Summer naked, some ain’t …. When the temps rise, our “enlightened” editor-currently in the South of France sampling stinky cheeses and gamine flesh -demands that we “up the sexy quotient” in the calendar, so here’s our best effort: the “Take Home a Nude” auction of paintings and sculpture benefiting the New York Academy of Art! Yay ! And it’s held at Sotheby’s, still soaping off from its recent scandal …. Double yay ! Featured artists whose names we’d recognize had Art History 101 at our fancy Ivy League college not started at 9 a.m.: Louise Bourgeois, Francesco Clemente, Patrick McMullan (hey, wait a sec-isn’t he a party photographer?). We’ll be on orange alert for New York’s most annoying pansexual Puck, Alan Cumming , who loves to run around at these things with twinkly barrettes in his hair. Speaking of Shakespearean porno, tonight is also ” Midsummer Night Swing ,” an earnest gathering of Upper West Side singles, led this year by the Buster Poindexter Band . We found Mr. Poindexter, a.k.a. David Johannsen, 52, in his West 50’s lair, and he said, “We play mambo, rumba-we have a lot of fun. Remember that song, ‘Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot?” Um, distantly-we think we were toddlers when it came out …. His last album was named Buster’s Spanish Rocketship , after the method by which Timothy Leary’s ashes were apparently transported into space. Trippy! What’s Mr. Poindexter listening to these days? “Everything! I have so many songs in my iPod from different eras. I just put it on shuffle and think, ‘God, talk to me!'”
[Take Home a Nude benefit, Sotheby’s, 72nd Street and York Avenue, 7 to 11 p.m., 212-966-0300, ext. 333; Midsummer Night Swing, Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue at 64th Street, lessons 6:30 p.m., dancing 7:30 p.m., 212-875-5766.]
Fellows and Triandafellos! There’s nothing quite like the sticky, jostling crowd at a free outdoor summer concert to remind you of the importance of cover charges: Tonight, Wilco (post-country) and Sonic Youth (post-punk) rattle the windows of Central Park West co-ops, so bring your best guy and a six-pack and a coupla picnic blankets for easy groping …. Meanwhile, downtown, folks in squeaky leather pants go see self-described “cutting-edge” artist Marya Triandafellos open a video art series called Sequences , involving 24 monitors, some oil pastels and a D.J. making “ambient sounds.” ( Where’s Justin Timberlake when you need him, huh?) “It’s sort of a meditative or hypnotic piece, ” said Ms. Triandafellos, 44- one of those fortysomething sex bombs we’ve been reading so much about lately. “Everything today is so quick-moving, just a barrage of images. The images I create are meant to take you into a space and relax you …. It’s about just having people take the time to reflect and enjoy the simple things we see every day. It’s about people enjoying the day-to-day beauty and not getting caught up in exasperating things. ” Memo to self: book spa appointment, stat !
[Central Park SummerStage, Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street, 6:30 p.m., 212-307-7171; Sequences: A Video Art Show , Remote Lounge, 327 Bowery, lower level, 8 to 10 p.m.]
Cremaster of your domain: Come for the convoluted metaphors, stay for the tap-dancing “manimals”! The Cremaster Cycle of Matthew Barney-also known as “Mr. Bjork” -swivels on apace, with Cremaster Three , sort of a Matrix: Revolutions for the Helmut Lang–wearin’ highbrow set, playing tonight and every Friday through July …. Um, is it just us, or is “cycle” just a fancy word for something with “sequels”?
[The Peter B. Lewis Theater, Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 2 p.m., 212-360-4321.]
Whither Witherspoon? Oh, it is hopping in the Hamptons tonight, let us tell you …. Because the original left so many unanswered questions , we hav e Legally Blonde 2 , which premieres tonight in Southhampton with the perky, baby-faced breeder Reese Witherspoon-kind of our generation’s Meg Ryan, except a bit more scarily efficient -and a super-exclusive after-party at Hampton Hall with lots of girls in pink dresses …. Ms. Witherspoon’s gangly hubby, stay-at-home-dad Ryan Phillippe, will be there, as will Sally Field (we like her, we really do!) and Luke Wilson ( current gold-medal favorite in the Overexposure Olympics ). If you can’t crash, fork up $175 for either House and Garden ‘s Hampton Designer Showhouse in a spiffy 1920’s mansion-white Zin , lots of chintz chaired by jolly Marlo Buatta and glossy Charlotte Moss -or Sagaponack’s Taste of the Hamptons event, sort of a street fair for the wealthy …. Those bogged down in Quogue can try their luck at a casino-themed gala called “All You Need Is Love” benefiting the East End Hospice. Whom may we expect? “Definitely John Roland from Fox 5 , and, uh, lots of people from Prudential Doug Elliman,” said the publicist. Yes, it’s a thrill a minute, these Hamptons!
