'THE AMERICAN EFFECT' Finally the Whitney circumvents its constricting mandate with a timely show about global perceptions of America, in which 47 artists, filmmakers, and artist groups from 30 countries address our homeland's issues rather than their own. Let's hope it not only casts light on how others perceive us, but opens our eyes to what's going on elsewhere. Senegalese sculptor Ousmane Sow tackles Custer's defeat; Bodys Isek Kingelez, from Kinshasa, envisions Lower Manhattan in A.D. 3021; and Pakistan-born Saira Wasim paints Moghul miniatures of Musharraf and Bush, for a start. OPENS THURSDAY, THROUGH OCTOBER 12, Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Avenue, 212-570-3633. (Levin)

ROZA EL HASSAN Using every available surface and the sidewalk outside, a rising art star from Budapest turns the Drawing Room into a fragile drawing in space—or a sketch for an installation. Called simply "Drawings," it exudes tangled tendrils of hairy wire; pale, washy drawings; cut-paper bits; and markings directly on the wall and floor. It's all so tentative, modest, and ephemeral that the sporadic peace signs, image of a dove with an olive branch, and huge pale word "human" sink in slowly: She's not trying to tell us something, but setting a gentle example. A tiny, lumpy blue Buddha and a few scattered marbles add to the feeling of fragility. Hold your breath or the whole thing might vanish. THROUGH JULY 26, Drawing Room, 40 Wooster Street, 212-219-2166. (Levin)

Freed at last: Hollywood producer Arthur Freed gets a tribute that includes the Harvey Girls (see film).
photo: courtesy Film Forum/Photofest
Freed at last: Hollywood producer Arthur Freed gets a tribute that includes the Harvey Girls (see film).


DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM Too long missing from midtown, Arthur Mitchell's gorgeous ensemble opens the Lincoln Center Festival, making its first appearance there. The opening-night bill, to be repeated July 12 and 13, includes the world premiere of St. Louis Woman: A Blues Ballet, with music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, a book by Arna Bontemps and Countee Cullen, and choreography by the West Coast jester-in-residence Michael Smuin. The music's live—Jonathan Tunick conducts the DTH Orchestra—and should help the heat of a Midwest summer penetrate even the air-conditioned precincts of this culture palace. Completing the first program is George Balanchine's edgy neoclassical masterpiece, The Four Temperaments, to a score by Hindemith. TUESDAY AT 8, THROUGH JULY 13, New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue and 63rd Street, 212-307-4100. (Zimmer)

'2ND TAP REUNION' A sort of curtain-raiser for the enormous international "Tap City" festival that begins next week (, this one-night stand features tap virtuosos Roxane Butterfly, Derick Grant, and Max Pollak, plus special guests from the tap scene in Boston, accompanied by a live combo playing contemporary jazz. TUESDAY AT 8, 9, AND 10, Makor, 35 West 67th Street, 212-636-9584. (Zimmer)


'LA COMMUNE (PARIS, 1871)' Dynamic historical reconstruction in the form of an experimental documentary, Peter Watkins's six-hour masterpiece is contagiously exciting. His visually spare, conceptually rich re-creation of a doomed political utopia proceeds, mainly in direct address, as characters explain their situation with astonishing conviction. Meant to evoke the sensation of revolutionary euphoria, this syncretic work of left-wing modernism is at once immediate and self-reflexive. Watkins restages history in its own ruins, uses the media as a frame, and still imbues his narrative with amazing presence. No less than the event it chronicles, La Commune is a triumph of spontaneous action. THURSDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212-505-5110. (Hoberman)

'THE FREED UNIT AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE MGM MUSICAL' Possibly the most beloved cycle in Hollywood history, Arthur Freed's two-decade string of hits began with The Wizard of Oz in 1939, peaked in the early '50s—Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon—then fluffed out in 1958 with Gigi. Special events in this three-week tribute include an evening with actress-memoirist Betsy Blair and the 3-D Kiss Me Kate—not actually a Freed film, but so what? OPENS THURSDAY, THROUGH JULY 24, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 212-727-8110. (Hoberman)

'STEPHEN FREARS'S ENGLAND' It's Frears the genre-bending master of Thatcher-era social clutter who's celebrated in this mini-retro. Sammy and Rosie Get Laid can be found, along with Frears's other Hanif Kureishi-scripted sexual comedy, My Beautiful Laundrette, and his adaptation of Prick Up Your Ears. More rarely screened: Frears's 1971 noir parody, Gumshoe, and the anarchic telefilm Bloody Kids. OPENS SATURDAY, THROUGH JULY 14, American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue and 36th Street, Queens, 718-784-0007. (Hoberman)


RYAN ADAMS The ambitiously prolific singer-songwriter graces I-always-love-you-though New York with a free, feel-good Fourth of July show. If you just can't get enough of this rock-'n'-blues-'n'-folk roller, look for yet another new release before the year's end. FRIDAY AT 4, the Lawn, Battery Park and State Street, 212-835-2789. (Havranek)

THE FALL 26 years into his sui generis career, cult hero Mark E. Smith remains the most distinctive poetry reader in rock, his mush-mouthed utterances more crabbed and furious all the time. He will, no doubt, futz with his latest pickup band's equipment while they attempt to concentrate on the monolithic-riff end of the Fall repertoire, including lots of brand-new stuff. (That's the new Mrs. Smith on keys.) Just remember: He's played "Mr. Pharmacist" more than any other song! Sunday with the Rogers Sisters and Monday with El Guapo. SUNDAY AND MONDAY AT 8:30, Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard Street, 212-219-3006. (Wolk)

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