NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/29) + 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:

New York City Ballet (through March 1)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $78+
“The spotlight remains on George Balanchine, this company’s founding father, with more performances of “Allegro Brilliante,” “La Source” and “Firebird” (on Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday). Sunday’s matinee program, “Stravinsky & Balanchine,” highlights collaborations between the composer and the choreographer, including “Danses Concertantes” and “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” The “New Combinations” bill on Jan. 30 pairs Jerome Robbins’s 1979 “Opus 19/The Dreamer” with Christopher Wheeldon’s 2001 “Polyphonia” and two newer dances: Justin Peck’s “Bright,” a brief ballet for six dancers that premiered last spring, and “Voices,” a new work by Alexei Ratmansky.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> La Damnation de Faust
>>  André De Shields: Old Dawg; New Tricks
>> Complexions
>> Antonio Sanchez
>> Masters of Social Gastronomy | Dry January: Alcohol-Free Drinks and the Temperance Movement
>> Critique 9/13: Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition

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


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

VIJAY IYER (Jan.29-Feb.1)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Over the past dozen years or so, Iyer has established himself as one of jazz’s top pianists, composers and thought leaders. He not only plays in and writes for a rich array of ensembles, he is a faculty member at Harvard and a connective thinker who collaborates fruitfully with artists across media. But at the center of it all is his lulling, reflective piano style, which is as easy to love as it is imposing and conceptually advanced. That will be on unfettered display on Wednesday, when he performs solo; from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, he will be introducing a new trio, featuring Linda May Han Oh on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

The Metropolitan Opera
La Damnation de Faust (next Feb.1, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $25+
“Berlioz’s compelling take on the Faust legend returns for the first time in a decade, with an ideal lineup of stars. High-flying tenors Bryan Hymel and Michael Spyres sing the doomed and besotted Faust, opposite dazzling mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča as the forsaken Marguerite and bass Ildar Abdrazakov as the malevolent Méphistophélès. Edward Gardner conducts.

Please note that these are concert presentations on the Met stage. The decision to present La Damnation de Faust in its more usual concert version is driven by the unanticipated technical demands of reviving the Met’s staged production, which proved to be impossible to accommodate within the company’s production schedule.”

 André De Shields: Old Dawg; New Tricks
The Appel Room (at Frederick P. Rose Hall) / 8:30PM, $55+
“The slyly flamboyant André De Shields, Broadway’s original Wiz, has had an amazing stage career that has only gotten richer in recent years. (Let’s forget about his turn as an ape in Prymate.) Now he’s riding high again in Hadestown, which earned him a Tony Award last year. The master showman will have ample opportunity to strut his stuff at this American Songbook concert.” (TONY)

Complexions (through Feb. 2)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $45
“A terrific fall season at the Joyce Theatre seemed to augur a new era, free from deadweight repeat offenders, and yet here comes Complexions Contemporary Ballet for another two weeks. This season’s première, in the physically flexible, aesthetically rigid, vulgarly hyperactive company style, is “Love Rocks,” set to a collection of Lenny Kravitz recordings as heavy on recent let-love-rule pronouncements as old hits. “Bach 25,” from 2018, and last year’s “Woke” fill out the programs.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Antonio Sanchez
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $20-$35
“One of the most sought-after drummers of the new-jazz generation, Sanchez made the rounds with stars such as Pat Metheny and Michael Brecker before turning 30. Here this deft player—best known for the jaw-dropping solo-drum score he contributed to Best Picture winner Birdman—draws equal attention to his writing and bandleading chops, playing from his new release Lines in the Sand with his project Migration.” (TONY)


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

Masters of Social Gastronomy | Dry January: Alcohol-Free Drinks and the Temperance Movement
Caveat, 21 Clinton St./ 7PM, $15
“The Masters of Social Gastronomy tackle Dry January: Alcohol-Free Drinks and the Temperance Movement. Culinary historian Sarah Lohman talks about 13 years of Prohibition and how well it worked, while food scientist Jonathan Soma explores the science behind mocktails and near beers.” (ThoughtGallery)

Critique 9/13: Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway / 6:15PM, FREE
“Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition, published in 1958, takes the long view on Western history, drawing distinctions between the vita activa (active life) and vita contemplativa (contemplative life). Law and poly sci professor Seyla Benhabib (Exile, Statelessness, and Migration: Playing Chess with History from Hannah Arendt to Isaiah Berlin) joins Bernard E. Harcourt of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought to apply Arendt’s thoughts to the struggles of today.” (ThoughtGallery)

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

The Winter Show  (Jan.24-Feb.2)

The Winter Show is the leading art, antiques, and design fair in America, featuring 72 of the world’s top experts in the fine and decorative arts.

Held at the historic Park Avenue Armory in New York City, the fair highlights a dynamic mix of works dating from ancient times through the present day and maintains the highest standards of quality in the art market. Each object at the fair is vetted for authenticity, date, and condition by a committee of 150 experts from the United States and Europe.

A winter celebration with live entertainment, Bumper Cars on Ice, Cozy Igloos, and more!
Bryant Park
“Manhattan’s famed midtown oasis is hosting this 10-day celebration of offbeat things to do in cold weather, including riding in ice bumper cars, hanging out in artificial igloos and a kids scavenger hunt. Highlights include dueling pianos from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, a Cozy Sweater Pup Meetup (put Fido in his favorite sweater) at noon on Jan. 25 and a silent outdoor disco at 6 p.m. on Jan. 26.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Jan. 24-Feb. 2, 40th-42nd streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues, Manhattan I
NFO Free to enter, some events require tickets; 212-768-4242,



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)

at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (through Aug. 30).

“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.” (Ralph Blumenthal, NYT)

‘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)


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 01/27 and 01/25.


8 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (01/23/20)


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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