NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/19) + 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:  “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:

Let it all out at a Colombian Carnaval celebration
(Le) Poisson Rouge / $28
Colombia’s Barranquilla Carnival is the world’s second-largest carnival, after only Rio de Janeiro’s. Featuring costumes, music, and dancing in the streets, it’s a four-day celebration of life and renewal. New York is having its very own Barranquilla Carnival (on a much smaller scale, of course) on the dance floor of (Le) Poisson Rouge. There’ll be dancers in authentic Colombian costumes, live music, and a DJ spinning salsa, reggaeton, and Colombian tropipop. Best of all? It’s a three-day weekend, so you can sleep it all off on Monday.” (thrillist)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Cyrus Chestnut
>> Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me
>> Julian Lage Trio
>> 4th Mediterranean Jazz Festival
>> Soul to Soul
>> Under the Radar 2020
>> Documentary & Discussion – The Green Book: Guide to Freedom

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


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Cyrus Chestnut (Jan. 16-19)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7PM, +9PM, $38
“The pianist Cyrus Chestnut exudes such cherubic ebullience in both his appearance and his playing that it’s sobering to learn he’s turning fifty-seven. His ever-joyous blend of jazz, blues, classical, and gospel influences may be best appreciated when he’s in charge of a trio; at this birthday celebration, he’s joined by the bassist Eric Wheeler and the drummer Chris Beck.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Beth Leavel: It’s Not About Me (Jan.14-20)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85
“The gutsy, funny Tony-winning star of The Drowsy Chaperone (and survivor of Baby, It’s You!) does her Leavel best to entertain in a show that surveys the ups and downs of her three-decade career onstage.” (TONY)

Julian Lage Trio (Jan.14-19)
Village Vanguard / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Guitarist Lage has been a musician’s musician since youth. He’s graduated from child-prodigy appearances with Carlos Santana and Pat Metheny to grown-up sideman gigs with Gary Burton and his pianist pal Taylor Eigsti. Expect shimmery fireworks, as Lage leads a hot trio that includes the Bad Plus’ maestro drummer Dave King.” (TONY)

4th Mediterranean Jazz Festival (Jan.18-19)
DROM / 6:30PM, $20+
“The Mediterranean Jazz Festival takes you on a musical tour of the region with performers from all over the globe. Multi-instrumentalist Adam Maalouf takes the stage along with the a capella Bulgarian Voices Trio of Vlada Tomova, Valentina Kvasova, and Shelley Thomas; jazz pianist Angelo di Loreto; and Catalan clarinetist and singer Carola Ortiz. Now in its 4th year, the festival continues to give a platform to global artists worth discovering right here in New York City.” (thrillist)


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

Soul to Soul
@ Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl./ 2PM, $35
“Get a jump-start on MLK Day at Soul to Soul, a theatrical concert exploring the parallels between African-American and Jewish communities, experiences, and history. Produced by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, the performance features Yiddish theater songs, classic spirituals, an interwoven narrative, and multimedia imagery and video celebrating diversity and strength in unity. Performers include singer and actress Lisa Fishman, cantor Magda Fishman, Broadway veteran Elmore James, Yiddish folk authority Zalmen Mlotek, and actor Tony Perry.” (Gothamist)

Under the Radar 2020 (LAST DAY)
See new works from the world’s best playwrights
Public Theater / various times and prices
“The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival presents cutting-edge contemporary work from artists around the world. This weekend, you can catch Grey Rock, written by Palestinian playwright Amir Nizar Zuabi, a play about a man who builds a rocket to the moon in a shed on the West Bank; a production of Samuel Beckett’s Not I that explores neurodiversity; or salt., the show that emerged from two artists boarding a cargo ship to trace the route of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle.” (thrillist)

Documentary & Discussion – The Green Book: Guide to Freedom
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 1:30PM, FREE
Get the real story, not covered by the Academy Award-winning film, at a screening of the Smithsonian Channel documentary The Green Book: Guide to Freedom. A discussion of Harlem postal carrier Victor Green’s travel/survival guide will follow.” (ThoughtGallery)

Continuing Events

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, LAST DAY.



1/16-19 Public Theater’s “Under The Radar” Festival
1/19 Umphrey’s McGee, Brooklyn Bowl
1/19 Cracker & Camper Van Beethoven, Sony Hall
1/21 Temples, Webster Hall
1/22 Rufus Wainwright, Alice Tully Hall, NYC
1/22 J Roddy Walston, The Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Toshi Reagon, Joe’s Pub

Fall Concerts (

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
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. Always wise to double-check before heading out.
♦ 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.


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)


“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,

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.” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out 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)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.” (

“Making Marvels”  (through March 1)

“This immense exhibition features a trove of impossibly opulent European objects from the mid-sixteenth to the eighteenth century, showcasing the scientific theories and technologies of the time—as well as the wealth of royal collectors. The parade of curiosities begins with “The Imser Clock,” ca. 1554-61, which astounded the imperial court of Ferdinand I with its representation of planetary positions. A projected montage of closeup footage shows the complex, gilded timepiece in action, ticking and chiming as its mechanical figurines rotate. (The show, which might otherwise be weighed down by its abundance of inert filigree, is enlivened by beautifully produced videos like this one.) Presented among the automata, astrolabes, and spring-powered models of the universe are wonders of the natural world. The astonishing Dresden Green, the world’s largest diamond of its kind, was acquired by August III of Poland, in 1722, and later set in a fantastic ornament for a hat. The Kunstkammer treasures on view may have been primarily intended to entertain, and, indeed, delightfully garish works like the South German “Automaton Clock in the Form of Diana on Her Chariot,” ca. 1610—which shot tiny arrows as part of an aristocratic drinking game—still do.” (, NewYorker)

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).
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/17 and 01/15.

15 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (01/16/20)

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 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 


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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