NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/03) + 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-December”
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:

Not Manhattan’s WestSide, but this should be worth the detour:

Yo La Tengo (Dec.2-9)
Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St./ 7:30PM, $40
“In 2001, Yo La Tengo booked a Hanukkah residency at Maxwell’s, giving birth to a tradition that, after a dark stretch following the Hoboken club’s demise, made its way to Bowery Ballroom, last year. The charity concerts established themselves as quintessential Yo La Tengo shows—the band’s own Rat Pack at Sands experience. Each night features a fresh group of opening musical acts and comedians. The comics are the crucial ingredient, allowing the band to exchange the staid rhythms of an indie-rock show for the free-flowing air of a standup club, with starry drop-in guests presented, like all good Hanukkah gifts, as a surprise.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Behind the Magic,
>> Marissa Mulder: Sinatra! A Man Alone
>> Broadway Sings John Legend
>> Titanique: In Concert
>> Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song
Continuing Events
>>Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>>New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker”
>> Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Behind the Magic, New York City Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 6:30PM, $20
“Join us for a never-before-seen look at one of the most cherished ballets in New York City Ballet’s repertory, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®. This new onstage program features performance excerpts from this holiday classic, demonstrations, and the rare opportunity to hear interviews with the artists who make this magical production possible.”

Marissa Mulder: Sinatra! A Man Alone
The Triad / 7PM, $20
“As comfortable singing Tom Waits as she is singing Noël Coward, the winsomely natural yet richly emotional Mulder is one of the cabaret world’s breakout successes of the past decade. Her new set finds her covering Frank Sinatra’s 1969 album A Man Alone, which is devoted entirely to songs by the popular poet and songwriter Rod McKuen. Music historian Will Friedwald produces and introduces the show; Jon Weber is the pianist.” (TONY)

Broadway Sings John Legend
Highline Ballroom / 8PM, $30+
“John Legend is an EGOT, goddammit, and even though his Tony is only for producing, that doesn’t mean musical-theater stars can’t show him a little love. The latest installment of Corey Mach’s Broadway Sings series is devoted to the Legendary catalog, as arranged by Joshua Stephen Kartes for a 14-piece jazz orchestra. Along with Mach, the roster of performers includes Alysha Umphress, Eden Espinosa, Amber Iman, Kristolyn Lloyd, Demarius R. Copes, Max Chernin, Mark Evans, J. Harrison Ghee, Aisha Jackson, Brittney Johnson, Justin Mortelliti, Solea Pfeiffer, Colton Ryan, Ryan Vasquez and Raena White.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this should be worth the detour:

Roulette / 8 p.m. $25
“The pianist Sylvie Courvoisier recently released a sneakily expansive album — packed with small surprises and irreverent redirections — titled “D’Agala.” She appears here with the trio from that recording: Drew Gress on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums. After a set break, she will join the trumpeter Nate Wooley in a different group, with the saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and the vibraphonist Matt Moran, playing the fourth installment of Wooley’s “Battle Pieces.” This continuing work, specifically built to feature these four musicians, mixes free improvisation with flexible miniature elements composed by Wooley.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Titanique: In Concert (Dec.01-03)
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, $20+
“The songs of Quebecois nightingale Celine Dion are the stately vessel—or are they the iceberg?—in this campy concert spoof of James Cameron’s 1997 romantic disaster film, written by stars Marla Mindelle (Sister Act) and Constantine Rousouli (Cruel Intentions) with director Tye Blue. Also in the cast are Alex Ellis, Stephen Guarino, Mykal Gilgore, Sebastian La Cause, Kathy Deitch and the painfully shy Frankie J. Grande.” (TONY)


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

Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM< $35
“Carry a torch for this conversation on the new Broadway production of Torch Song with playwright Harvey Fierstein and performers Michael Urie and Mercedes Ruehl.” (


Continuing Events

So much going on in this town over the holidays. Too many events & performances to list here. For a much fuller list, check out the tab above “Holidays.”

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.

New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 30)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / various times, $40

“New York City Ballet continues performances of its acclaimed 1954 production that would melt the Scroogiest of hearts. The elaborate staging includes a one-ton Christmas tree that grows from a 12 feet to 41 feet and an 85-pound, nine-feet wide Mother Ginger. The ballet highlights dozens of talented and adorable children from the School of American Ballet, but the star of the show isn’t just one dancer but a bevy of Snowflakes. Their waltz — full of beauty and daring — will take your breath away. ” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)


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.”

♦ 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 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.,, 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.,, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.

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

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.

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


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:

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 ( 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.) “

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 12/01 and 11/29.

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