NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/07) + 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-August”
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:

Nicole Mitchell  (Aug.7-11)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30PM, $20
“The jazz Afrofuturist and radical utopian Nicole Mitchell — whose 2017 albums Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds and Liberation Narratives raised her profile considerably — kicks off a five-night residency Tuesday alongside fellow flutist Robert Dick. The duo’s minimalism should sage the stage for the more elaborate collaborations that will follow. Wednesday, for example, she pursues “Rhythmic Liberation” alongside Haitian electronic musician Val-Inc and Chicago Underground drummer Chad Taylor. Following a palate-cleansing duet with cellist Okkyung Lee on August 9, and as part of a trio with Emma Dayhuff (bass) and Maria Grand (saxophone) the following evening, Mitchell will reprise her “Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler” on August 11 with a quintet featuring saxophonist Darius Jones and vocalist Fay Victor. Inspired by the “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy, Mitchell translates Butler’s thematic complexities into intense heroic abstractions.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>JON IRABAGON QUINTET
>> Momix
>> Melissa Errico and Ryan Silverman: Broadway Romance
>> REGINA SPEKTOR
>> Stranahan, Zaleski, Rosato
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>>
Brasil Summerfest 
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

JON IRABAGON QUINTET
at Smalls / 7:30 and 9 p.m. $20
“Mr. Irabagon won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition 10 years ago thanks to a big saxophone sound that’s as sturdy as it is unruly. He has the language of the classic bebop greats in his playing — Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins — but he likes to stretch his references past breaking. Ever droll, Mr. Irabagon recently released an album titled “Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics,” and it’s classic Irabagon: intense, sophisticated, jokey, no-holds-barred post-bop. He appears at Smalls with the band from that record: Tim Hagans on trumpet, Luis Perdomo on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass and Rudy Royston on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Momix (Aug. 7 – 12)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $45+
The troupe of acrobatic illusionists returns with another of its prop-laden greatest-hits samplers. As usual, though the performers’ physical skill impresses and many of the images beguile, the thinness of the ideas grows ever clearer and the tasteless music grates. Three local premières stick to the group’s formula: cartoon cowboys with limbs of strange length, costumes made of paper or equipped with pulsing rods of light.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Melissa Errico and Ryan Silverman: Broadway Romance
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $50+
“Errico is a smart-edged musical-theater leading lady with a silvery voice; Silverman is an amiable Canadian baritone. Their prominent careers in musical theater have led them to share the stage twice before, in Passion and Finian’s Rainbow; now they get to choose their own show-tune adventures in a concert evening of solos and duets.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but Regina is always worth the detour:
REGINA SPEKTOR (Aug. 7-8)
at Brooklyn Steel / 8 p.m., $60
“Ms. Spektor’s eclectic songwriting style and virtuosity as a pianist initially suggest music that should exist on pop’s more esoteric fringes. Her emotional vulnerability and stripped-down arrangements, though, have proven to be soundtrack catnip: Her music has appeared on TV programs from “Grey’s Anatomy” to “Weeds” to “Orange Is the New Black,” for which she wrote the memorable theme “You’ve Got Time.” For the concerts at Brooklyn Steel, Ms. Spektor will be performing unaccompanied. The second show is sold out, but tickets are available on the resale market.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Stranahan, Zaleski, Rosato (Aug. 7-8.)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ MM
Popping up all over town­ as valued sidemen, the drummer Colin Stranahan, the pianist Glenn Zaleski, and the bassist Rick Rosato also form a coöperative trio. The band’s two albums, “Anticipation” and “Limitless,” were praised for their balance of musicianship and melodicism.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:30PM, $25
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her biweekly series at the brand-new Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show off their talents. Among the many guests at the August 7 edition are Kimberley Locke, Christina Bianco, T. Oliver Reid, Loni Ackerman, Michael Musto, Corey Mach and Michelle Dowdy.” (TONY)

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

More Smart Stuff 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.

Brasil Summerfest  (thru Aug. 12)
Brazil’s beats and bites come to NYC
“Brasil Summerfest, the largest music and arts fest of its kind, returns this week with its biggest year yet and runs through Aug. 12. Starting off Sunday at the Hester Street Fair are DJs Gaspar Muniz and Greg Caz, as well as choro music by Regional de NY, samba by Manhattan Samba and drumming from Fogo Azul. Food will include traditional fare like churrasco, coxinhas, feijoada and more, plus beer and sparkling wine. It’s free for all ages.” (Metro)

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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 08/07 and 08/05.
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