NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/28) + 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:  January NYC Events”
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.
To make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Valery Ponomarev Jazz Big Band: Our Father Who Art Blakey
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 6:30PM, +8:30PM, $20+
“World-renowned Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev leads Our Father Who Art Blakey, a big band tribute to his own former bandleader, Art Blakey. Blakey was best known for his ability to find and hone the sharpest young talent in jazz, from Lee Morgan to Wynton Marsalis, and Ponomarev, who held the trumpet spot right before Marsalis, is no exception. He now leads his own band in the same spirit, highlighting some of the most talented young jazz musicians. Join us at the club for some expertly arranged hard bop, featuring an entire big band of supreme instrumentalists.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> MERCE CUNNINGHAM CENTENNIAL
>> ‘IOLANTA’ AND ‘BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE’ 

>> The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party

>> To Kill A Mockingbird: Screening and Conversation
>> Skye & Massimo’s Philosophy Cafe: Love and Other Drugs

Continuing Events
>> Restaurant Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

MERCE CUNNINGHAM CENTENNIAL
at Anthology Film Archives / 7:30 p.m. $ M
“In this series, part of the ongoing celebration of Cunningham’s birth, Anthology screens an array of films and videos. For the fourth program, the filmmaker Elliot Caplan will appear in honor of “Points in Space,” his 1986 documentary for the BBC. It’s a gold mine: The first half includes interviews with Cunningham, John Cage and dancers including Alan Good, Catherine Kerr, Chris Komar and Carol Teitelbaum, while the second half features the titular dance.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

‘IOLANTA’ AND ‘BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE’   (next Feb.01, 7:30PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 7:30PM, $30+
“Marius Trelinski’s dark, fascinating juxtaposition of these one-act operas by Tchaikovsky and Bartok is one of the most bracing examples of directorial entrepreneurship to have reached the Met’s stage in recent years, and here it makes its first return since its debut in 2015. The cast is excellent: Sonya Yoncheva takes on the title role in “Iolanta,” with Matthew Polenzani as Vaudémont; in the Bartok, Gerald Finley is Bluebeard and Angela Denoke is Judith. Henrik Nanasi conducts.” (NYT-David Allen)

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

To Kill A Mockingbird: Screening and Conversation
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St./ 7PM, $10
“Given the theatrical adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird that is now playing on Broadway, FOLCS, in partnership with the Museum of Modern Art, is hosting a FOLCS Film Series event on the iconic film adaptation of the original novel.

Directed by Robert Mulligan, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) tells the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defending a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Join us for a post-screening Conversation with Judge Denny Chin, Manhattan’s District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick.”

Skye & Massimo’s Philosophy Cafe: Love and Other Drugs
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 6PM, $5
“The theme of this Skye & Massimo’s Philosophy Cafe will delve into love potions and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style memory wipes. (In this era of Viagra and Flibanserin, the dilemmas are not simply academic.)

Topic: Love and Other Drugs

Imagine if there really was a “Love Potion Number 9”, or a breakup pill to ameliorate the pain of being dumped. Would you take it? Should you? If so, under what circumstances? And for how long? We’re already medicalizing sexual desire with Viagra and, more recently, the female version Flibanserin – which might help with physical issues, but are they just bandaid solutions for relationship problems? After all, drugs can’t solve moral problems in living. At this Philosophy Cafe, we’ll be talking about the medicalization of love and the ethics of biochemical antidotes and stimulants.” (ThoughtGallery)

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Continuing Events

Restaurant Week (January 21 to February 10)
“Some of New York’s best known “deal holidays,” including NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Broadway Week, are joining forces this winter to create, wait for it… NYC Winter Outing.

From January 21 to February 10, NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Must-See Week will all be running simultaneously offering full nights out for drastically reduced rates. During this time, a selection of Broadway shows, museums, attractions and tours will be available at two-for-one prices and almost 400 restaurants across the city will be offering prix-fixe menus. As in previous years, that means $26 prix-fix lunches and $42, three-course dinners.

For more information on Restaurant Week, including our recommendations for the best deals to take advantage of this season, check out our NYC Restaurant Week page.” (TONY)

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)


Magic After Hours
Tannen’s Magic, Midtown West (Until Dec 31 2019)

“Twice a week, after closing time, 20 people crowd into the city’s oldest magic shop, Tannen’s, for a cozy evening of prestidigitation by the young and engaging Noah Levine. The shelves are crammed with quirky devices; there’s a file cabinet behind the counter, a mock elephant in the corner and bins of individual trick instructions in plastic covers, like comic books or sheet music. The charm of Levine’s show is in how well it fits the environment of this magic-geek chamber of secrets. As he maneuvers cards, eggs, cups and balls with aplomb, he talks shop, larding his patter with tributes to routines like the Stencel Aces and the Vernon Boat Trick—heirlooms of his trade that he gently polishes and displays for our amazement.” (TONY)

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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

‘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)

Museum of Art and Design

‘STERLING RUBY: CERAMICS’  (through March 17).
“Adept at most art mediums, this artist is at his best in ceramics, especially in the outsize, awkwardly hand-built, resplendently glazed baskets, ashtrays and plates and the objects that verge on sculpture in this show. These works actively incorporate accident and aspects of the ready-made, have precedents in the large-scale ceramics of Peter Voulkos and Viola Frey, but may be closest in spirit to the Neo-Expressionism of Julian Schnabel — rehabilitated, of course.” (Smith – NYT)

American Folk Art Museum

‘PAA JOE: GATES OF NO RETURN’  (through Feb. 24).

“Joseph Tetteh Ashong, better known as Paa Joe, is Ghana’s pre-eminent funerary carpenter, turning out thousands of brightly colored lions, soda bottles and automobiles for people to be buried in. Most of his exuberant pieces enjoy the light of day for only a few hours before they disappear into the ground. But in 2004, Paa Joe was commissioned by the art dealer and gallerist Claude Simard to make casket-size hardwood models of 13 former Gold Coast slave forts, and seven of them are now at AFAM. Thanks to Paa Joe’s gift for transmuting even the most complex and brutal material into a cheerful expression of his own artistic temperament, the works’ undeniable conceptual weight doesn’t hamper the overwhelming visual pleasure.” (Will Heinrich-NYT)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/26 and 01/24.
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