Why This Monday Rocks: Tonight’s Top Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. I get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And I am here to honor them. From Tony Award-winning shows to chocolate desserts, here are tonight’s top events.

Watch dogs show off their stuff:
Shampooed, manicured dogs and their owners get competitive tonight and tomorrow at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where 3,000 dogs of 187 breeds stroll across the carpeting as they’re judged across seven divisions, such as toy, terrier, hound, and sporting. Expect lots of owners in pencil skirts and bowties, and nonstop canine cuteness. Airing live from Madison Square Garden tonight, 8pm, CNBC & Tuesday, 8pm, USA. All info here.

See the reunion concert of a Tony Award-winning Broadway show:
In the Heights – the exuberant 2008 musical about three days in the life of Washington Heights residents – returns to New York for a one-night-only concert performance featuring nearly all of the original cast. Written and starring renaissance man Lin-Manuel Miranda (our interview here), this is one of Broadway’s most ebullient shows. A must for not only theatre-lovers, but simply anyone who loves this city. Tonight, 8pm, United Palace Theatre, 4140 Broadway. Tickets & info here.

Eat tons of rarely available chocolate:
Chocolate Week 2013 continues on until Wednesday the 13th, just before V-Day. Participating restaurants and chocolatiers –  such as French spots A.O.C. in the West Village and Bar Tabac in Cobble Hill – are offering special, rarely available desserts like chocolate lava cake and chocolate creme petit pot. Couple this with Valentine’s and there is absolutely no hope for a diet. And that’s just fine. From now until Wednesday the 13th. All details here

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MONDAY FUNDAY: Tonight’s Top NYC Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. I get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And I am here to honor them. From the Ed Koch documentary to food can sculptures in the shape of an Angry Bird (to the left), here are tonight’s top events.

Drink chili pepper hot chocolate:
Just when the thought of molten hot chocolate simmering in a rotund, steamy mug couldn’t get any better, esteemed Flatiron cafè City Bakery proves that it sure can. From now until February 28th, the Bakery is offering a different hot chocolate flavor everyday as part of its annual Hot Chocolate Festival, held every February, all month long. Today’s flavor: chili pepper. Valentine’s Day’s: “Love Potion.” And banana peel, ginger, and the esoteric “Ode to the Polar Bear” are also on the menu. Drink up. City Bakery. Every day. All details here.

Remember Ed Koch:
With today being the former NYC mayor’s funeral, take some time to honor Koch by watching Koch, the documentary about his life and legacy that released on the same day Koch passed. Now forever immortalized, Koch runs at Soho’s Angelika Film Center, and plays today at 3:15pm, 5:30pm, 7:45pm, and 10pm. Bring tissues; one for every “How’m I doing?” Angelika Film Center. Every day. All details here.

Check out towering sculptures of food cans:
Postponed by Hurricane Sandy, the Canstruction 20th Annual NYC Competition is back on, as 25 teams of engineers, designers, and architects create sculptures out of 100,000 cans of food. The competition is ultimately a massive canned food drive, as visitors are encouraged to bring some cans of their own, and in two weeks, all “sculpture materials” are donated to City Harvest. Past sculptures have included a giant Angry Bird, Standard Hotel replica, and Super Mario’s Luigi so expect something wild. Runs till the Monday, the 11th. 10am-6pm. World Financial Center. All details here.

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Monday Funday: Tonight’s Top NYC Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. I get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And I am here to honor them. From singers in their underwear and free salsa dancing, here are tonight’s top events.

Watch two hot singers belt out famous songs in their underwear:
Pop/rock show The Skivvies has double meaning: led by Broadway performers Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley at Highline Ballroom, the actor-musicians sing stripped-down, acoustic versions of favorite Lana Del Ray-Robyn-Rihanna pop songs and their original songs all while they too are stripped down to their underwear. Molina and Cearley’s bodies are pretty perfect looking (we’re talking fully-exposed six-packs and chiseled arms), and their performance is about as unpredictable as it gets. The Skivvies is a wild experience. Highline Ballroom. 8pm. $25. All details here. Venue info here.

See award-winning Canadian indie pop duo Tegan & Sara perform:
Alright, so with their new album coming out tomorrow, tonight’s show is already sold-out, but tomorrow’s is all for the picking. Famous for being twins, writing angsty-layered music, and both being openly gay, Tegan & Sara are at the Beacon Theatre tonight and Tuesday, performing their award-winning music and unleashing their signature onstage political and personal banter. Grammy-nominated, and former tour mates with Rufus Wainwright and The Killers, the sisters’ show is high-class. Beacon Theatre. 8pm. Tonight and tomorrow. All details here. Venue info here.

