Hair today? Though New York women showed no hesitancy about gleefully nuding up during the recent heat wave, it’s still 50 days till summer that hot, withering time of year that brainwashes otherwise normal, law-abiding New Yorkers into thinking there is something appealing about spending your weekends in overpriced, overcrowded, socially B-list (oops, make that C-list) “beach towns” on Long Island . Cooler heads know Manhattan is the place to be during Brazilian bikini-wax season (rrr-rrr-rrip!) . Let’s see, what other unwanted body hair can you obsess about until then? How about the little downy fringe on the upper lip? Meet Vaniqa! No, not Prince’s latest backup singer, but rather a new, heavily promoted substance that reduces the growth of facial hair the yin to Rogaine’s yang. Tonight, with no apparent irony, the Vaniqa folks co-sponsor the premiere of a film about self- esteem called I Am My Mother’s Daughter. In the movie and at the party: thinking man’s sex symbol Meredith Vieira from The View; WNBA star Rebecca Lobo; Amy Brenneman, who plays a judge on TV, and her mom, who’s a real judge. It had not been determined as of press time whether these lovely ladies are Vaniqa users or if they’re even aware of what it is. Adding to the festive spirit, some female chefs and their daughters will cook. Cultural subtext of evening: We’ve come a lo-oo-ong way, baby but now we want to sit down for a rest!
[Equitable Center, 6 p.m., 787 Seventh Avenue, 877-6ESTEEM.]
Sondheimlich maneuver: When thea-tuh people are just little ambitious buds waiting to bloom, they chew up the scenery trying to get into Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwrights Festival, which has launched the careers of Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me, highly acclaimed movie nobody we know has actually seen) and Rebecca Gilman (wrote the racially charged Spinning Into Butter). Tonight, the talented and charming Wendy Wasserstein who wrote one play a long time ago and then kept writing it, again and again and again, with great success co-hosts the 20th anniversary party for the festival. Bring a copy of Shiksa Goddess for her to sign. Meanwhile, George Plimpton stocks his East Side apartment with gin, vaguely seedy male “literary types” (guys who smell a little like cabbage, wear Emporio Armani and nurse a deep bitterness because they “sold out” and took jobs as editors at women’s fashion magazines) and nubile, 22-year-old women throbbing with literary ambition, to celebrate Robert Antoni’s book of short stories, My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales. Mr. Antoni’s bio says he “divides his time” between Miami, the Caribbean and Barcelona so why does he look so grim (see brooding photo)?
[Young Playwrights, Laura Belle, 120 West 43rd Street, 6 p.m., 307-1140; George Plimpton’s party, somewhere on the Upper East Side we’re not saying exactly where by invitation only, 6 p.m., 614-7869.]
All that Chazz! O.K., you want big benefits, we got big benefits . Remember Chazz Palminteri? This nice, pre-Sopr-anos Italian-American actor hosts a benefit, with honoree Rudolph Giuliani, for the National Cooley’s Anemia Foundation. (Expect His Honor to do his favorite bits from The Godfather, as he is wont to do whenever opportunity presents itself, or even if it doesn’t . Which reminds us, if Mark Green becomes our next Mayor, are we going to have to sit through off-key imitations of scenes from The Princess Bride?) Meanwhile, His Serene Highness Crown Prince Albert of Monaco how’d ya like that stitched on your shirt cuff? who doubtless has a lifetime supply of Rogaine tucked away in the palace bathroom, hits a benefit performance of the revival Bells Are Ringing . Cast features Jeffrey Bean, not the same thing as designer Geoffrey Beene we think. Finally, the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House throws a gala preview of the 468th art fair this spring, covering the Renaissance to the 1940’s. Whom you’ll stand near, awkwardly clutching your chilly glass of white wine, and fail to recognize: billionaire Mayoral teaser Michael Bloomberg, billionaire song-and-dance man Edgar Bronfman Jr. and non- billionaire but still plenty rich socialite Bunny Williams. Hop, hop, hop .
[Anemia gala, Central Park at West 67th Street, 6:30 p.m., 800-522-7222; Bells Are Ringing benefit, Baldoria, 249 West 49th Street, 5:30 p.m., performance to follow, Plymouth Theatre, 236 West 45th Street, 317-1470; Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Seventh Regiment Armory, 67th Street and Park Avenue, 6 p.m., 744-5022, ext. 1379.]
Lord and Lady Glenconner? Crash strategy: perverted schoolgirl kilt, knee socks . Who the hell are these people? He is a Scottish lord who colonized Mustique, the celebrity playground. His wife is a lady-in-waiting for Princess Margaret (waiting for what, we don’t know . ) Your crazy hodgepodge of fellow guests will include Katie Couric, those fastidious Herrera sisters (don’t ask Patricia about that little Vanity Fair mishap).
[Connors-Rosato Fine Art and Antiques, 39 Great Jones Street, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 473-0377.]
Manhattan, when I was Junger: Bar owner and author-bodybuilder Sebastian Junger puts his shirt on, leaves his hoppin’ bar in Chelsea and heads to Maritime College in the Bronx for a book signing and benefit for the Sebastian Junger Cadet Scholarship. Tomorrow, the college returns the favor and makes him an Honorary Doctor of Letters as female Seabees pelt him with their bloomers.
[Vander Clute Hall, Maritime College Campus, 6 Pennyfield Avenue, the Bronx, 6 p.m., 718-409-7459.]
