Halloweenies? “Aren’t you scared about Halloween?” That’s what some of our “friends” have been asking us, just to be helpful . Aren’t we being a bit Anglocentric to think that Afghan cave-dwellers even care about Halloween? Tonight, have your kid be the first on his or her block to wear a Lizzie Grubman mask to the American Museum of Natural History’s screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown , which makes everyone feel cozy and happy …. If you don’t have a kid and can’t stomach the Sixth Avenue parade and all the attendant “happening downtown scenesters” from Time Out New York and Paper , head to the Tribeca Grand Hotel , where the aptly named Surface magazine is having a party D.J.’d by actress Chloë Sevigny’s brother Paul . Or put on your shiny boots of leather, bat your pale blue eyes and hit a Velvet Underground tribute organized by music producer David Strahl. “A lot of balloons and polka-dot material and color wheels and projectors, so it should be kind of stimulating somewhat to typify the 60’s experience,” said Mr. Strahl.
[American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, 4 p.m., 769-5200; Surface party, Tribeca Grand Hotel, Church Lounge, 2 Sixth Avenue, by invitation only, 519-6672; Velvet Underground party, 140 West 24th Street (formerly the Green Room), between Sixth and Seventh avenues, 9 p.m., 917-331-9344.]
It’s never been a better time for some Gershwin , don’t you think? Tonight’s bevy of fund-raisers gets kicked off with the New York Festival of Song , a Gershwin celebration featuring suites from Porgy and Bess and Lady Be Good , plus sweets after the concert. You can also open your wallet for “Seeds of Hope,” a benefit for Concern Worldwide (a New York–based charity with Irish roots), where possible sensitive-man celebrity sightings include Harrison Ford, Graydon Carter, Alan Alda and Terry Golway . Elsewhere, Metropolitan Home and Architectural Digest get locked in a bout of silent auctions-and, folks, this could get ugly: Met Home is raffling off Calvin Klein sofas and the like at “Design Cares,” a benefit for the victims of 9/11, while AD is bringing you “Wreath: Never Resting on Our Laurels,” which benefits the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS . Who says there’s no more call for sparkly cocktail wear?
[New York Festival of Song, Steinway Hall, 109 West 57th Street, cocktails 7:30 p.m., concert and champagne reception to follow, 646-230-8382; Seeds of Hope, Roosevelt Hotel, Madison Avenue at 45th Street, 6 p.m., dinner to follow, 213-1166; Design Cares, 200 Lexington Avenue, 6:30 p.m., 679-9500; Wreath, Jacob Javits Center, 39th Street and 11th Avenue, 6 p.m., 286-5654.]
Ms. Parker and the vicious circle …. One goes back and forth on Sarah Jessica Parker : One pretends one never wants to hear the phrase “Sarah Jessica Parker” again, but one secretly kind of loves her, even though it was beyond annoying when shewasprowling around ground zero with her little dog and her little husband …. Anyway, tonight-while her tubby hubby toodles away in The Producers – thewinsome Ms. Parker and the peerless Amy Sedaris open in Wonder of the World
by David Lindsay-Abaire, a ’92 Sarah Lawrence alum whom we found in the 21st-century version of a garret: a Brooklyn garden duplex. “It’s been swell!” he said. “We’re tweaking and cutting and all that. I’ll give you my blurb: It’s about a woman, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, whose world is turned upside-down when she discovers something shocking inherhusband’s sweater drawer. Nothing will prepare you for what that is. Anyway, she flees to Niagara Falls in a frantic search to regain the life she thinks she’s missed out on.” And don’t think Mr. Lindsay-Abaire is just a playwright: He just got the go-ahead from executives at NBC to write a show about a dog-walker in New York City. When ya got it, flaunt it, baby!
[131 West 55th Street, 8 p.m., 581-1212.]
Meet Chelsea Plumley, a plucky musical-comedy actress who just flew
in from Australia and has played Rizzo in the Australian tour of Grease ,which she adored. “I usually get the pretty-young-ingénue roles , but this time I got to play the bitch, which is exciting,” she told us. What did she think of Brooke Shields ‘ attempt at the part? “Well, I’m not going to judge. I’ve heard a recording, that’s all I’ll say- ha ! She’s a gorgeous woman. She was in one of my favorite movies growing up, which was Blue Lagoon .” How’s her jet lag? “I’m sleeping a bit bizarrely, but just honoring my body and sleeping when I need to. I was staying with a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, and it kind of wasn’t what I expected. They were men -I’m trying to think of a nice way to say this- they were real bachelors , they were really heavy smokers, it just really stressed me out on a number of levels. I was really bloody tired!” Welcome to life with New York men , honey! Tonight Ms. Plumley makes her New York debut in a show called Angel in Training -we know zip about cabaret, but she’s been compared to Carol Burnett and how bad can that be? “I can be quite dirty and risqué; it borders on a Bette Midler style of comedy,” she said. “I was advised that I have to water down my show because American audiences are more conservative, but I’m the world expert on me , and I thought, ‘I’ve gotta do what I do,’ so I still say ‘vagina’ and things like that.” Believe us, you can’t say the word “vagina” too often in a New York play these days.
