Caps and frowns: Yesterday, playwright Tony Kushner delivered the keynote address to Columbia’s Class of 2004 , while its underachieving, sexually confused sister Barnard had to settle for author and social critic Barbara Ehrenreich . Today, they all throw their hats in the air and find out just what that pricey Ivy League education will buy them (try a 300-square-foot studio apt in Bed-Stuy ). In more Ivy League news , authors Andrew Solomon (Yale, Cambridge), Tom Dolby (Yale, scion of that family), publisher David Ebershoff (Brown) and attorney Philip Galanes (Yale) sprinkle themselves with fairy dust and gather at Readings by Out Authors …. Even if the Strokes are no longer what they used to be (svelte, single, superlative), their opening act, composed of Harper (son of Paul) Simon , childhood chum Sean Lennon and Sonic Youth’s drum machine Steve Shelley , ought to placate tonight’s SummerStage opening-night concert audience sufficiently. Hey, remember Greg Gutfeld , the editor of Stuff magazine who once crashed a Fashion Week show dressed like a bear? Well, Dennis Publishing is shipping its favorite curmudgeon off to jolly olde England to helm British Maxim . “I’m a little nervous because the Brits use different words over there,” he told us. “Like instead of ‘color,’ it’s ‘colour.’ And instead of ‘program,’ it’s ‘programme.’ And instead of ‘armpit sex,’ they call it ‘bagpiping.'” There goes the nabie! Tonight, he gets piped by former staffers and friends at a sendoff party at the increasingly swampy Marquee .
[Readings by Out Authors, Therapy, upstairs, 348 West 52nd Street, 6 to 9 p.m.; SummerStage opening night, Rumsey Field, Central Park, 6 p.m., by invitation only; Greg Gutfeld’s goodbye party, Marquee, 289 10th Avenue, by invitation only, but it’s not as if they’re gonna keep you out.]
Fashionistasofsummer! Memorial Day is next weekend, and you bet your croquet mallet every Annabelle or Claire is gonna be sporting the same Ralph Lauren cricket jumper dress. Pick up some alternatives at today’s sample sales: Vivienne Tam (dragons, lace and leather) and Catherine Malandrino (ethereal sweet-pea goddess who we still can’t tell apart from Rebecca Taylor and Tracy Reese … ). Need a watch to go with that? Check out discreet Swiss watchmakers IWC’s new “Aquatimer” watch at the Time Warner Center, alongside never-before-seen photos of Jacques Cousteau’s first voyage . John Mayer-pouty pop star and former boyfriend of Jennifer L. Hewitt- “has, like , seven of them,” according to a flack at IWC. Meantime, Ermenegildo Zegna’s walls get papered in cashmere to show off baby-sister line Agnona to Senator Hillary Clinton , whose gleeful smile these days may be attributed to the fact that John Kerry ain’t exactly surging , which equals “Hillary for Prez 2008!” (By the way, has anyone checked to see if Ms. Clinton was the one who mischievously recommended that peekaboo dress to the lovely Alexandra Kerry at Cannes a few days ago?) Anyway, gilded celebristocrat couples Chris ‘n’ Tory (cricket jumpers, anyone?), Jamee ‘n’ Peter , Arie ‘n’ Coco and Dennisse ‘n’ Larry host the Zegna bash …. In international news, the 60th anniversary of D-Day is coming up in a few weeks, and the French Institute Alliance Française shows two documentaries : U.S. Through the Scope of French Television and Operation Open Arm . Try to ignore the fact that the French guy next to you has snuck a pestilential pâté sandwich into the theater ….
[Catherine Malandrino Sample Sale, 275 West 39th Street, sixth floor, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., 212-840-0106; Vivienne Tam Sample Sale, 550 Seventh Avenue, 20th floor, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., 212-840-6740; 60th anniversary of D-Day, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, 6:30 p.m., 212-355-6100.]
Sound check for the G.O.P.? At Madison Square Garden , the pop station Z100 unleashes a teeny-popper scrum called Zootopia . Who’s howling: not-so- Newlywed Jessica Simpson (who’s bringing back housewife chic), overly flatironed angsty teen Avril Lavigne , former naughty songstress Liz Phair and so-out-he’s-back-in American Idol loser Will (“She Bangs, She Bangs”) Hung . The Backstreet Boys slip in the back door to do some a cappella.
[Z100’s Zootopia 2004, Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m., http://www.z100.com for tickets.]
