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a selective listing of recommended cultural and community events

compiled by max a. goldstein

friday, june 25

salsa lessons­­­­­-learn to shine on the dance floor to latin beats. no partner is necessary at the new york society for ethical culture's "no excuse salsa lessons," for ages 18 and up. new york society for ethical culture, 2 w. 64th st., 212-874-5210, x113; 7 p.m., $20.

good value-short on cash? an upper west side weekend fair offers everything for free, from haircuts to dinners to dance classes. tonight, the portrait and scrapbook boutique portrait bug offers free pictures for any occasion (dating profile pictures, family portraits, etc.), a value of $25 or more. other participating stores include the little shop of crafts, blondi's hair salon, the corner, rita's and elia hair salon. for more information about the "free-for-all" weekend, call 917-806-4072 or visit portrait bug, 2466 broadway, 212-600-4457; 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., free.

museum movie-psychic jeffrey wands introduces don't look now (1973). the film tells the story of a couple who try to recover from the death of their daughter and end up communicating with worlds beyond. the british film, directed by nicholas roeg, is the latest installment in the museum's remember you will die: death across cultures exhibition. wands hosts the radio show psychic sundays, and has made many television appearances. rubin museum of art, 150 w. 17th st., 212-650-5000, x344; 9:30 p.m., free with $7 bar minimum.

big apple samurai-check out an exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of a visit from more than 70 japanese samurai, six years after commodore matthew perry compelled the nation to open its ports to the united states. samurai in new york: the first japanese delegation, 1860 includes rare 19th-century photographs, ephemera related to the visit, newspaper accounts and works of art and adornment revealing japanese influence. through oct. 11. museum of the city of new york, 1220 fifth ave., 212-534-1672; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $6 to $10.

saturday, june 26

gallery tour-new york gallery tours offers a tour of seven chelsea galleries. the tour showcases this month's most fascinating exhibits in painting, sculpture, electronic media and photography. the tour is led by rafael risemberg, ph.d. meet at 526 w. 26th st., 212-946-1548; 1 p.m., $20.

salsa party-the group you should be dancing presents "swing n' salsa," a swing and salsa dance party at club 412. the matt ray string quartet performs in the swing room, while martin vincentes y su rico timbao perform in the latin room. lessons are available before the dance party begins. club 412, 412 eighth ave., 4th floor, 212-244-0011; 7 p.m., $10 to $18.

crafty-a paint-a-thon for adults and children takes place at little shop of crafts. drop by for an evening of wood and plaster painting, beading and more at the east side (431 e. 73rd st., 212-717-6636) and west side (711 amsterdam ave., 212-531-2723) locations. 7 to 9 p.m., free.

kids dance-friends of the high line hosts three creative classes for kids. the classes emphasize dance through the use of spontaneous, innovative and unique body movements under the instruction of choreographer lydia bell. the class is open to kids 8 and up and accompanying adults. chelsea market passage, high-line park and west 14th st., register at; 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., free.

operatic-a performance of la fancuilla del west takes place at the inwood house. the performance is directed by ah ram lee and anne de fiogls and conducted by robert butts. inwood house, 320 e. 82nd st., 212-861-440; 7 p.m., $20 to $35.

sunday, june 27

sound garden-the west side community garden continues its concert series with a performance by sweet plantain, a classical latin string quartet. west side community garden, west 89th street between columbus and amsterdam avenues,; 6 p.m., free.

monday, june 28

revamped kleban-amas musical theatre presents a free staged reading of a new musical, saving the muse. originally titled gallery, the piece was developed in the mid-1980s as an art-focused revue of new songs by edward kleban (lyricist, a chorus line). after an initial workshop, the project was shelved and kleban died before he returned to it. linda kline (a class act) has reorganized the songs and drafted a book that sets them in a museum under financial threat. featuring cindy cheung, dee hoty and harris duran, and directed by paul wolfson. ripley-grier studios, 520 eighth ave., 212-563-2565; 6 p.m., free.

tuesday, june 29

east vs. west-lincoln center's first midsummer night swing of the season features a battle of the bands between the east coast george gee orchestra and the west coast bill elliot swing orchestra. the month-long festival features artists from a variety of genres, including salsa and swing music, and audience dancing. dance lessons at 6:30 p.m., live music from 7:30 to 10 p.m. lincoln center's damrosch park, west 62nd street between columbus and amsterdam avenues, 212-721-6500; 6:30 p.m., $17.

plaza music-the series cool music for warm summer days kicks off with a performance of porgy and bess, by the harlem jubilee singers. the series, now in its 31st season, is presented by the rudin family. plaza area of 345 park ave., 212-407-2400; 12:30 p.m., free.

wednesday, june 30

grease in the park-rydell high hits the upper west side as grease opens summer on the hudson's "movies under the stars" series. good girl sandy and greaser danny fell in love over the summer. but when they unexpectedly discover they're now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance? viewers are encouraged to dress as their favorite character. the series screens movies every wednesday night for the next seven weeks. pier one, west 70th street and riverside park, 212-408-0219; 8:30 p.m., free.

thursday, july 1

new jazz-the bmi jazz composers workshop, a creative forum for musical exploration and development, highlights the best new jazz compositions of the past year at its 22nd annual summer showcase concert. the concert features a performance by the bmi/new york jazz orchestra. christ and st. stephen's church, 120 w. 69th st., 212-220-3000; 7:30 p.m., free.

jewish southern fiddle-the jewish museum's summernights concert series returns with margot leverett and the klezmer mountain boys. the ensemble combines southern fiddle tunes with eastern european klezmer melodies in the first installment of the three-concert summer series. the jewish musuem, 1109 fifth ave., 212-423-3337; 7:30 p.m., $12 to $15.

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