NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/12) + 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:  “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:

One Country, Two Cultures: Can Hong Kong Find Its Way?
China Institute, 100 Washington St. / 6:30PM, $20
“What is behind the upheaval in Hong Kong? Today, 23 years after China committed to abide by “one country, two systems” in the former British colony, more young Hong Kong people identify themselves as “Hong Kongers” rather than as “Chinese.” A massive protest movement is raising questions that strike at the very core of the city’s cultural and political identity. What does it mean to be a “Hong Konger,” what is at stake for the city’s citizens, and what could a newly politicized Hong Kong mean for the city’s future as a world financial center? Johns Hopkins Professor of Sociology Ho-Fung Hung joins New Yorker writer Jiayang Fan in an exploration of history to understand what is to come.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> BOBBY WATSON AND HORIZON 
>> Porgy and Bess
>> New York City Ballet
>> Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> CHE MALAMBO
>> MARC RIBOT
>> Jenny Offill
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BOBBY WATSON AND HORIZON (Feb. 12-13)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $35
“Since Watson’s extended stint in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers that began over 40 years ago, he has been known as one of the more dexterous and affecting alto saxophonists in straight-ahead jazz. Here he leads an all-star band, with the estimable drummer Victor Lewis as a special guest. The ensemble also includes the trumpeter Terell Stafford, the pianist Edward Simon and the bassist Carroll V. Dashiell.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

The Metropolitan Opera
Porgy and Bess (last Feb.15, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $85+
(Has proved so popular that the Met added three performances to this second run of the season.)
“One of America’s favorite operas returns to the Met for the first time in nearly 30 years. James Robinson’s stylish production transports audiences to Catfish Row on the Charleston waterfront, vibrant with the music, dancing, emotion, and heartbreak of its inhabitants. “If you’re going to stage Gershwin’s opera, this is how,” raved the Guardian when the new production premiered in London in 2018. David Robertson conducts a dynamic cast, featuring the sympathetic duo of Eric Owens and Angel Blue in the title roles and an all-star ensemble that includes Golda Schultz, Latonia Moore, Denyce Graves, Frederick Ballentine, Alfred Walker, and Ryan Speedo Green.”

New York City Ballet (through March 1)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $78+
“Alexei Ratmansky’s new work, “Voices,” set to the experimental music of the Austrian composer Peter Ablinger, receives a few more encores in the coming week in a program (on Friday, Saturday afternoon and Wednesday) that pairs it with Jerome Robbins’s “Opus 19/The Dreamer” (1979), Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia” (2001) and Justin Peck’s “Bright,” which debuted last year. The Saturday evening bill (performed again on Tuesday and Feb. 13) juxtaposes the ballets of Balanchine with Peck, while Sunday’s performance also features Balanchine (“Haieff Divertimento” and “Episodes”) and Peck (the lovely “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes”) and makes room for Robbins’s “Concertino” as well.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (Feb.11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, 10:30PM, $35
“Until the sixties, Monday nights were a jazz wasteland, as most clubs would shutter to cool off after the weekend. But then the polymathic brass man Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis formed a big band in order to kick off the week in style at the Village Vanguard. Fifty-four years later, the group, now dubbed the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, has outlived both its founders and numerous star soloists, yet it has lost none of its vigor or tonal lustre. As is now the custom, the durable ensemble gets a full week to celebrate its remarkable longevity.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

CHE MALAMBO (thru Feb.16)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m.;
“In 17th-century Argentina, gauchos flaunted their strength and agility through a lightning-quick percussive dance called malambo, often facing off in dance battles to prove their mettle. This all-male Argentine troupe continues the tradition, but with rock concert lighting and attitude. Gilles Brinas, the company’s founder and choreographer, provides rousing synchronized stomping routines for the dozen virile dancers, supported by the thunder of live drumming. It’s a spectacle, rooted in tradition, spiked with swagger.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

MARC RIBOT (Feb.11-15)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Ribot’s all-around aesthetic is one of raucous disruption — whether he’s clawing a distorted wail out of his guitar in a caustic rendition of a jazz standard, assembling a crew of musicians to record classic protest anthems, or participating directly in activism on behalf of 21st-century artists’ rights. In the coming week at the Stone he will perform in a different musical setting each night. Highlights will include his collaboration with a large ensemble of Haitian musicians on Tuesday night and his solo-guitar show on Thursday.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Jenny Offill
McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St. / mm
“Jenny Offill’s magnificent new novel follows a librarian named Lizzie as she trips through modern life answering emails for a mentor’s climate-change podcast (brilliantly called Hell and High Water) and slowly collapsing inside her own doomsday fears. Told in exquisite, perfectly shaped fragments, writes Vulture’s Hillary Kelly, Weather is a book of prayer and a Book of Revelation.” (Vulture, NY mag)


Continuing Events

MM

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

2/12 The Heavy, Webster Hall
2/12 James Maddock, Rockwood Music Hall
2/12 Joe Pug, Rough Trade

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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 02/10 and 02/08.

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12 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend – NewYorkTimes (02/06/20)

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Winter/Spring 2020 Broadway Guide  (nycgo.com)

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)

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NYT Theater Reviews – NYT theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

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and, drum roll, here are all the media critics opinions on all the playsPlaybill’s “the Verdict”

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For good, comprehensive and current info:

Broadway Shows: What to See and How to Get Cheap Tickets (NYT)

finally, lot’s of useful info: Broadway Shows – All You Need To Know

from the headout blog

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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