NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/17) + 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-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:

SARASOTA BALLET (Aug.17, 8 p.m.) (Aug.18, 2PM +8PM) (Aug.19, 2PM)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $45+
“Under the artistic direction of Iain Webb, this respected company returns to the Joyce with two programs highlighting ballets by Christopher Wheeldon, Ricardo Graziano — the group’s resident choreographer and one of its principal dancers — and Frederick Ashton, the great British choreographer, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of his death. The season includes a guest performance by Marcelo Gomes, who recently resigned from American Ballet Theater after an allegation of sexual misconduct. In the final pas de deux from Ashton’s “The Two Pigeons,” Mr. Gomes partners with another Sarasota principal dancer, Victoria Hulland.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Pere Ubu
>> Emerging Music Festival
>> JULIAN LAGE
>> BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>> Kurt Rosenwinkel
>> Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano,
>> Asahi Super Dry Experience
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>> Candytopia
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Pere Ubu
Le Poisson Rouge / 7PM, $30
“David Thomas, the founder of the venerable rock band Pere Ubu, began his music career in Cleveland as a pre-punk-era journalist who decided to put his own apocalyptic visions onstage. Since 1975—when the astonishing, riff-conscious singles “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” and “Final Solution” appeared—the band’s on-again, off-again existence and shifting lineups have generated a remarkably cohesive catalogue that weds Thomas’s warbly croak with otherworldly sonic textures and lyrics that can be humanistic, eco-friendly, and (in the case of the 1988 single “We Have the Technology”) presciently world-weary. Pere Ubu’s latest disk, “20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo,” sounds less like a prophecy than like a sensible reaction to the current political climate. The closing song’s lyrics are a cry for connection: “Hold me close / I feel the time running out / I know you must feel it, too.” (NewYorker-K. Leander Williams)

Emerging Music Festival (Aug. 17-18)
Bryant Park / starts 5PM, FREE
“Ten rising indie rock, pop, blues and soul bands from the New York City area are performing at Bryant Park for the Emerging Music Festival: Evolfo, Ohmme, Palmas, Underground System, EZTV on Aug. 17 and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton & Terry Waldo Rum House Jass Band, Madison McFerrin, Katie von Schleicher, Plastic Picnic and Native Sun on Aug. 18.” (amNY)

JULIAN LAGE (Aug. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m., $20
“Mr. Lage seeks communion freely and easily; his playing is elegant and refined, but he’s also happy in the company of rougher improvisers. He starts a five-night run at the Stone on Tuesday, in duet with the spiky guitarist Mary Halvorson. On Wednesday he is joined by the vocalist Margaret Glaspy; on Thursday he appears with Jorge Roeder on bass and Dave King on drums; on Aug. 17, the saxophonist and Stone proprietor John Zorn joins that trio; then on Aug. 18, Mr. Lage closes with a trio featuring Mr. King on drums and Kris Davis on piano.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL (also Aug.18 6PM)
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“With a breathtaking backdrop of the New York Harbor, this festival returns to Battery Park City (the closing event on Aug. 18 will be at the Schimmel Center) with eclectic programming by the artistic director of Battery Dance, Jonathan Hollander. Along with his company, participants include Ariel Rivka Dance and Douglas Dunn & Dancers, as well as out-of-town groups like Damir Tasmagambetov (Kazakhstan), Skopje Dance Theater (Macedonia) and Mophato Dance Theater (Botswana). The breeze is nice, too.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Kurt Rosenwinkel (Aug. 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Last week, the adroit guitarist Rosenwinkel kept the setting sparse, appearing with just a bassist and a drummer for support; this week, he adds harmonic muscle and an interactive jolt to his ensemble in the form of the acclaimed pianist Aaron Parks. Shakeups in the rhythm section include Eric Revis on bass and Allan Mednard on drums.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano, #1 (Aug.15-18)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $80+
“Bebe Neuwirth lives on deadpan: In her best roles—including her Tony-winning turns in Chicago and Sweet Charity, and her Emmy-winning stretch as Lilith Sternin on Cheers—she has presented herself as a kind of human icicle, pale and stiff and dripping with wit. Tonight she slices her distinctive contralto into story songs by Kander and Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, Edith Piaf and Tom Waits.” (TONY)

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

Asahi Super Dry Experience
P.S. Kitchen, 246 W. 48th St./ 5PM-12AM, FREE
“This pop-up bar offers flowing Asahi beer, a fun virtual reality area where guests tour though Asahi’s future state-of-the-art brewery and cruise the night sky and the city’s nightlife.” (amNY)

“All the way from Japan, Asahi Super Dry beer is taking over P.S. Kitchen in Midtown. The pop-up experience will not only have plenty of Asahi and light bites, but there will also be a virtual reality experience that’ll take guests through Tokyo skies. And don’t forget to be on the lookout for prizes throughout the evening.” (bestproducts.com)

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Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (LAST DAY)
“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 (LAST WEEKEND)
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.

Candytopia (thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)
DIVE INTO A HUGE MARSHMALLOW PIT AT CANDYTOPIA
“First it was in Los Angeles, and now it’s made its way to the east coast. Candytopia is officially open in NYC! Just like many other pop-ups, this one has uniquely designed rooms — except this one is all about candy. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to snag a ticket and enjoy the marshmallow pit and candy-filled rooms.” (bestproducts.com)

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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.

Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
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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 you may like:

Dime-Store Alchemy (LAST DAY)
“Drawing inspiration from the boxes of Joseph Cornell, this group show gathers artworks that array ordinary objects within cabinets or other types of containers. The theme is simple, but applied liberally and intelligently by the curator Jonathan Rider, it brims with reminders of the feats of transmutation that artists can perform.” (NYT-JILLIAN STEINHAUER)  Flag Art Foundation, 545 West 25th 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 this 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 08/15 and 08/13.

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