SUE DE BEER A season or so ago, she collaborated with Laura Parnes on "Heidi II," a grotesquely engrossing riposte to Paul McCarthy from a girlish point of view. Having each gone solo, both she and Parnes (whose recent film updated Dante's Inferno) are still exploring the transformation of childhood innocence into teen evil. "Hans und Grete," De Beer's two-channel video installation (with shag rug and plush animal seating) takes off not from the fairy tale but from Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhoff's aliases. Luring us into the secret subcultures of disaffected kids, it weaves together the psychology and pathology of aspiring rockers, goth vixens, and schoolboy shooters. THROUGH SATURDAY, Postmasters, 459 West 19th Street, 212-727-3323. (Levin)

RACHEL WHITEREAD As pale as a neoclassical monument and as irrational as a stairway in a dream, her 22-foot-high plaster cast of a staircase is not only a technical feat?it's the best thing she's done in some time. Steep, narrow, bearing evidence of rusty metal treads, it ascends to the skylight and splays out at the base into two sideways chunks, as if collapsing under its own verticality. As with all her work, the blocky volume doesn't really replicate anything except sublime, solidified, negative space. Apart from the cracks, the floor piece, cast in aluminum from an existing tiled floor, is a dead ringer for a Carl Andre. THROUGH MARCH 29, Luhring Augustine, 531 West 24th Street, 212-206-9100. (Levin)

BALLET TECH Eliot Feld's troupe welcomes the indomitable Mikhail Baryshnikov, performing Feld's new solo Mr XYZ Saturday night and Sunday, as well as next Wednesday. Scheduled on the same bill is last season's appealing Lincoln Portrait, which incorporates 43 community members (look for our own Kate Mattingly on Saturday) as well as 13 members of this young company. Other premieres during the five-week season include French Overtures to Rameau, and Pianola: Indigo to Conlon Nancarrow. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AND TUESDAY AT 8, SUNDAY AT 2, THROUGH APRIL 13, Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212-242-0800. (Zimmer)

'92 ON 42: HARKNESS DANCE PROJECT AT THE DUKE' The 92nd Street Y's ninth annual modern dance festival, featuring five troupes headed by diverse mid-career choreographers, kicks off this week with Heidi Latsky Dance in the world premiere of Bound. Latsky, a longtime diva with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, bases her timely, evening-length embodiment of hatred on The Reader, a novel by German writer Bernard Schlink dealing with the aftermath of World War II. Marty Beller and Randall Woolf contribute a commissioned score. WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND SATURDAY AT 8, SUNDAY AT 2 AND 7, the Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street, 212-415-5552. (Zimmer)

'NICHOLAS RAY, WRIT LARGE' The young Jean-Luc Godard once maintained that if the cinema had to be reinvented from scratch, only Nicholas Ray would seem qualified to do so. Once the most controversial of '50s auteurs, Ray continues to inspire respect for his melodramatic pyrotechnics, florid Cinemascope stylizations, and neurotic protagonists. Opening with a new print of his 1958 mob film Party Girl, this comprehensive retro includes a number of rare and newly restored prints. THURSDAY, THROUGH APRIL 12, MOMA at the Gramercy, 127 East 23rd Street, 212-777-4900. (Hoberman)

'PLATFORM' One of the most substantial movies of the past decade finally gets a theatrical run. A superbly detached 155-minute epic that meditates on the changes of the 1980s through the mutation of the Fenyang Peasant Culture Group into the All Star Rock and Breakdance Electronic Band, Jia Zhangke's second feature put him at the forefront of current Chinese cinema. With its objective compositions, Platform looks like a documentary but finds subtle ways to transform the world into a stage. The play of the proscenium against the filmmaker's taste for unmediated reality is fascinating: It's Pop Art as history. OPENS FRIDAY, Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, 212-924-3363. (Hoberman)

'SECRET HONOR' Perhaps the greatest of all Nixon movies, as well as a worthy knockoff of Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, Robert Altman's filmed version of Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone's one-character play is a self-proclaimed "political myth." Surrounded by monitors and hitting the Chivas, the post-Watergate Nixon (Philip Baker Hall) engages in a frantic, free-associative monologue?a ranting recapitulation of Nixon's entire career, addressed to a portrait of Henry Kissinger. The film is basically one long compelling expletive?and the director himself promises to be on hand to explicate. FRIDAY, Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd Street, at Avenue A, 212-254-3300. (Hoberman)

'SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT' A hotbed of avant-garde activity in the late '60s and early '70s, the London Film-Makers' Co-operative is celebrated in this knotty, energetic six-show retro of underground, double-screen, "structural/materialist," and otherwise unclassifiable work. THROUGH MONDAY, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212-505-5181; MONDAY AT 8, Ocularis, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-388-8713. (Hoberman)

THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND This venerable 30-plus-year institution roll into Gotham for their annual multiple-night stand known as "Peakin' at the Beacon." As purveyors of electrified Southern Gothic, good-time boogie, and wistful countrified delicacies, the Brothers never disappoint. While the heart of the band Jaimoe dazzles amid the rhythm section, Les Brers' namesake Gregg Allman continues to extend the expressive possibilities of blues vocals. Armed with a front line of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks on twin leads, this legendary ensemble will spur you to kneel down and catch a glimpse of the eternal. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AND MONDAY AND TUESDAY AT 8, THROUGH MARCH 30, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212-307-7171. (Crazy Horse)

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