NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/25) + 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:  “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:

LAURENCE HOBGOOD
at the Rubin Museum of Art / 7 p.m.; $35
“As a pianist and arranger, Hobgood may be best known for his two-decade collaboration with the vocalist Kurt Elling, which came to an end a few years ago. On “tesseterra,” Mr. Hobgood’s new album, he draws upon the textural and stylistic breadth he long deployed as Elling’s musical director; the album finds him combining a jazz trio with a string quartet, playing a mix of thoroughly rearranged classic-rock tunes, jazz standards and a Chopin waltz. Two impressive things stand out: how enormous his arrangements make the string quartet sound, and how fluidly these seven musicians blend together. He will play material from the disc at the Rubin with that hybrid ensemble: Leonor Falcon and Tomoko Omura on violin, Jen Herman on viola, Brian Sanders on cello, Matt Clohesy on bass and Jared Schonig on drums.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Songs of Kenneth D. Laub with Clint Holmes, Veronica Swift and Nicolas King
>> Marsalis and Burns: Country Music
>> A Thousand Thoughts
>> OH LAND
>> KASSA OVERALL AND KRIS DAVIS
>> GIRLPOOL

>> New York City Ballet

Continuing Events
>> Tribeca Film Festival
>> STREB

COMING SOON (WFUV)
4/26 The Hot Sardines, Joe’s Pub
4/27 Django A Go Go, Town Hall
4/27 Roger McGuinn, Concert Hall at the New York Society For Ethical Culture
4/29 The New York Pops 36th Birthday Gala honoring Cyndi Lauper, Carnegie Hall
4/29-30 John Hiatt, City Winery
4/30 Deer Tick, Rough Trade
4/30 The Mountain Goats, Brooklyn Steel
5/01 Patti Smith, Webster Hall
5/01 Joan Baez, Beacon Theatre

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

“New York, Old Friend”: Songs of Kenneth D. Laub with Clint Holmes, Veronica Swift and Nicolas King
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“New York, Old Friend is a unique cabaret program with music and lyrics written by famed New Yorker Kenneth D. Laub. Featuring vocalists Clint Holmes, Veronica Swift, and Nicolas King, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, and pianist/music director Tedd Firth, New York, Old Friend is a romantic series of stories that address the relationships New Yorkers have with the city and with each other. Together, these original songs remind us that what makes New York special is “not the streets and skyscrapers, but the relationships within.” No other jazz club has a view of New York City like Dizzy’s Club, so make sure to catch this show in the most fitting setting imaginable.”

Marsalis and Burns: Country Music (April 25-27)
Rose Theatre, 60th St. at Broadway / 8PM, $60+
[this looks like a tough ticket, may need to try another night, or go secondary market.]
“Having tackled jazz, Ken Burns has now turned his sights to country music. In a preview of his forthcoming series, the ambitious documentarian joins forces with the famed trumpeter (and Burns’s favored talking head) Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, to illustrate the shared roots of the two durable genres. Among the other guests at the swinging hoedown are Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, and Rhiannon Giddens.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

A Thousand Thoughts
@ Town Hall, 123 West 43rd St./ 8PM, $47+
“Check out a live multimedia performance that’s pushing the boundaries of documentary filmmaking. A Thousand Thoughts tells the story of the Grammy-winning, groundbreaking Kronos Quartet, which has played everything from Stravinski to Jimi Hendrix over their multi-decade career. The film combines archival footage, narration, and filmed interviews with luminaries from Philip Glass to Tanya Tagaq—and during the screening, the Kronos Quartet will be there on stage, playing the soundtrack live and interacting with the cinematic imagery. Newsweek called the performance “the most mind-blowing experience” at this year’s Sundance Festival.” (gothamist)

OH LAND
at Le Poisson Rouge / 9 p.m.; $30
“This Danish polymath, born Nanna Oland Fabricius, started her performing career as a student at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. Sidelined by an injury, she later turned to music, building rich vocal textures and orchestral synths into quirky electropop songs like “Heavy Eyes” and “White Nights.” Lately, Fabricius has been composing and arranging for ballet, multimedia art installations and the screen, but her return to solo music is imminent. Oh Land’s fifth studio album — her first since 2014’s “Earth Sick” — is due out in May.” (OLIVIA HORN- NYT)

KASSA OVERALL AND KRIS DAVIS
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $25
“Once a month since December, Overall — a drummer, producer and contemporary-music syncretist who recently released a solid album merging jazz and hip-hop — has brought a prominent piano innovator to the Jazz Gallery for a one-night collaboration as part of his continuing “Time Capsule” project. Davis is among the most radical pianists of her generation, a sharply articulate and ruggedly uncompromising improviser; joined by the bassist Stephan Crump, she’ll almost certainly take Overall — who strikes the drums in measured, deliberate gestures, despite his zesty demeanor as a performer — into fresh territory.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

GIRLPOOL
Bowery Ballroom / 7 p.m.; $22
“After appearing at this Brooklyn concert hall for a Tidal showcase last month, this duo of Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker return to play cuts from their latest record, “What Chaos Is Imaginary.” For about five years, the pair have transformed quandaries in love, friendship and growing up into cathartic singalongs like “123.” On this release, their formerly unison vocals are bifurcated, as Tucker — who recently came out as transgender — sings in a new tenor range across songs that traverse rock, punk and dream pop. The latter is the genre favored by the Australian singer Hatchie, who will open both shows.” (OLIVIA HORN- NYT)

New York City Ballet (thru June 2)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“In the first week of the season, the company dances two alternating programs of works created for it in the twenty-first century, in addition to William Forsythe’s “Herman Schmerman,” from 1992. Forsythe’s subversion of balletic conventions—courtly manners, gender roles, hierarchy—began a conversation that is still very much alive in the world of ballet. “Herman” shares a program with Alexei Ratmansky’s “Concerto DSCH,” a witty and stylish romp to Shostakovich. Two distinguished works from the past five years, Ratmansky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Justin Peck’s “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes,” bookend the other program. Both are set to excitingly descriptive scores, the former by Mussorgsky and the latter by Copland.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

More smart stuff coming soon.

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Continuing Events


Tribeca Film Festival (April 24 to May 5)

“Robert De Niro and Co.’s Tribeca Film Festival has long shown a spotlight on local indie features, documentaries, foreign films, the latest from big-name talent and the greatest from up-and-coming filmmakers.

TimeOutNY has got your complete one-stop-shopping guide to Tribeca Film Festival: their personal must-see picks, movie screenings, ticket info, a list of nearby bars and restaurants and much more.”

See Also:
IndieWire – Tribeca 2019: 12 Must-See Films at This Year’s Festival, From Danny Boyle to a Wild ‘Showgirls’ Doc.
CBS News – 15 highlights at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in NYC.
vulture.com (NYMag) – Tribeca Film Festival What to see at the independent film fest.

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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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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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