Wednesday April 3rd
Tse it ain’t so! Here we are, right in the thick of damp, mossy spring , doing the old tedious wardrobe switch, during which we stash the long underwear and ski togs and bring out the frisky T-shirts …. But here are two final gasps from winter: a) the Tse sample sale , with its steeply discounted stacks of snuggly cashmere, and b) the American Museum of Natural History’s inexplicably named “Winter Dance.” Last year, this wild affair was chaired by then– Glamour editor Bonnie (Boom-Boom) Fuller -now doing her best to tart up US -and featured lots of shiny celebrities like Tara Reid donning cheongsams for a “Wonders of the Far East” theme; this year, the theme is “Baseball as America” (that’s right, folks, this is the same Museum of Natural History with the stars and rocks and minerals and squaws and stuff). The event is co-chaired by Dylan (“Ralph’s my dad!”) Lauren and The View ‘s Lisa Ling . “This year, it’s gonna be really ‘Americana,'” said our tippety-top-secret source, who begged not to be identified. “Lots of wheat-grass centerpieces, Polo Ralph Lauren in the gift bag, and pieces of wheat grass so you can plant your own baseball field.” Bring podgy Kevin Costner , especially since you’ll have to fork up $5,000 for a table if you want to be anywhere near the dance floor.
[Tse sample sale, Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue, 10 a.m., no checks, 917-606-6795; Winter Dance, cocktails, Roosevelt Rotunda, 7:30 p.m., dinner and dancing to follow, Rose Center for Earth and Space, 769-5165.]
Thursday April 4th
Kilts versus corsets? Every so often, a certain kind of New York man likes to don a kilt (and hint smarmily at how he’s “not wearing anything underneath”), producing a sort of odd “fey frat-boy” effect …. Meanwhile, a certain kind of New York woman , not content to display her gym-molded abs , biceps, triceps, shins, shoulders and God knows what else the instant the thermometer cracks 60,hasbeen known to gild the lily even further by stuffing their bosoms into corsets…. Tonight, the twogarments go head-to-head as bouncy twee actors Alan Cumming and Kyle MacLachlan co-host a party drummed up by the Scottish tourist board-they want to get people past the obvious haggis, tartans and bagpipe stuff, so they’re trucking in a load of Scottish stand-up comics (oxymoron). Meanwhile, the most desperate of Fashion Week stragglers struggle into the launch party for Cut Number One, a $3 newsprint quarterly whose premiere issue is entirely devoted to designer Vivienne Westwood (a sporting lady with a much younger husband who specializes in corsets, bustles and the like). Alas , a press representative tells us, Ms. Westwood is “teaching in Germany” and will not be able to attend-great excuse, we’ll have to remember that one!
[Distilled Live Scotland Party, Boylan Studios, 601 West 26th Street, 14th floor, 6:30 p.m., by invitation only, 330-8836; Cut Number One launch party, 515 Canal Street, second floor, 7 p.m., by invitation only, 677-2516.]
Friday April 5th
Springmeans…drag queens! Yes, the old maxim still holds true, so wiggle into your tutus for the thinking person’s Donkey Show : Les Ballets Grandiva, an all-male comedy ballet troupe now presenting new ballets loosely based on the Tonya Harding–Nancy Kerrigan imbroglio and the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet . Director Victor Trevino , a.k.a. dancer Nina Minimaximova , called from rehearsal and told us: “Our company is a mixture of comedy and dance; it’s not just all comedy … The audiences are a huge mixture . Someone told me that it looked like the old dance crowd from the Met-we have a lot of important dance people. We also have tickets that were sold to a lot of retirement communities , and also a large gay following . It is just a complete mélange of people; it really is a show that transcends …. Most of our audience is in Japan. We leave for there in May; it’s our bread and butter.” So hurry up, you silly monkeys ! Meanwhile, if you’re one of those sexless urban-planner types with designer spectacles and ergonomic knapsacks : The Van Alen Institute and the Urban Design programs of Harvard and Columbia are firing up a weekend-long conference asking the question “What Makes a Good City?” (We have the answer: drag queens! )
[Grandiva, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street, 8 p.m., 220-1460; What Makes a Good City?, Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street, 6 p.m. lecture, reception to follow, 924-7000.]
Saturday April 6th
Rich-hippie alert! Forewarned is forearmed: 175 craft artists plunk down their tables of blown glass, chunky jewelry,wood,ceramicsand “wearable art” (oxymoron) on sparklingParkAvenue today, tobepawedthroughby bored,pram-pushingblond mommiesin their late 30’s … . Later, at the Hilton, it’s the Inner Circle Show , when political reporters gather to make sport of the Mayor, Senators, etc.; the jokes are bound to be a little bit broader and more slapstick this year, and it’s going to be tough for Mike Bloomberg to outdo Rudy’s man-in-pantyhose act -though who knows, he might bust out a tutu.
