NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/12) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“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.
OR 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:

Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant (April12-13)
Minetta Lane Theatre / 8PM, $73+
“The bright-eyed, bouncy-kneed Scottish stage-and-screen actor plays fast and louche with the cabaret format, sprinkling naughty words into long comic stories and putting a completely fresh interpretive spin on familiar songs. He became an American citizen in 2008, a decade after taking New York by storm in Cabaret, and his latest set explores his immigrant experience.” (TONY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Alex Ferreira
>> DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM
>> Steve Davis
>> Don Giovanni
>> Stephen Petronio Company
>> Arturo Sandoval
>> From Migration to Music: The Scotch-Irish Contributions to America Symposium

Continuing Events
>> SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
>> STREB

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Alex Ferreira
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM, $50
Whether he’s cradling a ukulele or crouching over a synth machine, the Dominican singer-songwriter Alex Ferreira takes his cues from the kind of old-school Latin balladry that allows for a generous outpouring of feelings. Even though he’s a classic romantic at heart, he delights in his own hyperactive need to experiment, which has allowed him to build a wildly eclectic catalogue. His solo albums and collaborative projects feature songs that dabble in the assorted dance rhythms of bachata, merengue, electro-pop, and folk.” (Julyssa Lopez, NewYorker)

DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM (Apr.12-13)
at City Center / 8p.m.; $35+
“The ballet company celebrates its 50th anniversary season with an opening night honoring Arthur Mitchell, who along with Karel Shook formed the group in 1969. Now led by Virginia Johnson, its artistic director, and Anna Glass, its executive director, Dance Theater will present four works, either in their entirety or in excerpts, that Mitchell created or contributed to: “The Greatest,” “Creole Giselle,” “Bach Passacaglia” (performed by students of Dance Theater’s school) and “Tones II,” a piece from 1971 reimagined for 14 dancers. The season also includes Robert Garland’s “Return” and “Nyman String Quartet No. 2,” and Geoffrey Holder’s “Dougla.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Steve Davis (April 12-13)
Mezzrow, 163 W. 10th St./ 7:30PM, +9PM, $25
“Hard-bop corpuscles have been circulating through the blood of the trombonist Steve Davis since his time as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Those heady days may be gone, but Davis, an industrial-strength swinger, keeps the torch lit. Here, with the pianist Larry Willis and the bassist Peter Washington, the calm of a drummerless trio may temper his outsized grit.”(Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Don Giovanni (next Apr.15, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $30+
“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.”

Stephen Petronio Company (Apr.11-13)
N.Y.U. Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Pl./
“Of late, modern and postmodern dance companies have been thinking about ways to preserve the legacy of American twentieth-century dance. Petronio, a former Trisha Brown dancer who founded his own company in the eighties, has joined this trend with his project “Bloodlines.” His dancers will perform Merce Cunningham’s “Tread” (1970), a lighthearted piece with a set of whirring fans designed by Bruce Nauman, and “Coverage” (1970), a solo by Rudy Perez, an experimental choreographer associated with the Judson Dance Theatre movement. Petronio’s new piece “American Landscapes” is a large-scale meditation on the American experience, with projected images by Robert Longo, set to a score developed by the composer Jozef Van Wissem in collaboration with Jim Jarmusch.’ (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

Arturo Sandoval (Apr.11-14)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM; $30-$45
“A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve, but it didn’t take him long to catch the excitement of the jazz world. He has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer.

He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, and has been seen by millions at the Oscars, at the Grammy Awards, and the Billboard Awards.”

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

From Migration to Music: The Scotch-Irish Contributions to America Symposium
Glucksman Ireland House / 12-8PM, must register
“The Scotch-Irish were part of the colonization of America before the country gained its independence from Britain. This two-day symposium, organzied by the Scotch-Irish Society of the USA, will explore the themes and topic that shaped the early experiences of the Scotch-Irish.”

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Continuing Events


SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
at the Shed  (through April 14).
“For its opening, this flashy new interdisciplinary arts space — a cultural counterweight to the surrounding commercial development in Hudson Yards — will host five nights of concerts honoring the influence of African-American musicians. Developed by the filmmaker Steve McQueen, the series aims to explore the story of black music in America from early spirituals to today’s diverse forms. To that end, the performances in the coming week feature artists such as the jazz pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste, the rappers Smino and Rapsody, the avant-pop cellist Kelsey Lu and the R&B singer Emily King.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

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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 NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
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.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future (thru 04/23/19)

“Convinced that the world was not ready for her artistry in 1906, particularly as an underrepresented female in her field, af Klint of Sweden kept her work private. Her paintings anticipated by years “breakthroughs” by Kandinsky, Mondrian and others and were unseen before 1986. The Guggenheim rediscovers her.”

“Recognized as one of the art world’s earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.” (Newsday)

See our art critic’s top pick of the year.
“Luckily, the number-one pick in Jerry Saltz’s best art shows of 2018 is still running. Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum examines the work of the unacknowledged Swedish visionary and makes a case for her being the first modernist abstract painter. Saltz is especially enamored with the first gallery, so make sure you spend some time there.” (NYMagazine)

GD: Definitely worth a visit. af Klint was like the original Kandinsky and it’s interesting to see both of their works in the same museum, even if not side-by-side.

New-York Historical Society

‘BETYE SAAR: KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN’  (through May 27).

“Saar has been making important and influential work for nearly 60 years. Yet no big New York museum has given her a full retrospective, or even a significant one-person show, since a 1975 solo at the Whitney Museum of American Art. As this exhibition demonstrates, the institutional oversight is baffling, as her primary themes — racial justice and feminism (her 1972 breakthrough piece, “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” merges the two by transforming the racist stereotype of the smiling black mammy into an armed freedom fighter) — are exactly attuned to the present.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’  “After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish for NewYorkers)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW) for NewYorkers

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 04/10 and 04/08.
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