s experience extends beyond releasing seven acclaimed albums as a solo artist; she has also worked with Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, and Levon Helm. She joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on its Big Band Holidays tour for the past two years, packing concert halls nationwide, and tonight you can catch her in the intimate Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Seeing Russell perform live is a truly uplifting experience and an easy recommendation for any fan of jazz vocals.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Old Crow Medicine Show
>> Alika
>> GRACE KELLYT
>> Daniel Norgren
>> On Kentucky Avenue
>> Marilyn Maye
>> DIZZY GILLESPIE ALL-STAR BIG BAND
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Old Crow Medicine Show with Asleep at the Wheel.
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park / 6PM, $45
“Old Crow Medicine Show is Grammy Award-winning six-member string band plays classic American folk and roots music.”

Alika
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“With music that blends roots, reggae, hip-hop, and socially engaged lyrics, the pioneering Argentinian artist Alika is a pillar of the Latin American dancehall scene and a champion of the fight against injustice and violence in the barrios of her country. She began her career as one half of the duo Actitud María Marta, one of the first female rap groups in Latin America, and has gone on to lead a solo career as one of the most influential Spanish-speaking dancehall artists. On stage she is a force to behold, delivering her messages with breathtaking energy and endless charisma.”

GRACE KELLY
at Le Poisson Rouge / 8 p.m., $35
“Ms. Kelly released her first album over a decade ago, at age 12. With a broad tone and tenacious flow on the alto saxophone, she was clearly in possession of virtuoso talents; two leading alto saxophonists from jazz’s heyday — Phil Woods and Lee Konitz — become her mentors. But in recent years, Ms. Kelly, now 26, has expanded her palette, sometimes putting her impressive singing voice out front, and flitting among a range of styles. Her most recent album, “Go Time Brooklyn,” includes a winsome, countrified ballad (the original “Trying to Figure It Out”), a saxophone-and-drums workout on Thelonious Monk’s “Green Chimneys” and a lively rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” that becomes an open field for improvisation.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Daniel Norgren
Bowery Ballroom / 8PM, $20
“Swedish folk progressive Daniel Norgren has parlayed his idiosyncratic version of Americana into serious European box office. Where Kerosene Dreams, his 2007 debut, sounded like a young man’s reinterpretation of Tom Waits, his most recent album, The Green Stone, is all moody vibrations sometimes reminiscent of Daniel Lanois and Bon Iver. Norgren does a lot of things well. Accompanied by bassist Anders Grahn and drummer Erik Berntsson, he plays traditional Swedish folk on accordion, croons romantic folk songs over melancholy drones, and bashes out distorted blues solos on electric guitar. Norgren’s reserved affect — he manages himself from the tiny rural town where he resides with his family — and obvious affection for our nation’s glorious folk tradition makes him just about as compelling a singer-songwriter as you’d want to hear. This Is the Kit, a/k/a the esoterically inclined singer-songwriter Kate Stables, opens.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)

On Kentucky Avenue (also 7 dates thru July 28)
Aaron Davis Hall (at City College)/ 7PM, $25
“Ty Stephen, N’Kenge and Andricka Hall head the cast of this musical revue by Stephens and Adam Wade, inspired by the history of Atlantic City’s Club Harlem.” (TONY)

Marilyn Maye (July 25-28)
Birdland / 7PM, $40-$50
“The Birdland Theater is proud to announce that legendary, Grammy-nominated songstress Marilyn Maye will be headlining in the brand new performance space for two weeks. Ms. Maye will be accompanied by the Tedd Firth Trio from July 24 – 28, and the Billy Stritch Trio from July 31 – August 4, with shows at 7pm each night.

Marvelous Ms. Maye, who just celebrated her 90th birthday with a string of concerts and a featured interview on CBS Sunday Morning, has been crisscrossing the country playing hundreds of clubs, concert halls and joints for over seven decades.”

DIZZY GILLESPIE ALL-STAR BIG BAND (July 24-29)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m., $30-$45
“Gillespie is known for helping to establish two important idioms that aren’t always associated with large ensembles — bebop and Latin jazz — but he did much of his most impressive work with big bands. In the final chapter of Gillespie’s career, his United Nation Orchestra was his main vehicle: an ecumenical group of improvisers from across the Americas, pushing his compositions into fresh terrain. After he died in 1993, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band sprang up to carry the torch. Today, that group includes such major figures as the vocalist Roberta Gambarini and the pianist Cyrus Chestnut.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

More Smart Stuff events coming soon.

