By Anna Merlan
By Albert Samaha
By Tessa Stuart
By Anna Merlan
By Roy Edroso
By Carolyn Hughes
By Chuck Strouse
By Albert Samaha
ANNE TERESA DE KEERSMAEKER/ROSAS
If there is a postmodern heaven, surely de Keersmaeker and her frequent collaborator Steve Reich inhabit it. Their works for the Next Wave Festival (of which the 70-minute Rain, a 2001 work for 10 dancers and the Brussels-based percussion ensemble Ictus performing Reich's 1976 Music for 18 Musicians, is the sixth) tend to bring audiences to their feet in a great swell of ecstasy. Be there. ZIMMER
At 7 (the Next Wave Festival Gala) and Thursday through Saturday at 7:30, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.636.4100
Even if you can't help thinking how nice they'd look in the foyer, Oelbaum's botanical photographs are too quirky, too clever, and too flat-out beautiful to dismiss as merely decorative. The two series heredelicate cyanotypes of live plants and sepia-toned Polaroid studies of specimens pressed into a 19th-century journaldemonstrate a true flair for abstracted composition. In one image, the curve of a stem, several truncated petals, and a tiny tangle of roots strike a perfect, skewed balance. ALETTI
Through November 22, Hirschl & Adler Modern, 21 East 70th Street, 212.535.8810
Ladies, meet Atmosphere's Sean "Slug" Daley, emotional consultant. He'll be sorting out his issuesand yoursthrough a series of confessional raps that scrape the dignity away from the throbbing hurt, letting it pulse free. Cue swooning. With the Micranots, whose MC I Self Divine recalls the era when rappers could be, as a friend of mine once put it, pro-black and fresh. Also with Oddjobs. CARAMANICA
At 8, S.O.B.'s, 204 Varick Street, 212.243.4940
Different as they are, this frequently sublime piano trio, with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, has taken over the slot vacated by Tommy Flanagan as the most reliably imaginative, swinging, andrepertory-wisesurprising combo on the club circuit, one that goes down easy enough to suit the timorous while delivering complex, interactive originality. GIDDINS
Through Sunday at 9 and 11, Friday and Saturday also at 12:30 a.m., Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 212.255.4037
'I AM MY OWN WIFE'
The improbable life of "Charlotte von Mahlsdorf," transvestite survivor of multiple German tyrannies, is the topic of Doug Wright's cunning one-person play, now moved to Broadway from its applause-rousing gig at Playwrights Horizons last summer. In an earth-shattering display of good sense, its commercial producers have retained Obie winner Jefferson Mays, whose riveting performance triggered the piece's success, instead of replacing him with a talent-free TV name. Will wonders never cease? FEINGOLD
Previews begin today, opens December 3, Lyceum Theatre, Broadway and 45th Street, 212.239.6200
'LOVE FROM JUDY'
American songwriter Hugh Martin (best known for supplying Judy Garland with showstoppers in Meet Me in St. Louis) teamed up with Brit operetta librettist Eric Maschwitz for this 1952 London hit, based on Jean Webster's candied 1920s novel Daddy Long Legs; New York never saw it, because MGM was readying a movie version of the same work. Mel Miller's "Musicals Tonight!" repairs the omission with this staged concert version. FEINGOLD
Through November 23, 14th Street YMHA, 344 East 14th Street, 212.344.5620
Never released here, Lars von Trier's 1987 exercise in low-budget crypto-verité has a pleasingly slapdash, underground quality that recalls early Fassbinder even as it exudes von Trier's characteristic prankster snarkiness. Actually, Epidemic is among his best moviesgiving full vent to his obsessions with cinematic purity, behavioral acting, Udo Kier, hospitals, and, most spectacularly, the notion of cinema as hypnosis. HOBERMAN
Through November 19, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212.505.5181
'MOSES AND ARON'
The famously difficultand difficult to stageArnold Schoenberg opera receives what could be its definitive production in this 1975 musical film, sung live on location, under the rigorous direction of the intractable Jean-Marie Straub and Danielle Huillet. Rarely revived, it's screening as part of the show "Schoenberg, Kandinsky, and the Blue Rider." HOBERMAN
At 6, Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue, 212.423.3200
The duo called Gillian Welch belongs here, delivering modern saloon songs of the troublesome facts of life, country time travelers discovering that rock sound for the first time. When this conceit works bestoften when David Rawlings's picking just flowsthey can shake you. Those who take to Welch as a refined, snoozola NPR act can catch them at Town Hall, but may stir them by rattling the jewelry. MAZOR
At 8, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 212.533.2111; Friday at 8, Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, 212.840.2824
'NEVER GONNA DANCE'
What, a new Broadway score by Jerome Kern? Well, you've heard most of the songs in 1930s films, especially Swing Time, but Kern sung and danced live might be well worth your while. The new script is by Jeffrey Hatcher, a playwright of interest; Rent's Michael Greif directs. The cast of youngsters with track records boasts such appealing figures as Karen Ziemba and Peter Bartlett. FEINGOLD
In previews, opens December 4, Broadhurst Theatre, Broadway and 44th Street, 212.239.6200
'THE LOWER EAST SIDE BIOGRAPHY PROJECT'
For oral history and against the "tide of cultural amnesia," performance artist Penny Arcade has been taping interviews with a variety of veteran downtown bohos and artists. She'll be on hand to introduce her video biographies of actor-filmmaker Taylor Mead and filmmaker-organizer-archivist Jonas Mekas (as well as celebrating the birthday of their sometime peer Jack Smith). HOBERMAN