They’re 50! And they love it! They love it, they love it, they love it! (Pardon us-sharp pang of missing Molly Shannon , who was the best thing about NBC’s Saturday Night Live and then just kind of disappeared, as funny women from that show have a rather ominous way of doing.) Anyway, More magazine, the thinking woman’s Modern Maturity , is co-hosting a launch party for 50 Celebrate 50 , a book featuring glam boomers like slippery TV anchor Diane Sawyer , actresses Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep , singer Donna Summer and the ubiquitous Susan Sarandon , who will also pass out some awards on behalf of a charitable organization called Help a Parent, Save a Child , as is her wont …. Meanwhile, a whole bunch of other fiftysomethings -already steamed about the recent Winter Antiques Show being moved from an armory to the plebeian Hilton-were in a panic about this year’s Art Show being staged at the wall-to-wall-carpeted Jacob Javits Center. But luckily, at press time, the Art Show (which has loot like a nice 1932 Frida Kahlo watercolor of Belvedere Castle) had been moved back to an armory …. Phew . Tonight, a gala benefit preview benefits the Henry Street Settlement-and Tom Brokaw , who doesn’t look a shade over 50, is coming!
[ More party, Puck Building, 295 Lafayette Street, 6:30 p.m. cocktails, awards and “entertainment” to follow, 455-1030; Art Show, Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue and 67th Street, 5:30 p.m., 766-9200.]
It’s just another lunch in the Condé Nast cafeteria : tuna salad, coupla Rice Krispies treats , and suddenly it’s 3:45 p.m. and you’re flinging butter pats at James Truman -except today you can take the elevator up ( swooooosh , those ears are poppin’ ! ) to the 20th floor of the building for the opening reception of The Meaning of Time: The New Yorker in the City , an art exhibit curated by New Yorker legend and long-limbed bon vivant C.S. Ledbetter , who can still tell ribald stories from the William Shawn era …. Meanwhile, the Armory Show , a fair of “modern” art, opens today-except, confusingly, not in an actual armory (that spot was swiped by the Art Show, yesterday), but in good old smelly Hell’s Kitchen . Tonight’s gala preview benefits the Museum of Modern Art . Bring a cookie.
[Meaning of Time, New Yorker Gallery, 4 Times Square, 20th floor, 4 p.m., supposedly by invitation only, 286-5593; Armory Show, 12th Avenue at 48th and 50th streets, 4:30 p.m., 708-9680.]
“Where do I start?!” said Laurie Benoit, 25, who is training to be a Pilates instructor , but is also a member of a new “choreographic collective” called the Varoom Group that stages its dubiously titled debut, Sometimes It Goes Whoosh , tonight. ” It’s definitely a ‘downtown’ dance aesthetic : There’s a lot of lifting, a little bit like ice skating,” she said, gamely attempting the Olympics tie-in. No nudity-the girls wear sundresses and overalls. ” There are five of us-we’re all about 25 , four of us went to Connecticut College . We’ve been here for like three years and taking dance classes and just decided it was time to get out there .” As part of the show, Ms. Benoit choreographed her own piece, Half a Mile Back , to bluegrass music. “I started out with the idea of a game of leapfrog-the idea that you step on other people, and you jump over them and push to the front of the line, but you always find yourself at the back of the line.” Welcome to New York , honey …. Meanwhile, in the continuing and disturbing trend of teen magazines being the only publications in this city to really whoop it up, YM ‘s editor in chief, Christina Kelly (another alum of Sassy ), fêtes the April MTV issue with one-named song temptresses Pink and Shakira at the Whiskey. Burp !
[Varoom, University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street, 8 p.m., 718-282-7283; YM , the Whiskey, 1567 Broadway, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 646-758-0810.]
Fashion Week aftershock! French designer Pierre Cardin -who has been in the biz for, like, 50 years and is just experiencing a resurgence after totally overlicensing his name in the cheapo 70’s -flies in from Paris with a couple of D.J.’s named Albert and Felix and hosts a big, sweaty dance party at Maxim’s de Paris, which has gone the way of Starbucks, Pottery Barn, Putumayo et al. and pressed a music-compilation CD. Crash strategy: wear a silly little newsboy cap and “les sneakers.”
[680 Madison Avenue, 9 p.m., by invitation only, 228-5555.]
Green or Greenwich? The Eight-Day Week has what is known as a “black thumb,” and every time our Precious goes away on a business trip, his homegrown basil dies a slow death. But we hear that “in the wake of Sept. 11,” a lot of people have embraced Real Simple magazine, chenille and gardening …. Today, at the Gramercy Garden Antiques Show in yet another armory, there will be plants, planters, flowers, pots, fountains, ironwork gazebos and topiary aplenty . Meanwhile, at the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair : out-of-print books, maps, prints, paper ephemera. Is it just us, or has the tchotchke density of this town reached total critical mass this week? Later, young Upper East Side women with ample leisure time-Marina Rust Connor, Nathalie Gerschel Kaplan, Lauren duPont and Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer -chair a Fête des Quatre Saisons at the friendly Frick . It’s black tie, with “seasonal accents,” which means the girls will be weaving flowers into their hair and stuff. Real simple, as they say.
