NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/15) + 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:  February 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:

DIANNE REEVES (Feb.15-16)
at the Rose Theater / 8 p.m.; $40+
“For the eighth year in a row, Reeves will headline Jazz at Lincoln Center’s main stage during Valentine’s Day weekend. She became a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master last year, adding a punctuation mark to a career already known to be one of the most distinguished in jazz. Her voice has the power and clarity of Sarah Vaughan’s, and her repertoire only continues to expand: Her most recent album, “Beautiful Life,” from 2014, which won a Grammy, included riveting, personalized renditions of tunes by Fleetwood Mac, Bob Marley and Esperanza Spalding, as well as some Reeves originals.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Joe Jackson

>> Marilyn Maye: Always from the Heart
>> Thundercat / Kamasi Washington
>> Ladysmith Black Mambazo
>> Remember Stonewall.
>> Friendship Over Romance
>> Drink like a founding father.
Continuing Events 
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Joe Jackson (Feb.15-16)
Look sharp at Joe Jackson’s Town Hall show.
“The still-stylish singer-songwriter Joe Jackson is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his breakthrough debut “Look Sharp!” and the hit “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” with a tour setlist that spans his entire career, including his new album, “Fool.” New songs such as “Strange Land” still show off Jackson’s ability to tell poignant stories with memorable melodies.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16, Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St., Manhattan
INFO $49.50 to $99; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com

Marilyn Maye: Always from the Heart (Feb.14-17)
Iridium / 8PM, $45+
“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. 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. Her Valentine’s Day set centers on love songs from the Great American Songbook.” (TONY)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Sony Hall / 8PM, $45+
“South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farm boy living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith, in the province of kwaZulu Natal, half way between Johannesburg and Durban. Joseph used his hometown’s name to honor his family’s history. Joseph added to his group’s name the word Black in reference to the black oxen, the strongest of all farm animals. Mambazo is the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s vocal ability to clear the path to success.” (WFUV)

Thundercat / Kamasi Washington (Feb.12-17)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“In 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed album “To Pimp a Butterfly” flung open a portal to new jazz for audiences previously unaware of or uninterested in the genre’s offerings. But the bassist and vocalist Thundercat and the saxophonist Kamasi Washington, both of whom appeared on that record, had already long been mainstays of L.A.’s bustling modern-jazz scene and members of the influential collective West Coast Get Down. On the 2017 album “Drunk,” Thundercat injects his sharp and freewheeling musicianship with whimsical flourishes, while “Heaven and Earth,” Washington’s ambitious double release from last year, is a transcendent meditation on jazz music’s past and present. This pair of Brainfeeder labelmates—each brilliant in his own right—are leaders of a charge that is reshaping the genre and triumphantly returning it to mainstream consciousness. Thundercat embarks on a six-night, fourteen-show residency at the Blue Note on Feb. 12.” (Briana Younger, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Remember Stonewall.
NYPL / 7PM, $15
“Celebrate the opening of the NYPL’s new Stonewall exhibition with the ”Library After Hours: Love & Resistance” event, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday at the Stephen A. Schwarzman building. Prepurchase your tickets for $15, which gains you entry at 7 p.m. and 10 percent off at the bar and library shop, or show up after 8 p.m. and pay what you wish for a night including talks, a drag queen story hour — their very first time doing it for adults — trivia with the host of the Making Gay History podcast, and more, including access to the exhibition of rare photos, publications, documents and ephemera, like invitations to Mardi Gras balls and “Phallic Festivals” from the Mattachine Society of New York. Sounds informative.” (grubstreet)

Friendship Over Romance
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $20
“Spend the day after Valentine’s with philosophy educator Jeanne Proust, who talks about love and friendship, and how the latter may be the more important state of connection for us to be seeking out.” (ThoughtGallery)

Drink like a founding father.
Fraunces Tavern, Porterhouse Brew Co. /
“To really drink like a founding father you’d basically have to give up your liver: James Madison was said to have a pint of whiskey a day, John Adams started every day with cider and once tried to import 500 bottles of Bordeaux tax-free, and during George Washington’s lifetime, he became the largest distiller of spirits in America. He and his buddies also racked up a $17,253 bar tab just before the signing of the Constitution, in today’s currency, but still impressive!

This Presidents Day weekend (with Mr. Washington’s birthday on Monday), pay homage to the old chap by sampling an old-timey fave of his, the Hot Ale Flip, at Porterhouse Brew Co., the sister establishment to his actual old haunt Fraunces Tavern. In the colonial preparation, brandy or rum is mixed with molasses or sugar and beer and frothed up with a hot poker right out of the fireplace. Porterhouse’s version, which you can get starting on Friday, takes their Irish Red Ale, Lemon Hart & Son 151, and demerara sugar, and heats it table-side with a blowtorched loggerhead. Or you can just have a glass of Madeira, also a Washington fave.” (grubstreet)

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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)


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 02/13 and 02/11.
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