NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/06) + 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:  “December 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:

at Carnegie Hall / 8 p.m.; $29+
“The Beninese vocalist Angélique Kidjo curated this major concert, and put the trumpeter Terence Blanchard in charge of its musical direction. The program that these two Grammy-winning artists have assembled addresses the broad range of music that has emerged from the African diaspora in roughly the past century: jazz, gospel, Afrobeat, Afro-Caribbean, hip-hop and much more. Performers will include Blanchard’s quintet, the E-Collective; the breakout New Orleans band Tank and the Bangas; the pianist and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” bandleader Jon Batiste; and members of the RAREdancework performance group.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Masterworks Series – Johnny Gandelsman
>> SHE & HIM
>> The Hold Steady
>> Bob Dylan
>> Mary Halvorson
>> The Body/The Self: An Out-Of-Body Experience with Sightline Arts
>> Fashion Speak Fridays: 1950s in Vogue

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


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Elsewhere, but these three are easy subway trips and look worth the detour:

Masterworks Series – Johnny Gandelsman
Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing / 7PM, $35
“When you’re a violinist who has mastered and recorded a personal interpretation of Bach’s foundational sonatas and partitas, a question arises: What next? Johnny Gandelsman, an unconventional virtuoso known for his work with the Silk Road Project and Brooklyn Rider, opts for a path less travelled. In two Bargemusic recitals, on Friday and Sunday, he appropriates and adapts the composer’s equally monumental Suites for Solo Cello.” (Steve Smith, NewYorker)

at Kings Theater / 8 p.m.; $40
“Holiday music is, almost invariably, laden with nostalgia; this folk-pop pair are natural proprietors of the stuff. Together, the duo of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel sing and play in sepia tones, drawing from a repertoire that includes both originals and classics culled across decades. She & Him’s penchant for covers has led them to record two albums’ worth of Christmas standards, on which they pay homage to holiday giants from Irving Berlin to Mariah Carey. Their renditions of these festive tunes wouldn’t sound out of place piping from an antique radio; in lieu of that option, you can see them performed live on Friday at this palatial theater in Flatbush, Brooklyn.” (OLIVIA HORN, NYT)

The Hold Steady (Dec.4-7)
Veterans at work.
Brooklyn Bowl / 8PM, $45
Brooklyn indie rockers decided to start a band after seeing Martin Scorsese’s Thanksgiving rock doc The Last Waltz. Seven studio albums in, they’re a rock-and-roll institution in their own right, thanks to a wellspring of anthemic grooves and lead singer Craig Finn’s detailed storytelling. In 2016, the band came home for a run of shows to celebrate 2006’s Boys and Girls in America; it’s now an annual tradition.” (NYMag,-C.J.)

Bob Dylan (LAST DAY)
Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway / 8PM, $99+
“Bob Dylan famously maintains a restless touring schedule that renders him a nomad for much of the year but often returns him to the place of his artistic birth; this year, he settles in for a whopping ten-night stand. Among rock élites, Dylan remains peerless. His concerts are strictly pander-free zones—no cheesy pleas to clap or sing along, no glut of backup musicians, usually no “Like a Rolling Stone.” Rather, Dylan asks audiences to ignore his legend and engage with his firecracker band, its every elegant rumble rooted to the present.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

Mary Halvorson (Dec. 3-7)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30 p.m.; $20
“It’s hard to sum up this experimental guitarist in a simple word like “influential”: Her choppy, crinkled, effects-pedal-laden style is too singular to be widely replicated. But now more than ever, there is no denying the status of Halvorson — who received a 2019 MacArthur fellowship in September — as a leading figure in jazz. Next week she will take a victory lap at the Stone, a familiar stomping ground, alongside a few longtime collaborators: On Tuesday she plays in a duet with the remarkable Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier; on Wednesday and Dec. 5 she brings different trios each night; and on Dec. 6 and 7 she appears with her quintet Code Girl, which released a critically lauded album last year.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

The Body/The Self: An Out-Of-Body Experience with Sightline Arts
The Greene Space, 44 Charlton St./ 7PM, $20
“Have an out-of-body experience as The Greene Space hosts The Body/The Self, which brings together theatre and tech to force new perspectives on participants. Take part yourself or just watch and learn.

How much of the way that other people perceive the words you say depends on way you look and sound as you say them? What if you could change your race, your sex, and your age to be heard differently?

We’re doing that tonight using a new blend of theater and tech called Second Body, with audience volunteers paired with performers for a unique chance to express themselves through someone else and explore all the emotions the experience can provide.

