NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/23) + 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-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:

BOB DYLAN (Nov.23-24,26-27,29-30,Dec.1)
at the Beacon Theater / 8PM, $90+
“The 77-year-old impresario of American song is offering a week’s worth of shows as part of what for the past 30 years some journalists have termed his Never Ending Tour — a label Dylan himself flatly rejects. Dylan’s external gruffness masks a man whose performances remain as heartfelt as they were more than 50 years ago, when he was just another guy with a guitar bumming around Greenwich Village. The shows on Friday and Dec. 1 are sold out, but tickets are available through resellers.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Jason Moran and the Bandwagon
>> Carla Cook
>> Carol Sloane
>> Maria Schneider Orchestra
>> TWYLA THARP DANCE 
>> Marilyn Maye Gives Thanks
>> DIZZY GILLESPIE ALL-STARS
Continuing Events
>>Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>>New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker”
>> Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Jason Moran and the Bandwagon (Nov.20-25)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St. / 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“The bandleader and composer James Reese Europe is as important as he is unsung. In 1912, he organized the first concert at Carnegie Hall to feature African-American composers exclusively. His death, in 1919, at the hands of a disgruntled bandmate, was followed by a quick slide into regrettable posthumous obscurity. The simultaneously adventurous and historically aware pianist Jason Moran, fronting his avidly attuned trio, addresses Europe’s legacy.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Carla Cook (Nov.23-24)
Mezzrow, 163 W. 10th St./ 8PM, +9:30PM, $20-$25
“Carla Cook is a vivacious, genre-fluid singer who can take on an Ellington-penned jewel as easily as she can “Scarborough Fair” or “Watermelon Man.” She has sympathetic cohorts in the pianist Bruce Barth and the bassist Kenny Davis, both of whom worked with the vocalist on her widely celebrated album “Simply Natural.”
(Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Carol Sloane (Nov. 21-24.)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 7PM, $30
“There was once a time when you couldn’t stroll from Greenwich Village to the Upper East Side without stumbling upon a trove of terrific singers, ever ready to polish American-songbook chestnuts and jazz standards into dazzling gems. The vocalist Carol Sloane was among this honored bunch, and now, hale and welcoming with a program promisingly titled “Still Autumn in New York,” she proudly carries on the tradition.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Maria Schneider Orchestra (Nov.20-21; Nov.23-25)
Jazz Standard,116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40 – looks like a tough ticket, may need to try the secondary market.
“Maria Schneider has a handsome collection of Grammys, and the accolades are well deserved: This protégée of the late bandleading/arranging genius Gil Evans fronts the most polished modern jazz orchestra on the planet, a vehicle for her lush, intricate and refreshingly accessible works. Catch her at this annual Thanksgiving engagement.” (TONY)

TWYLA THARP DANCE  (thru Dec.09)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM; $60+
“Tharp takes inspiration from just about anything fit for a stage — from ballet to the circus to baton twirling — so she can sometimes feel like a stylistic maximalist. But early in her career, she caught the minimalism bug sweeping through the arts at the time. This nearly four-week engagement, called “Minimalism and Me,” focuses on works she created between 1965 and 1971. Among them are the now-classic “Tank Dive,” “The History of Up and Down” and “Eight Jelly Rolls,” a richly layered romp to music by the ragtime master Jelly Roll Morton.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Marilyn Maye Gives Thanks (Nov.19-24)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $70+
“Maye’s stellar past includes a string of classy RCA albums in the ’60s and a nearly unequaled number of Tonight Show appearances, but this husky-voiced, earthy belter has never sounded better than she does now. In her latest engagement at F/54, the newly nonagenarian singer shares Great American Songbook favorites, including a medley from My Fair Lady and a smattering of holiday songs. Beyond her remarkable energy and musical acuity, the astonishing Maye has a bone-deep comfort that imbues familiar songs with fresh simplicity, truthfulness and power.” (TONY)

DIZZY GILLESPIE ALL-STARS (Nov.20-25)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30PM, $30-$45
“This annual engagement celebrates the birthday of Dizzy Gillespie, the co-inventor of bebop and a champion of Latin jazz, who died in 1993. The All-Stars’ ever-evolving lineup now stands at nine and boasts some of today’s finest straight-ahead talent (the trumpeters Terell Stafford and Freddie Hendrix, the drummer Willie Jones III), including a few who played with Gillespie himself (the pianist Cyrus Chestnut and the bassist John Lee). This year’s proceedings may have an elegiac air: The trumpeter Roy Hargrove, a longtime member of the group, died earlier this month at 49.” (NYT -GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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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

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy the Holiday Shops, The Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Holiday Shops are open through January 2, 2019.

The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)

Tree Lighting Skate-tacular
As one of the most popular holiday markets in NYC, the Winter Village has big plans to make their tree-lighting ceremony (held 6PM, Tuesday, December 4) a smash.

An annual New York City Christmas tradition, Tree Lighting Skate-tacular is led by a celebrity narrator who reads an original Christmas tale. As the story unfolds, the characters are brought to life by world-class skaters performing on the ice, under the stars in the Midtown cityscape. Excitement builds until the finale: the Tree is lit, surrounded by fireworks. With host Alan Cumming and performances by Olympic skaters Johnny Weir, Kaetlyn Osmond, Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and Jeremy Abbott.
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New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 30)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / various times, $40+
“Most people think of “The Nutcracker” as a light entertainment, and it is, but it’s also more than that. It’s an adventure, undertaken by a special little girl, Marie. She doesn’t care for conventional toys—instead, she’s drawn to the odd-looking Nutcracker. She’s sensitive—when the Nutcracker breaks, she can’t rest until she has tended to its wounds. And she’s valiant—faced with a mouse a head taller than she is, she stands her ground, striking him with her slipper. The choreographer George Balanchine, who created the now classic version in 1954 for New York City Ballet (at the David H. Koch Nov. 23-Dec. 30), had the good sense not to undermine her bravery by saying that it was all a dream. “Actually, it’s not a dream,” he once explained. “It’s the reality that Mother didn’t believe.” The Land of the Sweets, with its brilliant dancing, is her prize, and ours.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET at the NYS Theater (through Dec. 30). A New York holiday tradition returns as City Ballet embarks on another season of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” That magical growing Christmas tree is as glorious as ever, and as usual, a rotating cast of the company’s top ballerinas, and some promising up-and-comers, take turns as the regal Sugar Plum Fairy. There are subtle recent changes as well, notably in Act II’s visit to the Land of Sweets, which the company has reworked to tone down long-ingrained cultural stereotypes.” (NYT- Brian Schaefer)
212-496-0600, nycballet.com

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Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes  (Nov.09- Jan.01)
Radio City Music Hall / various times, $46+
“There’s more great precision dancing than ever in the show’s current edition, which was revamped in 2007 and tweaked again this year. Glamorously outfitted in a series of eye-popping costumes, the Rockettes perform on a double-decker bus, a sparkly staircase and a snowy forest and enact a lightning-fast version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Not to worry: They’re still doing the classic “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” number, too. Each scene is enhanced by video backdrops displayed on one of the world’s largest LED screens.”

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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.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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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

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.” (

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 11/21 and 11/19.
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