SUE DE BEER A season or so ago, she collaborated with Laura Parnes on “Heidi II,” a grotesquely engrossing riposte to Paul McCarthy from a girlish point of view. Having each gone solo, both she and Parnes (whose recent film updated Dante’s Inferno) are still exploring the transformation of childhood innocence into teen evil. “Hans und Grete,” De Beer’s two-channel video installation (with shag rug and plush animal seating) takes off not from the fairy tale but from Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhoff’s aliases. Luring us into the secret subcultures of disaffected kids, it weaves together the psychology and pathology of aspiring rockers, goth vixens, and schoolboy shooters. THROUGH SATURDAY, Postmasters, 459 West 19th Street, 212-727-3323. (Levin)

RACHEL WHITEREAD As pale as a neoclassical monument and as irrational as a stairway in a dream, her 22-foot-high plaster cast of a staircase is not only a technical feat?it’s the best thing she’s done in some time. Steep, narrow, bearing evidence of rusty metal treads, it ascends to the skylight and splays out at the base into two sideways chunks, as if collapsing under its own verticality. As with all her work, the blocky volume doesn’t really replicate anything except sublime, solidified, negative space. Apart from the cracks, the floor piece, cast in aluminum from an existing tiled floor, is a dead ringer for a Carl Andre. THROUGH MARCH 29, Luhring Augustine, 531 West 24th Street, 212-206-9100. (Levin)


BALLET TECH Eliot Feld’s troupe welcomes the indomitable Mikhail Baryshnikov, performing Feld’s new solo Mr XYZ Saturday night and Sunday, as well as next Wednesday. Scheduled on the same bill is last season’s appealing Lincoln Portrait, which incorporates 43 community members (look for our own Kate Mattingly on Saturday) as well as 13 members of this young company. Other premieres during the five-week season include French Overtures to Rameau, and Pianola: Indigo to Conlon Nancarrow. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AND TUESDAY AT 8, SUNDAY AT 2, THROUGH APRIL 13, Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 212-242-0800. (Zimmer)

’92 ON 42: HARKNESS DANCE PROJECT AT THE DUKE’ The 92nd Street Y’s ninth annual modern dance festival, featuring five troupes headed by diverse mid-career choreographers, kicks off this week with Heidi Latsky Dance in the world premiere of Bound. Latsky, a longtime diva with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, bases her timely, evening-length embodiment of hatred on The Reader, a novel by German writer Bernard Schlink dealing with the aftermath of World War II. Marty Beller and Randall Woolf contribute a commissioned score. WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, AND SATURDAY AT 8, SUNDAY AT 2 AND 7, the Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street, 212-415-5552. (Zimmer)


‘NICHOLAS RAY, WRIT LARGE’ The young Jean-Luc Godard once maintained that if the cinema had to be reinvented from scratch, only Nicholas Ray would seem qualified to do so. Once the most controversial of ’50s auteurs, Ray continues to inspire respect for his melodramatic pyrotechnics, florid Cinemascope stylizations, and neurotic protagonists. Opening with a new print of his 1958 mob film Party Girl, this comprehensive retro includes a number of rare and newly restored prints. THURSDAY, THROUGH APRIL 12, MOMA at the Gramercy, 127 East 23rd Street, 212-777-4900. (Hoberman)

‘PLATFORM’ One of the most substantial movies of the past decade finally gets a theatrical run. A superbly detached 155-minute epic that meditates on the changes of the 1980s through the mutation of the Fenyang Peasant Culture Group into the All Star Rock and Breakdance Electronic Band, Jia Zhangke’s second feature put him at the forefront of current Chinese cinema. With its objective compositions, Platform looks like a documentary but finds subtle ways to transform the world into a stage. The play of the proscenium against the filmmaker’s taste for unmediated reality is fascinating: It’s Pop Art as history. OPENS FRIDAY, Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, 212-924-3363. (Hoberman)

‘SECRET HONOR’ Perhaps the greatest of all Nixon movies, as well as a worthy knockoff of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, Robert Altman’s filmed version of Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone’s one-character play is a self-proclaimed “political myth.” Surrounded by monitors and hitting the Chivas, the post-Watergate Nixon (Philip Baker Hall) engages in a frantic, free-associative monologue?a ranting recapitulation of Nixon’s entire career, addressed to a portrait of Henry Kissinger. The film is basically one long compelling expletive?and the director himself promises to be on hand to explicate. FRIDAY, Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd Street, at Avenue A, 212-254-3300. (Hoberman)

‘SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT’ A hotbed of avant-garde activity in the late ’60s and early ’70s, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative is celebrated in this knotty, energetic six-show retro of underground, double-screen, “structural/materialist,” and otherwise unclassifiable work. THROUGH MONDAY, Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue, 212-505-5181; MONDAY AT 8, Ocularis, 70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 718-388-8713. (Hoberman)


THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND This venerable 30-plus-year institution roll into Gotham for their annual multiple-night stand known as “Peakin’ at the Beacon.” As purveyors of electrified Southern Gothic, good-time boogie, and wistful countrified delicacies, the Brothers never disappoint. While the heart of the band Jaimoe dazzles amid the rhythm section, Les Brers’ namesake Gregg Allman continues to extend the expressive possibilities of blues vocals. Armed with a front line of Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks on twin leads, this legendary ensemble will spur you to kneel down and catch a glimpse of the eternal. THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY AND MONDAY AND TUESDAY AT 8, THROUGH MARCH 30, Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, 212-307-7171. (Crazy Horse)

BUJU BANTON & WAYNE WONDER Buju and Wonder burst on the early-’90s JA scene to stretch reggae’s notions of yang and yin. It’s no surprise that Wonder, the consummate dancehall singer, has a not so secret alter ego as DJ Surprize. “No Letting Go,” his current crossover smash, showcases Wonder’s gift for parsing melodic sweetness into precision beats. Buju’s yang initially established him as dancehall’s consummate heavyweight rhymer, but he took on Marley’s roots-singer mantle with ’95’s Til Shiloh. Friends for Life, his latest CD, proves once again that whether chanting praises unto gals or singing hallelujahs unto Jah, Buju rules. THURSDAY AT 7, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, 212-777-6800. (Oumano)

THE BELLRAYS+WIDE RIGHT Attack of the 50-Foot Frontwomen! Make room for the BellRays’ Lisa Kekaula and Wide Right’s Leah Archibald, two brassy, loudmouthed ladies leading their riff-powered armies into the fray. The BellRays are a veteran “maximum rock-‘n’-soul” (their words) outfit currently enjoying well-deserved hype in the U.K. Wide Right, along with the Stone Coyotes, are pioneers of a burgeoning scene of middle-aged moms and dads playing fierce bar-band rock. It’s gonna be huge?you heard it here first. With EDP. (The Bellrays also play Saturday at the Mercury Lounge.) TUESDAY AT 8:30, Southpaw, 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-230-0236. (Phillips)

CHIEFTAINS Once again, your Blarney-stoned Feast of San Patricio can bloody well be spent quaffin’ green pints and gettin’ jiggy with the sons of Paddy Moloney’s pipes, whose 2002 best-of CD imbibed Marley and salsa and “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and Joni Mitchell crooning about a wayward-gals home named after Mary Magdalene, and whose newer Down the Old Plank Road deftly revives old-timey barndance-and-doom classics (“Sally Goodin,” “Dark as a Dungeon,” a 10-minute “Give the Fiddler a Dram”) with a gigantic if oft stodgy guest roster of Nashville celebrities. SATURDAY AT 8, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey, 888-466-5722; MONDAY AT 8, Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 212-LINCOLN. (Eddy)

ROY HAYNES One of the handful of surviving bop masters still playing at the top of their game, Haynes will celebrate his 78th birthday this week, which ought to interest medical science?a drummer who continues to drive with the same energy and invention that made his initial reputation, when he worked with a succession of masters, including Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, and John Coltrane. Joshua Redman will be at his side all week, in a quartet that also includes Scott Colley and Dave Kikosky, the pianist Haynes introduced several years ago. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT 8 AND 10:30, Blue Note, 131 West 3rd Street, 212-475-8592. (Giddins)

JAZZ COMPOSERS COLLECTIVE The group’s third annual festival of bands drawn from an association that began as a Herbie Nichols repertory project and continues to build a large and impressive body of work. Trumpet player Ron Horton leads a quartet (with Tony Malaby) and pianist Frank Kimbrough a trio on Wednesday; Kimbrough returns with the trio and a duet with vibist Joe Locke on Thursday; the Nichols Project and Ben Allison’s Peace Pipe make for a phat bill on Friday, as does the Nichols group and Ted Nash’s Still Evolved (with Marcus Printup) on Saturday; and Michael Blake winds things up with the 16-piece Eulipion Orchestra on Sunday. The drummer for much of it is Matt Wilson, spelled by Michael Sarin and Jeff Ballard. WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY AT 7:30 AND 9:30, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ALSO AT 11:30, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, 212-576-2232. (Giddins)

PIGFACE+MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT So even leather-clad industrial rockers are not immune to nostalgia. Thrill Kill Kult are like they always were, Chuck Manson’s children, plundering and proselytizing with seemingly uncontrollable frenzy. But here’s the dirty little secret: Pigface, the touring refugee camp of Wax Trax alums, are bizarrely vital, their live shows a dark, scourging musical circus that provide plenty of sonic theater. Also: Bile. TUESDAY AT 7:30, B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, 237 West 42nd Street, 212-307-7171. (Patel)

THE ROOTS+CODY CHESNUTT Just when another crew would have started coasting toward a safe and modestly profitable culthood, the Roots revved up their ambitions and challenged their audience by adding a guitarist to their hip-hop band and going to work on their songwriting. Live, they should have an edge. Spurring them on will be a garrulous alt-r&ber who’s still figuring out how to make a profit on culthood, and is off to a running start with the best song on the Roots’ Phrenology. FRIDAY AT 7:30, Roseland, 239 West 52nd Street, 212-247-0200. (Christgau)

