NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/25) + 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:

Karrin Allyson (Aug. 24-26.)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts./ 7, 9, +10:30PM, $40
“In her search for repertoire that fits her like a glove, this veteran singer has lighted on touchstones from, among a small universe of disparate sources, Joni Mitchell, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and John Coltrane. With her new album, “Some of That Sunshine,” Allyson presents her first recording of all-original material. She will sprinkle some shiny new tunes throughout her sets.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> AARON GOLDBERG AND MATT PENMAN
>> Stanley Jordan Trio
>> CHARLES ALTURA
>>  Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole:
>> Harold Mabern
>> Count Basie Orchestra
>> The Jazz Age Lawn Party
Continuing Events
>> 2018 U.S. Open Fan Week
>> Fear & Force: New York City’s Sons of Liberty
>> Candytopia
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

AARON GOLDBERG AND MATT PENMAN
at Mezzrow / 8 and 9:30 p.m., $
“Mr. Goldberg, a pianist, plays straight-ahead jazz with tight command; his notes almost always seem to be shot with a glint of light. He aims for the sublime almost constantly, and usually gets most of the way there. “At the Edge of the World,” a remarkable trio album due in the fall, is a particularly successful effort. Partly that’s thanks to the help of Mr. Penman, a surefire bassist who appears this weekend in a duo with Mr. Goldberg.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Stanley Jordan Trio (Aug.23-25)
Iridium, 1650Broadway / 8PM, +10PM, $30
“Way back in the ’80s, when he arrived on the scene to help resuscitate the Blue Note jazz label, Jordan’s slick brand of guitaristics was all about showing off his “magic touch.” These days he can get awful gritty when the feeling hits, in the manner of a modern-day Wes Montgomery. This weekend, Jordan heads a solo show (Aug 23) and two nights in a trio format (Aug 24, 25).” (TONY)

CHARLES ALTURA
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $25
“Mr. Altura is a virtuoso guitarist who seems unfazed in almost any context. He came up on the Los Angeles scene in the mid-2000s, playing blazing fusion alongside Thundercat, and now he’s a central part of projects led by Terence Blanchard, Chick Corea and Ambrose Akinmusire — all jazz luminaries. This weekend Mr. Altura presents a new work of his own, commissioned by the Jazz Gallery, titled “Portraits of Resonance.” His top-flight band will include Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Aaron Parks on piano, Joe Martin on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

 Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole: Two For the Road (Aug.21-31)
54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“Feinstein, the popular and polished standard-bearer of American song, returns to the club that bears his name for a long run that teams him with one of the best cabaret performers out there: Broadway leading lady Ebersole (Grey Gardens), who is equally skilled at comedy and sentiment and who moves with ease between her lustrous belt and legit soprano. Among the selections in their Great American Songbook–centered set are “Stormy Weather,” “Time After Time” and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.” (TONY)

Harold Mabern (Aug. 21-26.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $35
“What distinguished pianist Harold Mabern from his brethren when he debuted as a recording artist with A Few Miles From Memphis (1968) was the heaviness with which he hit those 88 keys. It was Mabern, after all, who helped bring the crash-chord style of Art Tatum and Erroll Garner into the thick of the jazz-rich era of the late Sixties and early Seventies, via such Prestige label gems as Workin’ & Wailin’ (1969) and Greasy Kid Stuff! (1970). Later in his career, Mabern found his groove as a trio leader, working alongside such indelible rhythm sections as Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette on Straight Street (1989) and Christian McBride and Tony Reedus on Maybern’s Grooveyard (1996) and Maya With Love (2000). More recently, the 82-year-young pianist’s go-to combo has been John Webber on double bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums. Though it has been a decent while since the group released its excellent 2014 LP for Smoke Sessions, Right on Time, we can only hope that the auspicious trio’s return to the Vanguard for this multi-night stand spells some new music in the offing.” (Ron Hart, VillageVoice)

Count Basie Orchestra (Aug.23-25)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40+
“2015 marked the 80th Anniversary of The Count Basie Orchestra. William J. “Count” Basie (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935 and proceeded to develop one of the greatest jazz groups in history.

Under Basie’s leadership — with a strong commitment to making sure every tune was danceable — the orchestra featured many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Clark Terry, and many more. They played for Kings and Queens, appeared in movies and television shows, and won 18 Grammy® Awards, the most for any orchestra. Today, under the leadership of director, Scotty Barnhart, The Count Basie Orchestra is traveling the world, swinging and shouting the blues with precision, in Count Basie’s unmistakable style of Kansas City swing.”

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

The Jazz Age Lawn Party (Aug. 25-26)
Governors Island / $45-$75, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.,
“Forget 1999 — at this gathering, you can party like it’s 1929. With a prohibition-era theme, the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island gives guests a chance to gussy up in flapper fashion. Food will be sold, but picnicking is invited (outside alcohol is prohibited). Michael Arenella & His Dreamland Orchestra are the featured performers among the seven musical acts scheduled; find croquet on the lawn, plus Roaring Twenties-style dance lessons.” (amNY)

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Continuing Events

2018 U.S. Open Fan Week (Aug.21-26)
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park /
“There’s going to be a lot of racket (swinging) at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park come August 27 during the U.S. Open, a two-week tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. Tickets for the usually star-studded matches (Bey and Jay-Z attended in recent years) tend to be steep ($65 to $100 for the cheap seats), but you can attend free of charge during U.S. Open Fan Week.

Just one week before the professional matches begin, head to the National Tennis Center to watch a qualifying tournament, where 128 women and 128 men compete. You can also check out the top dogs in tennis practice on the grounds (think Serena and Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal), and be just a few feet away from your favorite players. There’s even more tennis-related activities scheduled off the court, too. Get pumped for New York’s major summer sporting showdown during the U.S. Open Experience on Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23 at Brookfield Place. Players and special guests will make appearances and pose for selfies, and there will be food sampling and more sponsor-related activities at the scene. The event promises to be more fun than you can shake a racket at!” (TONY)

For a wonderful guide to the U.S. Open, try TimeOutNewYork’s guide.

Fear & Force: New York City’s Sons of Liberty
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, $7
“We may not like paying taxes, but we would never think to tar and feather the tax collector. Yet as many of the colonists prepared for what would be the American Revolution, there was an organized group who opposed the government through violent resistance. Come see objects preserved from pivotal moments relating to the New York Sons of Liberty, like the tearing down of the King George statue in Bowling Green Park, and throwing chests of tea into the New York Harbor.”

Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin (opening night Aug.24- Oct.28)
59E59 Theaters/ 7PM, $25
“Felder has made a career out of solo tributes to famous composers, including Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt and Leonard Bernstein. His latest is devoted to Great American Songbook legend Irving Berlin.” (TONY)

“Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin brings the man behind the iconic music to life in an evening reflecting Berlin’s remarkable journey from child immigrant to America’s most beloved and prolific songwriter, and featuring the some of the composer’s most popular and enduring songs including “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Always,” “Blue Skies,” “God Bless America,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” and “White Christmas.”

“Richly entertaining and touching.” – Los Angeles Times
“[Hershey Felder] may indeed rightfully be considered a legend in our time.” – Broadway World

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: 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 08/23 and 08/21.
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