Sign up early to take part in a Second Body experience yourself from 6 to 7pm (sign-ups will be available shortly). Or be there at 7pm for live demonstration and performance, followed by discussion of identity and the body with academics, artists and thought leaders.” (ThoughtGallery)

Fashion Speak Fridays: 1950s in Vogue
The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park S./ 7PM, FREE
“Join fashion historian Rebecca Tuite for an evening on American Vogue’s most enigmatic editor-in-chef, Jessica Daves, and a fascinating moment in the magazine’s history.

Appointed editor-in-chief in 1952, Daves began a decade-long effort to elevate the world’s most influential fashion magazine to new standards. Daves’s Vogue was the first to embrace a “high/low” blend of fashion, offering a complete vision of how other areas of modern life contributed to defining taste and style, and profiling contemporary style-icons, from John and Jackie Kennedy to Charles and Ray Eames.”

Continuing Events

NYC holiday markets – five to explore.  (Newsday)


WHEN | WHERE Oct. 31-Jan. 5, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 40th Street and Sixth Avenue


WHEN | WHERE Nov. 21-Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Union Square Park’s southern side


WHEN | WHERE Dec. 4-24, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 59th Street and Central Park West


WHEN | WHERE Nov. 18-Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday (closed Thanksgiving; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve), Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St.


WHEN | WHERE Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 100 W. 77th St.


Holiday windows in NYC you won’t want to miss

“‘Tis the season! As Thanksgiving draws near, New York City’s department stores are unveiling their holiday windows. Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, American Girl and others are each putting their festive foot forward for the holidays.” (amNY)


NYS Theater, Lincoln Center/ TODAY: 2PM, +8PM,; $95+
“’Twas the day after Thanksgiving and all through the land, ballet companies began trotting out productions of “The Nutcracker,” a holiday dance tradition most grand. And in New York, the grandest among them is City Ballet’s, formally known as “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” which has been performed since 1954. That title rightly emphasizes this version’s secret weapon: Act II’s glorious choreography, particularly the breathtaking final pas de deux between the Sugarplum Fairy and her cavalier. Act I has its own virtuosic feat in the form of a supersize Christmas tree, which captures all the magic and wonder of this familiar tale.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)



12/5-6 Bob Dylan, Beacon Theatre
12/6 39th Annual John Lennon Tribute, Symphony Space
12/7 The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show, Concert Hall at the NY Society for Ethical Culture
12/8 Crooked Still, Music Hall of Williamsburg
12/9 Pixies, Webster Hall
12/9 Cautious Clay, Brooklyn Steel
12/10 Holiday Cheer for FUV with Mavis Staples, Nathaniel Rateliff, Yola and special guests, Beacon Theatre
12/11 Ingrid Michaelson, (le) Poisson Rouge

Fall Concerts (

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

♦ 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)

‘BETYE SAAR: THE LEGENDS OF “BLACK GIRL’S WINDOW”at the Museum of Modern Art (through Jan. 4).

“Black Girl’s Window,” which consists of an old window frame that Saar filled with a constellation of images, is the focus of this exhibition, one of several helping to reopen MoMA. Concentrating on Saar’s early years as an artist, it tracks the experiments in printmaking and assemblage that led her to arrive at the titular work. Despite the unusual color of the gallery’s deep purple walls, the show is relatively modest — a scholarly study of a specific period, anchored by MoMA’s recent acquisition of a group of 42 of her works on paper. Two pieces from 1972 that represent her shift from the mystical to the political — “Black Crows in the White Section Only,” which brings together a variety of racist advertisements, and “Let Me Entertain You,” which shows a minstrel singer with a guitar transforming into a black liberation fighter with a rifle — serve as a kind of coda. Their appearance at the end offers a tantalizing glimpse of the iconoclastic artist Saar was on her way to becoming. (Jillian Steinhauer-NYT)

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 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)

In the Company of Harold Prince
A prince with no heir.
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (through March 31)

“Losing Hal Prince this year meant the end of an era. No other producer-director will ever again have Prince’s string of stupendous hits; no one man will ever again become so closely identified with Broadway stagecraft. He worked on everything, from West Side Story to The Phantom of the Opera, from Cabaret to Sweeney Todd, and if not everything he touched turned to gold — nonetheless, he did have the golden touch. This exhibition at the NYPL is a dragon’s hoard of scripts, photographs, set models, and even re-creations of his paperwork. Study it closely and you might become the next great theatrical mind … if not a Prince, then possibly a really talented duchess.” (Vulture, NY Magazine-H.S.)

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/04 and 12/02.


15 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (12/06/19)


Must-see theater coming to New York City stages this fall (amNY)

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)


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


and, drum roll, here are all the media critics opinions on all the plays – Playbill’s “the Verdict”


For good, comprehensive and current info:

Broadway Shows: What to See and How to Get Cheap Tickets (NYT)


finally, lot’s of useful info on TKTS discount tickets from the headout blog:

Everything You Need to Know About TKTS Broadway Tickets


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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