Since shopping is the new sex-heck, the old sex used to be shopping, too; who are we kidding?-start tonight off with the sticky-fingered ladies of Lucky (attire: aggressive camisole, “statement” bag ) as they clomp down to Gansevoort Street to suck down something-tini’s and toast the magazine’s dynamic duo, editors Kim France and Andrea Linett , for their new shopping manual for the sartorially challenged. (There’s even a section for people like us who-once, when we were out of quarters- put our clothes in the dishwasher “just to see.”) Still feelin’ lucky? Then, by all means, stay home and get yourself a little somethin’ somethin’. The rest of us head uptown for a panel, “Sex: Then and Now.” Your panel nymphs are Sex and the City sprite Sarah Jessica Parker , playwright Wendy Wasserstein (writes plays about eligible furriers), writer Erica Jong and “new sexpot” Tina Brown. Maybe it’s just us , but we think the evolution of sex is easily explained using computer metaphors: A few decades ago, everyone was “file-sharing”; now, it’s more like “requesting virus scan.” Meanwhile, at the P.E.N. American Center, brooding Brooklyn-based author Paul Auster, saucy Salman Rushdie and the elegant Rose Styron raise their quills in a literary tribute to Gabriel García Márquez (Nobel Prize winner, loves Castro). Also on hand will be Bill Clinton , who’ll send his regards via video message (sort of like how, at the end of those James Bond movies , Bond used to connect via TV phone with the boss, and then the camera would pan back to reveal Bond on a waterbed in a concupiscent clench with a lingerie-clad lass … ).
[P.E.N. American Center tribute, the Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street, 8 p.m., 212-840-2824; “Sex: Then and Now,” 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 8 p.m., 212-415-5500; The Lucky Shopping Manual book party, PM, 50 Gansevoort Street, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., 212-286-4578.]
While you were sleeping, a 1980’s cause has returned: Tonight eco-friendly fancy people flock to the Peter Max Studio for a ” Protect the Seals ” gala. Join hostesses Anna Getty (oil heiress), Famke Janssen (giantess), Eva La Rue (actress) and other “-ess” people as photos of cute-faced seal pups tear at the heartstrings …. Meanwhile, bush approval ratings are up, so the straight-male contingent heads to see the Rockettes at the opening of Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular …. Elsewhere, disco-king Peter Jennings honors Hewlett Packard chairmama Carly Fiorina at a Seeds of Hope benefit. Mike Tiabbi and Liz Smith stop by to get jiggy. Meanwhile, for all you New Yorkers who drive -and then drive the rest of us crazy with your incessant, ineffective honking and equally ineffective and annoying car alarms-take your next $360,000 and plunk it down on a Maybach roadster. India.Arie (a singer? a dot-com?) will perform.
[Protect the Seals benefit and dinner, the Peter Max Studio-Viamax, 37 West 65th Street, seventh floor, 212-343-3920; Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, 212-307-1000; Seeds of Hope, the Hilton New York, Sixth Avenue between 53rd and 54th streets, 6:30 p.m., 212-213-1166; Maybach launch party, Guggenheim, 1071 Fifth Avenue, 6:30 to 9 p.m., by invitation only.]
Ex-Rockette Jennifer Jiles called to talk about her roman à clef play, Kicking and Screaming . “Oh, hang on, my business manager just walked in. I’m at home, but we’re doing a little business here before we head to the theater.” We bet. ( Kidding -she lives with her husband and two cats!) What’s it like to be a Rockette? “You have to weigh in! It’s very anorexia nervosa : I used to get my water-pill prescription filled three days before and then strip down buck-naked down to the earrings and then get on the scale. Then I’d go stuff down a bacon, egg and cheese on a roll , some Cool Ranch Doritos and chocolate milk. There’s also a height requirement: There’s a measuring stick at the door, and you have to be measured in stocking feet. You couldn’t be taller than 5-10 or smaller than 5-5. It looks like we’re all the same height, right? That illusion is created by placing the tallest girls in the center. I’m 5-foot-8, so I was fourth from the center on the left. I would make a map for family and friends so they knew where I was! And we don’t really touch each other’s backs in the kickline, because otherwise you can knock each other over. I learned this the hard way from the girl next to me, who I used to call ‘Hitler in heels.’ ” M e-OW! Tonight, Ms. Jiles’ wraps up her play’s current run.
[ Kicking and Screaming , the Workshop Theater Company, 312 West 36th Street, fourth floor, 7 p.m., 212-695-4173.]
Our cooking skills begin and end with chocolate milk, but someone has declared today “Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day,” causing local foodies to wake up with some wood. The rest of us cleanse our palettes at the Promise Ball benefit for juvenile diabetes at the Waldorf Astoria. NBC’s Chuck Scarborough -who looks distinguished in ladies’ eyeglasses-M.C.’s, while Rosie O’Donnell sneaks a gavel from the courthouse (see Gruner + Jahr U.S.A.) and serves as auctioneer. The lovely Mary Tyler Moore (who’s husband calls her ” ma’am “) doles out humanitarian awards.
[Promise Ball, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue, 6:30 p.m., 212-478-4316.]
