Mrs. Smith goes to Symphony Space: We mean Anna Deavere, of course! The mistress of one-woman productions (she was up for two Tonys for Twilight: Los Angeles ) was heartbreaking in last year’s Roth-fest, The Human Stain -tonight she introduces a reading of short stories by Edward P. Jones, Anne Carson and Victor D. LaValle to a huffy audience of Condé Nast editors who showed up expecting Anna Nicole Smith …. Meanwhile, Wesley Clark -who put his fate in the hands of the Clintons and thus ended up standing around in his jockstrap -sits down with Washington Post muckraker Dana Priest (kind of a less sloppy Judith Miller ) at the 92nd Street Y …. A few blocks south, the Whitney museum’s intelligentsia (i.e., members) preview the “edgy” biennial exhibition, including work by experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage and painter David Hockney.
[Anna Deavere Smith introduces, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 8 p.m., 212-864-1414; “The New War: Wesley Clark and Dana Priest,” 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 8 p.m., 212-415-5500; Whitney opening reception, Whitney Museum, 945 Madison Ave, 7 p.m., 212-570-3641, members only.]
Bow-tied Bushies, otherwise known as the Young Republicans , gather to hear from Kellyanne Conway , president of Polling Company, which conducts research for groups like Microsoft, the Heritage Foundation, Philip Morris and Ladies’ Home Journal . Ms. Conway was expecting a decent crowd. “We’re not quite Dominican shortstops yet,” she cautioned. “But we’re growing!” Amuse yourself by using that quasi-word “santorum” in a sentence …. Meanwhile, their parent s-in black tie-attend the Armory Show’s opening-night benefit on the piers on the Hudson. Watch for women trotting out the Easter colors a tad too early ….
[New York Young Republican Club meeting, Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’ and Airmen’s Club, 283 Lexington Avenue, 7 p.m., 212-533-4940; Armory Show opening-night benefit, Piers 90 and 92 on the Hudson River, 7 p.m., 212-708-9680.]
If Howie Mandel doing stand-up at Foxwoods makes you nostalgic for Bobby’s World , huzzah for you! Mr. Mandel’s quirky animated show-about a dark-haired kid who, you may recall, loved to daydream and wear humungous blue sneakers -was by far his best role. We asked Mr. Mandel what he’s been up to, aside from a Showtime movie, Crown Heights , in which he plays a hip rabbi named Laz. “What the hell I been up to ?” he snapped. We changed the subject: Would you consider hosting the Oscars? ” Nah . If somebody were to ask me to do it, I would certainly be honored. But it’s tough enough to do comedy and to entertain as it is. When you start in the business, it’s really tough to win an audience over-I would imagine the Oscar audience is the toughest there is.” Certainly tougher than fat people in track suits, half in the bag and their life’s earnings gobbled up by blackjack …. Some names are better changed : The New Opera Ball hits the Plaza hotel, but back when it was in Austria, it was tagged the Wiener Opernball . Where do you pin the corsage? Anyway, the event-which has been endorsed by the likes of Kevin Bacon and squeeze Kyra Sedgwick (the thinking man’s Julia Roberts )-benefits the Children’s Hope Foundation , which helps children and teenagers living with H.I.V. and AIDS.
[Howie Mandel, Foxwoods Resort Casino, 39 Norwich Westerly Road, Mashantucket, Conn., 9 p.m., 800-200-2882; the New Opera Ball in New York, Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, 7:45 p.m., 212-792-4048.]
“I confess to being pretty much an Amazon virgin,” said pretty author lady Kathryn Harrison from the Brooklyn home she shares with husband and fellow writer Colin. “I think that in a weak moment, I once looked at the reviews of one of my books-some of which actuallydid seem quite personal,” she continued. “And I justthought, ‘Thisisnot something I can afford to do. This is emotionally costly and stupid.’ And that was the end.” Tonight, Ms. Harrison-who wrote a memoir ( The Kiss ) about an affair she had with her father (hey, it beats Match.com )-speaks with Leonard Lopate at the indefatigable Brooklyn Public Library. Meanwhile, the American Museum of Natural History -where the stuffed people and animals in the dioramas get up and walk around in the wee small hours-has deemed today “Annual Identification Day,” whereupon visitors are encouraged to haul in shells, rocks, insects and other natural ephemera. Bring Howie Mandel.
