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ART

EMILY JACIRFor a year-long project titled "Where We Come From," an American artist of Palestinian ancestry asked other displaced Palestinians a simple question: "If I could do anything for you, anywhere in Palestine, what would it be?" She then set out to realize their modest requests: Take a picture of my family house, water a tree in my village, go to my mother's grave in Jerusalem and put flowers on it. Documented in film, video, and bilingual texts, her efforts reverberate with the complexities of fear, longing, and travel restrictions, and her own difficulties at checkpoints. Read every affecting word. As the details accumulate, socio-conceptual art expands to elucidate the whole geopolitical mess. THROUGH MAY 17, Debs & Co., 525 West 26th Street, 212-643-2070. (Levin)

TAKASHI MURAKAMIHaving been commissioned to update the Louis Vuitton monogram bag, as Stephen Sprouse did recently, this Japanese art star—who coined the, uh, concept of superflat—digs himself deeper into designer labelhood. His multicolor monograms (instant rip-offs are already on Canal Street) brilliantly lift the LV from drab social snobbery to fresh youthquake must-have. Recycled on the surfaces of paintings (interspersed with his flower-face and eyeball motifs) and on gallery walls, the inexorable logos raise extreme issues of mergers and takeovers between fashion and art, aesthetics and business, genius and repetitive stress syndrome. Let's just call it deep shallowness. THROUGH MAY 10, Marianne Boesky Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, 212-680-9889. (Levin)

DANCE

LES BALLETS DE MONTE-CARLOMaybe it's the Mediterranean breeze. Maybe the international roster of dancers. Maybe the genius of Jean-Christophe Maillot, who can take a warhorse ballet (in this case Cinderella, to the Prokofiev score) and turn it into something rich and strange. His version of the tale centers on Cinderella's relationship with her dead mother, and rings brilliant changes on the classic costumes and props. It marries classical and contemporary ballet, even as the tormented heroine gets her prince. TUESDAY AT 7 AND MAY 1 THROUGH 3 AT 7:30, Howard Gilman Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100. (Zimmer)

LIMÓN DANCE COMPANYCelebrating 25 years under Carla Maxwell's sure directorial hand, this ensemble, a true international treasure, offers revivals of José Limón's The Unsung and Doris Humphrey's New Dance, Variations and Conclusion and the New York premiere of Limón's Psalm, as well as new works by Adam Hougland (the lyrical Phantasy Quintetto Vaughn Williams) and Jonathan Riedel (The Unsightful Nanny, a black comedy inspired by Edward Gorey, to music by Saint-Saëns). Opening night's a special program; after that two different bills alternate. TUESDAY AT 8, THROUGH MAY 11, Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212-242-0800. (Zimmer)

FILM

'STAN BRAKHAGE MEMORIAL PROGRAM'Ken Jacobs will premiere a new video piece, Keeping an Eye on Stan, documenting the late Stan Brakhage's final trip to New York, to open an afternoon of Brakhage films spanning a period of nearly 50 years (Wonder Ring, Blue Moses, Sexual Meditations: Room With a View, Office Suite, and Stately Mansions Did Decreeamong others) with remarks by some of the filmmaker's leading exegetes. SUNDAY AT 3, American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue and 36th Street, Queens, 718-784-0007. (Hoberman)

'MAROONED IN IRAQ'Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi's music-fueled road movie is set on the Iraq-Iran border in the gruesome aftermath of the first Gulf War. Cast with non-actors and crowded with cartoon bluster, it's a denser, funnier movie than Ghobadi's more straightforward Time for Drunken Horses. Increasingly grim as its musician heroes approach Iraq, this lusty, heartfelt movie has a visual energy that's almost Brueghelian and a humanist passion that's as contagious as its music. OPENS FRIDAY, Lincoln Plaza, Broadway and 62nd Street, 212-757-2280. (Hoberman)

