If you’re like us, your idea of exercising in 2002 was to order the supersized Coke because it’s harder to lift-and thus we are all rather supersized ourselves. So we called the Reebok Sports Club to find out the workout du jour post–spinning craze. (Sitting on a bike while someone growls at us over a microphone?) Plucky trainer Heather Eary said yoga remains the sticky star of the exercise world. “There’s still a huge emphasis on the mind-body connection,” she said. “It’s gotten even more popular in the last year. It think it has to do with our crazy lifestyles, and with what’s going on in the world right now.” Gym memberships tend to soar after New Year’s, but within a month, people start bailing out like United shareholders. So beat the crowd by waiting a few weeks until memberships drop off and you can get a treadmill without making a reservation. Oh, and leave your newlywed spouse at home: The Reebok is where fresh-off-her-honeymoon Jessica Sklar was un-wedded by Jerry Seinfeld . Speaking of comedians: People are funny! (Or they are hell, depending on what time of the day it is and whether we’ve had our coffee yet and whether we’ve had any run-ins with French tourists .) Today, a 12-film retrospective, People Are Funny: The Films of Leo McCarey , continues with Duck Soup and Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys!
[Reebok Sports Club, 160 Columbus Avenue at 67th Street, 362-6800; People Are Funny: The Films of Leo McCarey , Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, plaza level, 875-5600.]
Stuyvesant seniors finally take off the Harvard and Yale sweatshirts they’ve been wearing every day since their early acceptance letters arrived last month. Why ? Because they’re in a fashion show tonight, of course! ELLEgirl magazine hosts a “Fashion for a Cause” catwalk at the Tribeca school to raise money for students in Kosovo, and the Stuy guys and gals will model spring 2003 fashions. Meanwhile , uptown at Sotheby’s, the Aperture Foundation celebrates its 50th Anniversary Golden Gala with a silent auction and photography retrospective. Socialite Muffie Potter Aston and Bubba-pardon playmate Denise Rich will serve on the benefit committee. Honorary chairman Sir Elton John , meanwhile, will blend in like Yao Ming in Munchkinland.
[Fashion for a Cause, Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers Street, 5 p.m., $10, 767-5924; Aperture's 50th Anniversary Golden Gala, Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, 6:30 p.m., 505-5555, ext. 341.]
If diamonds are really a girl’s best friend , then our only friends come over on Thursday nights and get $1 million an episode. Tonight at the Inaugural Gem Awards Gala, the man behind the coveted blue box- Tiffany poobah Michael J. Kowalski -sucks in his cummerbund and receives the 2003 Corporate Communications Award for an outstanding marketing campaign. We’ll say! If you don’t have $500, sail over to City Center, where Gilbert and Sullivan’s light opera The Pirates of Penzance is playing-and it’s still as fresh as when it premiered in New York on New Year’s Eve 123 years ago!
[The Jewelry Information Center's Inaugural Gem Awards Gala, Cipriani, 110 East 42nd Street, black tie, 7 p.m., 843-1724; The Pirates of Penzance , City Center, 145 West 55th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, 8 p.m., 581-1212.]
Show me the monkey! Has the art world gone bananas? Today at the Julie Saul Gallery, photographer Arne Svenson exhibits his snaps of Boone Gallery director Ron Warren’s collection of sock monkeys. Mr. Svenson hopes to ultimately photograph Mr. Warren’s entire collection, which includes over 1,800 monkeys and makes us feel much better about our affinity for commemorative plates. “I love anything obsessive-anything that has a lot of something . And if it has a face, I’m there !” said the giddy photographer. As for the afore mentioned monkeys, some are currently touring the country, many are in storage, and the rest reside in their own wing of Mr. Warren’s apartment. “I decided to do it in classical-portrait style against black velvet,” said Mr. Svenson. “We originally shot them in color, but none of the personality of each individual monkey was coming out. All you saw was just a red mouth and eyes. In the black-and-white photographs, though, the character inherent within the creature comes out.” And in a blinding moment of inspiration, it seems that Penn and Teller, Isaac Mizrahi, our own Simon Doonan and others have contributed original short stories about their favorite sock-monkey photograph . According to Mr. Svenson, the stories “range from the sweet to the frightening, the sublime to the bizarre.”
[Sock Monkeys, Julie Saul Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, 11 a.m., 627-2410.]
Note to New York men: For some reason, you seem not to have noticed that women cannot walk on subway grates because our heels fall through. So please move over and pony up some sidewalk, sirs! In the meantime, ladies, shoes are now up to 50 percent off at Stuart Weitzman, so you can at least fall through the grates in style … and while we’re on the subject of the men folk, today is your very last day to see Chris Paseka’s Nice Guys Don’t Piss on Tulips , a comedy about a man who “rediscovers his true self and the meaning of life, love and one night of freaky-nasty sex.” Mr. Paseka wrote his play while working a day job as a “manny” to three children. “There’s this one character who we call the ‘baseball sex freak’ because she uses baseball analogies in bed and gets a little nasty with it,” he said. “When my mother read the play, I tried to apologize for that part, and she said, ‘Actually, this is kind of realistic.’ I kind of went blind when she said that.” You go, Mommy girlfriend!