Brunch zones to avoid today: West 92nd Street, where the West Side Montessori School is having a street fair (Space Walk, face painting and the school’s trolley, powered up and down the block by the school’s parents stand back, that guy looks drunk!); and the area around the Brooklyn Brewery, where a day-long Pig-Fest will perfume the air with the smell of roasting pork for at least 24 hours. For a more civil festivus, put on your new, blister-inducing Nine West knockoffs of those Miu Miu “1940’s revival” pumps and trip over to Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza Park near the United Nations, which is celebrating Katharine Hepburn’s birthday in the garden they named for the actress, with coffee, a dedication of engraved stones (including a Spencer Tracy one), 1940’s music and cake! “It’s just a cake, just a big sheet cake,” said D.H.P. prez Anne Saxon Hersh. “It’s a very naturalized garden mostly shrubs and woodies.” Kate won’t be able to make it, but you can sign a card. Our big-cheese editor is refilling his fountain pen.
[Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza Park, 2 p.m., 47th Street between First and Second avenues, 541-4453.]
Yummy mummies! It’s Mother’s Day and in the same vein as the Vaniqa self-esteem event of a few days back, Allure magazine has decided to hold a “Keeping America Beautiful” half-marathon . Loping Condé Nasties slurp at cherry FrozFruits; Linda Wells gives a speech; everybody feels vaguely distressed but doesn’t know why. What it benefits: the American Cancer Society. Afterwards, shower and dress yourself in a tailored shift and take Mom to the Jackie O. exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, curated by Hamish (“Little Lord Fauntleroy”) Bowles. Look for slighted Jackie designer Oleg Cassini snarling behind a pillar .
[Allure race, register near West Side Drive and 67th Street, 7 a.m., 860-4455.]
Great gallopin’ galas! Oh, baby, the fun just don’t stop . This town is gonna suck up all the bucks it can before all the money breaks for the beach in June . Spin the fund-raiser roulette wheel at Lincoln Center tonight and here’s what you get: In this corner, Liz Smith hosts an evening of readings to benefit Literacy Partners, with humorist David Sedaris, fiction writer Ann Beattie, biographer Robert Caro and the inevitable Tom Brokaw . Then hop across the plaza to the Metropolitan Opera House, where the American Ballet Theater’s gazelle-like dancers get jiggy in a benefit performance of Giselle (no, Allure editors nothing to do with the Brazilian-bombshell model) for Action Against Hunger. Meanwhile, our big-cheese editor is going absolutely bonkers, because Liza Minnelli is going to be at the Hilton Hotel for a dinner benefiting the Joseph Papp Children’s Humanitarian Fund. Your M.C.: Tony (“Legs”) Randall.
[Literacy Partners, cocktails and readings, Vivian Beaumont Theater, Lincoln Center, 6 p.m., dinner-dance to follow, Promenade, New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, 573-6933; Action Against Hunger, Metropolitan Opera House, 150 West 65th Street, 8 p.m., cocktail party to follow, 70 Lincoln Center, Stanley Kaplan Penthouse, 967-7800; Joseph Papp Children’s Humani- tarian Fund, Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, 6 p.m., 718-467-6630, ext. 212.]
If you’re a size 6 to 10 and you’re not really allowed to be anything else in Manhattan, unless you’ve gone the perfectly respectable caftans-and-bangles-and-hearty-laugh-and-subscription-to-The-New-York-Review-of-Books route you’ll be welcome at a Showroom Seven sample sale, with items from rich bohemian labels such as Ghost, Whistles and Kitty Boots. Meow!
[498 Seventh Avenue, 10 a.m., cash and major credit cards accepted, 643-4810.]
Never you mind that silly talk of federal antitrust indictments auction houses are still a lot of fun! At Sotheby’s, they’re finally selling off that creepy 1988 Jeff Koons sculpture, Michael Jackson and Bubbles (est. $3 million to $4 million), which apparently didn’t get any buyers when it was advertised as a “commemorative figurine” for $29.99 in the back pages of The New Yorker. Meanwhile, over at Doyle, they take time out from gloating over former Sotheby’s chairman Alfred Taubman’s upcoming court dates to listen to two Russians Sergei Kuznetsov, chief conservator at the Stroganoff Palace, and Alexi Guzanov, chief curator of the Pavlovsk Palace Museum deliver a lecture on the Stroganoff Collection . Who were the Stroganoffs? “They have a beef dish named after them, ha ha ha,” said Doyle mouthpiece Louis Weber. But seriously, folks . “For almost 500 years, the Stroganoffs were a major, major cultural force in Russia, buying and commissioning art. This family just built a tradition of buying and buying and buying; there is no modern equivalent. The scale was just enormous amazingly extravagant, so expensive. Oh my word, I’m looking at Rubens, I’m looking at Raphael, I’m looking at Rembrandt.” Simmer down, fella .
[Stroganoff lecture, Doyle New York, 175 East 87th Street, 6:30 p.m., 427-4141, ext. 600; Jeff Koons, at the Auction of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s, 1334 York Avenue, 7 p.m., 606-7000.]
Gee, how’d they think of this? The movie’s title: Startup.com. The plot: Web site starts with tiny staff, balloons to $50 million company with 200 employees and well, you can guess the rest. Go ahead, indulge in a little Schadenfreude how else are you going to make it through spring’s forced bonhomie?
[Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 727-8110 for times.]