'THE TURKISH STAR TREK'A/k/a Turist Omer Uzay Yolunda, this East Village cult film, a 1973 cheapster by Hulki Saner, has the Turkish doofus Turist Omer mistakenly beamed up to the starship Enterprise to pal around with an extremely fey Kirk and his friends in a universe of brazenly shoplifted and utterly desultory special effects. MONDAY AT 8, Den of Cin, below Two Boots Video, 44 Avenue A, 212-254-0800. (Hoberman)

MUSIC

BLACKALICIOUS+LIFESAVASBlackalicious's last album, Blazing Arrow, was as joyful a noise as hip-hop produced last year. And MC Gift of Gab might even be the best combination of intelligence, grace, speed, and wit that hip-hop has. Being signed to MCA gets them access to the best neo-soul out there, making it all the easier to spread the up-with-people gospel. With their Quannum brethren Lifesavas. TUESDAY AT 9, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940. (Caramanica)

CHEAP TRICK+THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSIONSpencer has always had a few cheap tricks up his sleeve (ever feel like you've been cheated?), but this is the real McCoy. Personal testimony: When this crack touring unit jumped onstage to thrash through "Surrender" with the ecstatic Get Up Kids a couple years back at Milwaukee's Eagle Ballroom, the little emo girls understood. Daddy was way all right. While he still seems a little weird, Rick Nielsen still pick-tosses and double-necks like a young Budokhaner. And of course, blooze-punk Spencer's always good for a howl. With the Anniversary. THURSDAY AT 8, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212-307-7171. (Sinagra)

THE DELGADOS+AEREOGRAMME+THE ESSEX GREENLike Belle and Sebastian, the Delgados are a Scottish band big in Britain but still semi-obscure over here, and their mix of fey, folky melodies, Flaming Lips-style space-rock sonics, and Brit-rock gloominess ought indeed to make American collegians go gaga. Ditto Aereogramme, fellow Scotsmen who take the same kind of depressed catchiness and go arty with it, fleshing out their mature melancholia with keyboard and electro soundscapes as innovative as Radiohead's. Odd band out Essex Green channel the Kinks like Spinal Tap channeled Black Sabbath. SUNDAY AND MONDAY AT 9, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111. (Hoard)

FLAMING LIPSDo you realize what a high Wayne Coyne is on? After he unwittingly (or wittingly) megawatt-ed hapless be-suited headliner Beck off the stage during their messy co-tour last year, his brand of psychedelic sailing and pop-culture puppeteering earned the Lips' Yoshimi vs. the Pink Robots a surprise Grammy—allowing Coyne a chance to cheekily express his opposition to the war (accepting his untelevised award in a facial bandage). And now, he's got helicopters, yes he has. The Lips are topping their own bill, riding on good feedback of the Flight Test EP, just an appetizer for more delicious art gloop to come. FRIDAY AT 8, Roseland, 239 West 52nd Street, 212-777-6800. (Sinagra)

'JAZZ JAMBOREE'In a season given over largely to world-music concerts and big works, this presentation sounds like a can't-miss rejoinder of straight-shooting jazz. Michael Brecker will fracture the virtuosity-is-its-own-reward fans with his quartet, and Dave Holland will explore subtler precincts with his superb quintet, which includes Chris Potter, Robin Eubanks, Billy Kilson, and the increasingly interesting Steve Nelson. But the news of the evening is Wynton Marsalis's septet, which will augment its double-brass (Marsalis, trombonist Ron Westray) and double-saxophone front line (Sherman Irby and Victor Goines) with the addition of Joe Lovano, who is about as straight-shooting as they come. FRIDAY AT 8, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, West 65th Street and Broadway, 212-721-6500. (Giddins)

LADYTRON+CODEC AND FLEXORMaybe it's because they're actually from Liverpool, but Ladytron are Brooklyn's best electroclash band. If A.R.E. Weapons are the ultimate Williamsburg hipsters, this dude and two fine ladies represent for the EU, especially in oddly affecting songs like the heart-melting "Seventeen," an icy-beated ode to wannabe models already past their prime after graduating high school. Also Eurotrash, Codec and Flexor draw as much from Detroit house as Kraftwerk. TUESDAY AT 8, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800. (Catucci)

