Cannes on Canal? Or voyage to hell ? You make the call! Stuyvesant kids fire up their light sabers ( bzzzz! ) as the Tribeca Film Festival -Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Valentine to terrorist-ravaged downtown-begins today with far too many screenings, panels and parties for one lone columnist to get a grip on, most notably the premiere of Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones , which no one has a prayer of getting into …. Well, we tried to find out where and when everything else is, but the festival’s ambitious Web site (www.tribecafilmfestival.org) crashed our circa 1991 computer, so anyway …. One thing we do know is that while “film stars” of today like Sandra Bullock are ( allegedly) piling downtown for the fest, film star of yesteryear Tippi Hedren -best known for her coiffure-mussing turn in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds -is perched on the committee of a benefit for, of all things, the peacock-petting Audubon Society! Chirp chirp ! Also on the committee are those crazy lovebirds Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Whom they’re honoring: Bernard Marcus , co-founder of Home Depot, that big store our Precious likes to prowl in the wee hours in search of chicken wire and ornamental planters. (Hey, send a check -the environment is obviously on the fritz, if the bizarre weather patterns of the past few years are any indication, and the fact that George W. Bush is currently steward of our polar ice caps doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.)
[Tribeca Film Festival, various locations and times around town, 941-2400; National Audubon Society benefit, the University Club, 1 West 54th Street, 6:30 p.m., 997-0100.]
Women of Bertelsmann! Pantheon author Valerie Steiker ( The Leopard Hat ) and Knopf author Ann Packer ( The Dive from Clausen’s Pier ) team up and clean up at a joint reading in Chelsea-though Ms. Steiker may be a bit peeved if Ms. Packer selects the following spotlight-sucking dirty excerpt from her work: “I tugged his jockeys off …. ”
[Barnes and Noble, 675 Sixth Avenue, 7:30 p.m., 727-1227.]
Two parties, fat and thin …. But since this is New York, let’s proceed immediately to the thin! Seventeen magazine, which has never really gotten over the late Sassy , is fêting the spindly, underaged national finalists of the Chanel New Model of the Year Contest -since when did Arie L. Kopelman become John Casablancas? Meanwhile , a few blocks southeast, billowy models Carre Otis, Kate Dillon and Mia Tyler are co-hosting a launch party for Grace magazine, formerly More . Editor Ceslie Armstrong -“at a photo shoot,” according to her British-accented assistant-did not return calls inquiring about her ” mission ,” and since every magazine about generously proportioned people has basically failed , one can’t really blame her ….
[Models party, Chanel boutique, 15 East 57th Street, third floor, 6 p.m., by invitation only, 204-4320; Grace magazine launch party, St. Bart’s Cafe, Park Avenue & 50th Street, by invitation only, 379-1240.]
“Phat” Albert? Like Bill Clinton before him, Prince Albert of Monaco is heading north. His balding royal highness is expected at the opening night of the Dance Theater of Harlem, which will be performing selections from Othello and Firebird , plus a pas de deux set to “Ribbon in the Sky,” a great Stevie Wonder song. What it benefits: the Princess Grace Foundation-named in honor of Prince Albert’s late mom, Prin-cess Grace, yet another Hitchcock blonde (see Hedren, Tippi, above). According to the invitation, “transportation will be provided from the Apollo Theater down Park Avenue following the performance” -a disturbing assurance to attendees that they won’t have to stand on the actual streets of Harlem for more twhan a minute ….
[Princess Grace Foundation, reception, Sylvia’s Also, 328 Lenox Avenue, at 126th Street, 5:30 p.m., performance to follow, Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street,
7:30 p.m., 317-1470.]
More proof that this town has become a sprawling Wonkaland (see Dylan’s Candy Bar , Krispy Kremes , http://www.dailycandy.com), with fully grown residents popping sweets the way they used to pop Seconals and Prozac: a fudge factory called Chocolate Bar -not a bar, though its proprietors do want to get a liquor license-opens early this morning for business, selling chocolate scones and five different kinds of hot chocolate , iced hot chocolate, wasabi chocolate , chili chocolate, plus your standard-issue truffles to West Village pot heads with fat unemployment checks …. “We’re totally psyched!” said co-founder Matt Lewis, a peppy 30-year-old who gave up a fine job at Deutsch Advertising and now scarfs about 20 bonbons daily . “It’s like a chocolate store for adults. The whole idea is a throwback toward a younger, different time, a little bit of nostalgia. We don’t serve Frappuccinos. We wanted to do something-I don’t want to say the words ‘hip’ or ‘urban’ -but hip and urban.”