EDIT: Both shows have been canceled due to illness. They will make it up to you. Somehow. 

Salsa dance for free with a live band and mojito happy hour:
Middle Eastern restaurant and lounge Taj II in Flatiron heats Mondays up with its weekly salsa night starting at 6:30pm, a live band and live singers provide the tuneful accompaniment to the lounge’s free salsa lessons. Don’t know how to salsa? Have a crush on your dancing partner? Find the courage in a frothy $8 mojito and $6 Coronas till 2am. Works every time. Taj II. 6:30pm. $8 cover before 7pm, $12 after. All details here. Venue info here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here

Monday Funday: Tonight’s Top Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. I get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And I am here to honor them. Here are tonight’s top events.

See a play about crime, threesomes, and wild animals:
The last Monday of its run, the acclaimed Grimly Handsome delivers a bewitching dose of theatre that’s part crime drama, dark comedy, and whimsy. Expect a cast full of sinister Christmas tree salesmen, detectives, and wild animals running loose in the streets. But no one is who they say they are, so go in there believing nothing but this: there will be threesomes. Play by Julia Jarcho. Running through Sunday, Jan. 20th   at St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th St. 6pm, $18. All the details here.

Celebrate your favorite nightclub stars:
The Nightlife Awards are tonight, but what makes it a completely different breed from last night’s Golden Globes is that it’s the only all-performance award show in the world. Yes, there are no acceptance speeches. The cabaret winners (such as Marilyn Maye, Faith Prince, James Barbour) have to perform to prove why they were chosen, making it New York’s most showy and eccentric awards show. But what else do you expect from nightlife? And when you’re done, 7pm. $25+. The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St. All the details here.

Watch an 18-year-old with a #1 debut album in the U.K. perform:
British, 18-year-old singer/songwriter Jake Bugg, who’s been coined “the new Dylan,” hits the America’s Lower East Side at Bowery Ballroom with his usual cigarettes, hipster clothes, and don’t-care-what-you-say swagger. Yep, he’s a teenager. And whether you’ve never heard of him, or just want to see what all the fuss is about, this intimate concert will tell all. It’s sold out but… you can find a way. 9pm. $15. Bowery Ballroom. All the details here

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MONDAY FUNDAY: Tonight’s Top Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. We get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And we’re here to honor them. Here are tonight’s top events.

See Janeane Garofalo do stand-up:
The prolific comedian from such hit comedies as Wet Hot American Summer and Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion is coming to cozy West Village landmark Cornelia Street Café for the ninth anniversary of “Morrison Hotel:” a show produced and hosted by comedian John Morrison. While the show usually hosts up-and-coming comedians, tonight’s show is a special one, bringing with it not just Garofalo, but also Last Comic Standing Finalist Myq Kaplan and “This American Life” contributor Dave Hill. 8:30pm, $20 ticket, one drink included. All the details here.

Witness a star-studded burlesque show:
Burlesque celebrity Calamity Chang is hosting and performing at Tribeca’s Asian-fusion mixology haven Macao Trading Co., as part of her praised, once-a-month Drunken Dragon Nights show. The performance also features burlesque babes Gal Friday, Minx Arcana, and Peekaboo Pointe, so expect a high concentration of expert, sexy performers and potent cocktails, all in one space. Oh, and there’s a two-hour open bar before the 10pm show. And it’s FREE. Arrive 9pm. Must RSVP. All the details here.

Honor Pulitzer Prize-winner Edith Wharton:
 The New York Society Library honors the 150th birthday of Edith Wharton – the  author of such classics as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence – with a pretty intimate and personal exhibit that launches tonight. Featuring family portraits, books that Wharton read as a youngin, and facts about her life in New York, you’ll walk out knowing so much about Wharton, you could write a book about her. Or maybe meet another devotee and discuss the exhibit over a signature nutella hot chocolate at Max Brenner’s nearby café Little Brown Chocolate Bakery & Coffee. Exhibit runs until January 1st  and is free. All the details here.

Hear Jay-Z protégée Rita Ora sing:
Whether you’re a fan of Rita Ora, Jay-Z, or the idea of a female rapper becoming a huge success, the Jay-Z protégée’s show tonight at Chelsea club Highline Ballroom is going to be a huge move in her career. So be there to witness it (and a live performance of “How We Do Party”), and also openers Iggy Azalea and Havana Brown rock the stage. 8pm. Sold out… but you can find a way. All the details here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here

MONDAY FUNDAY: Tonight’s Top NYC Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. We get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And we’re here to honor them. Here are tonight’s top events.

