NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/23) + 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:

Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars (Jan.21-26)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30PM, $20-$35
“As a performer, John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie left behind an incredible record of innovation and inspiration and as a composer, a broad repository of musical masterpieces.

For Dizzy Gillespie, playing in a small combo was never enough. His artistry compelled him to seek and to create larger ensembles because as a composer and arranger, a big band was the ultimate vehicle for self-expression.

The Dizzy Gillespie™ Big Band and Alumni All-Star group (small group) is the direct descendant of these ventures, and happily, the tradition lives on, nurtured by Gillespie alumni and executive director, producer, and bassist John Lee.”


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Los Cumpleaños
>> La Traviata
>> Remembering John Abercrombie
>> Andy Karl & Orfeh: Legally Bound
>> MOCATalks: Chinese Almanac—Year of the Rat with Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith
>> Micropolis: Does NYC Have the Best Chinese Food Scene (Outside of China)?
>> coming soon

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


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

¡VAYA! 63
Los Cumpleaños
Opening Set by dj tres dos
Atrium @Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE, better get there early for a seat.
“Los Cumpleaños play tropical rhythms from Colombia infused with psychedelic soundscapes. They seamlessly transform heavy grooves and experimental sounds into an energetic, danceable, one-of-a-kind musical experience. Los Cumpleaños features virtuoso percussionist/vocalist Nestor Gomez from Barranquilla, Colombia; Lautaro Burgos from Chaco, Argentina on drum set; Eric Lane on keyboard; and Alex Asher on trombone from the U.S. Members of Los Cumpleaños have played with a variety of notable artists, including Aníbal Velásquez, Lisandro Meza, Porfi Baloa y sus Adolescentes, Juan Piña, Alfredo Gutiérrez, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, Orquesta Dee Jay, Beyoncé, Joan as Police Woman, People’s Champs, and The Superpowers.”

La Traviata (next Jan.26, 3PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $30+
“Michael Mayer’s sumptuous staging, a highlight of the 2018–19 season, returns with two casts of bright stars. Sopranos Aleksandra Kurzak and Lisette Oropesa share the role of Violetta, the opera’s tragic heroine, opposite tenors Dmytro Popov and Vittorio Grigolo as her ardent lover, Alfredo, and baritones Quinn Kelsey and Luca Salsi as Alfredo’s stern father, Germont. Karel Mark Chichon and Bertrand de Billy conduct one of opera’s greatest scores.”

Remembering John Abercrombie
Birdland Theatre, 315 W. 44th St./ m
The seventies were knee-deep in influential jazz guitarists; notable among them was John Abercrombie, who died in 2017. To celebrate what would have been the deeply thoughtful and ever-lyrical improviser’s seventy-fifth birthday, a group of past collaborators, including Jack DeJohnette, Dave Liebman, and Mark Feldman as well as such musical beneficiaries as Ben Monder, Bob DeVos, and Rale Micic, assemble.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Andy Karl & Orfeh: Legally Bound (Jan.23-25, 27)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $70+
“One of musical theater’s royal couples—power belter and blue-eyed-soul recording artist Orfeh (soon to be seen in Pretty Woman) and her charming husband, Rocky dreamboat Andy Karl (most recently of Groundhog Day)—share some of their love.” (TONY)


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

MOCATalks: Chinese Almanac—Year of the Rat with Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St./ 6:30PM, $15
Authors Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith join us to translate and decode the almanac’s predictions with daily listings for 2020, the Year of the Rat. The Rat is the first of all 12 zodiac animals. Come learn about the myth of how the Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride and then jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first as they arrived at the Jade Emperor’s party.

The program is moderated by Nancy Yao Maasbach, MOCA President.”

Micropolis: Does NYC Have the Best Chinese Food Scene (Outside of China)?
The Greene Space, 44 Charlton St./ 7PM, $20
“We have been obsessed with Chinese food for generations, but in recent years this obsession has hit entirely new heights. Thanks to an immigration boom and the Sichuan revolution, we now inhabit a vast empire of deliciousness, stretching from Little Neck to Bensonhurst to the East Village. How exactly did we get here?

As we near Lunar New Year, join Micropolis host Arun Venugopal and EATER NY editor Serena Dai for an evening of conversation and of course, amazing food. They and their guests will explore the early history of Chinese food in New York — starting with a cluster of restaurants around Mott Street — to the present day, when online influencers are driving traffic and new business in ways that Yelp and The New York Times could only dream of, and culinary trends emerge in China and New York almost simultaneously.

What’s more, you’ll hear directly from these digital tastemakers, restaurateurs and app developers that are often side-stepping traditional English-language press and catering directly to their Chinese(-American) customers.”

more coming soon.

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week (Jan.21—Feb.9)

A celebration of NYC’s most fabulous pastime: dining out. With hundreds of restaurants throughout the City rolling out special prix-fixe menus for a limited time, this is your chance to revel without a cause.

Restaurants offer a minimum of three choices for appetizers and three choices for entrées at lunch ($26). Restaurants offer a minimum of three choices for appetizers, three choices for entrées and at least two desserts at dinner ($42). Several restaurants may also offer drink specials, supplemental items and other à la carte options for an additional price.
2-course lunch $26 | 3-course dinner $42



1/23 G Love & Special Sauce, Brooklyn Bowl
1/23 James Vincent McMorrow, Mumrr Theatre
1/23-26 Toshi Reagon’s 36th Annual Birthday Concerts, Joe’s Pub
1/24 Greensky Bluegrass, Beacon Theatre
1/28 Jill Sobule, Joe’s Pub
1/28-29 Madison Cunningham, (le) Poisson Rouge
1/28-29 The Hot Sardines, Birdland

♦ 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)

‘Worlds Beyond Earth’
at the American Museum of Natural History. (thru Dec.31, 2024)

“The museum’s first space show in six years takes viewers on a tour of our solar system from the comfort of their seats in the Hayden Planetarium. Narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, the film explores the nature of the planets and moons in our solar system and the conditions that make life on Earth possible.” (NYT)

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 01/21 and 01/19.


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 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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