[ Legally Blonde 2 premiere, 7:30 p.m., United Artists Southampton Theater, 43 Hill Street, Southampton, by invitation only; Hampton Designer Showhouse, 107 Great Plains Road, Southampton, 6 p.m., 631-283-4248; Taste of the Hamptons, Wolffer Estate, 5 to 8 p.m., 139 Sagg Main Road, Sagaponack, 631-427-3700, ext. 255; All You Need Is Love, Sandacres Estate, Quogue, 7 to 11 p.m., 631-288-7080.]
If you’re gay-really the only dignified mating option left in the city, we think, with all the straight people peeking out partially obscured behind potted palms and professing their love for Radiohead in those tacky Nerve.com personal ads -it’s your day! Get out your feather boas and dog collars and mince on over to the Gay Pride Parade, and be snappy about it …. Meanwhile, remember when atheism used to be sort of fashionable- before Buddhists, yoga enthusiasts, etc., quietly enfolded the city in their loose-flowing garments ? Well, today a grim little band known as the American Atheists hunkers down to discuss the topic “Is Atheist Activism Right For You?” “We have to get with it and get organized ,” said club prez Ellen Johnson from her office in atheist-plagued New Jersey . “Legislation is being passed every day that takes our money and gives it to religious groups, even though there’s no evidentiary support for the faith-based initiative.” That does sound frightening, sweetie-but frankly, so does burning in hell for all eternity ….
[Gay Pride Parade, Fifth Avenue between 52nd and Greenwich streets, 11 a.m.; Atheist Activism, Source of Life Conference Center, 16th floor, 352 Seventh Avenue, 1 to 5 p.m., 973-729-5500.]
Hah-vard hoedown! Tonight is your last chance to catch The Elijah Plays , two back-to-back musicals by Harvard Lampoon alum Elijah Aron . Plays written by a Harvard alumnus about himself … how unusual. We found Mr. Aron, 31, in his capacious Los Angeles apartment, where he’s “doing the Hollywood thing with the hot tub and all that,” but he hopes to make it back for the final performance. “It’s all vaguely based on my own character flaws,” he said. “I figure no one else is going to write about me, so I was going to have to do it myself.” Nothing like the faux modesty of a Harvard grad writing plays about himself, eh? Any editor-pleasing “sexy quotient”? “It’s at this former porn palace in Times Square,” Mr. Aron said. “They’ve been doing legitimate theater for years. There are still pictures of naked girls on the walls, but in every other way it’s appropriate for children!” Phew! And now for a plot summary: Play No. 1, Cocktails with Elijah , follows the leading man as he throws a cocktail party which he hopes will draw celebrities, but his annoying friends, a robot and a mollusk show up instead (hate it when that happens). Play No. 2 is the Harry Potter–esquely titled Elijah and the Cave of Villains -which, Mr. Aron said, is “sort of a metaphor for my life in Hollywood. Elijah is a slave to these villains, but he thinks that they really like him and really care for him. Eventually, he’s hoping to be promoted to a slave manager.” This sort of neatly sums up our feelings about the summer interns ….
[ The Elijah Plays , Show World, 673 Eighth Avenue, 8 p.m., 212-625-1725.]
The city’s “secret rich” (live in a condo bought by parents “as an investment,” perhaps on Bedford Avenue, complain constantly about having “no money,” yet constantly hopping planes, shopping, etc.-you know who you are) are the only types we can think of who might be interested in New York Film Academy’s four-week filmmaking workshop , a summer camp for adults that starts today at $3,500 a pop …. Maybe there’s some book-party action in town? ( Rustle … rustle …. ) Well, it appears that all of legitimate Manhattan publishing has flown the coop to Martha’s Vineyard or wherever it goes, but here’s an Ian Schrager–hosted bash for How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less by Melissa de la Cruz and Karen Robinovitz, journalists who-not to split hairs or anything-are not famous , despite their prodigious talent for throwing themselves book parties (they had another one-for this same book!-at Lot 61 back in November, and no, we didn’t go-are you nuts?). The book is based on an article in Marie Claire , (that wellspring of great literature,) which has been optioned for a movie and, let’s face it, would probably be a great Reese Witherspoon vehicle-but even if that happens, it’s still not gonna make the writers famous.
[New York Film Academy, 100 East 17th Street, 212-674-4300; Paramount, 235 West 46th Street, 9 p.m. to midnight, 212-373-6137.]
Why July? Now don’t get us wrong: We’re not one of those churlish New Yorkers who likes to carp about the heat and humidity of city summers -please, a little perspective! Blend yourself a margarita or something!-but we must face facts and bravely admit that so far, at least, there seems to be simply nada going on this month. Nothing. When we type “New York” and “July 2003″ into Google, it comes back with: “Did you mean June 2003?” That’s how bad it is. It’s National Hot Dog Month. Are you getting the idea? So think of today as that “free” square on the bingo card of life …. We’ll be inside, because Punk’d ain’t going to watch itself, people.
[MTV, Channel 20, 1:30 a.m.]