NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/26) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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:  March 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:

Ballet Hispánico (Mar.26-31)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $45+
“For nearly fifty years, this troupe has examined Latinx identity and culture through dance. For its Joyce season this year, it shifts the angle of vision to the overlap between Latinx and Asian identities. In his piece “El Viaje,” the Taiwanese-American choreographer Edwaard Liang focusses on Chinese immigration and the China-to-Cuba diaspora. In “Homebound/Alaala,” the Filipino-American choreographer Bennyroyce Royon considers the idea of home in the culture of the Philippines, which was colonized by Spain. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Sombrerísmo,” a stylish work originally made for six men that is as much about machismo as it is about sombreros, gets an all-female cast.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Music & Conversation with The Zombies

>> Judy Carmichael Quartet
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> MAC Awards
>> ‘LAYING IT DOWN WITH CAROLYN & SHALEWA’
>> Tosca
>> How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11 with Janet Napolitano

Continuing Events
>> STREB
>> NOCHE FLAMENCA
>>
Make March Madness a slam dunk
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Music & Conversation with The Zombies – 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
Cutting Room / 6PM, $29
“Join us as we talk with psychedelic pop legends, The Zombies, as they come into town to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! We’ll sit down with the four surviving members of the original Zombies, Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Chris White, and Hugh Grundy to share classic stories, new insights and how they feel about this latest accolade. Then we’ll enjoy a few songs as Rod and Colin perform a short set! This event includes live interview, audience Q&A and short performance.”

Judy Carmichael Quartet with special guest Harry Allen (Mar.26 – 27)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“…astounding, flawless, captivating.” The New York Times.

“Judy Carmichael is a Grammy Award-nominated pianist, vocalist, and songwriter who has hosted Judy Carmichael’s Jazz Inspired on NPR for 18 years and counting. For well over 30 years she has been a stride piano master (nicknamed “Stride” by Count Basie himself), and she has given performances for the likes of Rod Stewart, Robert Redford, and Bill Clinton. Her performance tonight features her longtime writing partner—the great tenor saxophonist Harry Allen—as special guest. Popular with jazz and cabaret audiences alike, Carmichael performs swinging interpretations of the Great American Songbook in addition to her own witty love songs.”

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:30PM, $25
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her biweekly series at the brand-new Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents. Guests at the March 26 edition include BETTY, Nicolas King, Amy Toporek, Mark William, Gene Reed, Gracie and Rachel, Andrew Swackhamer and Kristi Ambrosetti.” (TONY)

MAC Awards
Sony Hall / 7PM, $70+
“The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs celebrates small-scale local cabaret in an annual awards show and schmooze-athon.” (TONY)

‘LAYING IT DOWN WITH CAROLYN & SHALEWA’
at Madame X / 7:30 p.m.; $10
“The comedians Shalewa Sharpe, who recently appeared on HBO’s “2 Dope Queens,” and Carolyn Castiglia have joined forces to start a new live showcase about how to get the most out of life after 40. The debut lineup will feature Jaboukie Young-White and Dulcé Sloan from “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” as well as Ted Alexandro, Sam Morrison and Lillian DeVane. Expect tarot readings, burlesque performances and speed-dating games, too.” (NYT-Sean L. McCarthy)

Tosca (next Mar.29, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20+
“Met favorite Sondra Radvanovsky and rising star Jennifer Rowley share the title role of the volatile diva at the heart of Puccini’s operatic thriller. Joseph Calleja brings his stylish tenor to the role of Cavaradossi, Wolfgang Koch is the nefarious police chief Scarpia, and Carlo Rizzi conducts Sir David McVicar’s resplendent production.”

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11 with Janet Napolitano
National September 11 Memorial & Museum, 180 Greenwich St./ 7PM, FREE
“The Department of Homeland Security was created in the wake of 9/11 with a sweeping mandate to keep America safe. Made up of 22 federal agencies, the department now oversees issues ranging from terrorism to natural disasters to immigration. Former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will discuss her new book, “How Safe Are We?: Homeland Security Since 9/11,” and offer insights into the future of the department.”

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Continuing Events

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

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NOCHE FLAMENCA (thru Mar.31, NO MON.)
at the Connelly Theater / Tue – Thu at 7:30pm; Fri & Sat at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm; $20+
“This splendid flamenco company, led by Martín Santangelo, its artistic director, and the dancer Soledad Barrio, presents “Entre Tú y Yo” (“Between You and Me”), an evening of solos, duets and ensemble works that includes “Refugiados” (“Refugees”), which has been recently added to the company’s repertoire. The piece transforms poems written by children in refugee camps into song and dance. The program also features the latest iteration of “La Ronde,” which is inspired by Max Ophüls’s 1950 film and spotlights the talents of a guitarist, a vocalist and a solo dancer.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

If you like flamenco even a little, you must see Soledad’s performance.

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NCAA – Make March Madness a slam dunk
DeKalb Market Hall / Free to enter; standard menu prices
“Why celebrate the annual March Maddening from your sofa when you can make it an occasion at DeKalb Market Hall’s DeKalb Stage? See the tourney on the new venue’s 180” projection screen, sip cocktails, and snack on Ample Hills ice cream, Katz’s pastrami, and Chicks Isan’s wings.’ (thrillist.com)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour and is an easy trip on the #2,3 express subway to Nevins St. (2 stops after Wall St.)

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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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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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