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

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

Ten Crucial Days: Washington’s Vision for Victory Unfolds
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 6:30PM, $10
Evening Lecture Presented by William L. Kidder
“On December 25, 1776, the American Revolution seemed all but defeated. Just six months after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Washington’s army had suffered a series of defeats in New York, retreating to temporary safety in Pennsylvania. Kidder will discuss the ten crucial days in which Washington lead his upstart army in daring maneuvers that changed the course of history.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Karuna Trio featuring Hamid Drake, Adam Rudolph, and Alexis Marcelo
>> Winter Rhythms 2019
>> STEVEN BERNSTEIN
>> Christian McBride
>> Chris Botti Holiday Residency
>> Stitch & Design: Watoji Bookbinding
>> Inventive Founders: George Washington

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Karuna Trio featuring Hamid Drake, Adam Rudolph, and Alexis Marcelo
Atrium @ Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Karuna Trio is the musical project of Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph, two master percussionists known for their extensive work in world music, avant-garde jazz, and improvisation. Through their work on Karuna, they are continuing their ongoing research into the connection of the inner life to musical expression, and to the idea of creative action as a gesture of compassion. For this performance the two are joined by Alex Marcelo on keys.”

Winter Rhythms 2019 (Dec.12-21)
Urban Stages / 7PM, +9PM, $30
“The tenth annual edition of Urban Stages’s cabaret festival comprises 22 shows, including sets devoted to Johnny Mercer, Madeline Kahn, Bea Lillie, Czechoslovak soprano Jarmila Novotná and the concept of hope. The starry December 17 performance, a celebration of Britwit Noël Coward, features Jim Dale, Jim Naughton, Jeff Harnar, Edward Hibbert, Simon Jones, Sidney Myer, Marissa Mulder, KT Sullivan, Eric Comstock and Coward lionizer Barry Day.” (TONY)

STEVEN BERNSTEIN (Dec. 11-12)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $45
“Many of jazz’s most engaging figures have a way of finding what resonates in the past — a style, a method, a spirit — and giving it new life without trying to preserve or conspicuously modernize it. (Think of Jason Moran, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian McBride: Each has a way of doing this.) Bernstein, a trumpeter who sprang from New York’s experimental-jazz scene in the 1980s, is one of those musicians. On Wednesday he will perform at Dizzy’s with his nine-piece Millennial Territory Orchestra — which romps through a repertoire ranging from Fats Waller to Ray Charles to the Beatles — with the vocalist Catherine Russell joining as a special guest. On Dec. 12 Bernstein will bring his longtime quartet Sexmob, featuring the saxophonist Briggan Krauss, the bassist Tony Scherr and the drummer Kenny Wollesen.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Christian McBride (Dec. 10-15)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35, need to try the late sets.
“A nineties wunderkind who has fulfilled his early promise, the extraordinary bassist Christian McBride began as a staunch defender of mainstream jazz. His forays into such far-flung terrain as free improvisation and electrified funk notwithstanding, he always returns to where his heart lies. His Inside Straight ensemble is a taut quintet that includes the saxophonist Steve Wilson and the vibraphonist Warren Wolf.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Chris Botti Holiday Residency
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $55-$95, may be a tough ticket, try the late set
“This trumpet players’s skills are actually as good as his telegenic looks, even if he rarely puts them to use playing the kind of bop he cut his teeth on. A consummate showman, Botti presents his blend of smooth jazz-funk, glossily Miles-ian ballads and assorted pop and classical chestnuts at the Blue Note for his 13th annual holiday residency.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Stitch & Design: Watoji Bookbinding
Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St./ 6:30PM, $47, All materials included.
“Experience the ancient craft of watoji, or Japanese bookbinding, a traditional method that has long been used to stitch and bind literary works together. At this workshop, mixed media artist Amanda Hu will instruct participants on how to create their very own hand-bound book using beautiful washi paper—perfect for notes, journals, or scrapbooks! Participants of all skill levels will leave this workshop with a greater appreciation for traditional bookbinding as well as a charming memento of their experience.”

Inventive Founders: George Washington
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West / 6:30PM, $44
“Arguably the most well-known and adored of the Founding Fathers, George Washington remains one of the most venerable personalities of the Founding Era. Already in his 40s when appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, how did the character of Washington influence the early foundations of the United States? Experts on the Revolution uncover the man behind the legend, whose leadership in a time of insurmountable need is still felt in America today.”


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)

12/12 Bailen, Bowery Ballroom
12/13-14 Anders Osborne, Brooklyn Bowl
12/14 Los Lobos, Concert Hall at the NY Society of Ethical Culture
12/14 Live From Here with Chris Thile, Town Hall
12/14 The Fixx, Sony Hall
12/15 Rachel & Vilray, The Bell House
12/16 A John Waters Christmas, Sony Hall
12/16-17 City Winery and Steve Earle present the 5th Annual “John Henry’s Friends” rehearsal dinner with Steve Earle and the Dukes, Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter and more, City Vineyard
12/17 Steve Earle and the Dukes, Town Hall
12/18 James Blake, BAM

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
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)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’
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)

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‘AUSCHWITZ. NOT LONG AGO. NOT FAR AWAY’
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.)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/10 and 12/08.

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

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

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)

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

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

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For good, comprehensive and current info:

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

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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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