NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/30) + 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:

Elsewhere, but if you are brass baby, this looks worth the detour:

HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE
at the Knitting Factory / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“This group consists of seven brothers from the South Side of Chicago whose father was the influential organizer, educator and multi-instrumentalist Kelan Philip Cohran. Hypnotic’s work stretches the brass-band sound, often exploring the junction between classic hip-hop, greased-up funk and traditional jazz. Elsewhere, the band works in a quieter, more abstract tone-painting style. At this concert, Hypnotic — which has a new album, “Bad Boys of Jazz,” coming in early 2020 — will share the bill with D.J. Pudgemental and the electronic musician, singer and multi-instrumentalist Thomas Piper.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>> Tom Wopat
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES
>> Michael Feinstein: Home for the Holidays
>> Chris Botti Holiday Residency
>> Sandra Bernhard: Sandy’s Holiday Extravaganza—A Decade of Madness and Mayhem

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Tom Wopat
Beach Cafe,1326 Second Av./ 9:30PM, $30
“The former Hazzard Duke, who has reinvented himself as an assured leading man, has his way with holiday standards in this one-night engagement. Selections include tunes from his 2014 album Home for Christmas.’ (TONY)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $20-$30
“The witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.”
“Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES (also Dec. 31, 9 p.m.)
at Brooklyn Bowl / 8:30 p.m.; $45
“This eight piece from Birmingham, Ala., has benefited from a compelling founding myth (their singer, Paul Janeway, went from accounting student to dynamo frontman) and an underdog spirit. But the star ingredient in their recipe for success is nostalgia: Janeway takes vocal cues from the likes of Al Green and Sam Cooke, backed by brass-laden arrangements that hark back to Southern soul of the 1960s. The band’s down-home roots provide thematic as well as sonic inspiration: Their most recent album, “Young Sick Camelia,” from 2018, confronts the fraught politics of their home state. Expect to hear selections from that album during the group’s two-night stand in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Michael Feinstein: Home for the Holidays (LAST DAY)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $95+
“The popular and polished standard-bearer of American song returns to the club that bears his name for his annual holiday set. Expect classics like “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” alonside more recherché Great American Songbook fare.” (TONY)

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)

Sandra Bernhard: Sandy’s Holiday Extravaganza—A Decade of Madness and Mayhem (Dec.26-30)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, +9:30PM,, $70
“The Divine Sandra’s best work gives pop culture a big, sloppy kiss, while simultaneously biting it on the lip. Her annual year-capping residency at Joe’s Pub blends irony, wistfulness, sentiment and tongue-in-cheek (or are they?) rock songs. In this year’s tenth edition, she reflects on a volatile decade and looks forward to what’s to come.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More smart stuff coming soon.


Continuing Events

NYC holiday markets  (Newsday)

AFTER CHRISTMAS only one left.

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

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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)

‘THE NUTCRACKER’ SIX WAYS

“The Waltz of the Snowflakes becomes a nor’easter this week with a deluge of “Nutcracker” productions around town. Among them are Dances Patrelle’s “The Yorkville Nutcracker,” set in 19th-century New York (Friday to Sunday, the Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College); New York Theater Ballet’s hourlong “Keith Michael’s the Nutcracker” (Friday to Sunday, Florence Gould Hall); a hip-hop infused “The Brooklyn Nutcracker” by Brooklyn Ballet (Saturday, Kings Theater); the wacky “Nut/Cracked” by the Bang Group (Dec. 19-21, the Flea Theater); a traditional staging by National Ballet Theater of Odessa (Saturday, New Jersey Performing Arts Center); and, of course, the splendid “George Balanchine’s the Nutcracker” by New York City Ballet (David H. Koch Theater, through Jan. 5). ” (NYT)
dancespatrelle.org
nytb.org
brooklynballet.org
thebanggroup.com
njpac.org

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

check back Next Week

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 12/28 and 12/26.

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11 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (12/27/19)

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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, 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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