[ Angel in Training , Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, 9 p.m., 757-0788.]
Mind of the unmarried Mailer? John (Buffalo) Mailer , son of Norman, opens his debut play, Hello Herman , about a 16-year-old who murders 29 classmates and then sells his story. The young Mr. Mailer, 23, a graduate of Phillips Andover and Wesleyan , refused to explain his nickname, which he called “a family secret.” Did he have any qualms about becoming a writer? ” When I was a teenager and whatnot, it seemed a little daunting, but when I was 18 I started taking writing classes and it just clicked …. I just got very inspired; Hello Herman just wrote itself and I didn’t have much choice about it.” He declared former feminist Naomi Wolf an influence: ” The Beauty Myth is the only book of hers I’ve read, but it just opened my eyes to a lot and laid out very clearly things that had been circulating in my head into concrete examples … also the fact that she is a very beautiful woman, and there was no bitterness in what she was writing. I think she got a bum rap running around with Gore and whatnot.” Yeah, we all did.
[Grove Street Playhouse, 39 Grove Street, 8 p.m., 946-5411.]
Scrawny, meet brawny! Tonight, a moment of silence honoring New York’s Bravest will be followed by the sounds of 14,000 munching mouths, as swinging singles disguised as marathoners descend in droves on Tavern on the Green , where they’ll carbo-load for tomorrow’s race by feasting on meals created by the winners of the Firehouse Cook-Off Contest : radiatore and sun-dried tomatoes from Joseph DePinto in Queens Ladder Company 155 ; rigatoni and artichoke hearts from Keith Young in Brooklyn’s Ladder Company 156 ; gemelli with turkey sausage and white wine from Aron Buch over in Engine 320 .
[Tavern on the Green, Central Park West between 67th and 68th streets, 5 p.m., you're not invited, 873-3200.]
All the pretty horsies! While the marathon huffs and puffs today throughout the boroughs, social marathoners Cornelia Guest, Sloane Lindemann Barnett and Kelly Klein put on their bits and snaffles and saddle up at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden-hey, it may be a gritty part of town, but it beats schlepping to Belmont! At a fancy, haute-harness-type brunch, Lucy Sykes (sans twin Plum) slurps Bloody Marys and gyrates on the sticky floor as Gloria (“I Will Survive”) Gaynor performs. Who says New York isn’t back! ?
[2 Pennsylvania Plaza, 4:30 p.m., brunch is by invitation only, 307-7171 for horse-show tickets.]
Morrow-or Manilow? Feel like dolling yourself up and stepping out to a big, glam movie premiere ? Don’t we all, but all those fancy stars you thought had some courage (hello, Drew Barrymore ?) are pulling out of their publicity ops and fleeing the city in small jets, which leaves you tonight with a modest little shindig for a movie called Maze written, directed, produced by-and starring!- Rob Morrow (wasn’t he in Quiz Show , with a fake Silly Putty nose ?), who plays a charming sculptor with Tourette’s syndrome (hello, Oscar !) alongside the wonderful, Oscar-caliber Laura Linney-and, in continuing W.T.C.-sploitation watch , a publicist wants to stress that the movie is set in “downtown New York City,” as if that’ll make you more likely to see it …. Or put on your spangly pants and join Barry Manilow, Susan Lucci and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall for a concert tribute to the music of Johnny Mercer. What it benefits: leukemia research. See if you can spot George Stephanopoulos swaying to “Mandy” ….
[ Maze , Bryant Park Hotel, 40 West 40th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 334-0333; Manilow and friends, Carnegie Hall, West 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, 7:30 p.m., 696-1033.]
Election Day! Stand misty-eyed in line with your fellow citizens to pull the rickety lever for suspiciously tanned Mark Green or side-talker Michael Bloomberg -and then pray like you’ve never prayed before …. Meanwhile, we’ve been wallowing in patriotism, and the Brits have finally ceased spreading their marmalade through the city-and now French ambassador François Bujon de l’Estang pops up at the Pierre to honor Jeanne Moreau at the Trophée des Arts Gala ( socialite-actor Matthew Modine M.C.’s).
[Trophée des Arts Gala, Pierre Hotel, Fifth Avenue at 61st Street, 6:30 p.m. cocktails, dinner and dancing to follow, 355-6100, ext. 225.]
Hell is other people …. But that doesn’t mean you should stop going to book parties, right? Right ? Punk prophet Richard Hell , who used to stalk around the East Village with spiked hair but has, in his dotage, taken to chairing poetry marathons and that kind of thing, is celebrating the publication of his new compilation tome, Hot and Cold , tonight at Spa , the nightclub where you’re never sure if wearing fur isn’t allowed or is especially encouraged . The book is a big, colorful mess-punk-rock rants, essays, poems, lyrics, notebooks, pictures, fiction …. Well, we hear there’s an opening for the “highbrow” slot in Oprah’s Book Club.
[76 East 13th Street, 9 p.m., by invitation only, 677-5772.]