Welcome to August! The month when Manhattan’s entire population of shrinks flees to their leaky, $500,000 fixer-uppers on the Cape-”Is that a mouse? Egads! A mouse!!”-with copies of The Noonday Demon tucked under their arm, leaving the rest of the city in a deep, unshakable depression, mostly because of the new subway routes …. If you can’t crash MTV’s big 20th-anniversary party (no longer headlined by Mariah Carey-we wish we could check into a fancy hospital when we get exhausted and weird), don’t worry-it will be a miserable, overcrowded mosh pit of drug addicts named Courtney and skinny men in too-tight shirts. Instead, choose from one of the following: a) opening night of the Urbanworld Film Festival-they’re screening Lockdown, a brutal prison drama that sent some squeamish moviegoers scurrying out of the theater at a previous viewing. If you’re like us and you needed smelling salts after the first 15 minutes of Reservoir Dogs, hold off until Urbanworld’s Friday panel, “From Hattie to Halle: The Progression of the African-American Actress in Hollywood,” and, in the meantime, b) break out your sailor suit and join other secret Manhattan mariners as Michael Ruhlman reads from Wooden Boats, about boat-builders on Martha’s Vineyard, at Borders in the World Trade Center; or c) hop in your boyfriend’s parents’ Saab for the opening night of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, which will be a tribute to “The Siblings Mendelssohn”-that’s Felix (Midsummer Night’s Dream) Mendelssohn and his underappreciated sister, Fanny. “She’s done great stuff,” said a flack, about Fanny. “It’s a shame it’s not performed more. It’s a male-chauvinist world, I guess.”
[MTV party, Hammerstein Ballroom, by invitation only, we can't help you; Urbanworld, Loews State Theater, Broadway and 45th Street, 6 p.m.; Michael Ruhlman, Borders World Trade Center, 3 World Trade Center, 6 p.m.; Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, 8 p.m., 631-537-6368.]
If you went to Harvard or Yale and were one of those “kooky” asexual types with lots of spare energy, you were probably in an a cappella group and are currently working for Comedy Central or Talk magazine; but if you went to Brown or Dartmouth, you were probably in an “improv” group and are currently doing just fine! Strike Anywhere, an improvisational-theater ensemble-Al Roker apparently loves them; where you want to take that is up to you-premieres Finding One, inspired by Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. “It’s a multimedia performance,” said participant Leese Walker (see gamine photo), Dartmouth ’92. “We weave together live improvised jazz, maskwork, text …. The story revolves around one character who’s an advertising executive who’s struggling-she tries drugs, yoga. This one was bizarre, because several of us said, ‘We’re not reading enough; why don’t we start a book club?’ You know, ‘We’ll have wine,’ and the first book was Siddhartha.” Just stay away from drinkin’ gin at that fancy book club of yours, hon-the juniper berries make you mean.
[St. Clements Theatre, 423 West 46th Street, 8 p.m., 501-4542.]
Brando, fat or thin? While he wasn’t exactly pixie-like in his 1979 turn in Apocalypse Now, he had yet to acquire his current, impressive bulk …. Tonight, Apocalypse Now Redux-gussied up with a new scene with Mr. Brando, an expanded Playboy Playmates sequence and a “6-channel soundtrack” that has our SurroundSound-obsessed Precious quivering-arrives in theaters. Meanwhile, in the Hamptons-where, apparently, some people are still going-there’s a release party for Rush Hour 2 at Jet East …. Also in the Hamptons, there’s a benefit for the Wildlife Rescue Center, featuring Jim Fowler, the host of Animal Encounters, that show with a cult following among Manhattanites who feel alienated from nature-even though, if you take them to the country for the weekend, they start complaining about how “there’s no good coffee out here” and jump 20 feet if they see a bug.
[Apocalypse Now Redux, 777-FILM; Rush Hour 2 party, Jet East, 1181 North Sea Road, Southampton, by invitation only, 290-1100, ext. 33; Wildlife Art Show, the Ross School, East Hampton, 7 p.m., 631-728-WILD.]
