NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/09) + 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-November”
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:

Tosca (next Nov.13, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $30+
“Met favorite Sondra Radvanovsky and rising star Jennifer Rowley share the title role of the volatile diva at the heart of Puccini’s operatic thriller. Joseph Calleja brings his stylish tenor to the role of Cavaradossi, Wolfgang Koch is the nefarious police chief Scarpia, and Carlo Rizzi conducts Sir David McVicar’s resplendent production.”

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> JAMES FRANCIES BAND
>> Hungarian State Opera and Ballet
>> Django Reinhardt Festival
>> “JALC Plays Miles Davis”
>>  Hafez Modirzadeh
Continuing Events
>> Canstruction
>> White Light Festival
>> Harry Potter: A History of Magic
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

JAMES FRANCIES BAND
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $30
“One of the more promising young pianists to emerge recently, Francies last month released “Flight,” his debut album, on Blue Note. Produced by the bassist Derrick Hodge, it’s got a spacey, glistening ambience, but Francies cuts through that with his bright, forthright touch and dashing improvisations. He will play original tunes from the album at Jazz Standard, with the tenor saxophonist Ben Wendel, the guitarist Gilad Hekselman, the bassist Burniss Travis and the drummer Kendrick Scott. The group will also welcome three guest vocalists — Chris Turner, Kate Kelsey-Sugg and YEBBA — each of whom sings one song on “Flight.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Hungarian State Opera and Ballet (next Nov.9, 8PM)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center/ 7PM, $10+
“The Hungarian State Opera of Budapest makes its Lincoln Center debut with a rich variety of ballet and opera productions to choose from. It will present Hungarian iconic historical opera pieces: Erkel’s Bánk bán (The Viceroy Bank), Goldmark’s The Queen of Sheba, world-famous 20th century one-act operas Vajda’s Mario and the Magician and Bartók Bluebeard’s Castle, but also beloved classical ballets: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, and Petipa and Minkus’ Don Quixote. Those who prefer more modern ballet pieces can also see Hans van Manen’s 2017 triple bill LOL

“JALC Plays Miles Davis” (Nov. 8-10)
Rose Theatre, 60th St. at Broadway / 8PM, $
“Miles Davis, by his own account, changed the nature of music some “four or five times.” The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, in its survey of the great man’s work, will only scratch the surface of his multifarious career, but it will still cover considerable ground, touching on Davis’s bebop, cool-jazz, hard-bop, and modal periods, and concluding with a new arrangement of “Tout de Suite,” from the early days of his late-sixties foray into fusion.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Hafez Modirzadeh  (also Saturday)
The Jazz Gallery / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $25
“This Iranian-American saxist Hafez Modirzadeh first came to our attention releasing a series of excellent albums on Pi Recordings that attempted to find common ground between Persian scales and their Western counterparts. Here he plays two duo perfomances for his “Pulsivity/Resonance Project,” which explores notions of time through re-tuned piano and saxophone.”

Django Reinhardt Festival (Nov. 6-11)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“The spell of a Belgian Gypsy guitarist­ with a damaged fretting hand, who made a single, brief visit to America in late 1946, seven years before he died, still retains its power. Paying homage to the passionate virtuoso at this annual festival will be members of the Schmitt family, including the guitarists Dorado and his sons Samson and Amati, along with such Stateside guests as Grace Kelly, Edmar Castañeda, and Joel Frahm.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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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

Canstruction (Nov.02-15)
Brookfield Place | Battery Park City / 10AM-8PM, FREE
“This annual cans-for-a-cause competition pits architecture teams against each other to create larger-than-life Pop Art–installations using more than 120,000 cans of nonperishable food, all in the name of ending hunger (every can is donated to City Harvest). Head down to Brookfield Place to see the unveiling of these engineering spectacles, all built overnight after months of planning, and check back to see if your favorite takes home any titles in judges’ categories like Best Use of Labels, Best Meal and Structural Ingenuity. Admission is free, but do your part by bringing the suggested donation of one canned good per person.” (TONY)

White Light Festival (through Nov.18)
“Lincoln Center’s annual White Light Festival, integrating performances from around the world in a cross-cultural extravaganza, will play six venues across the city.

The festival will include performances of Waiting for Godot from Ireland’s Druid Theatre Company, directed by Tony-winning director Garry Hynes—the first female to win a Tony Award for direction of a play.

Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui brings Sutra to the stage, featuring martial arts from China’s Shaolin monks. Hip-hop, contemporary dance, and aerial work combine in the presentation of Borderline by Company Wang Ramirez. The U.S. premiere of Blak Whyte Gray, a mix of hip-hop and African-inspired movement, makes its way from across the pond to the Lincoln Center stage, as well as the U.S. premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s chamber opera Only the Sound Remains, directed by Peter Sellars and starring Philippe Jaroussky and Davóne Tines.”

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (Now-1/27/19)
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W.
“Gather round ye muggles and wizards, squibs and witches, tourists and natives: magic is on its way. Harry Potter: A History of Magic, commemorating the beloved series’s 20th anniversary, is now open at the New-York Historical Society. One of the most eagerly anticipated exhibits to hit the city since, well, ever, the show comes straight from the British Library in London, where, not surprisingly, it was the institution’s most successful exhibition.

Artifacts like crystal balls, Leonardo da Vinci notebooks, and the first written record of the magic word “abracadabra” are among the treasures on display, joined by original materials from author J.K. Rowling’s archives. Also on view to the public for the first time will be Mary GrandPré’s illustrations created for Scholastic’s original editions of the novels. Costumes and set models from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened on Broadway in April, will be showcased in the exhibition. A long list of events will take place in conjunction with the exhibit, including trivia night, talks, an adult costume party, and more.” (cityguideny)
Daily, except most Mondays, $21, $6 ages 5-13, free 4 and younger

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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 is one exhibition the New Yorker likes:

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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 11/07 and 11/05.

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