[Kathryn Harrison and “Brooklyn Writers for Brooklyn Readers,” Brooklyn Public
Library at Grand Army Plaza, 2 p.m.,
718-230-2100; Identification Day, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, 1 p.m., 212-769-5100.]
Tim Robbins may be whipped like an egg cream , but Susan Sarandon’s gangly hubby powers on: He’s the writer and director of a new play, Embedded , a satire about the Middle East conflict that skewers embedded journalists and government officials. Sounds just fine-but again, just like Alan Alda in Crimes and Misdemeanors and Mr. Robbin’s own work in The Player , these lefty do-good types are at their best when playing selfish bastards.
[ Embedded , the Public Theater,
425 Lafayette Street, 212-230-6200.]
Hans solo! Hans Blix , cuddly chairman of the International Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction , discusses his new book Disarming Iraq , and its likely sequels ( Disarming Korea , Disarming Iran , Disarming Portugal ) …. In other news, it’s the Ides of March. Julius Caesar was assassinated by his best pal today in 44 B.C. Conspiracy theorists, take note: Neil Simon (who wrote the TV series Caesar’s Hour ) was recently stabbed in the back, too, when his friend (and publicist!) gave him a kidney. Coincidence?
[Hans Blix, Eisner-Lubin Auditorium, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South between Laguardia and Thompson streets,
6 p.m., 212-992-9091.]
More proof that New York has become a nice, slightly corny all-American city: Hootie and the Blowfish perform at Borders books (where we believe Hootie may actually be working.) Today, the group signs copies of Best of Hootie and the Blowfish 1993-2003 . Can you feel the magic? … Meanwhile, during the TV series The Wonder Years , every other teenybopper was wild about Kevin Arnold- but personally, we were always much more of a “Paul” girl. We managed to find the Arnold family patriarch, played by actor Dan Lauria , now dabbling in the thea- tuh . “I’ve only done one revival in the last 15 years, because I don’t do plays by old, dead white guys,” said Mr. Lauria, a no-nonsense 56. He was out in Long Island (“I’ve come up to visit my mom. Mom’s always great to have around, because she likes anything I do-to her, I’m Olivier.”) Mr. Lauria is on the cusp of a new play, Ears on a Beatle , opening tonight. Plot: An experienced, older F.B.I. agent teams up with a younger agent who views him as a hero. The two conduct undercover surveillance on John Lennon. “In the end, the younger man has become me and I’ve become destroyed by it all.” Thanks for spoiling the ending, pops. Any more surprises? “What I was shocked about is how many young kids know about Lennon. I don’t mean the Beatles-I mean Lennon , I mean Strawberry Fields and all that. We had to turn away hundreds of 15-year-old kids showing up in Lennon shirts and black arm bands.” The big huggy bear still gets recognized, of course. “That’s never gonna stop! But it’s like Jack Lemmon said: ‘When they stop stopping you on the street is when you have to worry.’ I’m the Hugh Beaumont of my generation.” Who?
[Borders, 10 Columbus Circle, West 58th Street and Eighth Avenue, 1 p.m., 212-823-9775;
Ears on a Beatle , DR2 Theater, 103 East 15th Street, 8 p.m., 212-239-6200.]
St. Patrick’s Day! Green plastic bowlers and Mike Bloomberg playfully poking Diane Taylor with his shillelagh …. The parade blankets midtown at 11 a.m.; watch for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton inventing yet another Irish ancestor; by 11 p.m., the streets are alive with Irish folk making merry …. Earlier, the Hospital for Joint Diseases sponsors a community blood drive-you must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, meaning the cast of Friends is out, except for Matthew Perry , who can give twice. (Watching the reruns is the proverbial box of chocolates, isn’t it? You never know which Perry you’re gonna get- Thin Perry, Average Perry, Fat Perry. )
[243rd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade,
11 a.m., Fifth Avenue from 44th to 86th streets; blood drive, the Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street, 7 a.m. to
6 p.m., 212-598-6232.]