Another Saturday, another schmancy benefit in the faraway fairyland of the Hamptons: Beth Rudin DeWoody, Bob Colacello and Dorothy Cullman chair a gala for the Watermill Center, a kind of Yaddo for artists and other “creatives,” but without Yaddo’s wacky-sex-and-booze element. The evening is sponsored by Louis Vuitton, creator of this season’s most inexplicably must-have, already-obsolete item, the graffiti bag. Meanwhile, the Hamptons reach full Ronson saturation point as D.J. Mark Ronson “guest-D.J.’s” (is there ever a time when someone in this family isn’t D.J.’ing?) at a birthday party for his urchin sisters, Charlotte and Samantha. The party is sponsored by PlayStation2-because people like this do not have parties without a generous corporate sponsor, and neither should you! Our last birthday party was sponsored by Howie’s Weenie King, but we’re not complainin’!
[Watermill Gala, Watermill Center, Water Mill, N.Y., cocktails 6:30 p.m., dinner and dancing to follow, 253-7484; Ronson birthday party, 330 Fowler Lane, Water Mill, 8 p.m., by invitation only, 917-351-8685.]
Anaheimlich maneuver? Let’s see … any sample sales? Nope. However, this afternoon the New York Yankees take on the Anaheim Angels. Are they even a major-league team? Sorry, we don’t do sports that don’t involve men in white shorts.
[Yankee Stadium, 161st Street and River Avenue, the Bronx, 1:05 p.m., 718-293-6000.]
Still no sample sales? Is this some kind of cruel joke? Surely all the upscale stores that couldn’t move their merchandise this year are hiding the loot somewhere? Oh, well, besides improv groups, one can always count on those tireless nymphs in the corps de ballet to liven things up during the sultry summer months. Such as Eliot Feld’s Ballet TalkTech, which today launches a revival of Ah Scarlatti, and two days from now, something new: Pacific Dances, a dance for 11 women set to “delicious Hawaiian slack-key guitar music”-boring, perhaps, but surely not as offensive as Pearl Harbor.
[Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, 8 p.m., 242-0800.]
Buell’s day off: The poor man’s Human Stain turns out to be Bebe Buell’s memoir, Rebel Heart, an account of this consummate groupie’s gropings, in which Elvis Costello-yes, that Elvis, the portly, bespectacled one-turns out to be the “best lover I ever had.” “He took away all my inhibitions,” writes Ms. Buell. “The only time I ever really acted wild was with Elvis. He would hold me down and I would scream his name. He was the only man I had phone sex with, the only man I ever talked dirty to or exchanged those kind of intimacies with.” Guess she never met Bill Clinton! Special Eight-Day Week correspondent George Gurley found Ms. Buell, 46, up in Maine. “It’s my love affair with pop culture and all my lessons, all the things that I’ve learned, and what’s made me the woman I am: strong, independent,” she said. Tonight at her book party in Tribeca, Ms. Buell will belt out “Mother of Rock and Roll” for fans like her daughter, Liv Tyler, as well as REM’s Michael Stipe and actor Joaquin Phoenix. Will Mr. Costello show? “Oh no, I don’t think Elvis Costello is much of a party boy, honey,” said Ms. Buell. Will she and he ever bury the hatchet? “That’s the big question of my life,” she said. “I would love that, but I guess there’s too much baggage. Too much happened. We don’t have contact. We have been in the same room and in the same cities, but we don’t approach each other or speak to each other. I wish him all the happiness and love in the world. I think he’s very happily married, and that makes me happy because I want him to be loved. When you really love a person, you want them to be happy, and I think I really loved him. But things have changed. I’ve moved on, and I don’t really suffer the same unrequited desires for him that I used to. I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve chosen to let go. I mean, it had a lot of tragedy-it was your classic Shakespearean love story.”
[511 Greenwich Street, 8 p.m., by invitation only, 674-5151, ext. 493.]
More proof that the shelf life of a “hot new” restaurant in New York is now three weeks: This morning Man Ray hosts a tasting of some Disney-sounding concoction called “A Perfect World Silver Tip White Tea.” Starbucks, move over! And hey, has anyone else noticed how it is no longer possible to get just a simple glass of unflavored, unfruity iced tea in this godforsaken city?
[147 West 15th Street, 10 a.m., by invitation only, 867-3929.]
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