Vonnegut’s vigor: When a young fella named Diego Garcia realized that graduating from Brown University isn’t quite enough to pull babes, he started a band named Elefant (no relation to the circus elephant, Flora, that Internet porn queens Cameron Diaz and Paris Hilton are struggling to save). Tonight, Mr. Garcia, who’s 25 and the lead singer (and who was born in Detroit, raised in Argentina but sounds Bwiddish when he sings), will be stomping around Bowery Ballroom. What’s his music like? “Like your first kiss! A little awkward, a little exciting! … I was a late bloomer, so I was 15 in this cheesy limo and rented tux for one of those high-school Christmas formals. I had braces and I kissed this girl and we never spoke again. It was horrible!” Also horrible: His parents have never been to a show! “My dad’s a doctor. I told them I was opening for Morrissey, and they had no idea what I was talking about. Then again, you don’t really want your parents standing two feet from you when you’re onstage, you know, doing things .” Any good groupie stories? “I don’t kiss and tell!” Someone who does, Lee Stringer , 34, has written a memoir called Sleepaway School . We found him at the Campus Inn in Ann Arbor getting lost. “I couldn’t remember what room I was in-it’s a different hotel every night!” said Mr. Stringer, who lives in Westchester. So does he have a process? “Mostly kicking stuff and cursing at the top of my lungs and copious amounts of cigarettes …. I also became a cook, because lunch is a legitimate reason to stop, and the more elaborate the lunches, the less you have to write . It got to where I was cutting the tomato so thin you could see through it!” Breakfast champion Kurt Vonnegut comes through with a glowing forward and gamely shows up at tonight’s book party at the National Arts Club. “I’ll give you my favorite Kurtisms ,” said Mr. Stringer. “One day his wife, out of the blue, invited me over to dinner, and I showered, put on a blazer and slacks. I showed up, and he was on the front steps of his townhouse in a pair of old jeans, sitting with his dog. He said to me, ‘I want you to know that this was my wife’s idea.’ And I thought, ‘Well, why don’t I just go screw myself now and get it over with?'”
[Elefant, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 9 p.m., 212-533-2111; Sleepaway School book party, the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park, 7 to 9 p.m., 212-226-8760.]
So your new boyfriend is trying to talk you into attending a “classy” orgy? Better first check in with 36-year-old filmmaker David Schisgall and his chronicle of America’s louche suburbanite swingers in his 1999 documentary, The Lifestyle: Group Sex in the Suburbs , being dusted off tonight to get the singles hot and bothered at Makor. “It’s still endlessly fascinating that these people arrived with their potluck dinners in Tupperware, had their wild orgy and then settled down again to talk about the weather,” said Mr. Schisgall from his downtown version of suburbia, Tribeca , a neighborhood where the only time “swinging” comes up in the bedroom is when marrieds ask each other at 3 a.m., “Honey, can we really swing this mortgage?” Back to the film: How ’bout that orgy scene? “It took us two and half years to gather that trust,” said Mr. Schisgall. “And, of course, we did film it naked.”
[ The Lifestyle: Group Sex in the Suburbs , Makor, 35 West 67th Street, 7 p.m., 212-601-1000.]
We don’t “get” mojitos, a cocktail that is essentially Scope with a garnish , but Democratic political consultants Jaci Wilson and Morris L. Reid are setting up a mojitocracy at their East Hampton digs as part of a VH1 Save the Music benefit, “Music & Mojitos.” Guests can bid on mojito kits customized by the likes of doughy funny man Jack Black, wacky songstress Tori Amos, etc . Who you won’t outbid: Ron (Revlon) Perelman, Russell Simmons and his hedonist wife, Kimora Lee (looking suspiciously lithe on her new Times Square billboard) …. In more orgy news , Sondra Lee, the former ballerina who had an uncredited role in the 1960 fountain-romping flick La Dolce Vita , leaves the sweet life on the Upper West Side to attend a screening at Film Forum. “Fellini said, ‘Well, you’re going to be in the orgy scene!'” said Ms. Lee. “I asked him what the movie was about, because I was totally confused. He said, ‘It’s a temperature of the times,’ which I thought was really great. But I still didn’t know what he meant! … Fellini sort of looked like a Botero-very delicate wrists and ankles . He just loved to watch people; he was an observer .” Meanwhile, if life were a movie, The Eight-Day Week would be played by Molly Ringwald, which is why you’ll find us at “The Awesome 80s Prom,” an interactive show where all the usual suspects from the best 80’s movies are represented-the Geek, the Asian Exchange Student, the Head Cheerleader, etc.-and they’re all competing for prom king and queen. The audience picks the winner and can join the break-dance circle (or, uh, not) while George Michael moans on the soundtrack. “The 80’s were such a guilty pleasure for everyone, I think. We love the indulgence of it!” said 31-year-old “Prom” director Ken Davenport . “Even I was the center of a great dance circle at some point wearing my red Pumas, my Duran Duran posters on the walls at home …. ” Bitchin’. The party takes place in Webster Hall, “the place I was denied admission when I went to college here,” said Mr. Davenport. “It’s such an unhealed wound!”