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Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*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.

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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.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher 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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WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TONY)

‘BODYS ISEK KINGELEZ: CITY DREAMS’ (through Jan. 1). “The first comprehensive survey of the Congolese artist is a euphoric exhibition as utopian wonderland featuring his fantasy architectural models and cities — works strong in color, eccentric in shape, loaded with enthralling details and futuristic aura. Mr. Kingelez (1948-2015) was convinced that the world had never seen a vision like his, and this beautifully designed show bears him out.” (NYT-Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘THE LONG RUN’ (through Nov. 4). “The museum upends its cherished Modern narrative of ceaseless progress by mostly young (white) men. Instead we see works by artists 45 and older who have just kept on keeping on, regardless of attention or reward, sometimes saving the best for last. Art here is an older person’s game, a pursuit of a deepening personal vision over innovation. Winding through 17 galleries, the installation is alternatively visually or thematically acute and altogether inspiring.” (NYT-Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

Rubin Museum of Art

Chitra Ganesh: The Scorpion Gesture (Through Jan. 7)
“The Brooklyn artist’s new animations ingeniously combine her own drawings and watercolors with historical imagery, peppering the journeys of bodhisattvas with contemporary pop-culture references. Five of these pieces are installed on the museum’s second and third floors amid its collection of Himalayan art, elements of which appear in her psychedelic sequences of spinning mandalas and falling lotus flowers. (Ganesh’s works are activated, as if by magic, when viewers approach.) In “Rainbow Body,” a cave, which also appears in a nearby painting of Mandarava, is filled with people in 3-D glasses, watching as the guru-deity attains enlightenment. “Silhouette in the Graveyard” is projected behind a glass case containing a small sculpture of Maitreya, from late-eighteenth-century Mongolia, for a cleverly dioramalike effect. Prophesied to arrive during an apocalyptic crisis, the bodhisattva is seen here against Ganesh’s montage, which includes footage of global catastrophes and political protests, from the Women’s March to Black Lives Matter.” (

New-York Historical Society 

“Celebrating Bill Cunningham (thru 9/9)
marks the New-York Historical Society‘s recent acquisition of objects, personal correspondence, ephemera, and photographs that reflect the life and work of Bill Cunningham. One of the late 20th century’s most influential trend-spotters and style authorities, the legendary New York Times journalist and photographer was frequently spied on the city’s streets, at fashion shows, and elegant soirées capturing images of New York’s fashion innovators and cultural glitterati. Among the highlights of Celebrating Bill Cunningham are a bicycle that he rode around the city; his first camera, an Olympus Pen-D, 35mm; signature blue jacket; personal photographs of Cunningham at home and with friends; correspondence, including a few of the hand-made Valentines he frequently sent to friends; and a New York City street sign, “Bill Cunningham Corner,” that was temporarily installed at 5th Avenue and 57th Street in his honor, following his death. Soon after he arrived in New York, Cunningham worked as a milliner, and items on view from his millinery line, William J., include an innovative beach hat, along with other hats and fascinators; and a press release written for the William J. spring 1960 millinery show. Also on display are selections from Cunningham’s Facades, his eight-year photographic project documenting New York City’s architectural and fashion history, which was shown at the museum in 2014.” (cityguideny.com)

Also now open at NY Historical SocietySummer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection. (thru Sept.16)

SPECIAL MENTION (not Manhattan’s WestSide, but let’s show some love to da Bronx)
at the New York (Bronx) Botanical Garden:

‘GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: VISIONS OF HAWAI‘I’ (through Oct. 28). “Finding out Georgia O’Keeffe had a Hawaiian period is kind of like finding out Brian Wilson had a desert period. But here it is: 17 eye-popping paradisal paintings, produced in a nine-week visit in 1939. The paintings, and their almost psychedelic palette, are as fleshlike and physical as O’Keeffe’s New Mexican work is stripped and metaphysical. The other star of the show, fittingly, is Hawaii, and the garden has mounted a living display of the subjects depicted in the artwork. As much as they might look like the products of an artist’s imagination, the plants and flowers in the Enid Haupt Conservatory are boastfully real. On Aloha Nights every Saturday in June and every other Saturday in July and August, the garden is staging a cultural complement of activities, including lei making, hula lessons and ukulele performances.” (NYT – William L. Hamilton)
718-817-8700, nybg.org / easy 20 minute ride from Grand Central on Metro North.

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 07/24 and 07/22.
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