[48 Eighth Avenue, between Horatio and Jane, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., 366-1541.]
Maraudingmothers! Most New York moms we know (one in particular- cough ) pretend to think Mother’s Day is just a big, cheesy Hallmark commercial , but lay on the passive-aggressive guilt trips when they don’t get any flowers or candy …. Here’s a way to scare Mom off the entire concept entirely: squeeze her in a singlet and haul her to the Allure “Marathon Makeovers” event , a women-only half-marathon, with a concurrent,
co-ed 5K for those who can’t hack it (maybe Condé Nast editorial director James “Om” Truman will lace up some sneaks and lope alongside his doctor-socialite gal pal, Samantha Boardman ). Then give her a nice bottle of sherry .
[Enter at West 67th Street, 8 a.m., 423-2256.]
It’s a funny town! If you have a little spare cash, tonight you get to hang out with people richer and more famous than you-sort of. It’s American Ballet Theatre’s spring gala ( sudden horrible flashback to fifth-grade dance class -fledgling bulimics with pink tights and catty remarks ); the honorary co-chairs are George W. Bush and his wife, Mrs. Laura , but does that mean they’ll show up? “It is unlikely,” said Kelly Ryan , A.B.T. publicist-well, there is a war on, and Caroline Kennedy and Blaine Trump should make it, so …. What that will cost you: $1,000. Meanwhile, for half that price you can allegedly join Darrell Hammond, who does a decent Dick Cheney on an otherwise swiftly sinking Saturday Night Live , at a benefit for the McCarton School , a new school for autistic children.
[American Ballet Theatre gala, Metropolitan Opera House, Broadway and 65th Street, 6:30 p.m., 477-3030, ext. 3218;
McCarton school benefit, Regent Wall Street, 55 Wall Street, 6:30 p.m., 972-3050.]
Two burps from the dot-com era: Former Silicon Alley Reporter editor Jason McCabe Calacanis is still hanging in there, editing what he now calls the Venture Reporter, and tonight he throws its 100th-issue party at a McDonald’s. “I outlasted Talk and The Industry Standard !” he told us over speaker-phone , multi-tasking furiously in the absence of any discernible staff. “Obviously, the world’s changed a lot in the last two or three years , and we wanted to make a statement about how it’s a different world out there and a ‘let’s get back to reality’ kind of thing. I’m walking my dog on the way to work, and I walked by the McDonald’s and thought, ‘It’s such a beautiful place-it’d be really ironic to have a party there. Why the fuck not?’ It’s a brand-new McDonald’s-the one that’s Jeff Van Gundy’s favorite- and it’s got a drive-thru , it looks like a funky diner, so we’ve rented it for the evening …. You can order whatever you want, I’ll pay for it-and then the only remnant of the dot-com era is the Veuve Clicquot. I have this vision of people in cufflinks chowing down on Big Macs.” Meanwhile, 10 blocks south, only the first round of drinks is free, but the Schadenfreude will flow all night long when nebbishy e-commerce consultant Philip J.
Kaplan throws his own low-rent “booty-shaker” to celebrate his new book, F’d Companies: Spectacular Dot-Com Flameouts . Don’t know about you, but there’s something reassuring about the fact that nerds are nerds again ….
[ Venture Reporter party, 427 10th Avenue at West 34th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only, but subscribe to the magazine and waltz in-no email@example.com; F’d Companies party, Cutting Room, 19 West 24th Street, 8:30 p.m., by invitation
Have your Cates; eat, too! What we’re talking about is the looming possibility that Phoebe Cates , limpid actress who basically dropped out to be Kevin Kline’s wife and a good mom , is staging a comeback …. Evidence: She did a great turn as a smug mom in last year’s underseen Anniversary Party , and today she’s leaving the safe confines of the Upper West Side for a “women of distinction” awards ceremony (Diane Sawyer, blah blah blah ) at the Waldorf, site of those giddy National Magazine Awards a few weeks ago, where we got drunk and watched Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham doodling cubes in pen on the table cloth (meaning: He felt trapped ) ….
[Park Avenue and 50th Street, 11:30 a.m., 986-7000.]