NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/11) + 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:  “January 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:

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Vimeo Festival
Murmrr Theater, 17 Eastern Pkwy., Bklyn./ 1PM, $20-$40
“See a smorgasbord of stories at the Vimeo Festival, honoring all the best videos from 2019. There will be screenings of dozens of staff-selected videos along with live director commentary, panel discussions with folks like Vimeo’s VP of Creator Programs Derick Rhodes, Artsy’s Creative Director Marina Cashdan, award-winning journalist Noor Tagouri, comedian John Early, director Hailey Benton Gates, and filmmaker Minhal Baig. And the evening culminates in the Vimeo Best of the Year awards.” (Gothamist)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Rizo: Losing the Lady
>> Philly Reunion
>> Porgy and Bess
>> Chelsea gallery tour
>> Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Emancipation
>> Hot Cocoa Demo & Tasting

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


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Rizo: Losing the Lady (also Jan.16, 17)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $35
“The winkingly sexy, Victrola-voiced chanteuse formerly known as Lady Rizo returns to Joe’s Pub after a yearlong absence, without her former title but with a collection of original songs and covers by such persona-shifting artists as Beyoncé, Prince and David Bowie.” (TONY)

MARÍA GRAND (Jan. 7-11)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Grand plays the tenor saxophone in a leery, elusive tone, sometimes using short, terse phrases, sometimes wriggling like a snake in the grass. At 27, she has already become an integral player on New York’s contemporary jazz scene — a fact borne out by the rich cast of collaborators who will join her at the Stone. Highlights will include her trio performance on Tuesday, featuring Mary Halvorson on guitar and Anaïs Maviel on voice and percussion; and her show on Jan. 9 with Amirtha Kidambi on voice, Joel Ross on vibraphone, Nick Dunston on bass and Savannah Harris on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Philly Reunion (Jan. 9-12)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
Philadelphia’s jazz heritage stretches deep into the music’s history—the fifties alone produced, among others, Benny Golson, Lee Morgan, and an up-and-comer named John Coltrane—and the friendly city continues to give rise to exceptional players. For this engagement, three nationally prominent natives—the bassist Christian McBride, the keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco, and the guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel—join a stalwart local treasure, the drummer Lil’ John Roberts, to investigate what makes contemporary Philly-sourced jazz so, well, funky.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

The Metropolitan Opera
Porgy and Bess (next Jan.15,7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $85+
(Has proved so popular that the Met has added three performances to this second run of the season.)
“One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30 years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved the Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green.”


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

Chelsea gallery tour
“Take a fascinating gallery tour of Chelsea—the world’s center for contemporary art—and see the very latest in painting, sculpture, electronic media, and photography. Your guide, who holds a Ph.D. in arts education, helps explain the artwork and leads the group in lively discussion. Choose from 1pm and 3:45pm start times.

These two tours will be identical in every way: the same guide and the same exhibits, so choose whichever start time best fits your schedule. It will take place no matter the temperature or weather, as the art is all indoors. Meet at 526 W. 26th St. between 10th & 11th Ave. Nearest subways: C- or E-Train to 23rd St. Admission is $29.

SPECIAL OFFER: visit our website to request a DISCOUNT ticket link for $10-off admission! –” (

Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and Emancipation
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West / 9:30AM, $48
A trio of historians gathers to look at the legacies of statesman Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, and the ways they worked in tandem and opposition for the cause of black freedom in Civil War-era America.” (ThoughtGallery)

Hot Cocoa Demo & Tasting
with GingerBread Lane Chef Jon Lovitch
“The perfect tasting for cocoa nuts
Not only does it taste scrumptious, but hot cocoa is also a tried-and-true method of keeping warm while chilling in the New York City winter air. Celebrated chef and homemade gingerbread house maker Jon Lovitch will be leading this gathering to show guests a variety of ways to pump up hot chocolate with candies, salt and other yummy items.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 4-6 p.m. Jan. 11, 110 W. 26th St., Manhattan (held in a private apartment, so exact location will be provided in a confirmation email) INFO $39-$42;

Continuing Events

Winter Jazzfest
Various venues // Various prices
“Since 2009, the Winter Jazzfest has grown from a single evening to a multi-night, multi-venue, multi-disciplinary showcase of the cutting edge of jazz and its many stylistic subcategories, from hot swing to avant-garde to jazz-inflected world music. This year’s festival features more than 600 artists in 150 groups on 20 stages over 10 nights. There will be a British Jazz Showcase, a celebration of Detroit’s jazz history, plus talks, panels, and workshops focused on social justice, immigration, gender balance, and more. The fest also includes three all-night marathons at some 20 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.”
(Jan.9-17)  (Gothamist) 

J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (Jan.9-17)
“Ever watched a squash game in a train station? The 23rd annual J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (ToC) arrives in Grand Central Terminal, bringing together the world’s greatest squash stars for an exciting week of international competition and live spectator events. The matches are played beneath the iconic chandeliers in Vanderbilt Hall in a state-of-the-art glass squash court with stadium seating for 500 and a free standing room area for commuters and passersby. Gracing the courts with their talent will be all of the world’s top-ranking men’s and women’s players, representing 24 nations and six continents.” (

Opera but make it fashion.
“Theater and opera aficionados know that January is the right time to get a hit of all the wildest, newest experiments in music-performance: The Prototype festival has been blowing minds for seven years. Even if you’re not typically an operagoer, you should dabble here. You like poetry? Try Ellen West, with a libretto by Frank Bidart. You like taiko drumming and puppetry? It’s got Ellen McLaughlin and Garrett Fisher’s Blood Moon. There’s even a confrontation between Zakes Mda’s novel Cion and Ravel’s Boléro by the South African choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, which should tick every single box a culture vulture’s got. ” (Helen Shaw, NYMag)
Various locations, January 9 to 19.



1/11 They Might Be Giants, Bowery Ballroom
1/11 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy & Jake Shimabukuro, Sony Hall
1/12 Red Molly, Birds of Chicago, Teddy Thompson, Bowery Ballroom
1/13 Nellie McKay, Joe’s Pub
1/13 Kevin Eubanks and Orrin Evans, (le) Poisson Rouge
1/14 On Your Radar with John Platt, Rockwood Music Hall
1/14-15 Hamilton Leithauser, Cafe Carlyle

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)

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 American Folk Art Museum

“Outsider art” is more of a sociological phenomenon than a genre. But in this exhibition, you do find a certain consistency. Heckler, a trustee of the museum, began collecting around the time of New York’s first Outsider Art Fair, in 1993, and she’s assembled a comprehensive introduction to all the category’s varieties, from the stark, primordial silhouettes of Bill Traylor to the exacting architectural drawings of Achilles G. Rizzoli; from Henry Darger’s uniquely majestic epic of little girls battling evil to George Widener’s endless numerology. With about 160 works, from all over the world, the show can be hard to take in, unless you fix your attention on a few favorites. My own would be a handful of sublime paintings and drawings by Thornton Dial Sr. and by Martín Ramírez, the Mexican rancher who spent half his life confined to midcentury American psychiatric institutions. (Heinrich)


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 01/09 and 01/07.


15 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (01/09/20)


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 playsPlaybill’s “the Verdict”


For good, comprehensive, 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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