Cars and gals: Volvo , which was the car of choice for socially conscious New Yorkers before they all said “screw it” and put down for the S.U.V. , hosts awards today for unsung heroes -people nominated by their local communities for making a difference, with the winner getting $50,000 donated to the charity of her choice. It all goes down in Times Square , the city’s great big tourist bug-zapper. Jim Belushi emerges from hiding to host; your panel of judges includes Paul Newman (great actor!), Maya Lin (great architect!), Eunice Kennedy Shriver (great gams!), Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg (great advocate for N.Y.C. schools!) and Bill Bradley (he was available). Meanwhile , designer Kate Spade packs husband/designer Andy Spade into one of her pert purses and strikes a dainty pose at the National Arts Club, where InStyle (Time Inc.’s big mooing cash cow) hosts a fête launching Ms. Spade’s happy three-book series: Style , Manners (neither of which we have) and Occasions (which we also don’t have, because we lack the first two). Meanwhile, Soprano Jamie-Lynn DiScala , who has the Heidi Fleiss grimace down in that new TV movie, Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss , hops off the cover of this month’s FHM to helm a party celebrating 40 years of Ford Mustang . She co-hosts with Anne Heche, whose career was hotter when she was a lesbian , before she became a Smuggie ….
[The Volvo for Life Awards, Times Square Studios, 44th Street and Broadway, 7 to 11 p.m., 612-338-3900; Kate Spade book party, National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.,
212-522-8349, by invitation only; Ford Mustang’s 40th-anniversary party,
Manhattan Automobile Company, 787 11th Avenue, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.,
212-843-8040, by invitation only.]
Eric Stoltz’s voice mail says, “You have reached the voice-mail box of Eleanor Roosevelt! Please leave a message!”, so we asked him why. “I just always loved Eleanor. I adore all the Roosevelts, but Eleanor especially,” he said. Tonight he’s part of an annual reading of Dante’s Inferno at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. “We’re reading the Inferno on Maundy Thursday, which is actually the day that the book took place on, for all your perverse Dante fans who think that’s important,” said Mr. Stoltz. “I love doing spoken-word things and listening to spoken word and reading things-I’m a big fan of words in general.” Look at Mr. Smartypants ! He’s also in Sly Fox , co-starring Richard Dreyfuss , Bronson Pinchot and Elizabeth Berkley . “It’s a big ole Broadway cast, and it’s not a musical-very rare these days,” he said. We heard that Cameron Crowe promised him a role in every film he makes. “It’s true! I guess it all started since I worked with him on his first movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High . I just had this instinct that he would make a really wonderful director, and I kept nudging him toward that. And, out of obligation or duty or appreciation, that came about.” Meanwhile, several blocks west, the Friends of Harlem Dowling are benefiting from its All-Star Gala as Patti LaBelle belts, the president of the N.B.A. Players Association, William Hunter , avoids Kobe questions, and the incredible shrinking Al Roker (is it just us, or is getting your daily weather report like watching Stephen King’s Thinner ? ) reminds you to wear your gaily-printed Easter-season galoshes tomorrow.
[Dante’s Inferno Marathon, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, 9 p.m. to midnight,
212-316-7540; Friends of Harlem Dowling All-Star Gala, Apollo Theater, 253 West 125th Street, 7 p.m., 212-531-5305; Sly Fox opens tomorrow, Ethel Barrymore Theater, 243 West 47th Street, 8 p.m., 212-239-6200.]
If you’ve seen Secret Window , you know that the secret is that it sucks . So after your nooner with the girl from marketing (highlights, French-manicured toes) , scurry to Yorkville Library for a screening of High Noon and a feast of Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly . For those Nerve gals who still think men in 2004 want sluts for girlfriends, there’s a Great American Amateur Striptease Contest at Webster Hall. (Note to the ladies : This trend of taking striptease classes in an effort to turn on your boyfriends? Honey, the whole appeal behind the striptease is that someone else is doing them, a’ight? He already knows what you look like naked.) That said, leave your boyfriend at home tonight unless you’re prepared to see him reach “high noon.”
[ High Noon , Yorkville Library, 222 East 79th Street, 3 p.m., 212-744-5824; Amateur Burlesque, Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, 10 p.m., 212-353-1600.]
