A new year, a new beginning and new things to see and do in the Big Apple. The first Warburg Happenings Guide of 2023 checks all of the boxes: new plays, dances and concertos for performing arts lovers (La Traviata, Lohengrin and Agua), the latest foodie havens to hit during Restaurant Week and the city’s marquee events that will draw you outside and away from the winter doldrums (the New York Boat Show and Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Parade).
Celebrate the Lunar New Year — and welcome the Year of the Rabbit — with the New York Philharmonic. For extra prosperity (and a night to remember), you’ll want to partake in the special pre-concert cocktail reception with prime concert seating and an elegant dinner with the evening’s star artists from violinist Ning Feng to conductor Long Yu.
The search for kid-friendly winter fare stops at the BAMkids’ 25th annual celebration in February. Brooklyn’s favorite film festival for kids promises experiential activities, performances, play and over 50 animated and live action short films from around the globe. Join the in-person festival at BAM on February 4 and 5, or stream the film programs from home, available on-demand from February 4 to 12.
Esa-Pekka Salonen returns to the New York Philharmonic on February 8-11 to conduct Beethoven’s stirring Symphony No. 7 and the US Premiere of his Kínēma for solo clarinet and orchestra, played by Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill.
Michael Mayer’s production of Verdi’s classic returns to the Met with Ermonela Jaho in the title role and the exciting house debuts of Ismael Jordi as Alfredo and Amartuvshin Enkhbat as Giorgio Germont. No matter how many times you see this heartbreaking tale of love set in City of Lights, “La Traviata” always seems to bring down the house.
Iconic Italian film star Monica Bellucci will close out the international tour of her one-woman show, “Maria Callas: Letters and Memories,” with a one-night run at the Beacon Theater. Directed and written by Tom Volf, the show is based on the famous opera singer’s own unpublished letters and writing.
It’s hard to feel anything but glee watching the caddish Falstaff be tormented by a trio of clever women who deliver his comeuppance in Verdi’s humorous final opera. Courtesy of Robert Carson, the Shakespearean comedy gets a 20th-century reimagining at the Met as the audience is transported to the town of Windsor just outside of post-Second World War London. Sir John is played by baritone Michael Volle in his Met Verdi debut.
Der Rosenkavalier, or the Rose-bearer, celebrates the engagement tradition in mid-18th century Vienna in extravagant Richard Strauss splendor. Expect disguises, duels and duets in the quest for matrimonial love on stage at the Met.
Another masterpiece returns to the Met this spring. This time, it’s Wagner’s Lohengrin after 17 years and it takes place at BAM Rose Cinemas in Brooklyn. This rendition fuses director François Girard’s atmospheric staging to Wagner’s breathtaking music, with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium to conduct a supreme cast led by tenor Piotr Beczała in the title role of the mysterious swan knight.
Discover a new favorite, revisit an old standby, or explore a hot ticket at one of the hundreds of participating New York City restaurants during this biannual event. Special prix-fixe menus are offered for $30, $45 or $60. Select restaurants include: Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s glorious Financial District waterfront spot, The Fulton, for seafood with a view; Tanoreen Brooklyn, a James Beard nominee for Middle Eastern food; HanGawi’s Midtown Korean, for upscale, seasonal, plant-based fare; Midtown’s The Bar Room at The Modern for contemporary, upscale, seasonal dining; Cathédrale, the beautiful East Village space known for its upscale French fare; Boulud Sud, celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s Upper West Side Mediterranean eatery; Fish Cheeks, a coveted reservation all-year-round, for seafood-heavy Thai food in NoHo; Michelin-recognized Sweetbriar for upscale comfort food in NoMad’s Park South Hotel; and Lafayette, Greenwich Village’s prime French spot.
The premier Kosher food and wine event is back, with hundreds of wines and spirits from around the world. And don’t forget the nosh, with tasty Kosher food from notable chefs and restaurants.
What’s more romantic than a night at the museum with food, treats, and atmosphere? The February edition of Cocktails & Culture celebrates Valentine’s Day with themed cocktails and mocktails, live music and DJ sets, and handcrafted desserts from Avrilililly’s Creamery. Exhibits include: Food in New York: Bigger Than The Plate; Activist New York; and City of Faith: Religion, Activism, and Urban Space.
Learn about whiskey as you choose from more than 100 tasting options. Craft spirits from all around the world, including Kentucky bourbons, Mexican Tequila, and Russian Vodka will also be served. The Brooklyn Whiskey & Spirits Fest will take place on Saturday, March 25, at City Point.
Can’t make it to restaurant week? Hit this pop-up market for locally made, artisanal foods including fresh-baked cookies and cakes, maple syrup, hot sauce, and honey. Bring your appetite!
No other living artist is more closely identified with an American theater company – the Lincoln Center Theater – than James McMullan. To celebrate his recent archival addition into the Billy Rose Theatre Division (which preserves the records of Lincoln Center Theater), McMullan himself will be on hand at the Library for the Performing Arts on February 13 to discuss his collaborations and some of his most iconic posters, followed by a chat with the audience.
Give the kids an escape from the wintery cold on February 19 at the Museum at Eldridge Street, where they can learn about the stained glass windows of the historic synagogue and collage a colorful creation of their own. Children must have an adult companion with them at all times. Tickets must be purchased in advance, as space is limited.
