NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/08) + 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:  “August 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 in Bryant Park (Thursdays through August 16)
Bryant Park / 12:30pm–1:30pm, FREE
“For lovers of musical theater, the Broadway in Bryant Park concert series is one of the best things to do in the summer in NYC. Presented each year by the radio station 106.7 Lite fm, it’s a great way to spend a Thursday lunch hour: It’s outdoors, it’s free and it features performances from some of the best Broadway musicals, as well as Off Broadway shows. Bring a blanket, sit in the sun and let your inner show-tune fan out to play in the park for a while.” (TONY)

Featuring musical numbers from hit shows:
A Musical About Star Wars
Pretty Woman


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
John Mayall
>> Under Siege
>> Tessa Lark and Michael Thurber
>> Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward
>> Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

John Mayall (Aug.8-10)
@ The Iridium / 8PM, $55+
“Blues rock legend John Mayall is the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, which helped launch the careers of members of Cream, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, and more. Mayall is still at it today, and the chance to see him is a real treat. He begins a three-night stand at the Iridium tonight.” (brooklynvegan)

Under Siege (Aug.8-10)
A superstar’s take on the fight for ancient China.
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $65+
“Choreographer Yang Liping abbreviates the story and expands the spectacle of China’s third-century B.C. civil war into a visual extravaganza that combines dance, music, and martial arts against a cinematic backdrop by Oscar-winning production designer Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).” (Justin Davidson, NYMagazine)

BILL FRISELL (Aug. 6-11)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“Blue Note Records announced this week that it had signed Frisell, a homey eminence of downtown guitar experimentalism. He has often appeared on the label as a sideman over the years, but “Harmony,” due this fall, will be his first as a leader. Whatever he has in store with that release, his recent albums for ECM — luminous duo affairs with the bassist Thomas Morgan — probably offer a good clue of what to expect at these shows, where he and Morgan will be joined by the drummer Rudy Royston.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Tessa Lark and Michael Thurber
Tessa Lark, violin
Michael Thurber, bass
Atrium, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Inspired by Bach’s Two-Part Inventions, violinist Tessa Lark, a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, and intrepid bassist Michael Thurber have created their own set of duos, drawing upon their roots in classical music, Appalachian fiddling, jazz, and R&B. This lively, hourlong concert showcases Lark and Thurber’s original compositions alongside the inventive mastery of Bach.”

at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Laubrock can manipulate her tenor saxophone with everything from thin, breathy lines to harsh slaps of the tongue. Despite her expressionist tendencies, she never lets go of her devotion to cool, lyrical clarity. Laubrock kicks off a five-night run at the Stone on Tuesday with Mary Halvorson on guitar, Kris Davis on piano and Tom Rainey on drums. She will convene a different combo on each of the following nights — featuring all-stars of the avant-garde — before wrapping things up with a quintet performance on Aug. 10 dedicated to the music of Anthony Braxton.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward (Aug.7-11)
Irish Repertory Theatre / 3PM, +8PM, $45-$50
“The Noël Coward touch was always a light one. His music scampers like a mouse; his lyrics bounce like balloons. In his plays, even suffering has an upward tendency. But when his work is excerpted and performed by others, that glancing quality can turn coy and saccharine, as it sometimes does in Barry Day’s two-handed cabaret Love, Noël.

Reading from Coward’s letters and covering nearly two dozen songs, cabaret stars Steve Ross and KT Sullivan pay Coward tribute. Sometimes Ross, the longtime king of café cabaret, is his own tuxedoed self, and sometimes he’s pretending to be Coward; an amused-seeming Sullivan takes on all the women. (She does a great, gloomy Marlene Dietrich.)” (TONY)

Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York (Aug.7-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“The popular and polished standard-bearer of American song returns to the club that bears his name for a three-week run devoted to tunes that celebrate New York City; the set includes a salute to the masterfully ebullient singer-pianist Bobby Short, who defined the champagne wing of cabaret in his four-decade run at the Café Carlyle. Feinstein is joined by special guests Marilyn Maye (August 6–13), Melissa Manchester (August 15–20) and Jackie Evancho (August 21–23).” (TONY)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

More smart stuff coming soon.

Continuing Events

“Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival will run from July 10 through August 10, 2019. Harnessing Mozart’s innovative spirit as its inspiration, this edition will feature groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, international productions and acclaimed artists from a variety of genres, introducing the audience to emerging creative voices, commissions and premieres.  The program will include performances from Mark Morris Dance Company, a panel discussion on Mozart’s Magic Flute, a screening of the film The Great Buster: A Celebration, and much more. For a full festival lineup, visit the Mostly Mozart Festival event page.” (

NYC Restaurant Week 2019: Start making your reservations.

“The more than three-week-long promotion featuring two-course lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42) at some of the city’s best restaurants is back for its summer edition starting July 22. This time around, the celebration features prix-fixe meals at more than 380 eateries, with deals through Aug. 16.

You can find links to menus and the restaurants involved here, but check out our picks for some of the most enticing deals below.” (amNY)




8/8 Guster, SummerStage Central Park
8/8 Dead On Live, Rockin’ The River Circle Line Cruises, Pier 83
8/9 “What’s Goin’ On” The Music of Marvin Gaye, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
8/10 My Morning Jacket, Forest Hills Stadium
8/10 Mountain Goats, SummerStage East River Park
Lincoln Center “Out Of Doors” festival: Roots of American Music:
8/10 Patty Griffin and Yola
8/11 David Crosby and Anais Mitchell

♦ 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 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. 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.

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)

American Museum of Natural History (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)


at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through Sept. 22).
“Given the political tensions that have sent spasms through the nation over the past two years, you might have expected — hoped — that this year’s biennial would be one big, sharp Occupy-style yawp. It isn’t. Politics are present but, with a few notable exceptions, murmured, coded, stitched into the weave of fastidiously form-conscious, labor-intensive work. As a result, the exhibition, organized by two young Whitney curators, Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta, gives the initial impression of being a well-groomed group show rather than a statement of resistance. But once you start looking closely, the impression changes artist by artist, piece by piece — there’s quiet agitation in the air.” (NYT-Cotter)


at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (through Jan. 3).
“Killing as a communal business, made widely lucrative by the Third Reich, permeates this traveling exhibition about the largest German death camp, Auschwitz, whose yawning gatehouse, with its converging rail tracks, has become emblematic of the Holocaust. Well timed, during a worldwide surge of anti-Semitism, the harrowing installation strives, successfully, for fresh relevance. The exhibition illuminates the topography of evil, the deliberate designing of a hell on earth by fanatical racists and compliant architects and provisioners, while also highlighting the strenuous struggle for survival in a place where, as Primo Levi learned, “there is no why.” (NYT-Ralph Blumenthal)


at the New-York Historical Society (through Oct. 6).
“In the three-decade-plus golden age of Life magazine, only six of its full-time photographers were women. On the face of it, this exhibition at the historical society is half an excuse to air some gorgeous, previously unpublished silver prints, half a broad hint about how much talent we’ve lost to discrimination over the years. But cheery photo essays, produced by professional women, about other women hesitating to join the work force make a subtler point: that the actual mechanics of discrimination tend to be more complicated than they appear from a distance.” (NYT-Will Heinrich)

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/06 and 08/04.


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.”


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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