Dueling street festivals! The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center , whose name takes too long to say, sponsors the annual Greenwich Avenue Summer(?!) Festival. Watch everyone bust out the Birks and flip-flops too early and pad amongst the antiques, pottery, chunky jewelry, food stalls ( burp !) and “ephemera” (which is how we refer to ex-boyfriends). Ten blocks or so north , there’s the higher-strung 23rd Street Spring Festival -or Stress-tival, more like, with the continuous entertainment, Smuggie moms with double-wide strollers and inevitable people offering back rubs to those who find it relaxing to straddle an apparatus for 10 minutes in public while a total stranger digs her elbows into your vertebral column and asks every 30 seconds, “You like?”
[LGBT Greenwich Avenue Summer Festival, Greenwich Avenue between Sixth Avenue and West 12th Street, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 212-620-7310; 212-764-6330; 23rd Street Spring Festival, 23rd Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues.]
Easter Sunday, and New Yorkers of the Christian faith gather in churches while some spill out into Central Park for Tavern on the Green’s Easter Eggstravaganza . There’s an egg hunt -or as the French like to call it, ” une chasse des oeufs ” -where Brearley-, Trinity-, Chapin- and Spence-bound tots elbow and clothesline each other as characters from Alice in Wonderland entertain with magic tricks, face-painting and balloon-sculpting (Alice will occasionally steal behind a large boulder to smoke). The Mad Hatter’s Easter Bonnet Contest has four new categories: “Loveliest Little Lady Hat,” “Best Boy Bonnet,” “Cutest Canine Cap” and “Kitschiest Kitty Bonnet.” “We started that last year, and it was a hoot!” hooted Shelley Clark , the spokeswoman. “Last year, there was this wonderful little pug that came with a bonnet with a veil and pearls …. People take this really seriously! The person that got the grand prize of a thousand dollars last year was not the crowd favorite, and she-I think it was a teenage girl-and the person everyone wanted to win almost came to fisticuffs!” Make that mimosa a double ….
[Tavern on the Green’s Easter Eggstravaganza, Central Park West and 67th Street, 12:30 to 4 p.m., 212-873-3200.]
April’s always the cruelest month if you’re a poet , and today the Authors’ Guild toasts The New Yorker ‘s poetry editor, Alice Quinn , who’s held that title for 17 years and thus has the right to refer to “Mr. Shawn.” Also getting a glass raised in his direction is former poet laureate Robert Pinsky . (He’s translated Dante-what the heck have you done lately?) For those who don’t scan, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot and Beyoncé perform at Madison Square Garden.
[Authors’ Guild Foundation 12th Annual Benefit Dinner, the Metropolitan Club, 1 East 60th Street, 6.30 p.m., 212-594-7931; Verizon Ladies First Tour 2004, Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m., 212-307-7171.]
The round table is empty and the cigars have gone cold, but Dorothy Parker -the Eve Ensler of the Jazz Age-is brought to life by prime-time moms Edie Falco , Cynthia Nixon and others at a benefit in a Tribeca loft. Isaac Mizrahi, who will be at the reading, told us that along with Shakespeare’s sonnets, Miss Parker is his favorite bedside reading, but that he was disappointed that “she was a reluctant slapper -only 90 percent of what could have been. I suppose that’s what upsets me about myself: that I can’t fully bring myself to be the sinning bitch I’d like to be.” Or you can steal off to Brooklyn to catch Bill Murray -he wuz robbed on Oscar night, we tell ya!-being chatted up by the dreadlocked New York Times movie critic, Elvis Mitchell .
[What Fresh Hell Is This?: Performing Dorothy Parker to Benefit the Drama Department, Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, 7 p.m., 212-633-9108; An Evening with Bill Murray, B.A.M., 30 Lafayette Avenue, 9:30 p.m., 718-636-4100.]
Benefits in bloom! First up, a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at Asprey. On your way downtown, buy some crimson lippy or simply hop into several fountains, because the theme for the TriBeCa Ball will be La Dolce Vita . Prince Charles is the committee’s Royal Patron, but since black tie is optional , it’s clear that he and the coltish offspring will be tending to more important matters across the pond. The usual suspects abound , stumbling across Gotham Hall’s dance floor, and the other half will be found at the New Yorker for New York Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria, where Walter Cronkite will be honored, among others. Have you had enough? Slip out of your wet frock and check out the first performance of Neil LaBute’s The Distance from Here . Wannabe siren Anna Paquin stars.
[The Committee for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Bill Bernback Memorial Dinner, Asprey, 725 Fifth Avenue, 6.30 p.m. by invitation only; TriBeCa Ball, Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, 7 p.m., by invitation only; New Yorker for New York Awards, Waldorf-Astoria, 7 p.m., by invitation only; The Distance from Here , the Duke, 229 West 42nd Street, 8 p.m., http://www.MCCTheater.org.