Art-book publisher powerHouse Books makes good on its promise to commandeer much of its Brooklyn neighborhood, DUMBO, for an impressively ambitious event: the New York Photo Festival. Teaming up with the VII Photo Agency, powerHouse has corralled 12 different spaces on eight city blocks for what should be a photography lover's nirvana. The four-day event includes workshops, live performances, seminars, slide shows, and an awards ceremony. Curated by Martin Parr (Magnum), Kathy Ryan (New York Times Magazine picture editor), Lesley A. Martin (the Aperture Foundation), and Tim Barber (TinyVices.com), the festival will announce winners in categories ranging from editorial, unpublished, and multimedia to advertising, personal, fashion, and more. At 10 a.m. through May 18, Water Street and New Dock Street, DUMBO, nyphotofestival.com, $15 ARACELI CRUZ
GAY FOR PLAY
Back-to-back drama fest
Welcoming the imminent convergence of theater-festival season and gay-pride season is the second annual GAYFEST NYC, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman's month of new gay-themed plays. Life changes and historical invocations are the big themes this year: The festival opens with Edward the King by David Brendan Hopes, about the 14th-century English monarch whose life is changed when he meets Piers Gaveston, first Earl of Cornwall, in a dirty alley. Brian Dykstra's play, Spill the Wine, is the second main-stage production, in which a woman discovers her attraction to other women after being diagnosed with a fatal disease. Other works by Philip Gerson, Tim O'Leary, and Steve Hayes round out the festival, which runs through June 15. At 8, TBG Arts Center, 312 West 36th Street, 212-352-3101, gayfestnyc.com, $18 SHARYN JACKSON
Negative Approach reunite
Of all the early, first-wave hardcore bands—Minor Threat, Black Flag, Bad Brains—Negative Approach were by far the most terrifying. Their ugly, self-titled, regressive 1982 debut hasn't mellowed with age: The record's 10 songs remain an abrasive, unsettling artifact from an era when the genre was deemed unsalvageably harsh. While most every other act from that moment has since been assimilated into the malls and high-school lockers of modern pop culture, NA remain irredeemable: When their recent reunion tour came to New York, it was as part of last year's marginal No Fun Fest, the annual Brooklyn demonic-noise gathering. John Brannon, the band's vocalist, is still a grunting, growling, severely intimidating presence, even after twenty-some years. Shout for "Nothing," on which a teenage Brannon once howled, "I'm running out of time!" Who knew this band would get so much of it? At 9, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-230-0236, $12–$15 ZACH BARON
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.