'MINGUS SALUTES ELLINGTON'Sort of. To celebrate the Maestro's 101st b-day, the Mingus Big Band leaves its usual perch for a concert sponsored by the Ellington Society, which will include some Ellingtonia (including the far too rarely played "Sepia Panorama") in a program that focuses on Mingus's many compositional tributes, among them "Open Letter to Duke," "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love," and others that are less well-known. The mixture should be very compelling. SATURDAY AT 8, St. Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue, 212-935-2200. (Giddins)

THROWING MUSES+AUDIO LEARNING CENTERSupporting their first album in seven years, the Muses are banking on the fond memories of thirtysomethings, and why not? They were huge benefactors of the '80s indie boom, and their catchy, indulgent folk-punk songs—all of 'em built around Kristen Hersh's brooding, waifish croon—hold up just as well as those of any other "poetic" college rockers. Emo-ists Audio Learning Center, who sound like the Muses would have if they'd started in the late '90s, bury soft, pretty melodies and existentialist lyrics in delicately interwoven (if occasionally punk) Northwest-style guitar ramblings. SATURDAY AT 8, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800. (Hoard)

YERBA BUENAVenezuelan expat Andrés Levín has produced artists all over the musical map (Tina Turner to David Byrne to Los Amigos Invisibles), last year tweaking beats on the Fela Kuti tribute Red Hot + Riot . . .Rolling up his sleeves to lead Yerba, NYC's most combustible Afro-Latin dance group, Levín may well ignite the first U.S. urban Latino music revolution since the 1970s. The addictive combination of Nigerian Afrobeat, East Coast hip-hop, Nuyorican boogaloo, and Afro-Cuban grooves on the multilingual band's debut, President Alien, gets only more potent live. With DJ Prince Paul. THURSDAY AT 9, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111. (Massamour)

YO LA TENGOWhen last seen around these parts, Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew were celebrating the eight nights of Hanukkah near their safe Hoboken home. Now they're celebrating their first album in three years, a warm, tuneful thing that should translate to the stage as vividly as Georgia's drumming exhibitions, Ira's guitar contortions, and James's Neil Young impressions. Also: Portastatic. FRIDAY AT 8, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212-307-7171. (Christgau)

PHOTO

VERA LUTTERLutter's massive photographs use large, dark rooms as camera obscuras to record either their own contents or landscapes outside. Since her subjects, including the derelict Pepsi-Cola factory in Long Island City and the Frankfurt International Airport, are exposed over a long period of time and reproduced in negative, the work's spectacular specificity is matched only by its hallucinatory slipperiness. Best in show: two triptychs of ruined industrial interiors in which what appear to be huge mirrors turn out to be Lutter's earlier photos of the same space, reflecting the negative vista as an equally alluring positive. THROUGH MAY 3, Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street, 212-741-1111. (Aletti)

ARNOLD ODERMATTThis former Swiss traffic policeman took thousands of photos of auto accidents in his more than 40 years (1948-1990) on the job. The best of them are as artful as they are artless, maintaining the deadpan cool of police evidence work while zeroing in on the elegant sculptural qualities of twisted metal in the rural landscape. These surprisingly bloodless black-and-whites (more Ruscha than Warhol) landed Odermatt in the 2001 Venice Biennale; for his New York solo debut, Morris shows them alongside lurid color shots of his colleagues at work that should appeal to both vernacular fetishists and the staged-reality crew. OPENS SATURDAY, THROUGH JUNE 7, Paul Morris Gallery, 465 West 23rd Street, 212-727-2752. (Aletti)

