V-Day Invasion! Last weekend we had a female-empowerment-fest at Madison Square Garden, with a splashy benefit reading by a slew of B-actresses of that profoundly overextended “sensation,” The Vagina Monologues, which The New York Times can’t help writing about because it’s the only politically correct way for their writers to make “ribald” references …. And so today we get the anti-feminist backlash, as Bride’s magazine stages a profoundly tacky “Marry Me Day” in Times Square. Live proposals on the big Astrovision screen! “For some people, it’s not the way they want to get proposed to,” said a publicist. “But for others, the more watching, the better.” It’s enough to make Fashion Week look positively deep by comparison. And speaking of that and anorexia: Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Catherine Malandrino-she who recently saddled up some cowboy chic-all show today…. Question for overwrought conspiracy theorists: Is there a link between Madonna’s cowboy garb in her “Don’t Tell Me” video and the Bush White House?
[Marry Me Day, Island in Times Square, 12:30 p.m., by invitation only, arrive by noon to secure V.I.P. credentials, 286-7053; Ralph Lauren, 387 West Broadway, 10 a.m., 434-8000; Michael Kors, tent at Bryant Park, 2 p.m., by invitation only, 221-1950; Catherine Malandrino, studio at Bryant Park, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 840-0106.]
Sticky balls! If your special “someone”-or “someones”- is (or are) out of town, and you don’t want to spend the evening on the couch alone with the cat nibbling bon-bons and watching the Barbra Streisand concert, all is not lost! Option 1: the “Red Ball,” which raises money to fight liver and pancreatic diseases and abused children, with the most motley assortment of co-chairs we’ve ever seen: Diana(“Michael’s Ex”)Douglas Darrid, Barry (“Just Call Me Mr. Diane Von Furstenberg”) Diller, suave baseball fellow Keith Hernandez, wee socialite Casey Johnson, songwriter and fun tabloid cover girl Denise Rich and Chita Rivera (a dancer? a banana?). What it’ll cost ya: $750, minimum. Option 2: If you’re beginning to feel that recession pinch, apply the Guggenheimlich mane-uver! Yes, the museum is throwing a “Day Ball” to benefit … itself! Your $150 at the door gets you “swanky sweets” catered by Restaurant Associates, the same outfit that runs the Condé Nast cafeteria-or, as pretentious types put it, the “commissary” or the “commish.” On second thought, the couch is beginning to look pretty good ….
[Red Ball, Grand Ballroom, Waldorf-Astoria, 6:30 p.m. cocktails, dinner and dancing to follow, 753-3999; Guggenheim Love Affair, Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, 8 p.m., 423-3534.]
More proof that once-seamy Manhattan is morphing into a nice college town: today, a 30,000-square-foot branch of the Austin, Texas–based Whole Foods Market opens in Chelsea, with all the natural and organic junk you can stuff down your greedy gullet. Alas, you missed the opening party two days ago (with celebrity space cadets William Baldwin and Serena Altschul), but today the nice folks from Stonyfield Farms hand out a consolation prize: free yogurt! Burp. If you’re not the eating kind, hit Fashion Week’s “hipster” (a.k.a. $200 jeans) high points: Helmut Lang, Daryl K.
[Whole Foods Market, Seventh Avenue between 24th and 25th streets, 8 a.m., 924-5969; Helmut Lang, 1 p.m., location to be announced, by invitation only, Daryl K., 8 p.m., location to be announced, by invitation only, prank their snobby stores at 334-1014 and 674-5316, respectively.]
Three magazines you would never buy but might swipe off the Stairmaster in a moment of profound boredom have parties ce soir …. If you’re a Yale grad-kinda stiff, ambisexual, majored in American Studies-crash a reception for Fareed Zakaria, the new editor of Newsweek International, held at Top of the Week-the next Moomba, perhaps? Meanwhile, at Saks, spunky New York Times Magazine style editor Amy Spindler co-hosts a party for ceaselessly hyped designer Miguel Adrover (that guy who turned a Burberry raincoat inside out, and the entire fashion pack rolled over like whipped dogs). If you’re a trust-funded literary brat, head to your favorite quartier, the “edgy” Lower East Side, where Open City is charging eight bucks for one drink and its 12th issue-hey wait, that’s not free! Thomas Beller alert goes to DEFCON 2.
[Newsweek, Top of the Week, 251 West 57th Street, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only, 445-5325; Miguel Adrover, Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 940-4242; Open City, Luna Lounge, 171 Ludlow Street, 7 p.m., 625-9048.]
Jazz-ercise: You know that wrestling match over the remote control you have with your boyfriend every Wednesday (you want to watch Temptation Island, he wants to watch that never-ending, “virtuous” documentary, Ken Burns’ Jazz)? Tell your man there’s a reception at Chartwell Booksellers, where they’re selling the photos they used in the film for $700-$2,700 a pop, and hand him your Metrocard. But do not-do not-lend him the money to buy one of the damn photos.
