NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/31) + 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.”

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

New York City Ballet (through March 1)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $78+
“The coming week brings a potpourri of programs: The “New Combinations” bill on Friday and Tuesday pairs Jerome Robbins’s “Opus 19/The Dreamer” (1979) with Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia” (2001), Justin Peck’s “Bright” and Alexei Ratmansky’s new work, “Voices.” The Saturday and Sunday matinees highlight collaborations between Balanchine and Stravinsky, while the performances on Saturday evening and Wednesday juxtapose Balanchine with Peck in two slightly different mixes. The program on Feb. 6 again includes Balanchine (“Haieff Divertimento” and “Episodes”) and Peck (the lovely “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes”) along with Robbins (“Concertino”).” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> “Pool Party,”
>> RENE MCLEAN
>> “Transformation”
>> VIJAY IYER
>> MATTHEW BOURNE’S ‘SWAN LAKE’
>> La Traviata
>> Movie Night: Behind the Curve

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

“Pool Party,”
Catch a live, local late-night show
UCB Theatre / 11:59PM, $9
“Comedian Mike Poole hosts “Pool Party,” his take on the late-night comedy genre, at the UCB Theatre. With hilarious spins on the familiar monologue, special guest visits, recurring segments, and even a house band, he sends up the Jimmys and their ilk with a chaotic, up-for-anything energy. In a city where a stand-by ticket to see Fallon requires waiting for hours in two separate lines, it’s a blast to see a lo-fi version for under 10 bucks.”

RENE MCLEAN
at Zinc Bar / 7 and 8:30 p.m.; $
“McLean is an adroit alto saxophonist with a perfervid delivery who, despite a distinguished family line, has not enjoyed the kind of sustained critical attention that his peers might tell you he deserves. He appears here with a cohort of top-shelf collaborators: Josh Evans on trumpet, Hubert Eaves III on piano, Radu Ben Judah on bass, Neil Clarke on percussion and Darrell Green on drums. The trombonist Grachan Moncur III — who recorded often for Blue Note Records in the 1960s alongside McLean’s father, the eminent alto saxophonist Jackie McLean — will appear as a special guest.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

“Transformation” (Jan.30-Feb.1)
Rose Theatre, Broadway at 60th St./ 8PM, $40+
“Glenn Close may be quite the versatile artist, but it’s still unexpected to find her performing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a multimedia piece composed by Ted Nash, a Grammy-winning saxophone stalwart. Blending poetry (curated by Close), dance, and jazz, “Transformation” features guest appearances by John Cameron Mitchell, Amy Irving, and Justin Vivian Bond.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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)

MATTHEW BOURNE’S ‘SWAN LAKE’ (through Feb. 9)
at New York City Center / 8PM, $35
“Three years after its premiere in London in 1995, this flamboyant production conquered Broadway, winning three Tony Awards, including one for best choreography. It’s the familiar fairy tale with a sexy modern twist: Rather than a flock of female swans and a demure Odette, Bourne gives audiences a gang of bare-chested, feral male swans led by a strapping fellow whose seduction of the Prince flavors the vintage story with overt homoeroticism. And in lieu of classical ballet steps, Bourne brandishes his style of muscular modern dance. After touring the world regularly since its debut, the show returns to New York for 13 performances.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

The Metropolitan Opera
La Traviata (next Feb.3, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $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.”

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

Movie Night: Behind the Curve
Simons Foundation, 160 Fifth Ave., 2nd Fl. / 6PM, FREE
“Join Sarah Pearson, Astrophysicist, CCA, Flatiron Institute and science communicator via “Space with Sarah” as she introduces a look at one of the most troubling of recent human regressions—the people convinced that the world is flat. A Q&A follows a documentary screening at the Simons Foundation.

Scientists and professional science communicators, including astronaut Scott Kelly, give their take on the flat Earth conspiracy and discuss the current scientific views on conspiracies and the possible consequences of a lack of critical thinking in society.” (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.

FrostFest
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, bryantpark.org

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

1/30-2/1 The Hot Sardines, Birdland
1/30-31 The Wood Brothers, Webster Hall
1/31 Nada Surf, Music Hall of Williamsburg
2/1 Grace Potter, Beacon Theatre
2/1 Drive-By Truckers, Rough Trade
2/1 Eaglemania & Tusk, St. George Theatre
2/2 Nada Surf, Bowery Ballroom
2/4-5 Cold War Kids, Webster Hall

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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. 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.

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
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)

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’

“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, thejewishmuseum.org

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. mcny.org” (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)

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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).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/29 and 01/27.
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11 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (01/30/20)

Must-see theater coming to New York City stages this fall (amNY)

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)

m

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 

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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