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ART

SUZANNE BOCANEGRA Her highly personal conceptual art is as compulsive as that of Danica Phelps. But instead of tracking daily transactions, Bocanegra picks apart all the petals in a bouquet painting by Jan Brueghel the Elder, all the items in a Bloomingdale Brothers price list of 1886, or all the brush strokes in an old flower album. Just when it seemed that the messy studio installation had run out of steam, her scrappy, musty, compacted works—made of clumped bits of paper, wax paper, cardboard, and linen—defy the odds. Drawn, painted, cut, dangling from linen tabs, or tagged like paper dolls, they correspond to some invisible system of ordering that puts form at the mercy of psycho-archival impulses. THROUGH JULY 5, Lucas Schoormans, 508 West 26th Street, 212-243-3159. (Levin)

DARIO ROBLETO "Cool materials representing cooler ideas," wrote one enthralled visitor in this Texan conceptualist's guest book. "Say Goodbye to Substance" is definitely a cool show about hot stuff: planetary extinction, nuclear annihilation, origin myths, and music, among other things. Made of meteoritic glass, melted vintage vinyl (Roy Orbison, T. Rex, Kraftwerk), trinitite from the first nuclear test, dinosaur dust, and such, it's a trove of sampled narratives and significant ingredients. The details—tiny darts carved from mammoth-fossil ivory tipped with vinyl, a pulverized female rib bone recast as male—are scarily smart too. THROUGH JULY 3, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, 120 Park Avenue, 212-663-2453. (Levin)

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).

DANCE

EIKO & KOMA Last summer, these consummate Japanese artists offered a ritual of mourning at a waterfront site near ground zero, bringing many spectators to tears. This series of free performances, called Offering (reconceived), promises to be simpler, but just as powerful. Their "ritual of regeneration after loss" takes place in the historic cobbled graveyard alongside St. Mark's Church, itself an example of a monument recovered after a devastating fire. The space is intimate; make a reservation. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT 8:30, Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street, 212-674-8194. (Zimmer)

TWYLA THARP DANCE The redoubtable Ms. Tharp has a new Tony (for choreographing Movin' Out, her hit Broadway show) and a new company of superbly talented young dancers taking her concert choreography on the road. They open the 2003 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival with performances of her Westerly Round, Surfer at the River Styx, and The Fugue, and a duet from Known by Heart. The verdant and rustic Berkshire hills site also hosts a variety of free events (including a talk about Twyla by Marcia Siegel, Saturday at 4) through late August; see the dance listings for details. WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY AT 8, SATURDAY AT 2 AND 8, AND SUNDAY AT 2, Ted Shawn Theatre, George Carter Road, off Route 20, Becket, Massachusetts, 413-243-0745. (Zimmer)

FILM

ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL This year's edition opens with a new movie made in Sri Lanka by Indian director Mani Ratnam and a tribute to the late Hong Kong star Leslie Cheung. In addition to a mixed program of shorts, features, and docs—made in South Korea, Malaysia, Iran, the Philippines, China, Japan, and the U.S.—are a number of workshops geared toward aspiring independent filmmakers. OPENS FRIDAY THROUGH JUNE 29, Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue; Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Queens, 212-517-ASIA. (Hoberman)

MANOEL DE OLIVEIRA As part of the "Best of 2002" series, BAM devotes a weekend to recent films by the ageless Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira. Friday's I'm Going Home, with Michel Piccoli as an aging actor, may be as close as the ninetysomething director has come to making a commercial movie; Saturday's elliptical and lurid The Uncertainty Principle is more characteristic in its modernist take on 18th-century narrative; the documentary memoir Oporto of My Childhood, showing Sunday, is a local premiere. FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY, BAM Rose Cinema, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-777-FILM. (Hoberman)

'SHADOWS' A landmark, predicated on collective improvisation and scored by Charles Mingus, John Cassavetes's first feature essentially founded the American independent cinema as we know it. Shadows, newly restored by UCLA, can be bracketed with Godard's Breathless, completed the same year, as a low-budget, post-neorealist, pre-cinema verité Something New. Meanwhile, with his aggressive sincerity and swaggering integrity, Cassavetes became the prototype for the American independent director—the Method actor turned filmmaker. THURSDAY THROUGH JUNE 29, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212-505-5181. (Hoberman)

MUSIC

SOLOMON BURKE & SOUL ALIVE ORCHESTRA+OLU DARA No less an exalted r&b personage than Jerry Wexler turned me on to the King, and so it was with great expectations that I received Burke's 2002 revival, Don't Give Up on Me. The soul man's takes on Van Morrison, Tom Waits, et al., and especially the Blind Boys summit, restored my faith in actual recordings. Dara, daddy of Nas and soon-to-be father-in-law of Kelis, will remix the freedom of crossing genres for generation next. WEDNESDAY AT 8, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 212-996-1100. (Crazy Horse)

ROSANNE CASH+NATALIE MACMASTER Does being the daughter of the Man in Black make Cash the Princess of Darkness? Certainly, her latest, Rules of Travel, goes there with the moody medium-tempo tunes. Regardless, the emotional intensity of the duets with Steve Earle ("I'll Change for You") and her pa ("September When It Comes") make this gig worth crossing the river for. And MacMaster, a Celtic fiddle virtuoso from Cape Breton, will certainly "throw dat bow." FRIDAY AT 7:30, Prospect Park Bandshell, 9th Street and Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, 718-855-7882. (Crazy Horse)