[Chartwell Booksellers, 55 East 52nd Street, 6 p.m., 308-0643.]
Eine Klein Nachtmusik? Fashion Week shudders to a close, perhaps literally, as hollow-eyed mini-socialite Nikki Hilton and Last Tango in Paris star Maria Schneider “strut” the catwalk for obscure designer Lloyd Klein (bring butter!). This is clearly a desperate bid to steal attention from that other Klein, Calvin, who is taking a break from hanging around the Mercer Hotel lobby in jeans and T-shirt to show his stuff today as well.
[Lloyd Klein, studio, Bryant Park, Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets, 2 p.m., by invitation only, 643-4810; Calvin Klein, 450 West 15th Street, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 292-9793.]
Weekend with the kids? You are set-load up on latte and take the Dalton-bound brats to a bright and early performance of David Mamet’s Revenge of the Space Pandas-yes, the terse playwright with a penchant for four-letter words and sticking his current wife in his movies (to questionable effect) also writes for the kiddies! The plot: Protagonist Binky Rudich invents a clock which allows him to travel through space and time; he and his best friends, Vivian and Bob the Sheep, spin off the earth and land on the planet Crestview, which is ruled by the Evil George Topax and his army of Space Pandas. Sounds a bit like Pigs in Space meets House of Games. Once you’ve got the tykes hopped up on chocolate bars, drag them to see the babe ballerina Ursula Prenzlau in Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, kind of a Cliffs Notes of a real ballet. Do not-do not-ask the kids, “Wouldn’t it be nice if Daddy married a ballerina? Wouldn’t you like that?”
[Revenge of the Space Pandas, Atlantic Theater Company, 336 West 20th Street, 10:30 a.m., 691-5919; Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, 1 and 6 p.m., 355-6160.]
Make your kids some organic pancakes and then take them to a tribute to the late poet Gwendolyn Brooks out in verdant Park Slope-their idea of “the country.” Special guest Nikki Giovanni offers fodder for future Brown applications ….
[Central Library, Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, 2 p.m., 718-230-2767.]
Babe ballerinas, part 2: February is ballet month! It’s like all the anorexia of Fashion Week has to find another outlet …. Kirov grad Nadia Veselova-Tencer, who migrated in 1979 to … Canada? (yes, we know Russia was grim in the late 70’s-but could it have been that grim?) … directs Stars of the 21st Century, an international ballet gala featuring Bernice Coppieters from the Ballet de Monte-Carlo, Anna Antonicheva from the Bolshoi and Cyril Pierre from the San Francisco Ballet; they’ll be doing their little tragic black-swan numbers. (We think ballet’s better than thea-tuh; at least you don’t really have to concentrate and laugh in the right moments … you can be a passive audience, and just zone out and enjoy the spectacle of fluttering tulle and throbbing packages …)
[New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, 63rd Street and Columbus Avenue, 7:30 p.m., 870-5570.]
Byrne, baby, Byrne! No, not the haunted, dusky sex object Gabriel Byrne, sadly…. Read on, dear reader: Brazilian artist Vik Muniz socks New York with a triple punch: a) a “public art project” called Clouds (a plane will draw a series of clouds over the Manhattan skyline, very North by Northwest); b) an exhibit at the Whitney Museum called The Things Themselves: Pictures of Dust (basically, sculptures created from dust culled from the museum’s floors; bring your Electrolux!); and c) a benefit for a new documentary about himself called Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz. The committee includes artist Cindy Sherman, actor Oliver Platt and former Talking Head David Byrne (a cautionary example of what happens when you break up your band too early …).
[Clouds, up in the sky above your head, call Clouds hotline at 206-6674, ext. 254, for late-breaking reports; The Things Themselves, Whitney Museum of American Art, consult your phone book; benefit screening, Village East, 189 Second Avenue, 6 p.m., dinner to follow in some artist’s East Village studio, 206-6674, ext. 213.]
What? The penultimate episode of Temptation Island? Our NYTV columnist scorns us, but we will be lost, adrift without Kaya, Billy, Mandy and all our pals. No matter, we have our own Temptation Island right here on Manhattan, except the participants are somewhat paler and softer …. And we got artists-loads of ’em! Tonight, this guy named Paul McCarthy is having an installation called The Box; visitors enter something that looks like a workshop filled with boxes, tools and “found objects” (artspeak for “trash”) and then discover that the entire thing … has been set on its side! Holy cow!
[The Box, 590 Madison Avenue, 980-4575, 6 p.m.; Temptation Island, FOX, 9 p.m.]