[Spring Crafts Park Avenue, Seventh Regiment Armory, 643 Park Avenue, 11 a.m., 800-649-0279; Inner Circle Show, Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 586-7000.]
Sunday April 7th
The artful Rodgers? So, looks like we were right about the musical version of Sweet Smell of Success kind of stinking! A New York Times panel about the show scheduled for today, with sniffy NYT reporter Jesse McKinley, snappy playwright John Guare and sulky star John Lithgow , has been abruptly canceled -so, musical-wise, you’re basically stuck with the dotty Brit revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! , directed by Trevor Nunn. We rarely go out to “shows,” but our Precious (dressed in chaps) dragged us to a preview, and here’s our opinion: The songs are great but it’s awfully dark , and the much-vaunted “dream ballet” is waa-aay too long and weird . Can we be the first to say that maybe choreographer Susan Stroman is spinning out of control? If you’re feeling solitary, bunker down with our big-cheese editor, his lap dog and his big tub of popcorn at the Museum of Television and Radio, which is running “A Tribute to Richard Rodgers: The Sound of His Music” -an endless loop of the composer’s TV appearances.
[ Oklahoma! , Gershwin Theatre, 51st Street west of Broadway, 8 p.m., 307-4100; Tribute to Richard Rodgers, 25 West 52nd Street, noon, 621-6800.]
Monday April 8th
Strap on a big bottle of fortified sports drink, honey , you’re gonna need it: It’s one of those aggressively “Monday is the new Saturday” nights …. It all begins at Dylan’s Candy Bar, where Dylan Lauren (see April 3, above), the Willy Wonka of the junior jet set, is throwing a “Kids in Candyland” benefit for the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. Join Tootsie Pops Sloan Lindemann Barnett , Ginny Bond Donahue , actress Ione Skye ( River’s Edge )-and their kids ! Later, older versions ( Anne Bass , Amy Fine Collins and Vogue ‘s very own Little Lord Fauntleroy, Hamish Bowles ) paw through vintage clothing up near Columbia ( gawsp ) at the City Opera’s Thrift Shop Benefit, which has a rakish Don Giovanni theme this year. If you’re well-scrubbed and into “empowerment”: M.I.A. actress Meryl Streep (will she follow Glenn Close as the next “backstage broadcaster”-what a plum gig!-at the Oscars?), resurfacing pop star Alanis Morissette, and wife and feminist Gloria Steinem are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Equality Now, a women’s-issues group, downtown. (Worrisome party sponsor: Marie Claire magazine.) Conversely , actress Cynthia Nixon , Irish writer Frank McCourt and M.I.A. Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy are reading a medley of spring-themed poems at the unveiling of the new, spiffed-up Symphony Space. Question: Is the Upper West Side suddenly “hot”?
[Kids in Candyland, Dylan's Candy Bar, Third Avenue at 60th Street, 5 p.m., 744-5022, ext. 1355; City Opera Thrift Store Benefit, Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, 6 p.m., 243-7300; Equality Now, Gramercy Theater, 127 East 23rd Street, 7 p.m., 586-0906; Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, 6:30 p.m., 646-505-5175.]
Tuesday April 9th
New York recovers from yesterday’s benefit binge and has a bit of trouble waking up today … let’s see ( sound of rustling press releases ) … how about a nice (non-musical) play: Single Bullet Theory , by ABC News editor Mike Bencivenga, who directed a film last fall with Eric Stoltz. “I went to N.Y.U., so I come from the guerrilla-warfare school of filmmaking, where you just put your friends in a shopping cart, ” said Mr. Bencivenga, who says he’s also worked as a “creative consultant” for Yoko Ono. “But I always kept a hand in the theater. My whole life I said, ‘I want to write a play.’ It’s about this fella- he and this woman break up, and both of their lives go into this tailspin , and their friends conspire to bring them together, and do. Shockingly, everything in this play has even happened to me, or happened to somebody I knew.”
[Altered Stages, 212 West 29th Street, 8 p.m., 713-5334.]
Wednesday April 10th
Ivy League rejects from Brearley, Chapin, Collegiate, Nightingale, etc. : If you have a high tolerance for cold winters and Céline Dion and a penchant for le ski , there’s a Quebec University Fair at the Waldorf -yes, they’re still trying to sell McGill as the “Harvard of the North,” though we think it’s more like a cut-rate Wesleyan , which is sort of like a cut-rate Brown …. do you follow?
[Empire Room, 301 Park Avenue, 4 p.m., 843-0950.]