RÖYKSOPP Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge are basically Norway’s answer to the French band Air?back before Air got boring, at least. Which is to say they turn flimsy Eurodisco into chill-out instrumentals, but they’re still beloved by trendy ravers who dismiss Eurodisco as cheese, which only makes them funnier. Their cutest toon sounds like a tugboat; their prettiest like Bobby Vinton. Their hooks deserve to scare Sigur Rós back to Iceland. MONDAY AT 8, Irving Plaza, 17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800. (Eddy)


ZWELETHU MTHETHWA The South African photographer’s big color photos of people posed in their makeshift homes on the outskirts of Cape Town recall Walker Evans’s famous images of sharecroppers in their shacks. But instead of yellowing newspapers, Mthethwa’s subjects have lined their walls with glossy ads and product labels whose repeated patterns add an eye-popping Warholian zing to otherwise austere interiors. As a result, these domestic settings read as inventive rather than impoverished, and their inhabitants, posed simply amid their neatly ordered belongings, look like the proud artists of idiosyncratic installations. THROUGH MARCH 15, Jack Shainman Gallery, 513 West 20th Street, 212-645-1701. (Aletti)

SUSAN WIDES Wides’s terrific new photos of spiders and their webs look like a combination of automatic drawing and scientific investigation. Made outdoors under natural light (much of which bounces around the frame in bright prismatic bars) but before midnight blue backdrops, the pictures play nature against artifice without any unnecessary polemics. Set in their glistening nets, the spiders appear jewel-like or sinister (depending on your arachnid comfort level), but the work is utterly seductive. Ready-made abstraction should always be this cool. THROUGH MARCH 15, Kim Foster Gallery, 529 West 20th Street, 212-229-0044. (Aletti)


‘AVENUE Q’ Theater, they say, is where you exorcise the demons of your childhood. The new generation of musical-theater writers represented by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx, and Jeff Whitty, at least according to advance rumor, feels the urgent need to exorcise Sesame Street. That, anyway, is the matrix of their new satirical review aimed at twentysomethings. Rumor says it’s funny, too. Jason Moore directs the not yet famous cast, with choreography by Ken Roberson and puppetry by Rick Lyons. IN PREVIEWS, OPENS MARCH 19, Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th Street, 212-239-6200. (Feingold)

‘FUCKING A’ Suzan-Lori Parks’s superb In the Blood received some sniffy reviews a few years back; maybe this new work, which takes a different tack while spinning off the same distant source (Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter), will be more to the sniffers’ liking, especially since Parks acquired extra creds in between by winning the Pulitzer Prize for Topdog/Underdog. Michael Greif directs; the emphatically not-shabby cast includes S. Epatha Merkerson, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Topdog‘s Mos Def. IN PREVIEWS, OPENS SUNDAY, Joseph Papp Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, 212-239-6200. (Feingold)

‘THE PLEASURE MAN’ The heterosexual double entendres in Sex got playwright-actress Mae West a week on Rikers Island; transvestism got her homophile work The Drag shut down in Bayonne. Her third play, in which the Don Juanish hero has inclinations toward both genders, is less well- known because it managed to fight the vice cops to a draw, being raided after two of its three performances but suffering no legal consequences. Elyse Singer, who revived Sex not long ago, is going West again with this staged reading?the play’s first public showing in 75 years?as a fundraiser for her company, Hourglass Group. Downtown flamboyances Charles Busch and David Drake will be among those pleasant. MONDAY AT 8, Culture Project, 45 Bleecker Street, 212-459-8122. (Feingold)

‘ZANNA DON’T’ The heroine of Tim Acito and Alexander Dinelaris’s musical is a teenage matchmaker with magical powers, one of which is apparently inducing, in Off-Off audiences, an enthusiasm that conquers all objections to its punning title. The magical result is its transfer to a commercial Off-Broadway run of Devanand Janki’s production. Apart from one of the actors being named Zeus, which suggests even more magical powers, the names involved are all unfamiliar, traditionally a good omen. IN PREVIEWS, OPENS MARCH 20, John Houseman Theatre, 450 West 42nd Street, 212-239-6200. (Feingold)


‘STANLEY KUNITZ ON PAUL CELAN AND THE POETRY OF THE HOLOCAUST’ Paul Celan, who went “toward language with his very being,” is as much the astonishing poet of language’s difficulty as a great writer of the Holocaust, which he survived while his parents did not. His poems are gem-like songs of loss at least half ready to lose themselves. Galway Kinnell introduces. THURSDAY AT 7, Greenberg Lounge at New York University, 40 Washington Square South, 212-998-8816. (Clover)

EDMUND WHITE+JOYCE CAROL OATES+KIM SOOJA Linda Yablonsky is back in the Kitchen to serve the final course in this year’s “Spotlight Readings” series. In curating this evening of aural and visual stimuli, she’s assembled a salon of sorts, with works from literary siren Joyce Carol Oates, cultural critic and flaneur extraordinaire Edmund White, and video artist Kim Sooja, who will screen work with both video and lighting elements. TUESDAY AT 7, the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 212-255-5793. (Snow)

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