NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/04) + 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-January”
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:

COUNTDOWN 2019: JOHN COLTRANE FESTIVAL  (Jan. 1-6)
at Smoke /  7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $45
“Smoke is uptown Manhattan’s trustiest home for world-class, straight-ahead jazz; the venue also runs its own in-house record label. For the next two and a half weeks, it will present a festival featuring all-star groups made up of some famed performers who typically grace its stage, and its albums. From Thursday through Jan. 2, the pianist Harold Mabern will lead his quartet. Throughout the festival, there will be separate performances at 11:45 p.m. and 12:45 a.m. each night, New Year’s Eve being the only exception. From Friday through Thursday, the pianist and vocalist Johnny O’Neal will play these midnight sets; for the rest of the festival, they will feature the pianist Marc Cary and his Harlem Sessions ensemble.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Adriana Lecouvreur
>> Patrick Bartley: The Mighty Cannonball Adderley
>> Fred Barton and His Broadway Band: Broadway Gems & Swing Rarities
>> “American Dance Platform
>> Fred Hersch Trio
>> Andrea McArdle and Donna McKechnie Celebrate Sondheim & Hamlisch

>> Herbie Nichols 100th Birthday
Continuing Events
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Winter Jazzfest
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Adriana Lecouvreur (next Jan.8, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $17+
“Soprano Anna Netrebko joins the ranks of Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, and Renata Scotto, taking on—for the first time at the Met—the title role of the real-life French actress who dazzled 18th-century audiences with her on-and offstage passion. The soprano is joined by tenor Piotr Beczała as Adriana’s lover, Maurizio. The principal cast also features mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and baritone Ambrogio Maestri. Gianandrea Noseda conducts. Sir David McVicar’s staging, which sets the action in a working replica of a Baroque theater, premiered at the Royal Opera House in London, where the Guardian praised the “elegant production, sumptuously designed … The spectacle guarantees a good night out.”

Patrick Bartley: The Mighty Cannonball Adderley
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $25+
“Rising star saxophonist Patrick Bartley is still in his early 20s, but he’s already a favorite here at Jazz at Lincoln Center and a first-call player with all sorts of veteran bandleaders, including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s Jon Batiste and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Steve Miller. He brings every concert to the next level, from Brianna Thomas’ Ella Sang the Blues and Steve Miller’s annual blues concerts, to his own The Timeless John Coltrane. Tonight he will treat audiences to a celebration of another legendary saxophonist in The Mighty Cannonball Adderley, an outstanding show originally presented as a Late Night Session and at the Caramoor Jazz Festival. In addition to leading essential groups of his own, Cannonball Adderley was best known for his work with Miles Davis, having recorded on Davis’ landmark albums Milestones and Kind of Blue. For one night only at Dizzy’s Club, Bartley will bring this music to life with authenticity and a hint of modern flair.”

Fred Barton and His Broadway Band: Broadway Gems & Swing Rarities
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 9:30PM, $25+
“Pianist, performer, arranger and show-tune preservationist Fred Barton swings back into the Feinstein’s/54 Below with a lively eight-piece band and guest vocalists including Michele Ragusa, Karen Murphy, Jesse Luttrell and Karen Wilder.” (TONY)

“American Dance Platform” (Jan. 3-7)
Joyce Theatre / 8PM, $75
Among the three pairings in this year’s sampler, the sole Joyce début is that of Raphael Xavier, whose poetic take on hip-hop, related to that of his colleague Rennie Harris, shares a bill with Ballet X, which reprises two of the solid works (by Trey McIntyre and Matthew Neenan) it brought to the Joyce last summer. Ronald K. Brown has a New York première, “New Conversations: Iron Meets Wood,” with live music by Arturo O’Farrill; it shares a program with Ephrat Asherie’s “Riff This, Riff That,” which explores the jazz roots of hip-hop. Stephen Petronio’s troupe, performing his sophisticated “Hardness 10” and parts of Steve Paxton’s “Goldberg Variations,” offers a stronger balance of past and present than its program mate, the Martha Graham Dance Company.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Fred Hersch Trio (Jan. 1-6.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
Fred Hersch’s pianistic gifts are legendary, but his uncanny ability to assemble perfectly calibrated trios should not be taken for granted. Over the past decade, he’s had a winning combination in the bassist John Hebert and the drummer Eric McPherson, who, as demonstrated on the recent release “Live in Europe,” make up an intuitive rhythm team of distinction. On the final three nights of this engagement, the frighteningly adept alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon joins the unit.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Andrea McArdle and Donna McKechnie Celebrate Sondheim & Hamlisch (also Jan.5)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $50+
“After a brilliant career as one of the all-time great Broadway dancers, McKechnie has refocused her energies on singing; McArdle has a performanent place in our hearts for her performance as the big-belting moppet in Annie. Now the two troupers team up for a salute to Stephen Sondheim and Marvin Hamlisch. Expect songs from Company and A Chorus Line—McKechnie was in the original casts of both—as well as Follies, A Little Night Music, They’re Playing Our Song and more.” (TONY)

