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
At 8, Millennium, 66 East 4th Street, 212.673.0090
MOLOTOV+EL GRAN SILENCIO+RABANES
Here we have three modern rock bands from Latin America packaged for easy consumption. With its macho sing-along choruses and grinding power chords, Molotov sound like a Mexican beer commercial. El Gran Silencio skillfully integrate Mexican folk styles and Colombia's cumbia rhythms, as well as ska and reggae. Panama's affable and equally diverse Rabanes lighten the load with some goofy pop flavor. With Yerba Buena and Diestra. HENDRICKSON
At 6:30, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, 212.485.1534
Usually a summer occasion, this is a two-night fall festival that combines avant-jazz and dance, beginning at 8 and including such musical highlights as William Parker's trio and Patricial Nicholson's dance troupe on Friday at 9; and the trumpet duo of Roy Campbell and Baikida Carroll on Saturday at 8:30, and two key violinists, Billy Bang on Friday at 10 and Leroy Jenkins on Saturday at 9. It's a bargaingo early, stay late. GIDDINS
Today and Saturday at 8, the Center, 268 Mulberry Street, 845.986.1677
Using his trademark triptych format and the star presence of Melvin Van Peebles (in person and in wax), Julien does a brainy three-screen, 11-minute, 16-mm de- and reconstruction in which "blaxploitation films meet the museum." A dissonant para-narrative of past and future, reality and simulation, tedium and sudden violence, Baltimore has a taut visceral and formal elegance. LEVIN
Through December 14, Metro Pictures, 519 West 24th Street, 212.206.7100
Although Johan has removed his usual alien children from these 14 new photographs, their presence pervades the bizarre environments that remain. Suggesting an alarming synthesis of early Gregory Crewdson and late Anthony Goicolea, these obsessively fabricated sites have the skewed logic and creepy surprise of horror-film sets. A cross of grimy teddy bears, a jeweled spider web, pine trees crawling with furry creaturesonce you enter Johan's dream world, there's no going back. ALETTI
Through December 6, Yossi Milo Gallery, 552 West 24th Street, 212.414.0370
They've struggled with purism and side projects and love-gone-band and what-does-it-all-mean only to return as what they were when they broke through eight years ago now: as tuneful and passionate a punk band as this nation has seen since the Ramones. Go tell 'em so. They need to hear it. CHRISTGAU
At 6:45, Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd Street, 212.247.0200
'CAROLINE OR CHANGE'
A housemaid's-eye-view of history, circa 1963, is the core of this new musical by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori. Angels in America meets Thoroughly Modern Millie? Whether fusion or collision is the result, director George C. Wolfe's cast, headed by the glorious Tonya Pinkins in the title role, should provide plenty of excitement. FEINGOLD
In previews, opens November 30, Joseph Papp Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, 212.239.6200
Strung from ropes and sticks as if awaiting a puppeteer, Chu's big, chunky chainsawed wood, wire, and fabric marionettes (one with its own hand puppet, another with a doll on a leash) have a weird plasticity, a fine presence, and a sense of medieval wonder. The comical splay-legged monster is fabulous. And the single landscape marionette is a nice touch. LEVIN
Through December 20, 303 Gallery, 525 West 22nd Street, 212.255.1121
CLOUD GATE DANCE THEATRE OF TAIWAN
Lin Hwai-min's exquisitely trained ensemble, the oldest contemporary dance troupe in the Chinese-speaking world, returns for its third Next Wave appearance with Moon Water; as usual, the sky over the stage will open up. He juxtaposes tai chi movement with Bach cello suites, exploring the nature of illusion for 70 breathtaking minutes. ZIMMER
At 7:30, and November 20 through 22, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.636.4100
JOE HENRY+AMY RIGBY
An imaginative pairing . . . Rigby makes the everyday seem fresh and charmingly strange; Henry makes the strange and unexpected feel oddly familiar and comfortable. He was arguably the most original and effective voice the alternative-country scare produced, but ran for his musical life from modern twang to free experimentation; the famously urban Ms. Rigby moved to Nashville, took to the musicians, and was just named best local songwriter there. Ya never know. Joe Henry also plays Thursday at Joe's Pub (see the music listings). MAZOR
At 8, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718.230.0236
THE WHITE STRIPES
For a low-tech quasi-"roots" boogie duo, they sure do feed the high-tech stream: The video of Kate Moss pole-dancing to their Bacharach cover is the bandwidth-eater, but Michel Gondry's clip for "The Hardest Button to Button" is the coolest thing since, uh, the one he did for "Fell in Love With a Girl." In any case, "I saw them when" bragging rights officially end this December. WOLK
At 6:45, through November 20, Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd Street, 212.247.0200
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.