NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/04) + 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:  “APRIL 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:

Leyla McCalla
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE, get there early for a seat.
“Hailed as “a cunning interpreter and arranger” by NPR, Haitian-American folk singer-songwriter Leyla McCalla is equally at ease with English, French, and Haitian Creole. Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful, and witty.

A classically trained cellist, she is perhaps best known for her work with the Grammy-winning African-American string band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, but her virtuosity also shines in her critically acclaimed solo albums. The “ambitious, deep and gorgeous” Vari-Colored Songs (Offbeat Magazine) was named 2013’s Album of the Year by the London Sunday Times, and the upcoming Capitalist Blues continues to showcase the breadth of her talents. Incorporating elements of swinging blues, classic New Orleans R&B, and calypso, it reveals a more danceable side to her music, and with her finger on the pulse of our current political climate.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> EX HEX
>> NATALIA OSIPOVA
>>  Don Giovanni
>> Sullivan Fortner Trio
>> Joshua Redman Quartet
>> MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
>> Unknowability: How Do We Know What Cannot Be Known?

Continuing Events
>> New Directors/New Films Festival
>> STREB

COMING SOON (WFUV)
4/5 Tom Paxton, City Winery
4/8-9 Jeff Tweedy, Town Hall
4/8-9 Andrew Bird, National Sawdust
4/8 Muse, Madison Square Garden
4/9 Charlotte Gainsbourg, Brooklyn Steel
4/10 Melissa Etheridge, Town Hall
4/10 The Wallflowers & Mott the Hoople, Beacon Theatre

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

EX HEX
at Bowery Ballroom / 8 p.m.; $22
“Technically skilled and wildly inventive, the rock nomad Mary Timony is routinely held up as a guitar god. With Ex Hex, the Washington-based trio she has led since 2014, Timony’s style pulls back from the experimentalism she embraced as the frontwoman of the riot-grrrl-adjacent group Helium in the 1990s. Rounded out by the bassist Betsy Wright and the drummer Laura Harris, Ex Hex play more straight-ahead garage rock; their second full-length recording, “It’s Real,” is packed with power chords, revved-up guitar solos and layered vocals — perfect fodder for the group’s notoriously fun live show.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

Don Giovanni (next Apr.9, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $
“Baritone Peter Mattei and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni star as opera’s most notorious seducer in Mozart’s masterpiece of dark comedy. Cornelius Meister makes his Met debut conducting performances that also include sopranos Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Guanqun Yu as Donna Anna, sopranos Federica Lombardi and Susanna Phillips as Donna Elvira, and basses Ildar Abdrazakov and Adam Plachetka as Leporello.”

NATALIA OSIPOVA
at New York City Center $35 (April 3-4, 7:30 p.m.; through April 6).
“Few contemporary ballerinas have the clout to carry a solo show and tour it internationally, but Osipova, a principal with the Royal Ballet, has been a global fan favorite for years. This is because of her ability to fuse fearlessness with vulnerability and apply it to classic and contemporary work alike. For this program, she has recruited David Hallberg, a cherished partner, with whom she will dance the United States premiere of Alexei Ratmansky’s “Valse Triste,” which takes its name from Sibelius’s well-known waltz, and “The Leaves Are Fading” by Antony Tudor. Additional works on the bill — some Osipova will do with other partners; some Osipova and Hallberg will perform solo — are by Iván Pérez, Kim Brandstrup, Roy Assaf and Yuka Oishi.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Sullivan Fortner Trio (April 2-7.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
A highlight of his latest album, “Moments Preserved,” finds the adroit pianist Sullivan Fortner reunited with his former employer, the late trumpeter Roy Hargrove, for a lovely account of Elmo Hope’s early-sixties gem “Eyes So Beautiful As Yours.” It’s an off-center and cunning choice that showcases Fortner’s historical awareness as well as the shining touch and unerring taste that he displayed on his recent work with the singer Cécile McLorin Salvant. He leads a trio that features the bassist Ameen Saleem and the drummer Jeremy (Bean) Clemons.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Joshua Redman Quartet (Apr.2-7)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“One of the biggest saxophone stars of the modern era, Redman plays innovative cuts from an upcoming quartet album—what will be his first in nearly two decades. This agile combo consists of pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.” (TONY)

“Critics and fans alike are blown away by Redman’s passionate live performances and acclaimed recordings. In The Joshua Redman Quartet, Redman evokes a sound that can be challenging, provocative, and forward-looking, but also hard-swinging, melodic, and soulful – music with a joyous and celebratory spirit.”