[Gramercy Garden Antiques Show, 69th Regiment Armory, Lexington Avenue at 26th Street, 11 a.m., 255-0020; Antiquarian Book Fair, 490 Hudson Street, 6 p.m., 675-815; Fête des Quatre Saisons , Frick, 1 East 70th Street, 8:30 p.m., 547-0707.]
Are Saturdays back? Who knows? Tonight the Manhattan Society is having a casino basheroo benefit, ” A Masquerade for Multiple Sclerosis .” What it’ll cost ya: $150. Celebrity wattage : Andrea Plummer, Miss New York State 2001. Meanwhile, the Kristen Ann Carr Fund has a semi-formal to help cure sarcoma. What it’ll cost ya: $120. Celebrity wattage : “Well, Bruce Springsteen has been known to go; I don’t know about this year,” said a publicist. We’ll hold out for Clarence Clemons!
[Manhattan Society Masquerade for M.S., Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, 8:30 p.m., 463-7787, ext. 3030; Kristen Ann Carr Fund Winter Semi-Formal, 200 Fifth Club, 200 Fifth Avenue, 9 p.m., 675-2080.]
Helen Mirren chills out …. Exactly one month till the most dismayingly mediocre Oscars we can remember- Moulin Rouge nominated for Best Picture ? Ethan Hawke for Best Supporting Actor? … One lone bright spot is Helen Mirren’s nomination for the pretty if sort of tedious Gosford Park . Ms. Mirren was in town to promote her new film, Last Orders . What does she do to escape? we asked. ” Daytime television . Love Judge Judy . Love Judge Hackett. I love all the judges , very into the judges. I even watch repeats of ones I’ve already seen. That’s pathetic, isn’t it? ” Does she ever pray? “I do pray, although I don’t believe in God, so it’s kind of pathetic, really.” What does she drink? ” I drink vodka usually. Sometimes a shot, sometimes a Sea Breeze, sometimes a Cosmopolitan. Tonight I’ll probably chill a bit, but I want to chill big time .”
More matrons! It’s the big Drama League dinner honoring gossip columnist Liz Smith -think Friars Club Roast, but with lots of beaded jackets and Christine Baranski . We’re under strict orders to keep the rest of the participants top-secret so that Ms. Smith will be “surprised,” but we can tell you that upon hearing Elaine Stritch will M.C., our big-cheese editor picked up the phone and ordered a corsage.
[Pierre Hotel, 2 East 61st Street, 7:30 p.m., cocktails, dinner and show to follow, 861-8690.]
Ted Zagat alert! The babelicious, albeit slightly “manorexic” son of Tim and Nina-a 27-year-old Harvard grad who as of this writing is still up for grabs, ladies -is on the junior committee of tonight’s Careers Through Culinary Arts Program benefit honoring Jacques Pépin. We hear from one who’s seen young Ted on the town that, like Helen Mirren, his preferred libation is vodka. Straight. Got that, ladies?
[Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, 6 p.m., 718-279-0331.]
Book-party bingo: It’s not the first time cranky Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham and pink-cheeked Paris Review editor George Plimpton have gone head-to-head, but it may well be the ugliest. Uptown , Mr. Plimpton opens his home so his young editorial-assistant minxes can clomp around in clogs and lay out the Gouda for a passel of Dutch authors: Oscar van den Boogaard, Hugo Claus, Margriet de Moor, Arnon Grunberg, Marcel Moring, Cees Nooteboom, Maya Rasker, Hans Maarten van den Brink and Henk van Woerden , who have all been specially flown in (flap, flap, flap) from Holland to boost U.S. awareness of the Dutch literati …. Downtown , Harper’s contributing editor Vince Passaro celebrates his first novel, Violence, Nudity, Adult Content .
[Dutch author party, at George Plimpton’s Upper East Side apartment, we can’t tell you exactly where, 5:30 p.m., by invitation only, 246-1430, ext. 209; Vince Passaro, Housing Works Used Book Cafe, 126 Crosby Street, by invitation only, 7 p.m., 420-5779.]
New playwrights are poking their heads forth like the hopeful buds of spring …. Take The Allegory of Golf , by Wade Gasque – please ! The plot: middle-aged widow comes home to find neighbor’s daughter hiding in her kitchen; the two hop in a car to California and discuss Ayn Rand . Or there’s Room 314 , by Michael Knowles . The plot: Six couples spend time in one hotel room and wrestle with relationships, commitment and identity-alas, not all at the same time. Stay home and work on your garden.
[ The Allegory of Golf , Flatiron Playhouse, 119 West 23rd Street, 8 p.m., 340-1359; Room 314 , Paradise Theater Company, 64 East Fourth Street, 8 p.m., 726-1310.]