NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/20) + 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:  “May 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.”


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

Broadway Sings Rihanna: Unplugged
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, +9:30PM, $20+
“Seven Broadway vocalists perform new arangements of hits by the pride of Barbados, backed by an acoustic band led by arranger and piano man Joshua Stephen Kartes, in this spinoff of the Broadway Sings concert series. Singers include Angela Birchett, Caroline Bowman, Joanna Jones, Kristolyn Lloyd, Mary Kate Morrissey, Christiani Pitts and Nasia Thomas.” (TONY)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Broadway by the Year: Broadway Musicals of 1965 and 1978
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> Natalie Douglas: Tributes – Elvis Presley
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> The Physical, Psychological, Social, and Environmental Benefits of Urban Cycling

>>Pint of Science Festival | Our Bodies: Inside Out

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Broadway by the Year: Broadway Musicals of 1965 and 1978
The Town Hall / 8PM, $57
“Scott Siegel’s valuable concert series opens time capsules to some of the Great White Way’s most memorable seasons. The May edition devotes its first act to shows from 1965 (such as Do I Hear a Waltz?, Man of La Mancha and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) and its second act to shows that opened in 1978 (including On the Twentieth Century, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas). The cast includes Corbin Bleu, Ethan Slater, Betsy Wolfe, Danny Gardner, Nicole Henry, Douglas Ladnier and Rick Faugno.” (TONY)

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 2PM, +8PM, $25+
“What hasn’t Alexei Ratmansky choreographed? For the time being, his ballets monopolize the repertory — and that’s not a bad thing. Friday and Saturday feature the final presentations of his staging of “Harlequinade,” a comic ballet in the commedia dell’arte tradition, inspired by the archival notes of Marius Petipa. On Monday, the company’s spring gala, which celebrates his 10th anniversary as the artist in residence, offers his “Serenade After Plato’s Symposium” and the premiere of “The Seasons.” The following day showcases a Ratmansky triple bill with “Seasons” and more new works: “Songs of Bukovina” and “On the Dnieper.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
Tonight: 2019 Spring Gala

Natalie Douglas: Tributes – Elvis Presley
Birdland / 7PM, $35
“In her monthly Tributes series, MAC Award collector Douglas has previously plumbed the catalogs of Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Cher among many others. The May show pays homage to Elvis Presley; upcoming subjects include Judy Garland (June 24) and Roberta Flack (July 29).” (TONY)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 9:30PM, $30
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

at Chelsea Music Hall / 7 p.m.; $20
“Seth Herzog’s comedy showcase, normally held on a Tuesday, moves to Monday for this special edition, which is preceded by a live reading of “Giraffes on Horseback Salad,” from a graphic novel by Josh Frank, adapted with Tim Heidecker and illustrated by Manuel Pertega. The book has brought to life the screenplay that Salvador Dalí wrote for the Marx Brothers and was somehow never made into a movie. Comedians including Aasif Mandvi, Greg Barris and Harrison Greenbaum will join Herzog and Frank in the reading. A stand-up showcase follows.” (NYT-Sean L. McCarthy)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Speaking of Science: The Physical, Psychological, Social, and Environmental Benefits of Urban Cycling
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 6:30PM, FREE
Speaker: David Vassar, cyclist, cycling activist, and Ethical NYC member

“David will describe his own experience as a cyclist and cycling activist in NYC over the years, beginning with the exhilarating realization that in this unique American place he could live car-free (if far from care-free) and get to so many locales in our region by bicycle. Then on to different types of bicycling infrastructure: Protected lanes, standard lanes, mixed use lanes; with descriptions and assessments of each. He’ll talk about his experiences with participating in town halls, community board meetings, leafleting and petitioning events, Citibike demo rides, 5-borough group tours, community breakfasts with council members, and other activism-related events in promotion of safer, human-friendlier streets.”

Pint of Science Festival | Our Bodies: Inside Out
The Atwood, 986 Second Ave./ 7PM, $5
“Have you ever wondered how our genes affect our behavior? How the outside world affects our health? Or even how the internal environment of our bodies affects our health? To explain this web of relationships, we will be hearing from professors from NYU School of Medicine, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Columbia University. Get ready for a night of exploring the role of our bodies’ internal and external environments on health and behavior!”

AND The Statue of Liberty Museum opened just last week!

Continuing Events

NYCxDESIGN (May 10-22)
“New York City’s annual celebration of design, attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe. Taking place each May, the event celebrates a world of design and showcases over a dozen design disciplines through events taking place across the city’s five boroughs.”

What to See – Times Square transforms into a design paradise for NYCxDESIGN

“Here’s a reason for New Yorkers to head to Times Square: there are sixteen installations to check out at DESIGN PAVILION, the hub of NYCxDESIGN, the annual city-wide celebration of design.  Stretching from 42nd Street to 47th Street across five plazas (kiosks will show maps to aid your journey), there is everything from an “ecocapsule,”, a tiny house, a carousel of creative chairs, to an iconic Eastern European bloc kiosk shown in the United States for the first time.” (untapped cities)

Design Pavilion in Times Square. Explore the future at this free annual public design happening. Design Pavilion serves as the public hub for NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s annual celebration of international design. Open daily 11am-9pm between West 42nd and West 47th, bounded by Broadway and Seventh Avenue, highlights of the Design Pavilion include a 50,000 pound yacht, an interactive tiny house sculpture, FutureHAUS (the world’s best solar home), and a sound and vision exhibition. (cityguideny)



5/21 Passion Pit, The Rooftop At Pier 17
5/19-20 Nils Lofgren, City Winery
5/21 Jimmy Webb, City Winery
5/22 St. Lucia, Irving Plaza
5/22 Positively Bob Dylan 78th Birthday Tribute, City Winery

♦ 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.

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:

And from New York Magazine:

Nadav Kander (thru May 25)
A dark line.
“Known for his landscapes, the British photographer’s latest work brings the viewer to a particular point in the U.K.: the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the North Sea. The results are visually arresting and somewhat haunting.” (NYMag)
Flowers Gallery, 529 West 20th Street.


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 05/18 and 05/16.

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.”

In Memoriam:
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.


NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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