NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/15) + 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:  “June 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:

Jazz Age Lawn Party (Saturday, June 15 – Sunday, June 16)
Celebrate the end of prohibition
Governors Island
“Take a little breather from the horrors of modernity with a Jazz Age party on the lush lawns of Governors Island. There will be dance contests, live music and performances, a croquet tournament, and a steady flow of (non-bootlegged) rosé. 1920s clothing is encouraged, but not required — think flapper dresses, zoot suits, feathers, and spats. Wear your best pearls, pre-plan all your Instagram poses, and try not to drunkenly poke your eye out with a parasol.
Cost: $45 to enter; $75 for entry, two glasses of rosé, a sweet snack, and a couple souvenirs; $175 for two tickets, a bottle of rosé, sweet treats, and souvenirs; bring cash for extras” (Thrilist.com)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Alvin Ailey
>> THEO CROKER
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE BIG BAND
>> Stacey Kent
>> Art Wars! The Met, MoMA, and the Whitney, and What Each Will Argue Is Art

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Alvin Ailey (June 12-16)
NYS Theater, LIncoln Center / 2PM, +8PM, $29+
“Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s short summer season at Lincoln Center introduces five new dancers and one new dance. “Ounce of Faith,” the first effort for the troupe by Darrell Grand Moultrie, an adept choreographer with iffy taste, is about a teacher and a child. It could be mawkish, but two must-see works from last season avoid that trap, in nearly opposite ways. Ronald K. Brown’s “The Call” is a formal gem, quietly spiritual; Rennie Harris’s “Lazarus” is dense and demanding, at once nightmarish and uplifting. The season also features a highlight-reel program of the founder’s choreography and a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Ailey School.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

THEO CROKER (June 13-16)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Last month, Croker logged a vital contribution to the growing body of nouveau jazz fusion (think Robert Glasper, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Sarah Elizabeth Charles) when he released “Star People Nation,” an album that gallivants from swirling, left-field hip-hop beats to propellant swing to entrancing passages of African percussion. Through it all, Croker’s understated trumpet playing holds his small band together with swagger and poise. Here he celebrates the album’s release with Mike King on piano, Eric Wheeler on bass and Michael Ode on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 2PM, +8PM, $25+
“The company continues its Lincoln Center spring season with “Le Corsaire” through Saturday, followed by eight performances of Kenneth MacMillan’s sumptuous “Manon” beginning on Monday. In that performance, Hee Seo makes her debut in the titular role, opposite Roberto Bolle as Des Grieux. The full-length production is also Bolle’s swan song at Ballet Theater: On Thursday, he gives his farewell performance. And Wednesday’s matinee will surely be a hot ticket, too, with debuts by Misty Copeland, Catherine Hurlin and Calvin Royal III.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
Tonight: “Le Corsaire”

CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE BIG BAND (June 11-16)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $40
“Rather than harking back to the classic swing era or the progressive large-ensemble composers of the late 20th century, this 17-piece group picks up on a lesser-touted aspect of the jazz tradition: the bebop big bands led by Jimmy Heath and Dizzy Gillespie in the 1940s and ’50s. A lot of activity often happens at once in McBride’s ensemble: spitfire soloing from the saxophones and brass; calisthenic bowed-bass workouts from the bandleader; sprightly, charging momentum from the rhythm section. But McBride makes sure everything coheres, thanks to hip-huggingly tight swing rhythms and generous coats of grease on the harmonies.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Stacey Kent (June 11-15)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, $40-$50
“The vocalist Stacey Kent, wearing her taste and her smarts on her sleeve, blends American Songbook standards, Brazilian classics, and French chansons with original compositions by the saxophonist Jim Tomlinson and such collaborators as the author Kazuo Ishiguro. Here, Kent leaves behind the orchestra that accompanied her on her latest album, “I Know I Dream”—luckily, she can also weave magic at the helm of a more compact ensemble.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Walking Tour: Art Wars! The Met, MoMA, and the Whitney, and What Each Will Argue Is Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave./ 1PM, $25
“See the city’s art museums in a new way on this Art Wars walking tour, which will focus on the founding of the institutions along Museum Mile, and how each museum’s architecture reflects their founders and collections.” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

Underground Railroad Game (LAST DAY)
A comedy, actually.
“Created by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with the Philly-based company Lightning Rod Special, the incendiary Underground Railroad Game returns to New York for 18 performances. Welcome to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers tackle American history, race, sex, and power in a ferocious, sensational, very R-rated lesson.” (S.H.- NY Magazine)
Ars Nova at Greenwich House, 27 Barrow Street, May 30 to June 15.

‘MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING’
at the Delacorte Theater (in previews; opens on June 11, thru June 23).
“Sigh no more, Shakespeare fans. Shakespeare in the Park — its tickets distributed free by line and lottery — returns with this sparkling comedy of sparring lovers. In postwar Messina, Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) and Benedick (Grantham Coleman) are a couple who despise each other. Until they don’t. Kenny Leon directs. ” (NYT-Alexis Soloski)
212-967-7555, publictheater.org
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COMING SOON (WFUV)

6/15 Death Cab For Cutie w/ Jenny Lewis, Forest Hills Stadium
6/17 Keb’ Mo’, Sony Hall
6/18 & 19 Seawolf, National Sawdust
6/19 Father John Misty with Jason Isbell, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
6/19 The Lumineers, Pioneer Works

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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
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” (LAST DAY)

“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”  (LAST DAY)

“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 06/13 and 06/11.

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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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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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