NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/19) + 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:  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.”


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

at Birdland / 8:30 and 11 p.m.; $30-$40
“Three of the best saxophonists in straight-ahead jazz and its affiliated territories, Lovano (tenor saxophone), Liebman (soprano) and Osby (alto) join up this week with a trio of all-star side musicians: the pianist Phil Markowitz, the bassist Cecil McBee and the drummer Billy Hart. All six of these players have been among jazz’s most respected figures since at least the 1980s, and all continue to barrel forward creatively.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Dayna Stephens Quartet
>> Rigoletto

>> Michelle Collins: Strong Monster
>> Nationalism in the Modern Era
>> Russia and the US: Here We Go Again
Continuing Events 
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m.; $45+
“To mark its 25th anniversary, Complexions presents three programs over two weeks that highlight its brand of sharp, sultry ballet. The programs comprise new, revived and repurposed works by Dwight Rhoden, who founded and directs the troupe with the dancer Desmond Richardson. Program A features the New York premiere of “Bach 25,” set to music by both J. S. Bach and his son C. P. E. Bach, as well as the return of “Star Dust,” a tribute to David Bowie. Program B pairs the premiere of “Woke,” a response to current politics, with “From Then to Now,” a greatest-hits compilation from the company’s repertory. A separate matinee program combines the compilation with the Bach piece.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Dayna Stephens Quartet (Feb.19-24)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“The riveting post-bop saxophonist Dayna Stephens has already proved his worth on this bandstand as a trusted associate in the ensembles of Kenny Barron and others. For this critical engagement, though, he débuts at the helm of a topnotch quartet, featuring the pianist Aaron Parks, the bassist Ben Street, and the drummer Gregory Hutchinson.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Rigoletto (next Feb.23, 1PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $20+
“Verdi’s tragic jester returns in Michael Mayer’s neon-bedecked, Las Vegas–themed production. Baritones Roberto Frontali and George Gagnidze share the title role, and soprano Nadine Sierra reprises her portrayal of Gilda, the role that helped launch her now-blossoming Met career. Tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Bryan Hymel share the role of the lascivious Duke, and Nicola Luisotti conducts.”

Michelle Collins: Strong Monster
Joe’s Pub / 9:30PM, $15
“Michelle Collins is the friend you never knew you had (and aren’t sure you wanted). In her new show Strong Monster, we go on a long-legged journey through Michelle’s giant life — a sort of “Lady Costanza” existence, where every blessing is met with an equal-if-not-greater curse. Through her off-the-cuff improvised stories, pictures, song, and absolutely no dance, accompanied by the piano stylings of Kenny Mellman of Kiki & Herb fame, her show is a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Time Out New York has called Michelle Collins “the fastest mind in comedy,” and Dr. Phil once said “I know this woman… this is a safe bet right here.”

at New York City Center Studio 5 / 7:30 p.m.
“In an upstairs studio that is part of the City Center complex, Magloire has long presented thoughtful, intimate ballets that he creates for live contemporary music. For this presentation, he introduces “Sanctum,” a new work for six dancers that is meant to be viewed in the round and is set to music by Kaija Saariaho and Karin Rehnqvist. Two vocal sections, sung live by three members of the Ekmeles vocal ensemble, bookend instrumental selections from both composers. Preceding this work is a solo called “Morning Song” set to John Cage’s “Cheap Imitation.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Nationalism in the Modern Era
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West / 6:30P, $38
Looking at historic nationalist movements from the 16th-century all the way up to Brexit, Israeli philosopher and conservative political theorist Yoram Hazony talks about the positive role of love of country and self-rule, as outlined in his new book, The Virtue of Nationalism.” (ThoughtGallery)

Russia and the US: Here We Go Again
NYU, 15 Barclay Street, Rm 430 / 6:30PM, FREE RSVP required
“The US and Russia are revisiting some of the flashpoints of the old US-Soviet rivalry—influence over the direction of Europe, security in the Middle East—and antagonizing each other in Ukraine and Georgia, creating a new conflict corridor in Russia’s own backyard. What do these new/old disagreements tell us about the players? And what do they and the many other points of contention between the two tell us about the global setting nearly 30 years since the disappearance of the Soviet Union?”


Continuing Events
NEW YORK CITY BALLET  (through March 3)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM
“In the coming week, City Ballet’s winter season belongs to Princess Aurora. Through Feb. 24, the company presents “The Sleeping Beauty” in a 1991 version by the former director Peter Martins, who followed a blueprint from the 19th-century master Marius Petipa (a section by George Balanchine made the cut, too). Over the next 10 days, several of City Ballet’s top ballerinas embody the titular character in this streamlined, two-act production. Lilac Fairy aside, the true fairy godfather here is Tchaikovsky, whose enduring score many consider ballet’s best.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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)

♦ 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.


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:

Dana Schutz  (Through Feb. 23. Closing soon)

“Painting wet-in-wet with oils, building thick and eventful surfaces, Schutz creates allegories of uncertain but torrid, gnashing implication, a bit like the enigmatic narratives of the German modern master Max Beckmann, but less solemn. She does this with almost preposterously extraordinary gifts for composition, paint handling, and, in particular, color, suffusing clashes of hue and tone with ghostly essences of a chromatic unity that you feel rather than quite see. “Mountain Group” (from 2018, like almost all the works here), which measures ten feet high by thirteen feet wide, pictures a heap of busy, cartoonish figures in reds, blues, and blacks that somehow generate the sensation of an almost—or wholly—absent color. (I thought, not very confidently, of lavender.) “Washing Monsters” shows an animal-skulled creature clutching a human character who appears to be cleansing it, with consequent soap bubbles. This painting shares its subject with one of five bronzes—cast from energetically finger-worked clay—which are Schutz’s first exhibited sculptures. Though her style can suggest Expressionism, it is detached from mere personal emotion. She objectifies anxious states of mind—or of soul—which should surprise no one these days.” ( / Petzel , 456 W. 18th St.


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 02/17 and 02/15.

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