[Stuart Weitzman, 625 Madison Avenue, near 58th Street, noon, 750-2555; Nice Guys Don't Piss on Tulips , the Grand Theater, Producers' Club, 358 West 44th, 613-0057.]
You know those Hollywood actors you’re never sure are still alive and kicking? We hereby extend that guessing game to New York venues like Planet Hollywood. Just when you think they’ve made like a carnival goldfish , they’re throwing a big sloppy party! Tonight, Planet Hollywood launches NYC Pet Project, a book of photos featuring celebs and their furry friends (although, thankfully, not that photo of a nude David Hasselhoff wearing only Shar-Pei puppies -we still cry at night). Guests include the most handsome George Hamilton , the very talented Mary Tyler Moore and Alicia Silverstone , who was one step away from showing up on NBC’s Celebrity Fear Factor before The Graduate came to the rescue. Other celebs in the book include our favorite Golden Girl , Rue McClanahan, who called us from the Murray Hill duplex she shares with her husband, Mauro, and part-Siamese cat, Bianca . “The three of us live together as a family. Bianca’s very important,” she told us before confiding that she grows her own catnip. “I had one cat named Celestine, and whenever she encounteredcatnip, she’d lie down and pull herself around in pinwheels all over the floor.” We knew a guy like that once …. When she’s not sending kitties on a bender, Ms. McClanahan is gearing up for her new Broadway musical, 6 Dance Lessons in 6 Weeks , as well as an exercise video for the over-55 crowd. “Who knows what we’re going to call that one!” she said. ” Workout with Rue ?”
[ NYC Pet Project , Planet Hollywood, 45th Street and Broadway, 917-521-0820.]
Woody or wouldn’t he? Woody Allen whips out his clarinet and fronts his New Orleans Jazz Band at a benefit honoring former N.Y.C. Planning Commission chair Joseph B. Rose. The Eldridge Street Project hosts the event, which includes a silent auction of works donated by Maya Lin, Cindy Sherman and the newly resurgent David Salle. If Ms. Lin shows up, beg her to design a W.T.C. memorial before it’s too late. This summer, Mr. Allen will star with Sean Penn in Why Men Shouldn’t Marry , directed by Steven Bing, who shunned Liz Hurley last year when she was pregnant with his child (we don’t even have a joke here) …. And if it’s more jazz you want, more jazz we got! Later on tonight, the Algonquin Hotel (the “Gonk” to us regulars) presents jazz vocalist Curtis Stigers. Mr. Stigers, who told us that he grew up “in Boise, Idaho, of all places,” once rebelled against his Midwest roots with a two-year stint with long hair. “I didn’t have a mullet-I swear to God, I didn’t have a mullet! One time, during a television interview in Ireland, the host asked me about my mullet, and I jumped down his throat and said, ‘Look, buddy , it wasn’t a mullet! ‘ He responded, ‘Of course it was!’ -and we nearly came to blows.” Mr. Stigers said jazz singers are actually discriminated against in the city’s clubs. “Most of the jazz clubs in the city are instrumental-syncratic -it’s a tough road for singers. There are a lot of places where a trumpeter can go to a jam session, work on his chops and break into the scene, but there aren’t too many opportunities for a person to sing jazz. It’s a double-edged something … a double-edged thingie.”
[The Eldridge Street Project, the Regent Wall Street, 55 Wall Street between William and Hanover streets, 6:30 p.m., 245-6570, ext. 18; The Oak Room, Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, 9 p.m., 310-957-5757, ext. 405.]
Smallpox vaccines are the new Botox …. But spend tonight at the other kind of clinic, at the Off Broadway production of Almost Live from the Betty Ford Clinic . According to director Michael West , the play is a “satire on our culture’s addiction to celebrities and celebrities’ addictions to … other things.” Characters include Jerry Lewis, Liberace and Liza Minnelli. Mr. West perked up at the mention of Ms. Minnelli’s name. “Oh, have you heard anything in the last day or two?” he asked. “I’ve been in Florida and can’t get my hands on the Post !” Also on the roster is someone who calls him/herself Pee-wee Merman -a hybrid who looks like Pee-wee Herman from the neck down, Ethel Merman from the neck up. He says Pee-weeish things, but in Ethel’s voice. Still with us? Somehow, the existence of Pee-wee Merman makes us optimistic for 2003. Don’t know why, but it does.
[Douglas Fairbanks Theatre, 432 West 42nd Street, 8 p.m., $20, 239-4321.]