Tonight: In one room you get Isabella Rossellini, the Gipsy Kings, Lauren Bacall, opera star Vincenzo La Scola and Muhammad Ali’s boxing daughter, Miya Ali. The event: a “November Soirée” benefit commemorating the life of Linda McCartney , with proceeds benefiting worthy causes (cancer research and the Columbia University Medical Center ). Notice collective whispers over the awkward absence of Paul, Heather, new baby Beatrice and Stella McCartney, who are too busy starring in an episode of Family Feud to make it. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Museum channels Eminem and goes “urban” today, offering a talk titled “Will the Real El Greco Please Stand Up?” Bring your mad props and shout-outs. And don’t leave without checking out exhibits like 19th-Century French Impressionistz: Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet and All They Peeps.
[Will the Real El Greco Please Stand Up?, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainy Rogers Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 2:30 p.m., 212-570-3930; A November Soirée, the Grand Ballroom, the Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street, 6:30 p.m., 212-889-4813.]
Glamour one-ups Cosmo ‘s “Fun, Fearless Female Award” by honoring not one but five women, Sharon Stone hands out Women of the Year awards to Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt, Queen Noor of Jordan, bridal-dress diva Vera Wang, Ellen (“Yep, I’m still gay!”) DeGeneres and boff-machine Britney Spears. Across town, Pat (“Big money! Big money !”) Sajak will do the hokey-pokey and turn himself around with Candice Bergen and Ted Koppel at Broadcasting and Cable magazine’s black-tie gala. All three will be inducted into the mag’s Hall of Fame, which has gotta be awkward for host Sam Donaldson (“Uh, congratulations, Ted … congratu- freaking -lations.”) The Simpsons also makes it in as the first television show in history that hasn’t jumped the shark!
[ B&C Hall of Fame gala, Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, 6 p.m., 212-889-6716; Glamour Women of the Year Awards, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only.]
“I’m needy! I’m very needy ,” John Leguizamo told us as he brushed up for tonight’s revival opening of his one-man show, Sexaholix … A Love Story . “I’m a co-dependent type of person with interlocking neuroses. I’ve ruined relationships by being totally smothering or Pygmalionizing women. I was always trying to reinvent the woman and play God-it was Girlfriendenstein ! … There was a time in my life when I wasn’t getting any at all, and I felt like I was a sexaholic . It was a very dry period in my life. It was in high school in New York, where everyone grew up fast. All my friends had lost their virginity at 13. I was late-15.” We were interrupted by his 3-year-old son, Ryder Lee, with whom he had an extended conversation about Hello Kitty. What will the kids think? “Oh my God! They’re probably going to grow up and write one-man shows against me, like I did to my father in Freak . He-how do I put it politely?-hated it. He did not take it well. Then he ran from the theater.” Has he ever met any sexaholics? “Just one. This one woman was just the freakiest, but now she’s a born-again Christian.” If your vice is more confectionery, Al Roker’s Hassle-Free Holiday Cookbook plops onto shelves today. The Today weatherman (up since 3:45 a.m.!) called and said, “My favorite recipe? That’s like asking, ‘Who’s your favorite kid?’ I enjoy them all! I’m into making life simple during the holidays. Of course, the easiest thing would be not to have anyone over at all and order pizza, but I suppose you have to compromise. I like grilling, roasting, broiling-the easy stuff. I do most of the cooking for the family. It’s not that my wife can’t cook, but she doesn’t like to cook, and if you don’t like cooking then, by God, don’t do it.” What’s in store for us this winter? “Well, I think it’ll get darker earlier, it will get much colder, there will be some snow, and toward the end it’ll get warmer.” Thanks! Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein uses his power for good, not evil, at the Children’s Defense Fund gala. Host Maya Angelou waxes poetic to people like supermodel Iman, Senator Hillary Clinton, C.D.F. president Marian Wright Edelmen, NBC chairman Bob Wright and one of Citigroup’s global heads, Michael Klein . Three high-school students snap up awards. Ask Mrs. Clinton if she’s running for President in 2004 so you can watch her do her patented “Oh my, that’s just so funny!” laugh.
[Children’s Defense Fund gala, Harlem’s World-Famous Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, 7 p.m., 212-647-8480; Sexaholix … A Love Story , Broadway at 53rd Street, 8 p.m., 212-239-6200.]
“We have 30,000 square feet of chocolate!” said a spokeswoman for the Chocolate Fashion Show being thrown by DIFFA . The gist: Designers are paired with chocolate makers , and together they create an outfit that has a fabric base with lotsa chocolate layers. The invite promises “scrumptious goody bags” for all you swag hags out there. Who’ll be there: designers Nicole Miller, Carmen Marc Valvo, Betsey Johnson -and models who need some chocolate, and freeloading media types who don’t. “The chocolate melts due to body temperature, so it has to be quick,” said the spokeswoman. “The models are covered in chocolate by the end, but they’re always happy. Chocolate makes people happy!” So does a swell story! Once upon a time (1647), Peter Stuyvesant brought a happy little pear tree from a land far away (Holland) and planted it in New Amsterdam (New York!). It sat contentedly on the corner of 13th Street and Third Avenue for 220 years, until some prat ran it over with his wagon. Today, the beclogged Holland Society and the freshly scrubbed faces at Kiehl’s are planting another pear tree in the same spot near Kiehl’s flagship store. The end.
[Gala Opening and Chocolate Fashion Show, Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street, 7 to 9 p.m., 212-244-0622; Planting at Pear Tree Corner, 109 Third Avenue, 10:30 a.m., celebratory breakfast to follow, 212-901-1115.]