More proof that in spite of everything terrible that’s happened, downtown is still the new uptown: This year, the House of Hermès-home of the $50,000 handbag-is sponsoring the New York Academy of Art’s Tribeca Ball. The night promises to have a strange vibe: Decorous “uptown” ladies such as Anne Hearst, Jennifer Creel and Marjorie Gubelmann are on the dinner committee (the menu includes a nice curried cauliflower-apple soup catered by Daniel Boulud), while the after-party features a “disco committee” including beefy independent actor Liev Schreiber, Plum Sykes’ ex-fiancé, the artist Damian Loeb, and the now rather- ahem -ubiquitous bald electronic musician Moby. Adding to the confusion, the thing is being held not in Tribeca, but in Chelsea. Don’t worry, co-chairs David Bowie (aging rocker with marginally more dignity than Mick Jagger) and his fun supermodel wife Iman will hold it all together!
[540 West 21st Street, 7 p.m. cocktails, dinner and disco to follow, 842-5969.]
July in December? Karen Finley, move over ! Meet Portland, Ore.–based performance artist (andlimpid-eyed babe) Miranda July, 27, who’s booked for the 2002 Whitney Biennial. We found her in a Troy, N.Y., Best Western feverishly preparing for the New York premiere tonight of her latest work, The Swan Tool -named for an object used to jimmy cars when people lock their keys in them. “That’s a job I used to have before I became an artist ,” she told us. How’s the show coming? “It’s an intense level of focus and could train-wreck at any moment. It’s an existential drama of a woman who can’t decide whether to live or die, so she decides to bury herself in her backyard. I wear a little boy’s tiny blue shirt and a wig of big straight hair and bangs.”
[512 West 19th Street, 8 p.m., 255-5793.]
Feminists eat, shop: Just about every magazine in town has canceled its holiday party because of belt-tightening, which means an awful lot of editorial assistants are going to make it to January without a) being slobbered on by some loser ad salesman who’s stumbling around the party holding a sprig of mistletoe, or b) waking up hung over in that “sort of cute” editor’s malodorous Upper West Side apartment and having to endure the sound of his morning yogic breathing exercises. So here’s your consolation prize: Ms. magazine, which no one’s read since even before founder Gloria Steinem got married, is trying to vamp it up à la Glamour with a Ms . Women of the Year Awards breakfast at the Bryant Park Grill; nominees include actress-activist Jane Fonda , tennis sisters Venus and Serena Williams , and Yoko Ono. If there are mimosas at the breakfast-and we’re not saying there will be-round out your morning with some sloppy shopping at the YWCA, where the New York Women’s Agenda has organized a discount shop-athon featuring women-owned businesses damaged by the Sept. 11 attack.
[ Ms. Women of the Year Awards breakfast, Bryant Park Grill, 25 West 40th Street, 8 a.m., 509-2092; United We Shop, 610 Lexington
Avenue, 11 a.m., 297-2155.]
If you’re like us, you’ve had it up to here with New Yorkers responding to the crisis by prancing off to yoga and chanting and wearing little bracelets, but our “enlightened” editor assures us that tonight’s Tibet House Benefit Auction at Christie’s is legit. The committee includes designer Donna Karan ; junior chairs include Christy Turlington , she of the stretchy yoga togs.
[Christie's, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, 6 p.m.,
A gay Christmas Carol ? Sure! Ebenezer (“Ben”) Scrooge is a prominent interior decorator played by Danny Pintauro , whom you may remember from Who’s the Boss . “It’s not cheeky at all,” said the actor, “and we don’t want it to be. Nowadays gay theater is always cheeky, and this definitely could be one of those things where you think, ‘Oh, no, it’s going to be one of those gay plays.’ It’s funny and very witty, but it’s not campy at all.” Sounds kind of … cheeky! How did being outed by The National Enquirer affect his career? “Being gay doesn’t affect my career as much as being skinny and short .”
[Duplex Cabaret Theater, 61 Christopher Street, 7:30 p.m., 206-1515.]
War of The Nutcracker s! The sugar plums continue to fly as the New York Theatre Ballet’s production, based on lithographs from the 19th-century English toy theater, goes up against The Yorkville Nutcracker half a mile north, set in a 19th-century Gracie Mansion (watch out for Donna Hanover ; she’s still the boss of that house!) and featuring a character based on former N.Y.C. Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. Or put on your own tutu and flit over to the Gen Art’s Winter Masquerade-the theme is “Fairy Tales” …. Hey, it beats suffering through today’s big movie release : the overhyped, sure-to-be-disappointing new Steven Soderbergh flick, Ocean’s Eleven.