THEATER

'THE LUCKY CHANCE'The first woman to write plays professionally had to be even bawdier than her male colleagues, and display even more cynicism toward her female characters, but those restrictions, like most others, didn't stop the indomitable Aphra Behn: She stuck to her guns and turned out a good pile of mordant, funny, saucy comedies, including this 1686 romp, in which two old sharpies work up a scam to relieve period yuppies of their bank accounts and their main squeezes. A good working knowledge of Restoration comedy will tell you who outbluffs whom; the quality of Rebecca Patterson's production for Queen's Company is anybody's guess. OPENS FRIDAY, THROUGH MAY 18, Connelly Theatre, 220 East 4th Street, 212-868-4444. (Feingold)

'MY FAVORITE YEAR'It's 1954, the last-minute-replacement guest star on the live TV comedy show is a notorious drunk, and the nebbishy new kid on the writing staff gets to play watchdog. The complications that ensue got this first big-scale musical by Ahrens and Flaherty awfully bogged down when it premiered just over a decade ago; as a work by the now established writers of Ragtime, it deserves a second hearing. Mel Miller's Musicals Tonight! supplies the need with this concert staging, and who knows—maybe it'll make the show somebody's favorite. THROUGH MAY 4, 14th Street YMHA, 344 East 14th Street, 212-868-4444. (Feingold)

'RUTH DRAPER: THE ENTERPRISING COMIC'If Ruth Draper didn't invent the art of solo performance, she was certainly its most widely applauded practitioner; everyone who's tried it since, from Lily Tomlin to Karen Finley and onward, owes something to her. Susan Mulcahy, thanks to whose enterprise Draper's long-lost recordings are finally available on CD (drapermonologues.com), has now assembled this one-night-only tribute to the immortal monologuist. Diva eminenza Marian Seldes and playwright cum gender illusionist Charles Busch will be among those discussing Draper's art and how it affected their own. In addition, Mulcahy promises some rare audio clips of the notoriously uninterviewable artist herself. WEDNESDAY AT 6:30, New-York Historical Society, 2 West 77th Street, 212-873-3400. (Feingold)

'SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE'If the last Kandinsky canvas you looked at seemed to be dancing, chances are you've already seen Basil Twist's abstract underwater puppets strut their stuff to Berlioz's orchestral masterpiece. If you haven't, now's the time: Twist's work, which won an Obie and a blizzard of accolades when it premiered in 1998, is being brought back as the bonbon of Lincoln Center's current Berlioz celebration. And its fusion of pure visual form with musical pictorialism reverberates back to the very roots of modern art. You can bring the kids, too. OPENS THURSDAY, THROUGH MAY 4, Clark Studio Theater, Rose Building, Lincoln Center, 212-721-6500. (Feingold)

WORDS

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTIIn a surreal year of three-week wars and Patriot Acts, Ferlinghetti's vision of unfettered American expression is more vital than ever—and at greater risk. A commander of a sub chaser in Normandy and a witness to the horrors of Nagasaki, he offers cautions that are not the ramblings of a hemp-choked peacenik, but those of a man who confronted the obscene in both war and everyday life. At the 93rd annual Poetry Society of America Awards ceremony, the 84-year-old poet and publisher will receive the 2003 Frost Medal for his "distinguished lifetime service to American poetry" and deliver a lecture called "What Is Poetry?: A Non-Lecture." Drink and see the spider. TUESDAY AT 7, New School, 66 West 12th Street, 212-229-5353. (Reidy)

NIGELLA LAWSONWe think it was the arms that sold us—bodacious, carb-fortified, fertility-goddess arms, holding aloft a bowl of eats as if it were a torch, leading a band of fortunate picnickers across some pastoral glade. The photo graced Nigella Lawson's first Dining In column for the Times, one of the few things that must be read every week. She'll be on hand to talk about Forever Summer: Fresh Irresistible Cooking All Year Round. Nigella. Nigella. Nigella. Printer, repeat until page is full. FRIDAY AT 7, Barnes & Noble, 33 East 17th Street, 212-253-0810. (De Krap)

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