Herbie Nichols 100th Birthday (Jan. 2-5.)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30PM, $20
During the course of his truncated career, the once neglected pianist Herbie Nichols left behind a skimpy recorded legacy, but the handful of albums he cut between 1955 and 1957 are chockablock with his marvellously idiosyncratic compositions and highly personal playing. To celebrate the hundredth birthday of this now revered figure, Nichols’s still arresting music will be presented in a variety of formats: solo performances, vocal interpretations, and a brass band featuring four trombonists.”
(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

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 Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
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)

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Winter Jazzfest (Jan.4-12)
Various Locations, 8PM, $60, two day pass $95
“During the typically bleak post–New Year’s Eve concert lull, Winter Jazzfest is a bright spot on the city’s calendar. With shows spread across nine nights, the fest brings top jazzers to venues like Le Poisson Rouge, Nublu and, for the first time, Brooklyn Steel. The festivities end with its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon: a buzzy, multi-stage blowout that’s typically one of the best concerts in NYC. The marathon shows aren’t individually ticketed, so a wristband grants you access to any of each night’s gigs—as long as a given club doesn’t hit capacity. It’s a model that encourages sampling and venue-hopping. The event also requires patience and an open mind: If your preferred show is full, pull out the schedule, and head to one of the nearby spots for something unexpected. This year’s fest continues to stand with movements including #metoo and #blacklivesmatter in its active support of social and racial justice, gender equality and immigrant rights. (TONY)

A full guide to Winter Jazzfest

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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 65 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)

Whitney Museum of American Art

‘ANDY WARHOL — FROM A TO B AND BACK AGAIN’  (through March 31) “Although this is the artist’s first full American retrospective in 31 years, he’s been so much with us — in museums, galleries, auctions — as to make him, like wallpaper, like the atmosphere, only half-noticed. The Whitney show restores him to a full, commanding view, but does so in a carefully shaped and edited way, with an emphasis on very early and late work. Despite the show’s monumentalizing size, supplemented by an off-site display of the enormous multipanel painting called “Shadows,” it’s a human-scale Warhol we see. Largely absent is the artist-entrepreneur who is taken as a prophet of our market-addled present. What we have instead is Warhol for whom art, whatever else it was, was an expression of personal hopes and fears.”  (Cotter)

Museum of Modern Art

Charles White: A Retrospective (thru Jan.13, 2019)
“White insisted. “It can’t simply mirror what’s taking place. … It must ally itself with the forces of liberation.” Over the course of his four-decade career, White’s commitment to creating powerful images of African Americans—what his gallerist and, later, White himself described as “images of dignity”—was unwavering. Using his virtuoso skills as a draftsman, printmaker, and painter, White developed his style and approach over time to address shifting concerns and new audiences. In each of the cities in which he lived over the course of his career—Chicago, New York, and, finally, Los Angeles—White became a key figure within a vibrant community of creative artists, writers, and activists.”
This one is good!

‘BRUCE NAUMAN: DISAPPEARING ACTS’  (through Feb. 18)
“If art isn’t basically about life and death, and the emotions and ethics they inspire, what is it about? Style? Taste? Auction results? The most interesting artists go right for the big, uncool existential stuff, which is what Bruce Nauman does in a transfixing half-century retrospective that fills the entire sixth floor of the MoMA and much of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. The MoMA installation is tightly paced and high decibel; the one at PS1, which includes a trove of works on paper, is comparatively mellow and mournful. Each location offers a rough chronological overview of his career, but catching both parts of the show is imperative. Nauman has changed the way we define what art is and what is art, and made work prescient of the morally wrenching American moment we’re in. He deserves to be seen in full.” (Cotter)

‘CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI SCULPTURE: THE FILMS’ (through Feb. 18).
“This show is built around works by the Romanian modernist (1876-1957) that have been longtime highlights of the museum’s own collection. But in 2018, can Brancusi still release our inner poet? The answer may lie in paying less attention to the sculptures themselves and more to Brancusi’s little-known and quite amazing films, projected at the entrance to the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition. MoMA borrowed the series of video clips from the Pompidou Center in Paris. They give the feeling that Brancusi was less interested in making fancy museum objects than in putting new kinds of almost-living things into the world, and convey the vital energy his sculptures were meant to capture.”(Blake Gopnik)

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.” (

‘THE FUTURE’ (through Jan. 7).
“It flies and flows and creeps. You measure it, spend it, waste it. It’s on your side, or it’s not. We’re talking about time, and so is the Rubin. It is devoting its entire 2018 season and all its spaces to time as a theme, with an accent on the future. There’s a fine historical show devoted to the Second Buddha, Padmasambhava (“lotus born”), subtitled “Master of Time.” Judging by the images and models of him, Padmasambhava was a genial, if mercurial, teacher, alternately baby-faced and beaming or stern in a nice-dad way. Before he moved on from the mortal realm to a mystical mountain palace, he left karmic extensions of himself called “treasure revealers” — also represented here in painting and sculpture — who reach from the past into the present to change the future. This era-leaping dynamic is operative in all parts of the Rubin’s multifloor thematic installation.” (Cotter)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/21 and 01/02.
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