NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/18) + 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:  “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:

Guangzhou Ballet
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 1PM, $50+
“China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. (CAEG) returns to the David H. Koch Theater with two ballet productions, Carmina Burana and Goddess of the Luo River, performed by the Guangzhou Ballet. Winner of 42 international awards and 159 national awards, Guangzhou Ballet is one of the most outstanding artistic performance organizations in China.

Carmina Burana is the most complete and artistic medieval poem ever known. The Guangzhou Ballet’s contemporary version of ballet Carmina Burana is not a classical ballet in the usual sense, but an exploration and attempt of ballet and medieval poetry, aiming at the perfect integration of medieval poetry and music.

Goddess of the Luo River was recomposed by Peter Quanz based on violin concerto of Composer Du Mingxin. The music style features eastern classic appeal, establishing the emotional atmosphere of the whole play with dance music driving the plot forward like floating clouds and flowing water.” (


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Azar Lawrence Experience
>> Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York
>> Bill Frisell
>> Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward
>> The Tiki Throw Down 2019

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Azar Lawrence Experience (Aug.15-18)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“The fulsome tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence doesn’t disguise his admiration for John Coltrane—his bona fides include work with the Coltrane associates Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner—but a fondness for earthy R. & B. has earned him his own loyal following; his seventies recordings, including “Bridge Into the New Age,” are widely regarded as essential listening. Here, he performs with Experience, his fortified septet, which includes the guitarist Julian Coryell, the son of the fusion pioneer Larry Coryell.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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 Melissa Manchester (August 15–20) and Jackie Evancho (August 21–23).” (TONY)

Bill Frisell (Aug.13-18)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“The venerable crossover guitarist, famous for his luminous folk-jazz fusions, settles into a two-week residency at the Vanguard. Expect magic: His 2016 performances at the venue resulted in a live album, Small Town, released the following year. At this year’s stay, he’s sure to play from Harmony, his upcoming (and first) release with Blue Note Records. During week one, (Aug 6–11), Frisell will fire up a blazing trio, with Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums; the second week, they’re joined by special guest Greg Tardy on saxophone (Aug 13–18).” (TONY)

Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward (Aug.14-18)
Irish Repertory Theatre / 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)

at the Joyce Theater / 2 p.m. $85+
“Over the past couple of weeks, artists associated with Britain’s Royal Ballet have been taking turns curating programs for the Joyce’s annual midsummer gift to balletomanes. The fourth and final one belongs to the adventurous principal dancer Edward Watson. His lineup will begin with four short works — all duets and solos — by the choreographers Wayne McGregor, James Alsop, Laila Diallo and Javier de Frutos; the pieces will be performed by Watson, his Royal Ballet colleague Sarah Lamb and the former New York City Ballet dancer Robert Fairchild. Following the intermission, the three will come together in Arthur Pita’s “Cristaux” and will be joined by the City Ballet principal Maria Kowroski.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

The Tiki Throw Down 2019
Taste the best of New York’s tiki bars
Melrose Ballroom, LIC / 3-9PM, $65+ include one sample from each exhibitor
“Learn about craft spirits at the New York Cocktail Expo, where you can watch a mixology match, sip from the “rum room,” and sample cocktails from the expo’s Best Cocktail Competition. There will also be be a tropical Tiki Throwdown, featuring bartenders from Polynesian-inspired bar Mother of Pearl, speakeasy-themed Patent Pending, and Korean gastropub Osamil. They’ve hired an official judge, which means you just get to kick back, drink up, and enjoy the tropical vibes.” (

Continuing Events

coming soon

Concert Series / Curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center
Thursdays from 5-7pm, from June to September
Broadway Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets

“Give your Thursday night a new rhythm as you head to the train or wait for a colleague to join you for dinner. Jazz at Lincoln Center brings New York City’s hottest young jazz bands to the plaza, creating the feeling of an intimate club amidst the lights and sounds of Times Square.”



8/19 The Binky Griptite Orchestra, Union Pool
8/21 Tame Impala, Madison Square Garden

♦ 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. 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:


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 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 08/16 and 08/14.

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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