'FUSE: THE NYC CELEBRATION OF QUEER CULTURE' What, the Tony Awards weren't queer enough for you, even with prime-time same-sex kissing on-screen? This first annual festival, co-sponsored by HERE and Dixon Place, should be just your cup of GLBT, with samples from all deviant departments. Janis Astor del Valle ruminates on life as a Puerto Rican lesbian, David Drake stages a new play called Daddy's Boy, Brian Quirk grants word power to the figures in Robert Mapplethorpe's portraits, and for light relief there's Lesbian Pulp-O-Rama! and Basil Twist's Erotic Puppetry Parlor. As Rodgers and Hammerstein once said, "Keep it gay!" WEDNESDAY THROUGH JULY 5, HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue, 212-206-1515. (Feingold)

'SEVEN BLOWJOBS' We've never heard of Thin Duke Productions, but we like their name. We like the name of Mac Wellman's angry and touching satirical comedy, too, and we like being one of the few NYC papers willing to print it. (The play was last reviewed in The New York Times under the title "SoHo Rep Presents.") Since new and nastier Republican faces have taken the helms in Washington's sancta Santorum since multiple Obie winner Wellman wrote this drollery, about a bigoted senator who goes into red-alert mode over an envelope of explicit photographs, it's bound to still feel fresh. THURSDAY THROUGH JULY 13, Trilogy Theatre, 341 West 44th Street, second floor, 212-868-4444. (Feingold)

Rika Okamoto performing in Suspended Women as part of The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (see dance).
photo: Bill Biggart
Rika Okamoto performing in Suspended Women as part of The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (see dance).

'ST. CRISPIN'S DAY' Shakespeare's Henry V eavesdrops briefly on his foot soldiers, only to hear them talk about his potential damnation. Matt Pepper's new play studies the night before that pivotal battle in France through the soldiers Henry didn't hear, who were off looting, whoring, and terrorizing civilians. Expect the prose to be more contemporary. Simon Hammerstein directs. IN PREVIEWS, OPENS JUNE 22, Rattlestick Theatre, 224 Waverly Place, 212-868-4444. (Feingold)


MANTHIA DIAWARA The Malian expat and director of NYU's Institute of African-American Affairs calls his new memoir, We Won't Budge: An African Exile in the World, "a modern-day slave narrative," revealing the subtle and overt racism that African immigrants experience in France and America. His life story unfolds within the cradle of Malian independence circa 1960, revealing an intellectual determined not to allow Africa and Africans to be marginalized. TUESDAY AT 6:30, Hue-man Bookstore, 2319 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, 212-665-7400. (Todaro)

HEIDI JULAVITS Whip-smart, weird, and dangerously readable, Julavits's second novel, The Effect of Living Backwards, dares to carve out a space for the imagination in a literary age still overshadowed by the Big Terrible. Learn to tell apart Brain Worms from Incursionists, as the former VLS Writer on the Verge (and current Believer co-editor) reads from her beautiful monster of a book—detonating your funny bone, showing you fear in a handful of dust. Remember when fiction was supposed to be exactly this much fun? TUESDAY AT 7, Barnes & Noble, Sixth Avenue, 212-727-1227. (De Krap)

KELLY LINK Link's debut story collection, Stranger Things Happen (a VLS favorite), closes with her Zen-aphasic faux whodunit "The Girl Detective," a story containing the two best sentences of the last 10 years, or at least something every new-wave fabulist should get engraved on his/her plasticine tombstone: "There's one other kind of food, but you can only get that in the underworld, and it's not really food. It's more like dancing." WEDNESDAY AT 7, KGB, 85 East 4th Street, 212-505-3360. (De Krap)

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