NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/08) + 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:  “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.”

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

BUSTER WILLIAMS QUARTET
at Smoke / 7 and 9 p.m.; $38
“Among the most storied living jazz musicians, this bassist has performed with the likes of Nancy Wilson, Herbie Hancock, the Jazz Crusaders and countless others. At 77, he often appears nowadays as a bandleader, funneling his decades of broad-ranging experience into a style that’s firmly rooted in straight-ahead jazz but deeply flexible and funky. He performs this weekend with the same all-star quartet featured on his 2018 album, “Audacity”: Steve Wilson on saxophone, George Colligan on piano and Lenny White on drums. The group will likely play some of Williams’s pithy, melodic originals featured on that album.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Queen of Spades
>> JOHNATHAN BLAKE AND PENTAD
>> Masterworks Series – Johnny Gandelsman
>> “Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes” Podcast Tour
>> Deck the Stalls Holiday Market
>> Shop for offbeat gifts at the Oddities Flea Market
>> Fruit and Grain: a Beer and Cider Festival

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Metropolitan Opera
The Queen of Spades (next Dec.14 1PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 3PM, $103+
“Tchaikovsky’s eerie thriller of imperial Russia has its first performances at the Met since 2011. Tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko is Hermann, the fanatical gambler whose obsession with a powerful secret drives him to madness. Soprano Lise Davidsen makes her highly anticipated Met debut as his long-suffering lover, Lisa, with mezzo-soprano Larissa Diadkova as the otherworldly Countess. Baritone Igor Golovatenko is Yeletsky, baritone Alexey Markov is Tomsky, and Vasily Petrenko conducts.”

JOHNATHAN BLAKE AND PENTAD
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“Blake, a drummer, has long been one of jazz’s more respected sidemen, working regularly with luminaries like Kenny Barron and Tom Harrell. But he’s also kept an equally rich (if far quieter) career track running alongside as a bandleader. Earlier this year, he put out the remarkable trio album “Trion,” and soon after he unveiled Pentad, a quintet featuring Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone, David Virelles on piano, Joel Ross on vibraphone and Dezron Douglas on bass. This weekend that group is at the Vanguard, where Blake is making his bandleading debut. (Kris Davis will fill in for Virelles from Friday through Sunday.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Masterworks Series – Johnny Gandelsman
Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing / 4PM, $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)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

“Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes” Podcast Tour
The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St./ 7PM, $45+
“MSNBC’s Chris Hayes will record his podcast “Why Is This Happening?” in front of a live audience at The Town Hall in New York City. Chris will be joined by special guests Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Angels in America, and Jeremy O. Harris, actor and playwright of Slave Play. They’ll engage in a wide-ranging conversation about politics, spectacle and storytelling during these surreal times.” (ThoughtGallery)

Deck the Stalls Holiday Market
Shop New York City’s public markets
Fulton Stall Market, 91 South St./ 11am-5pm, Free to peruse; food and drink available for purchase.
“At the “Deck the Stalls” holiday market, the best of NYC’s public markets come together to create a winter tradition. Sip some New York-grown Nine Pin cider, snack on the East Harlem-made and Beirut-inspired Maha Chocolate, watch a lion dance performance from the New York Chinese Freemasons, and see a sculpture get carved from a hunk of ice. Shop for holiday gifts, listen to live music, and explore the breadth of New York City’s public markets.” (thrillist)

