NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/14) + 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:

Fantasias and Carols: A Cathedral Christmas
Sing Christmas carols in a cathedral
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine / 7PM, $50
“The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is hosting its annual Christmas concert — this year, the Cathedral’s choir and orchestra are performing a George Frideric Handel organ concerto, works by Giovanni Gabrieli, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.” They’ll be playing all your Christmas favorites, too, with an audience participation portion where you can sing your most-loved carols along with the choir (don’t worry, you don’t have to wear a robe). (Thrillist)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Los Lobos
>> Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi
>> Steve Miller
>> Winter Rhythms 2019
>> A Very Meow Meow Holiday Show
>> Roots n’ Ruckus Fest!
>> Victorian Holiday Party

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Los Lobos
Concert Hall @ NY Society For Ethical Culture, 2 W 64th St. / 8PM, $55+
“We’re a Mexican American band, and no word describes America like immigrant. Most of us are children of immigrants, so it’s perhaps natural that the songs we create celebrate America in this way.” So says Louie Perez, the “poet laureate” and primary wordsmith of Los Lobos, when describing the songs on the band’s new album, Gates of Gold.

After celebrating their 40th anniversary with the cleverly titled 2013 live album Disconnected In New York City, the hard working, constantly touring band – David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano and Steve Berlin – leaps headfirst into their fifth decade with an invitation to join them as they open fresh and exciting new Gates of Gold, their first full length studio album since 2010’s Tin Can Trust (a Grammy nominee for Best Americana Album) and second with Savoy/429 Records.”

Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi (Dec.13-15)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / 6:30PM, $30+
“Fashion celeb and dandy Isaac Mizrahi reads and designs Peter & the Wolf in what may be the finest match of material and narrator that Prokofiev’s instructive orchestral folktale has found since David Bowie recorded it. He is abetted by the excellent Ensemble Signal (conducted by Oliver Hagen and Brad Lubman) and choreography by John Heginbotham.” (TONY)

Steve Miller (Dec.13-14)
Rose Theatre, Broadway at 60th St. / 8PM, $50+
“Julian (Cannonball) Adderley, a brilliant alto saxophonist who combined soulful intensity with blinding virtuosity, kept a popular audience in mind once he began leading his own successful bands. Steve Miller, the rock guitarist and hitmaker, is a longtime fan; his tribute to the iconic crossover musician features the saxophonist Patrick Bartley’s sextet and the full-throated vocalist Brianna Thomas.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Winter Rhythms 2019 (Dec.12-21)
Urban Stages / 2PM, 6:30PM, +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)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

A Very Meow Meow Holiday Show
Come to the (Christmas) cabaret (Dec.12-14)
BAM Harvey Theater / 7:30PM, $35+
“If you think a cabaret show will be old fashioned, let Meow Meow make you (by force, if necessary) think again. Meow Meow — an Australian cabaret performer and agent of chaotic good — is back from a sold-out tour in London with the merry “A Very Meow Meow Holiday Show” at BAM. With an original score, a metric ton of sequins, and equal parts ennui and joie de vivre, Meow Meow offers a bracing take on the holiday season.” (Thrillist)

Roots n’ Ruckus Fest!
Raise a ruckus in Red Hook
Jalopy Theatre / 8PM, Free; tips for musicians are encouraged
“The 5th Annual Roots n’ Ruckus fest brings 50+ acts over four days to two Brooklyn venues. Acts of every kind — including klezmer, rock n’ roll, blues, folk, jazz, and even Ukranian singing — will take the stage to celebrate the Jalopy Theater’s non-profit mission of supporting artists, educating students, and keeping folk music alive in New York City. All the shows are free, but plan to bring cash to tip the artists directly.” (Thrillist)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Victorian Holiday Party
Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace / 12-5PM, $10
“The oldest house in Manhattan is a fitting place for a Victorian Holiday Party. Head up to the Morris-Jumel Mansion for an afternoon of hands-on family activities, a tour, a holiday reading, caroling, a holiday photo booth, and a Victorian Costume Contest.” (ThoughtGallery)


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)

12/13-14 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
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 12/12 and 12/10.
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4 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (12/13/19)

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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