NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/14) + 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-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:

Aida (next Jan.18, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $37+
“In what should be a highlight of the new season, soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, going toe-to-toe with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris. Later in the season, a second star-studded cast takes over, with Sondra Radvanovsky and Dolora Zajick as the leading ladies.Tenors Aleksandrs Antonenko and Yonghoon Lee alternate as Radamès, and Nicola Luisotti and Plácido Domingo take the podium for the Met’s monumental production.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Ellis Marsalis Presents: Ben Patterson, Rina Yamazaki, & Isaiah J. Thompson – The Winners of the 2018 Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition
>>The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Abby Ellin “Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married”
>> Call Me Madam
>> A celebration of Jerome Robbins’ ballets
Continuing Events
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Ellis Marsalis Presents: Ben Patterson, Rina Yamazaki, & Isaiah J. Thompson – The Winners of the 2018 Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition
Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM; $25+
[Note: Ellis Marsalis will not be present at this performance]

“The Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition is designed to be one of the most comprehensive and challenging jazz piano competitions in the world. The competition tests and evaluates each competitor against well-established traits that differentiate good piano players from those destined for greatness.

Tonight’s showcase features the top three winners of the 2018 competition: Ben Paterson, Rina Yamazaki, and a brilliant musician whom Jazz at Lincoln Center regulars will surely recognize: Isaiah J. Thompson. These musicians represent the best in modern jazz piano playing, each of them an emerging artist without major or independent recording recognition, so it’s essential to catch them in concert.”

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South (btw W11th/Perry St.) / 8:30Pm +10:30PM, $35
world class big band with 16 members on that small stage, a monday night institution.
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition.” (NYT)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $30
the witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.
“Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.” (TONY)

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

Abby Ellin “Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married”
The Half King, 505 W. 23rd St./ 7PM, FREE
“Abby Ellin was shocked to learn that her fiancé was leading a secret life. But as she soon discovered, double lives are everywhere.

From Abby Ellin’s first date with The Commander, she was caught up in a whirlwind. Within five months he’d proposed, and they’d moved in together. But there were red flags: strange stories of international espionage involving Osama Bin Laden and the Pentagon. Soon his stories began to unravel until she discovered, far later than she’d have liked, that he was lying about who he was.

Then she realized something else: she wasn’t alone. People are being deceived all around us, every day. In Duped, Abby Ellin plunges headlong into the world of double lives. Studying the art and science of lying, talking to women who’ve had their worlds upended by men who weren’t who they professed to be, and writing with great openness about her own mistakes, she lays the phenomenon bare. These remarkable–yet surprisingly common–stories reveal just how strange and improbable our everyday lives really are.”

Call Me Madam
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave./ 7PM, $30
“Broadway has long been political, even before Hamilton made headlines. Inspired by City Center’s production of Call Me Madam, a political satire that follows a brassy ambassador for the fictional European nation of Lichtenberg, join us for a conversation with director Casey Hushion and musical theater librettist John Weidman about how, despite their mild reputation, musicals can get political. Garrett Eisler, critic and professor at The New School, moderates. Featuring live performance!”

A celebration of Jerome Robbins’ ballets
NYPL for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza / 6PM, FREE, resv. required
“Throughout his life, Jerome Robbins struggled with alienation, faith, and his Jewish heritage. New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Adrian Danchig-Waring hosts a final evening celebration of Robbins’ ballets, this time focused on Robbins’ Jewish themed works Dybbuk and Les Noce. While screening performance footage from the Library’s collections, Danchig-Waring and other special guests will pause, re-watch, and discuss, dissecting the traditions, innovations, and individual flourishes embedded in some of Robbins’ most deeply personal creations.”

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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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♦ 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 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

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. 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:

Jennifer Packer  (through Jan. 19)

Sikkema Jenkins, 530 W. 22nd St.

The rough areas of drizzling color in Packer’s portraits (usually of her family and friends) might suggest a speedy process, but her gauzy treatment of, for example, a blue blanket cocooning a sleeping figure, in “The Eye Is Not Satisfied with Seeing,” conveys deliberation instead. Her figures appear almost anointed; scumbled red paint around the head of one pensive young man has a halo-like effect. Interspersed with these beatific portraits are moody floral still-lifes in which the traditional symbolism of the historical European genre is radically updated. The large diptych “Laquan” is ebullient with palm fronds and fiery peonies, but also elegiac: the work is named for Laquan McDonald, a teen-ager who was killed by the police, in 2014.”

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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 01/12 and 01/10.

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