NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/03) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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:  “February 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:

Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway Starring Patina Miller
Town Hall / 8PM, $50+
“Music director and host Seth Rudetsky welcomes the greatest Broadway performers for an up-close and personal conversation and concert. Join us as MEGAN HILTY + JESSIE MUELLER (12/2); PATINA MILLER (2/3); and BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL (4/13) chat with Seth and sing a dozen songs from their storied careers and personal journeys. The format of each concert will be a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky’s funny, insightful and revealing questions – and the music from the stars’ stellar Broadway career. This new series promises three different evenings of show-stopping songs and hilarity not to be missed.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> SIGURD HOLE
>> La Traviata
>> Ballet Essentials
>> MATTHEW BOURNE’S ‘SWAN LAKE’
>> The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Monday Night Magic

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

SIGURD HOLE
at Weill Recital Hall / 8 p.m.; $25
“This bassist is about to release “Lys/Morke,” a ruminative and openhearted album on which his only accompaniment is the ambient sound he recorded on the Norwegian island of Fleinvaer. The swirl of wind or the rushing of water sometimes serve as a backdrop to Hole’s playing; elsewhere they close in around his quiet bowing, threatening to overwhelm him. He will perform music from the album at this show, his Carnegie Hall debut, which also features a brief performance and talk from David Rothenberg, a musician and philosopher who studies the interplay between music and nature.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

The Metropolitan Opera
La Traviata (next Feb.7, 7:30PM)
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.”

New York City Ballet
Ballet Essentials
Rose Bldg, Lincoln Center / 6:30PM, $
“Movement Workshops for Adults Ages 21+ Experience New York City Ballet in a brand new way in these 75-minute movement workshops for adults with little or no dance training. NYCB dancers lead participants through a ballet warm-up and movement combinations inspired by repertory in the current season. Workshops also include a brief Q&A with the artists. With an ever-changing roster of dancers and repertory, no two Ballet Essentials are the same. Stretch your mind and body at these one-of-a-kind workshops led by some of your favorite dancers.”

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 Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South (btw W11th/Perry St.) / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $35
“World class big band with 16 members on that small stage, a monday night institution.
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition.” (NYT)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $20-$30
“The witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.”
“Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.” (TONY)

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

Monday Night Magic
Players Theatre, West Village / 8PM, $42.50
“For more than two decades,, this proudly old-school series has offered a different lineup of professional magicians every week: opening acts, a headliner and a host, plus two or three close-up magicians to wow the audience at intermission. Housed for the past seven years at the unprepossessing Players Theatre, it is an heir to the vaudeville tradition.

Many of the acts incorporate comedic elements, and audience participation is common. (If you have young children, bring them; they make especially adorable assistants.) Shows cost just $37.50 in advance and typically last well over two hours, so you get a lot of value and variety for your magic dollar. In contrast to some fancier magic shows, this one feels like comfort food: an all-you-can eat buffet to which you’re encouraged to return until you’re as stuffed as a hat full of rabbits.” (TONY)


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

NYC Broadway Week (Jan.21-Feb.9)
“There’s nothing like live theater—and no place for it like Broadway. NYC Broadway Week invites you to experience the magic firsthand with 2-for-1 tickets to some of the most spectacular performances on stage right now.”

AND

NYC Must-See Week (Jan.21-Feb.9)
“It may be impossible to do it all in New York City—but trying is the fun part. During NYC Must-See Week, enjoy 2-for-1 tickets to many of the iconic experiences right in our backyard, including attractions, museums, tours and performing arts.”

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

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.
♦ 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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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.

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Bonus Live Music  – NYC Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

I MEMORIALIZE THESE TWO WONDERFUL CLUBS AS A WARNING.
WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

 

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