NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/30) + US Tennis Open (Day 4)

“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.


Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Summer HD Festival: Rusalka
Metropolitan Opera Plaza, Lincoln Center / 7:45PM, FREE

“Mary Zimmerman’s fantastical production features soprano Kristine Opolaisas the melancholy water nymph at the center of Dvořák’s dark fairy tale. Original transmission: February 25, 2017 Approximate running time: 2 hours 45 minutes.”

“The tenth Summer HD Festival features ten thrilling performances from the Met’s Live in HD series of cinema transmissions. The showings run from August 24 through September 3, with approximately 3,000 seats set up in front of the opera house each night, as well as additional standing room around Lincoln Center Plaza.”

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Mutual Benefit
>> Soy Caribeña!: Women’s Voices of the Caribbean featuring Krudas Cubensi + Carolina Camacho
>>  Joe Lovano
>> Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole:
>> Katie Thiroux
>> Roy Hargrove
Continuing Events
>> Today’s Top Event –  U.S. TENNIS OPEN

>> Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival
>> Fear & Force: New York City’s Sons of Liberty

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Summer Thursdays: Mutual Benefit
The Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture Garden
Free with Museum admission / 5:30–8:00 p.m.
Live music begins at 6:30 p.m.
“Mutual Benefit is the sprawling chamber folk project of songwriter Jordan Lee. For nearly a decade, he has crafted pop experiments that blend orchestral instrumentation and ambient electronic sounds in songs that are uniquely comforting but willing to stare down life’s more difficult existential quandaries. The recordings are highly collaborative, with friends adding keys, electronics, harmonies, violin and banjo, woodwinds, and found sounds, expanding on Lee’s ethereal voice and off-kilter arrangements.

As a writer for The New Yorker heard it, “Bells and flutes and strings blend with basic rock instruments; vocal arrangements pulse and flow, and the result shimmies beyond the fence of the familiar.” At Summer Thursdays, a five-piece Mutual Benefit will play songs from across the band’s discography and from Lee’s forthcoming full-length, due out this fall.”

Soy Caribeña!: Women’s Voices of the Caribbean featuring Krudas Cubensi + Carolina Camacho
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Join a group of pioneering Caribbean women for this powerful night of music. Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes, a.k.a. Krudas Cubensi, are Cuban hip-hop MCs, independent musicians, poets, theater performers, and educators standing up for Black and Latin womxn, immigrants, queers, and people of color. They choose art as a weapon to fight against oppression and for justice, balance, and human rights for all. They’re joined by the Dominican singer-songwriter Carolina Camacho, who fuses folkloric rhythms with electronic and vocal jazz and “potent lyrics about the power of women, the body, and movement” (Remezcla).”

Joe Lovano (Aug.28-Sept.2)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Too young at age sixty-five to be considered an elder statesman, but with enough experience and wisdom to have secured a position in the jazz firmament, Lovano can safely be called a master, a saxophonist and bandleader of rare inspiration. For this engagement, he steers an intergenerational quartet that includes Marc Johnson (the last bassist to work with Bill Evans) and the septuagenarian drummer Andrew Cyrille (a valued associate of Cecil Taylor).” (Steve Futterman,NewYorker)

 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)

Katie Thiroux (Aug.29-Sept.1)
Birdland Theatre, 315 W. 44th St./ 7PM, $20-$30
A bassist with a sound as massive as a cruise ship and a singer with a pocket-size voice that she maneuvers with expressive agility, Thiroux is as seriously musical as she is serenely entertaining. Her quartet includes the virtuosic clarinettist and saxophonist Ken Peplowski.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Roy Hargrove (Aug.28-31)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Fiery trumpeter Hargrove has deep crossover appeal—you can hear him grooving with Erykah Badu and Common on his early aughts album Hard Groove alongside his slick funky combo RH Factor. Since then, he’s proven himself a veritable multitalent, switching over to a soulful neobop quintet. You’ll be hearing him in the latter mode in the second half of his Blue Note residency (Aug 28–Sept 2) and in a duet format with Grammy-winning vet Paquito D’Rivera earlier in the month (Aug 13–Aug 16).” (TONY)


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

More Smart Stuff coming soon.


Continuing Events

Today’s Top Event


The U.S. Open begins play today (11AM) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens (about 45 min. from Times Square) and runs through Sept.09. This tournament, which serves up the world’s best tennis players right in our backyard,    is the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year.
subway: @ Times Square take #7 to Willets Point.

Today’s tips: Arrive Early. Security screening seems to have been ratcheted up which may cause delays to enter. Best not to bring a backpack, but bring a hat & cold water – the temps and humidity have been off the charts.

The most comprehensive review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes/Sports. OR for another useful guide to the U.S. Open, try TimeOutNewYork’s guide.

Early in the tournament forget the Big House (Arthur Ashe Stadium), which is a full 50% larger than any of the stadiums at the other majors and not a good place to watch tennis. Get a grounds pass and once inside check out one of the electronic scoreboards listing matches in progress. Find a match or players that interest you. Head over to their court for some great tennis, because in this tournament even the qualifiers are great players. There is no other major sporting event where you can get so close to world class athletes as at the U.S. Open – at least on the outer field courts, and the Grandstand court. These are  courts where you can get a real sense of the pace of the game.

Unfortunately, the brand new Armstrong stadium carries on the USTA tradition of building humongous stadiums which provide good viewing only for those who buy reserved seats in their lower bowls, which can be pretty pricey. Not nice places to watch tennis for the rest of us. But we still have the outer courts and Grandstand.


Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival (Aug.24-Sep.03)
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
“Think you can’t afford the finer things? Think again. We got the hookup on free opera. For its tenth summer in a row, the Metropolitan Opera invites you to Lincoln Center Plaza for nightly alfresco screenings of epic performances from previous seasons. From August 24–September 3, the Met will set up over 2,800 seats in front of the Opera House, where you and your date can eat and enjoy tapes of the shows under the stars.

The Met opens the series with a self-aware screening of the Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera on August 24. After that, you can check out classics like Anthony Minghella’s stunning Madama Butterfly production (September 3 and 8) and many more. Here’s the lineup: A Night at the Opera (August 24) Roméo et Juliette (August 25) Norma (August 26) Elektra (August 27) Il Barbiere di Siviglia (August 28) Lulu (August 29) Rusalka (August 30) L’Elisir d’Amore (August 31) Un Ballo in Maschera (September 1) Der Rosenkavalier (September 2) Madama Butterfly (September 3 and 8)” (TONY)

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.”

♦ 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.


Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Hit the Hot Link and check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St.,, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St. (btw 6/7),, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474
Sony Hall – 235 W 46th St. (btw 7/8),, 212-997-5123
and one more, not exactly WestSide:
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.,

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St., 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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