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
at the Joyce Theater / 8PM, $45+
“A century ago, the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was submitted to the states for ratification. In honor of that anniversary, the Graham company presents the EVE Project, a robust collection of work from several generations of female choreographers, spread over a half-dozen programs. There are Graham classics, like “Herodiade,” “Errand Into the Maze” and “Chronicle,” as well as pieces by Annie-B Parson and Lucinda Childs. Two new works will be introduced, too: one by Pam Tanowitz and one by Maxine Doyle and Bobbi Jene Smith.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Unknowability: How Do We Know What Cannot Be Known?
The New School, 66 W. 12th St./ FREE
Apr.4 3PM-7:30PM; Apr.5 11AM-3:30PM
“How we know what we cannot know” remains a root human concern, even in these post-truth times. Over Thursday and Friday, catch multidisciplinary talks on unknowability, broken down into Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Psychology and Social Science sessions. Among the topics: consciousness, the Oracle at Delphi, and “The Hierarchy of Ignorance.” (ThoughtGallery)

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Continuing Events

New Directors/New Films Festival (March 27 to April 7)
The future of cinema.
MoMA Theaters and Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center
“At 48, the joint Museum of Modern Art and Film Society of Lincoln Center festival is one of the most venerable New York film fests — but also the one that’s still most apt to challenge, vex, and explode your perceptions. This year’s starts with a bang — the Sundance sensation Clemency, Chinonye Chukwu’s prison drama with Alfre Woodard and Aldis Hodge. Another Sundance winner, Monos, stars Julianne Nicholson as an American engineer held captive in a South American jungle by teenage guerrillas. The programmers say it’s “sure to be one of the most hotly debated films of 2019,” so see it early and stake out your position.” (David Edelstein, NewYork Magazine)

My favorite NYCity film festival. These films are not all home runs, but it is so exciting when you find the next Pedro Almodóvar.

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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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♦ 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)

Museum of Modern Art

“The Value of Good Design”  (through June 15)

“The simple flask of the Chemex coffeemaker, the austere fan of aluminum tines on a garden rake, and the airtight allure of first-generation Tupperware exemplify the democratic promise of the Good Design movement in this edifying survey, which highlights (although not exclusively) the museum’s role in its history. Also on view—and among the winners of MOMA’s first design competition, held in 1940-41—is a molded plywood chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen; it’s a classic design, but, owing to technological limitations in its day, it wasn’t mass-produced until 2006. Starting in 1938, MOMA mounted an annual exhibition called “Useful Objects,” which championed the inexpensive and doubled as recommendations for holiday gifts. No item had a value of more than five dollars the first year; a decade later, the limit was a hundred dollars. By the fifties, the museum had established partnerships with national retailers for the exhibited products, from textiles to appliances, and, in the eighties, it opened its own design store. In the current show, the most compelling items are the everyday gems: Timo Sarpaneva’s cast-iron and teak casserole, from 1959; the original Slinky, from 1945; and a collapsible wire basket, from 1953, as graceful as a Ruth Asawa sculpture.” (

“Joan Miró”  (through June 15)

“This enchanting show draws on the museum’s immense holdings of Miró’s work, along with a few loans. Its star attraction is “The Birth of the World,” painted in 1925, while the artist was under the spell of the Surrealist circle of André Breton. It presents drifting pictographic elements—a black triangle, a red disk, a white disk, an odd black hook shape, and some skittery lines—on an amorphous ground of thinned grayish paint that soaks here and there into the unevenly primed canvas. It’s large—more than eight feet high by more than six feet wide—but feels larger: cosmic. There had never been anything quite like it in painting, and it stood far apart from the formally conservative, lurid fantasizing of the other Surrealist painters. Today, we are ever less apt to base valuations on precedence—who did what first. Art of the past seems not so much a parade as a convocation, subject to case-by-case assessments. Never unsettling in the ways of, say, Matisse or, for heaven’s sake, Picasso, Miró is a modernist for everybody. He earns and will keep his place in our hearts.” (

American Museum of Natural History

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’  (through Aug. 9, 2020).
“Everyone’s favorite 18,000-pound prehistoric killer gets the star treatment in this eye-opening exhibition, which presents the latest scientific research on T. rex and also introduces many other tyrannosaurs, some discovered only this century in China and Mongolia. T. rex evolved mainly during the Cretaceous Period to have keen eyes, spindly arms and massive conical teeth, which could bear down on prey with the force of a U-Haul truck; the dinosaur could even swallow whole bones, as affirmed here by a kid-friendly display of fossilized excrement. The show mixes 66-million-year-old teeth with the latest 3-D prints of dino bones, and also presents new models of T. rex as a baby, a juvenile and a full-grown annihilator. Turns out this most savage beast was covered with — believe it! — a soft coat of beige or white feathers.” (Farago-NYT)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 04/02 and 03/31.
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