So half of us are tan, half of us are pasty , raising the question of when is it officially O.K. to start fake ‘n’ baking again? Perhaps inversely proportionate to the Memorial Day rule: After the holiday you can wear white, but should no longer be white? Meantime, the ubiquitous Jessica Simpson (who’s taking classes at the Tara Reid School of Tanning Till You Resemble a Photo Negative ) teams up with the tawny gals at Allure for the mag’s “Play Safe in the Park” Concert. “Before Jessica sings, there will be a beauty village under tents, so it’s tented , and there are little stations and you can kind of jump around getting free makeovers, grabbing products and skin-care advice,” said a flack. Playing more dangerously, Tracey Ullman busts out her zany, madcap shtick tonight as host of a bash honoring Lyn and Norman Lear and condiment heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry . It all goes down at the home of producer Richard ( Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ) Foos. Your green goes to the Friends of CHEC for the Environment .
[ Allure ‘s “Play Safe in the Park” Concert, Central Park, Rumsey Field, Fifth Avenue at 69th Street entrance, 2 to 5 p.m., http://www.ticketmaster.com; Friends of CHEC for the Environment party, home of Shari and Richard Foos, some fancy apartment prob’ly on the Upper East Side, 7 p.m., 310-899-9191.]
Before Mom gets into the gin again, take her to Mamapalooza , a mom-honoring music festival with mother artists. Festival organizer and all-around badass Joy Rose (lupis survivor, kidney transplant recipient and the lead singer of Housewives on Prozac) said, “People are astounded by the talent. It’s like they think mothers just turn into a big cow and go out to pasture! We have a song called ‘Fuzzy Slippers,’ the first line of which is, ‘I wipe my baby’s chin with my college diploma.’ And there’s another called ‘I Only Wanna Pee Alone.'” Then break out the Ritalin, because the latest Harry Potter installment ( Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ) hops a Nimbus 2004 ( bzzzzzzzzz … ! ) and zooms into Rockefeller Center for the world premiere. If they keep cranking the films out this fast, we’ll be spared the sight of a 35-year-old Daniel Radcliffe playing a teenager ….
[Mamapalooza, Riverside Park South, enter at the Hudson River at West 68th Street, noon to 4 p.m., 212-477-5262, http://www.mamapalooza.com; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban premiere, Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, 4 p.m., by invitation only.]
Jake Gyllenhaal- upon whom an ex professed to have a “man crush”, which should have been our first clue -has a new disaster movie, so tonight he stops nuzzling Kirsten Dunst (talk about disasters, how ’bout that haircut? Me-OW! ) and joins Dennis Quaid -the last real man in America-at the premiere of The Day After Tomorro w , a movie which will likely result in paranoid parents all over town rushing to sign their tykes up for swimming lessons …. A few blocks away, Al Gore (who is just about due to start teaching a class at the New School any day now) rides the film’s coattails by staging an environmental rally . Want to scare the crap out of the Kerry campaign? Call them up and say, “Great news! Al Gore is about to endorse John Kerry on national television!”
[ The Day After Tomorrow premiere, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, 7 p.m., by invitation only.]
While Bill and Hillary snored …. The trio of banker Jeffery Sachs , former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and South Africa Princeton Lyman and do-good cobbler Kenneth Cole host the publication of Greg Behrman’s The Invisible People at the pish-posh Harmonie Club . The book is about how the U.S. slept through the global AIDS pandemic . All good boys deserve Cartier: Somewhere in the no man’s land of Curry Hill-at the Armory, to be specific-Cartier decided they ought to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Santos (the original trusto watch) by honoring seven disparate individuals for making a difference , just like Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont , original purveyor of the name. For pioneer work in the field of pink high tops and wild boar , Mario Batali ; for pioneer work in the field of harem pants and genius complexes , Zac Posen ; Russell Simmons for veganism and sweatsuits , David LaChapelle for pioneer work in the field of Amanda Lepore and … you get the picture. Now go ask Mummy and Daddy for the watch.
[ The Invisible People book party, the Harmonie Club, 4 East 60th Street, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; by invitation only; Cartier party, the Armory, 68 Lexington Avenue, by invitation only.]
Hello, sailor ! Pull out the smelling salts, men of Chelsea, it’s Fleet Week! The seamen in their starchy whites will be strolling the streets, making even the most spruced-up Wall Streeter look positively naff and surely resulting in a New York Times Styles section “think” piece about how sailors are … sexy ! Uptown, future Westchester moms and their pocketfuls of Xanax flock to Barneys’ renovated bridal registry and home-furnishings department, Chelsea Passage. Elle Decor ‘s editor, Margaret Russell, and Barneys chairman Howard Socol invite you to “frolic, imbibe and jubilate.” But please wipe up after. We asked Ms. Russell what her Upper East Side apartment looks like. “Why does everybody always ask me that?” she laughed. “It’s very white and loft-like. I’m surrounded by so much stuff in the office, I tend to be pared down at home. I’m not a particularly messy person, and I also travel a lot, which helps keep the whites white.”
[Fleet Week, South Street Seaport, http://www.fleetweek.us; Chelsea Passage grand opening party, Barneys New York, ninth floor, Madison Avenue and 61st Street, 7 to 9 p.m., 212-909-2605.]