[New York Theatre Ballet, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., 355-6160; Yorkville Nutcracker , Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College, 68th Street between Park and Lexington, 8 p.m., 772-4448; Gen Art, Boylan Studios, 621 West 26th Street, 14th floor,
10 p.m., 290-0312.]
Born to be Wilde: Put on your foppish waistcoats and world-weary countenances for the Young Associates of the Morgan Library gala-the theme is “Wilde Night: A Glam Dandy Gala” (tied in to their big Oscar Wilde exhibit). What it will cost you to slurp oysters with Chanel tootsie and society columnist Jill Kopelman and babe novelist Caitlin Macy : $175 ($375 if you’re “new” to the library) …. This party can’t decide whether it’s 1880’s or 1980’s-a glam-rock D.J. is invading the Garden Court. We’ll buy you a drink if you can locate any of the library’s “Young Associates” who know who Wilde’s ” Bosie” was ….
[29 East 36th Street, 9 p.m., 590-0320.]
Another holiday fracas as the young, sailor-suited lads of the Vienna Choir Boys (see photo) go up against the slightly more charming children’s choir and ” cherub” choir at Riverside Church. Oh, wait-one’s in the morning, one’s in the evening … you can go to them both! Don’t forget your boyfriend’s parents .
[Riverside Church Christmas pageant, Riverside Church, Nave, 490 Riverside Drive,
10:45 a.m., 870-6277; Vienna Choir Boys, Carnegie Hall, Seventh Avenue and 57th Street, 7:30 p.m., 247-7800.]
Rummy’s worst nightmare? One wonders what Donald Rumsfeld would think of tonight’s roster of fancy N.Y.C. lefties waxing poeticabout terrorism,thewarin Afghanistanet al.? Vagina monologist Eve Ensler sharesherreflectionson Sept. 11,sociallyconscious actress Susan Sarandon will readanantiwarmessagefrom parentswholosta child at the WorldTrade Center,andplaywright Tony Kushner is going to bellow out his own translation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage.
[Ethical Culture Society, 2 West 64th Street, 7:30 p.m., 307-4100.]
Miramax munches? It’s the premiere of Piñero , a new movie starring Julia Roberts’ ex-boyfriend Benjamin Bratt , the story of the turbulent life of Puerto Rican poet, playwright and actor Miguel Piñero . It sounds great, but as of press time, a venue for the after-party had not yet been determined! May we suggest Groovejet NYC, a new club that opens today from the guy who brought you Jet Lounge ? Groovejet NYC has no cover and no door policy. (See, New York is nice now!) Bonus press-release excerpt: “Patrons can choose from a veritable collage of tasty canopies [sic] … [like] grilled steak on pumpkin bread with ginger cream.” Oh, yummy! Gwynnie, be a dear and bring Harvey one of dem canopies!
[ Piñero premiere, location to be determined, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 869-7233; Groovejet NYC, 286 Spring Street, opens at 5 p.m., 929-4780.]
“It’s like, what are we doing and why are we doing it?” said veteran cabaret singer and motivational speaker Baby Jane Dexter (“Age is only a number, and mine’s unlisted”) in a throaty alto from her East Village apartment. “I always feel there’s a purpose-and I’ve felt that for several years-but now your purpose is exacerbated . You can think of a cabaret as a frivolous thing, but it’s a privilege .” Tonight, she starts an 18-night run of a show, With Arms Wide Open . “It will be a variety of songs that will range from ‘Taking a Chance on Love’ to Rodgers and Hammerstein to some Beatles to some blues. The show before that was called Making Every Moment Count , but I didn’t want to sound ominous. I chose W ith Arms Wide Open to be about inclusiveness. For years, everything that we had was about exclusivity. I’m not skinny. I’m wearing an Oriental-are you allowed to say ‘Oriental’ anymore?-kimono; it’s very beautiful, sort of chic.”
[Arci's Place, 450 Park Avenue South, 9 p.m., 532-4370.]
Wednesday 12 th
Better steer clear of the entire New York University area in the early evening, unless you want to be stalled by a huge gang of paunchy, graying glam-rockers, because Kiss front man Gene Simmons is signing copies of his new tell-all, Kiss and Make-Up , which traces his life from birth as Chaim Witz to the present day. Bonus “pithy” dirty excerpt: “Music … was my entrée to the soft, milky thighs of girls.” Who says literature is dead?
[4 Astor Place, 6 p.m., 420-1322.]