Eat something fried & delicious:
Celebrate the third night of Hanukkah by honoring that beautiful fried potato pancake at the Fourth Annual Latke Festival at BAM. Chefs from favorite Brooklyn and New York restaurants – like Blue Ribbon, The Vanderbilt, Balaboosta, Veselka, and A Voce – will fry up and compete for the coveted top latke award. For a $55 ticket, you get to eat the winning latkes and jelly doughnuts from Dough, and drink beer, wine, coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company, and kombucha from Kombucha Brooklyn.  It’s Brooklyn, b%#%@. 6:30pm, $55 at BAM. For tickets, call BAM at 718-636-4100.

Hear something deep & brooding:
Get existential and transported to communist Russia at East Village red-swathed literary den KGB, where their longtime poetry night debuts aspiring and surprisingly prolific and lauded authors. Tonight marks the season finale of readings by Mark Strand, former Poet Laureate of the US, and published author Malachi Black. Damn. Grab one of KGB’s famous $7, big bottles of Baltika beer – that beloved Eastern European brand that’s hard to find anywhere but in this second-floor, Russian dive – and get ready for some brooding and wordy seduction. Poetry night starts at 7pm, every Monday. All the details here.

Watch something disturbing and sexual:
We all love a good confession, especially when it involves a half-naked, excessively good-looking human being confessing from the get-go that he’s, since the age of six, “enjoyed a rather delightful sexual relationship” with his father. Which brings us to tonight’s event: an autobiographical play by Cuban writer-director-producer Michelangelo Alasa called Confessions of a Cuban Sex Addict. But since tickets are free – and this show is riddled with actors, smoke, smoking-hot actors, and incest – reservations are highly required and tickets are scarce. Show runs tonight and next Monday, 8pm, at the Duo Multicultural Arts Center. All the details here.

Be on the radio & meet sexpert Dr. Ruth:
NPR’S most puzzling show Ask Me Another” comes to Brooklyn’s beloved and intimate events space The Bell House, where the show will be live-taped – and you can be too. Get quizzed by the trivia-and-brainteasers-centric show’s host Ophira Eisenberg, meet tonight’s special guest & sexpert Dr. Ruth , and maybe even end up in the contestant’s chair, facing trivia games customized specifically for you. This show is so intimate, it’ll trick you into thinking you’re at a game night in your friend’s cramped and messy living room – until your buddy tells you the next day, “Hey! I heard you mess up on the radio!” Show starts at 7:30pm, $10, at The Bell House. All the details here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

MONDAY FUNDAY: Tonight’s Top NYC Events

So it’s the first day of the work week and there are four more days to go. We get it. But why ruminate when you can start to make Mondays the best night of the week? This weekly column is devoted to finding the best events across NYC hosted by individuals and places that are doing amazing, crazy, wild, sexy things on Monday nights. And we’re here to honor them. Here are tonight’s top events.

See something beautiful: 
Launching tonight is Time Warner Center’s star-studded holiday light display. Twelve 14-foot LED stars will dance and flash to Yuletide tunes, illuminating Columbus Circle. After, grab a cocktail at Warner’s new fourth-floor lounge overlooking Central Park: Center BarThe light show runs until Jan. 3rd. All the details here.

Do something crazy:
At LES nightclub Hotel Chantelle, there’s a legendary weekly game called Drag Bingo that’s attracted people from all across the globe. The celebrity drag hosts – Murray Hill and Linda Simpson – give away ridiculous, crappy prizes (like cat figurines and sheep slippers), and tell saucy stories about their past sexcapades. The best part: in the third-to-last round, winners strip down to just a couple of paper plates to cover up. Feeling adventurous? This is your place. The games begin at 7:30pm and last until 10pm. Happy Hour starts at 7pm. All the details here.

Watch something classic:
The Academy Award-winning 1975 crime drama Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino and directed by Sidney Lumet, opens tonight, 9pm at the East Village’s Anthology Film Archives. Watch the heist go wrong until Saturday the 8th.  And when you’re done, have some post-film discussion at international beer haven d.b.a. on 1st Ave. All the movie details here.

Hear something special:
In NYC, there’s a deep yearning to hear something that’s truly new, fun, rich, and fresh – and that’s hard to find – but you’ll find it tonight at Rockwood Music Hall, where rising singer and songwriter David Alan Thornton debuts some of his top narrative-infused pop songs with a band of pros, including pop sextet The Dirty Gems’ Mark Sanderlin. Plus, it’s Thornton’s birthday show, making it an especially celebratory night that’s hard to resist – so don’t.
The concert starts at 10pm. All the details here.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter.