NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/24) + 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:  “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.”

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

Bill Charlap Trio (May 14-26)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40-$45
“Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…when he sits down to play, the result is an embrace, an act of possession. The tune rises, falls, disappears, and resurfaces in new forms as Charlap ranges over the keyboard with nimble, crisply swinging lines, subtly layered textures, dense chords, and spiky interjections.” TIME Magazine
One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed and recorded with modern masters ranging from Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis to Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. Since 1997 he has led the Grammy Award-nominated Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, long recognized as a leading group in jazz. Veterans of all the top jazz venues, including, this trio is exemplary for its jaw-dropping level of chemistry and on-the-fly interactivity, made possible by both technical chops and hard-earned experience.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Frank Kimbrough
>> JASON PALMER
>> Eddie Izzard: Wunderbar
>> John Lloyd Young: Jukebox Hero
>> JOE LOVANO’S TRIO TAPESTRY
>> New York’s 31st annual Fleet Week.
>> Sex, Pleasure & Intimacy in the Time of Capitalism

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Frank Kimbrough (May 24-25)
Mezzrow, 163 W. 10th St./ 7:30PM, +9PM, $25
Last year, the pianist Frank Kimbrough delivered the comprehensive product of a personal obsession: “Monk’s Dreams,” an elucidative recording of all seventy of Thelonious Monk’s compositions. Though it’s close to a sure thing that Monk’s tunes will find their way into these sets, Kimbrough is also a highly individualistic interpreter of both standards and his own quirky work. He’s joined by the drummer Billy Drummond (an essential “Monk’s Dreams” participant) and the bassist Dezron Douglas.” (Steve Futterman, Newyorker)

JASON PALMER
at the InterContinental New York Barclay / 7 p.m.; $
“A coolly exploratory trumpeter, with a great sensitivity across the full range of his horn, Palmer here takes charge of an all-star ensemble featuring the tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, the vibraphonist Joel Ross, the bassist Edward Perez and the drummer Kendrick Scott. The plan is that these shows on Thursday and Friday, presented in the InterContinental’s Presidential Suite with hors d’oeuvres served throughout, will be made into a live album; it will be Palmer’s second funded by Giant Step Arts, a new nonprofit organization that makes quality live recordings of contemporary jazz. The resplendent suite will provide a fitting backdrop to a performance of Palmer’s latest original music, inspired by the notorious robbery at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which was once a ritzy private home.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Eddie Izzard: Wunderbar (May 21-25)
at Beacon Theater / 8 p.m.; $51+
“Five years after this actor and comedian’s most recent global comedy tour, and one year before he begins his political career in England in 2020, he’s taking one last trip through the United States with his new tour, “Wunderbar.” “My new show is about everything from humans over the last 100,000 years to talking dogs and animal superheroes,” Izzard said in a statement announcing the tour, which includes this five-night run on the Upper West Side.” (NYT-Sean L. McCarthy)

John Lloyd Young: Jukebox Hero (May 22-25)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $75+
The Tony-winning star of Jersey Boys, both the Broadway musical and the Clint Eastwood film, brings his musical highs and puppyish eyes back to Feinstein’s/54 Below in a set of hit tunes from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s—including, surely, at least one by the Four Seasons.” (TONY)

JOE LOVANO’S TRIO TAPESTRY (May 21-26)
at the Village Vanguard /8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“There’s a quiet bravado to Lovano’s playing — on both tenor and soprano saxophones — that allows him to make a home in almost any jazz style, from the freely improvised to the rigorously composed. The music of this new trio, featuring the pianist Marilyn Crispell and the drummer Carmen Castaldi, lands somewhere in the middle, but it leans toward the open-ended. Melodies glide and taper, textures rise and shudder and dissipate. At the Vanguard, the trio will draw selections from a fine debut album, “Trio Tapestry,” recently out on ECM.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

New York’s 31st annual Fleet Week. (5/22-5/28)
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
“The legendary aircraft carrier that’s now the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum celebrates the men and women of the armed forces during New York’s 31st annual Fleet Week. Ships of every size will come steaming into the city. On Wednesday the 22nd, events kick off with the dramatic sight of Naval and Coast Guard ships sailing up the Hudson River. Through Memorial Day, Intrepid will be hosting talks, kids’ activities, ships open for free public tours, science demos, and the chance to hear stories from former crew members. On Friday night, catch a free screening of Top Gun right on the flight deck, under the stars! Learn more: Where to Celebrate Fleet Week in NYC.” (cityguideny)

Sex, Pleasure & Intimacy in the Time of Capitalism
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $20, includes complimentary beer
A Think Olio session at The Strand “explores how politics, money, power, and toxic masculinity are barriers to some of the most fulfilling aspects of our lives: our connections.

Sex has been a taboo topic for over a century since the Victorian era. When we do talk about sex, we usually talk about how to have safer sex and birth control. But what about pleasure? What about deeply connecting with someone? What about intimacy? What about RADICAL LOVE?” (ThoughtGallery)

AND The Statue of Liberty Museum opened just last week!


Continuing Events

coming soon.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

5/23-24 MGMT, Webster Hall
5/24 St. Lucia, Irving Plaza
5/25 Amy Ray, (le) Poisson Rouge
5/25 Greta Van Fleet, Forest Hills Stadium
5/25 Walk Off The Earth, Irving Plaza
5/26 The Hot Sardines, Joe’s Pub
5/26 Bjork’s Cornucopia, The Shed
5/26 Rodney Crowell, City Winery
5/29 Rufus Wainwright, City Winery
5/29 Weyes Blood, Music Hall of Williamsburg

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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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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)

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)

“The Tale of Genji” (Through June 16)

“To detail the rich history of a Japanese literary epic, this stunning exhibition assembles artifacts and art works spanning nearly a millennium. Written in the early eleventh century by the noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu, the fifty-four-chapter tale—a mix of entertainment, social commentary, and Buddhist philosophy—recounts the misadventures of an emperor’s son, who, excluded from the line of succession, seeks restitution through romantic liaisons. Colorful episodes describe the opulence of the Heian period and introduce iconic female characters. The fascinating objects on view include paired calligraphic texts and paintings drawn from the oldest-known complete “Genji” album, from 1510; an ornate, portable lacquered-wood cabinet, from the Edo period, made to house the tale’s many volumes; and a wedding palanquin (or covered litter), from the same era, whose exquisitely painted interior features motifs from the story. The visual literary tradition instigated by Murasaki’s classic was not just for the élite: modern translations, as well as books and popular prints, disseminated it to a wide audience. The show concludes with original drawings by the contemporary manga artist Yamato Waki, from his updated adaptation “Asaki Yume Mishi” (thirteen years in the making)—a testament to the saga’s enduring legacy.” (Johanna Fateman, NewYorker)

‘THE WORLD BETWEEN EMPIRES: ART AND IDENTITY IN THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST’ (through June 23).

“The Met excels at epic-scale archaeological exhibitions, and this is a prime example. It brings together work made between 100 B.C. and A.D. 250 in what we now know as Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. In the ancient world, all were in the sphere of two competing superpowers — Rome to the west and Parthia to the east — and though imperial influence was strong, it was far from all-determining. Each of the subject territories selectively grafted it onto local traditions to create distinctive new grass-roots cultural blends. Equally important, the show addresses the fate of art from the past in a politically fraught present.” (NYT-Cotter)

“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 05/22 and 05/20.
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Bonus Live Music  – NYC 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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Bonus#2 – 9 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend New York Times (05/24/19)

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

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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