JULES DE BALINCOURT If his cheery dumb style of painting owes a lot to Chris Johanson, and his synthetic color owes a little to Lisa Ruyter, chalk it up to the fact that de Balincourt is still in the process of getting his M.F.A. Yet "Land of Many Uses" has enough charm, smarts, and self-deprecating wit to make this fledgling artist someone to watch. There's a big functioning multicolor tree house made of scavenged scrap wood (including a police barrier), and an adorable mini-re-creation of his old L.A. neighborhood being inundated by a stream that becomes a lake (and vice versa) in a flood cycle that takes nearly an hour. THROUGH JUNE 14, LFL, 530 West 24th Street, 212-989-7700. (Levin)

'THE STAGE OF DRAWING: GESTURE AND ACT' It may span 300 years, but this selection of 148 works on paper from the Tate's collections isn't historical. It's a personal act of consciousness, performed not only by a host of artists who drew, but by the eyes and mind of one contemporary artist, Avis Newman, who selected them, setting the stage for unlikely dialogues and small revelations. Beardsley hobnobs with Picabia, Blake communes with Barnett Newman, LeWitt hangs with William Henry Hunt, Cage with Sir James Thornhill, and Carl Andre and Eva Hesse share a use of grid paper. THROUGH SATURDAY, the Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, 212-219-2166. (Levin)

Ties that bind: Takeshi Kitano's Dolls delves into everlasting love (see film).
photo: courtesy BAM
Ties that bind: Takeshi Kitano's Dolls delves into everlasting love (see film).


BILL T. JONES/ARNIE ZANE DANCE COMPANY Borrowing a page from the playbook of Merce Cunningham, the sinuous Jones, on the cusp of his troupe's 20th anniversary season, offers Another Evening, a new 90-minute collage of dance, live music, song, and spoken text, featuring song stylist Cassandra Wilson and the company's music director, Dr. Daniel Bernard Roumain. Like Cunningham's Events, this presentation will recombine elements from existing repertory with newly created work. The combination of Jones and Wilson is sure to sizzle. On WEDNESDAY AT 7, there's a free open rehearsal. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT 8, SUNDAY AT 3, Aaron Davis Hall, West 135th Street and Convent Avenue, 212-650-7100. (Zimmer)

H.T. CHEN & DANCERS Celebrating 25 years of creative work in Chinatown, Chen's multicultural troupe, which last year won the Governor's Arts Award for community service throughout New York State, offers a world premiere to a commissioned score by Ushio Torakai, to be performed live, and a revival of Opening the Gate, which has music by Bradley Kaus. Completing the program is a film on the company's history by Don Quinn Kelly. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AT 7:30, SUNDAY AT 2:30, AND JUNE 5 THROUGH 8, La MaMa Annex, 74A East 4th Street, 212-475-7710. (Zimmer)


'THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY' It's Sergio Leone's masterpiece and the greatest of all spaghetti westerns: Clint Eastwood's scuzzy bounty hunter, Lee Van Cleef's reptilian hired killer, and Eli Wallach's blasphemous bandit form and dissolve alliances, littering the screen with corpses as they search for an elusive box of gold coins. The plot keeps intersecting the fringes of the Civil War, presented as a larger, more meaningless bloodbath than anything in which the principals get mixed up, and the three-way shoot-out that ends, amid corrida fanfares and tolling bells, in a graveyard half the size of Texas is one of the great set pieces in western history. The new print restores a few scenes cut for the movie's 1967 U.S. release. OPENS FRIDAY, THROUGH JUNE 12, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212-727-8110. (Hoberman)

'VILLAGE VOICE BEST OF 2002' Some of the high-scorers—distributed and otherwise—of the last Voice film critics' poll are reprised in this annual, month-long BAM event. The lineup includes Far From Heaven of course (as well as two Sirk melodramas), the Adam Sandler art film Punch Drunk Love, Godard's exquisite In Praise of Love, the films maudits Esther Kahn and Hou Hsiao-hsien's Millennium Mambo, and—a local premiere—Takeshi Kitano's Dolls. Voice writers will be introducing various screenings. OPENS FRIDAY, THROUGH JUNE 30, BAM Rose, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-623-2770. (Hoberman)


MANDY BARNETT The most convincing of Nashville's sexy thrushes doesn't get north often enough. She may not come as extravagantly equipped as in 1999, when she and a major label were supporting the audacious countrypolitan retro of I've Got a Right to Cry. But she's a Nashville legend live and she deserves to be—her pipes like Patsy's, her phrasing like Peggy's, she was old at 21 and knew how to make the most of it. TUESDAY AT 9:30, Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 212-239-6200. (Christgau)

BONE CRUSHER+RED CAFE Sure, it's a shtick. Every time you see Bone Crusher perform (except on Conan, strangely), the 350-pound rapper tears his shirt off and runs through the crowd, a brazen display of meaty manliness. As his single goes, "I ain't never scared!" The rest of his album doesn't quite capture the exuberant vim of that song or its accompanying performance, but the big man does make a big sound. Labelmate Red Cafe isn't half the man Bone Crusher is—physically, that is—but as one of the few MCs to crawl their way up from mix-tape respectability to major-label deal, he is just as hungry. SUNDAY AT 9, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212-243-4940. (Caramanica)

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