Fruit and Grain: a Beer and Cider Festival
Sip spiked ciders for a cause
849 6th Ave. 2nd Fi./ 12-5PM, GA tickets are $75 and include unlimited tastings; food available for purchase
“The Fruit and Grain festival gathers more than 60 breweries, cideries, and distilleries from all over New York state under one roof. You can sip beers and ciders, rock out to a live DJ, play Mario Kart and cornhole, and then go back for even more beer and cider. A portion of the ticket sales — and all profits from merch sales — will go towards the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Immigration and Legal Services, a nonprofit dedicated to providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved communities.” (thrillist)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Shop for offbeat gifts at the Oddities Flea Market
“At an event curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn of Science Channel’s “Oddities” and produced by his spouse Regina Cohn (both pictured), this “Holiday of Wonders” market gives those looking for holiday gifts a chance to find the offbeat, unusual and unexpected. Items range from anatomical curios and art inspired by the dark side of life to taxidermy, jewelry and medical history ephemera. Take a break from browsing by dining on wood-fired pizzas from Roberta’s ( robertaspizza.com).” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7-8; Villain LLC, 307 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
INFO $30; theodditiesfleamarket.com


Continuing Events

NYC holiday markets – five to explore.  (Newsday)

HOLIDAY SHOPS AT BRYANT PARK

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
INFO bryantpark.org/eat-drink/holiday-shops

UNION SQUARE HOLIDAY MARKET

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
INFO urbanspacenyc.com

COLUMBUS CIRCLE HOLIDAY MARKET

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
INFO urbanspacenyc.com

GRAND CENTRAL HOLIDAY FAIR

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.
INFO grandcentralterminal.com

GRAND BAZAAR NYC

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

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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)

Here is the extensive Holiday Windows rundown from amNY.

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GEORGE BALANCHINE’S THE NUTCRACKER
NEW YORK CITY BALLET (THRU Jan.5)
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)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

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 (nycgo.com)

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.”

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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 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.

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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)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

‘ARTISTIC LICENSE: SIX TAKES ON THE GUGGENHEIM COLLECTION’  (through Jan. 12). “Displays that artists select from a museum’s collection are almost inevitably interesting, revealing and valuable. After all, artists can be especially discerning regarding work not their own. Here, six artists — Cai Guo-Qiang, Paul Chan, Richard Prince, Julie Mehretu, Carrie Mae Weens and Jenny Holzer — guided by specific themes, have chosen, which multiplies the impact accordingly. With one per ramp, each selection turns the museum inside out. The combination sustains multiple visits; the concept should be applied regularly.” (NYT-Roberta Smith)
212-423-3840, guggenheim.org

Neue Galerie

ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER (through Jan. 13).

“You could be forgiven for drawing a connection between Kirchner’s shocking color palette and his character. It would be understandable enough, considering his problems with morphine, Veronal and absinthe; the nervous breakdown precipitated by his artillery training in World War I; and his suicide in 1938, at the age of 58, after the Nazis had denounced him as a degenerate. But to linger on Kirchner’s lurid biography would be unfair to the mesmerizing technical genius of his style, amply on display in this exhibition. Surrounding more or less sober portrait subjects with backgrounds of flat but brilliant color, as Kirchner did, wasn’t just a youthful revolt against the staid academic painting he grew up with. It was also an ingenious way to articulate subjective experience in an increasingly materialist modern world. (NYT-Heinrich)
neuegalerie.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 LAST KNIGHT: THE ART, ARMOR, AND AMBITION OF MAXIMILIAN I’ (through Jan. 5).

“Kaiser Max, who ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the years around 1500, anchors the Met’s largest show of arms and armor in decades: a gleaming showcase of heavy metal and Hapsburg propaganda. Maximilian I, who ruled a swath of Europe stretching from the Netherlands to Croatia, would have looked resplendent on the battlefield when he wore the tapered suit of ribbed and fluted steel here. What really broadcast his power were public spectacles of chivalric glory, in which he jousted with local noblemen and foreign champions in ritualized, but still dangerous, mock combat. He also embraced the hottest technology of the late 15th century: printmaking, which allowed the emperor to broadcast his military prowess through books and monumental woodcuts. The pen, or at least movable type, was for Maximilian even mightier than the sword.” (Farago-NYT)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

GD: this is a good one. you have to see 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 12/06 and 12/04.
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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)

m

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

and, drum roll, here are all the 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 

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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