DIXIE CHICKS Punk-rock subversives of the year, no contest, even if Saddam's Angels did sell out to alt-country on their most recent CD, half of which rocked notwithstanding its overabundantly naked acoustica. No word on whether real-woman-with-curves Natalie will wear her "FUTK" shirt in this commie town, but it doesn't matter since she's got one of the greatest voices on the planet, and "Goodbye Earl" is a funnier capital-punishment song than "Beer for My Horses." Expect a dang good frisking. With Michelle Branch. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AT 8, Madison Square Garden, 2 Penn Plaza, 212-307-7171; MONDAY AT 8, Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, Long Island, 516-794-9300. (Eddy)

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS Magnetic chatterbox Patterson Hood and rig-rocker Mike Cooley have been airing their Southern identity crises for a while now—extolling GG Allin for springing their traps, then doubling back to pull Skynyrd from the wreck. Onstage, they're more eager than tight, but whether he's skewering George Wallace, laughing about Mom's trucker prince, gasping a final breath with Ronnie Van Zant, or shedding heathen salt (on the new Decoration Day), Hood's the Tom T. Hall of country-fried Gen X regret. With Immortal Lee County Killers. Also: Blackcowboy on Thursday. WEDNESDAY AT 9, Maxwell's, 1039 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, 201-653-1703; THURSDAY AT 8:30, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212-533-2111. (Sinagra)

CÉSARIA ÉVORA+LILA DOWNS Each of these fabulous earth mothers drops bittersweet post-colonial science. Évora, Cape Verde's "barefoot diva," croons downbeat, minor-key, Kriolu-language "mornas" (a duende-imbued Afro-fado, you could say) accompanied by guitars, violin, accordion, and clarinet in arrangements that smack of West African cabaret. Downs, a Mixtec American Frida Kahlo look-alike, devotes her luscious pipes to border dilemmas, such as how to cross them and survive, and indigenous matters of the universal spirit. WEDNESDAY AT 8, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212-307-7171. (Gehr)

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE+JESSE MALIN+AMY CORREIA Local rockers with song sense, Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood pass themselves off as hook machines by releasing a new album (like this month's Welcome Interstate Managers) only when they've accrued enough catchy songs. Former D Generation frontman Malin buries his melodies deeper and compensates by putting more of himself into the lyrics. Also: L.A.-based Sin-é veteran Amy Correia. FRIDAY AT 7:30, Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby Street, 212-334-3324. (Christgau)

CECIL TAYLOR & ELVIN JONES JAZZ MACHINE The last chance to hear the twosome this time around is Wednesday at 10:30. During the past few years, this duo has become something of a traditional add-on to the full week by Jones's Jazz Machine, itself an exhilarating band that sustains more of the unbridled fire of the John Coltrane Quartet than any other group. Still, it's the duet that will keep you agog—if their last encounter is any indication, Elvin will stick with mallets, the music will be free, wide-ranging, dazzling, and beautiful, and there will be a long line. (Taylor plays only on Wednesday; the Jazz Machine continues the long run.) WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT 8 AND 10:30, Blue Note, 131 West 3rd Street, 212-475-8592. (Giddins)

'THERE'LL BE ANOTHER SPRING: A TRIBUTE TO MISS PEGGY LEE' This could turn out to be a historic JVC collision, something that drops your jaw and holds your gaze against your better judgment. In the absence of singers you'd expect to pay homage (like Jeanie Bryson), a few great performers—Dee Dee Bridgewater, Shirley Horn, and, still holding on, Chris Connor—are stirred into what might otherwise serve as a female impersonator's dream evening: Nancy Sinatra, Rita Moreno, Deborah Harry, Petula Clark, Bea Arthur, and many others, including a few men such as Freddy Cole, Eric Comstock, and Cy Coleman. Listen for the sound of rustling chiffon as Miss Peggy does back flips. MONDAY AT 8, Carnegie Hall, 154 West 57th Street, 212-247-7800. (Giddins)

 

PHOTO

'OUR TRUE INTENT IS ALL FOR YOUR DELIGHT' These luridly colored, casually staged pictures of British resorts were originally taken for postcards promoting the Butlin's chain of holiday camps in the late '60s and early '70s. Made by the John Hinde company and rediscovered by Martin Parr, whose affection for his countrymen's cheesy excess is boundless, they capture a particularly unfortunate moment in fashion, decor, and popular photography with an irresistible combination of cunning and naïveté. Hawaiian-themed bars, lounges lined with portholes onto the pool, endless expanses of linoleum tile, garish gowns, fat sideburns—Butlin's time capsule overfloweth. THROUGH JULY 11, Janet Borden, Inc., 560 Broadway, 212-431-0166. (Aletti)

JEFF WHETSTONE Whetstone, who majored in zoology at Duke before getting his photo M.F.A. at Yale two years ago, combines the two interests in this disarmingly quirky show of black-and-white pictures of small animals and a few hulking human predators. Each creature—a bat, an opossum, a toad, a salamander, a snake—is photographed at the point of capture, trapped within a plastic bowl or bucket and seen from just above. The resulting images look at first like odd portholes set into the earth, and there's something seductive about their truncated landscapes—gorgeous swatches of damp soil, wet leaves, or matted grass that make the animals' isolation all the more poignant. THROUGH JUNE 21, Wallspace, 547 West 27th Street, 212-594-9478. (Aletti)

THEATER

'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)

'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)

WORDS

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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