Didn’t get an official invite to NYFW? No problem – you can get your fashion fix at the Runway Show + Cocktail Party hosted by Culture & Couture in Brooklyn. Expect a diverse roster of designers on the catwalk, a live DJ, open bar, small bites, gift bags, and more. Tickets start at $75 for standing and range up to $250 for a front row VIP seat.
Listen to the contemporary, groundbreaking work by featured poets David M. de León and Jade Yeung. Stay for an open mic afterwards to share your own work or hear from others. Signups for the open mic are first come, first served, and doors will open at 5:45 PM.
In this edition of the Dance Historian is In, Andy Chiang of the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will talk about modern dance influences with icon Bertram Ross and his concert with Nai-Ni Chen. The talk will take place in The Library for the Performing Arts and will also be available online via Zoom.
The leading contemporary and fine art fair, Artexpo New York, offers immersive artist-led experiences and stunning original artworks from over 400 premier galleries and emerging artists from around the world. Compelling Art Talks with leading gallerists and innovative artists, Spotlight Program, Discoveries Collection, Art Talks, and Meet the Artist sessions always keep this show fresh.
Agua was The New York Times’ Gia Kourlas pick for “10 Things Our Critics Are Looking Forward to in 2023.” Tanztheater Wuppertal returns to BAM for the first time in six years with a U.S. premiere from the late visionary choreographer Pina Bausch. Expect to be fully transported to Brazil as the exuberant landscape is celebrated with “ voluptuous, exuberant dancing and sumptuous color” set to eclectic music from St. Germain to Tom Waits.
The Museum of Interesting Things will take over a Soho Loft for a special 16mm short film fest in the spirit of a true speakeasy. For a $10 entry fee, you’ll get to hear art historian Abi Mac and artist Denis Woychuk give a talk. The museum is apparently shooting part of a pilot for a possible show during the event – so come camera-ready!
The Harlem Fine Arts Show – the largest traveling African Diasporic art show in the United States – is bringing the Harlem Renaissance to Manhattan’s Glasshouse. Now in its 15th year, the three-day event offers a platform for African Diasporic artists and American visual artists to exhibit and sell their works.
Cuba’s leading conceptual artist Reynier Leyva Novo will be presenting Methuselah at El Museo del Barrio now through March 26. The digital artwork virtually reproduces the 6,000-mile transnational migratory journey of a single monarch butterfly as a virtual avatar tracking its travel from southern Canada across the United States to Mexico.
Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color at The Met reveals the colorful backstory of polychromy—meaning “many colors,” in Greek—and presents new discoveries of surviving ancient color on artworks in The Met’s world-class collection. You may not immediately think of Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture as colorful, but this vibrant exhibit paints antiquity in a whole new light.
Nick Cave’s “fantastical soundsuits come to the Guggenheim in a retrospective that is haunting but sedate without his performing rumble and clatter,” declared The New York Times in its art review last November. The survey exhibition unfolds as a tripartite story, covering “What It Was,” “What It Is,” and “What It Shall Be” – or the entire breadth of the artist’s career as expressed in a variety mediums – including sculpture, installation, video, and rarely seen early works.
Enjoy five days of special events including the opening night party with live cooking demos and tastings with Chef Kerry Heffernan, live cocktail demos and tastings with celebrated NYC mixologist Linette Diaz, and live entertainment. Additional events during the show include: Discover Boating Beach Club, with chef and mixologist demonstrations and samplings, live entertainment, a paddle sports pool to learn stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), and beach games; Fred’s Shed How-To Center with tips and advice for boaters; America’s Boating Club® Boating Simulator for hands-on practice in boating skills; and Toy Boat Building for kids.
Peruse chic and unique handmade and vintage pieces for the home from a curated collection of vendors. Choose from decorative pillows, rugs, hand-crafted candles, original art, antique prints, and handmade pottery and lamps, and visit the artisanal food court for tasty treats. It’s all for a good cause, too. Grand Bazaar NYC donates 100% of its profits to local public schools.
Celebrate Black History Month with an interactive dance workshop in the African Diaspora led by Harlem School of the Arts teaching artists Paris Jones and Jade Evans, and acclaimed percussionist Baba Don Babatunde. View a live performance and participate in a discussion and interactive demonstration. This is a family-friendly event.
Professional ice dance company Ice Theatre of New York performs at 1:30pm and competitive ice carving artists begin crafting their sculptures at 2pm at this inaugural show. Wrap up the day with a stroll around Winter Village and help select the winning ice carving when it’s all over.
Don’t miss your chance for an outdoor skate during an afternoon or under the stars at the Industry City Ice Rink on Saturdays and Sundays now through February 26. Be sure to dress for the weather, but if you’re feeling chilly, you can always take a break at the Wheelhouse for hot chocolate.
Acclaimed artist Lily Kwong designed The Orchid Show for its 20th year, using thousands of orchids to bring her singular vision to life. Inspired by her own ancestral link to the natural world, Kwong invites you into this mesmerizing display of beauty and nature.
Join the parade from Mott & Canal to Sara D. Roosevelt Park and usher in the Year of the Rabbit. One of the city’s most exciting and eye-popping annual events, the festival provides gorgeous visuals, incredible makeup and clothing, martial arts performers, and the famous lion dance. Similar festivities will take place in the Chinatowns of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and Flushing, Queens.