[Music & Mojitos benefit, the home of Jaci Wilson and Morris L. Reid, 68 Three Mile Harbor Road, East Hampton, 6:30 to 9 p.m., 212-846-7416; La Dolce Vita , Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, 8 p.m., 212-727-8110; The Awesome 80s Prom, Village Nightclub, Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, 8 p.m., 212-353-1600.]
Hamptons on high: Make way for Kim Cattrall’s wobbly frame when she indulges in a bit of tush-wiggling on behalf of gayness (specifically the- deep breath! -Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center) in East Hampton. All the while, Cattrall pals and gay activists Bruce Anderson and Ken Kuchin make sure none of the servants make off with the high-concept glassware. “You know those dull Hamptons benefits, where you go in your khakis and linen and you have a nice cocktail before you go out to dinner?” said Mr. Anderson. “Well, this is the kind of party where you’ll probably want to go home and shower before you go anywhere else.” In Deconstructing Harry , Woody Allen cast Hazelle Goodman as a hooker in hot pants, but now she’s 38, has a one-woman show and is apparently into yoga. “Girl! Girrrl ! Have you ever tried bikram yoga?” Sounds like exercising in hell. “Yeah, honey! It’s 110 degrees, but I love it! Can I just tell you? It kicks your butt for those 90 minutes, but for the rest of the day you’re releasing-what are the ones with the energy?” Endorphins? “Yeah, girl! The endorphins come out and are in full force!” She was in full force at home in Queens, preparing for On Edge , in which she plays 12 different characters-but no favorites! “I think of them as my children. If I say which character is my favorite, I’m afraid that the rest of them wouldn’t show up that night! … I will say the most difficult segment is when I play both a talk-show host and the guests, and the subject is breast augmentation. It’s all about women mutilating themselves for love.” Sounds like a typical date to us!
[Dancing on the Beach, 41 Two Mile Hollow Road, East Hampton, 4 to 8 p.m., 212-620-7310; On Edge , HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue, 7:30 p.m., 212-765-7910.]
Faux- ho-ho! The movie Dodgeball was decidedly mediocre, but don’t hold that against Volume , the Williamsburg club that’s hosting its own dodgeball tournament this afternoon. (Instead, hold against them the fact that they put a club in Williamsburg.) Fight off mental pictures of your sexually ambiguous gym teacher, Dale, in knee socks and short shorts , and watch faux-poor, faux-hawked skinny hipster employees from Vice magazine, Visionaire , Tokion , P.S. 1, etc., pummel each other silly. “The first time we did it, it was incredible,” Volume partner Serge Becker told special Eight-Day Week correspondent Neel Shah. “People you would never expect to be competitive seemed to get really rabid about the whole thing-it turned into an all-out adrenaline shootout.” Diesel, the purveyor of faux – vintage jeans, sponsors; everyone else shows up for the free BBQ and booze.
[Dodgeball tournament, Volume, 99 North 13th Street, Williamsburg, 1 to 6 p.m., 718-388-3588.]
The Democrats kick off their convention today , hoping that Teresa Heinz Kerry doesn’t freak out the country by saying anything too spooky …. Here in New York town, Prospect Park fills with screams as movie fans watch M. Night Shyamalan trying to channel Hitchcock again with the world premiere of The Village starring Joaquin Phoenix . Expect furrowed brows, capes and spontaneous shouts of ” Don’t open that door! ”
[ The Village world premiere, Prospect Park, 95 Prospect Park West, Flatbush Avenue side, 7 p.m., by invitation only.]
But does she whine and whinge like Meadow Soprano? Tonight, Victoria Gotti et famille (uh-oh) show up for the premiere of a new TV movie, Growing Up Gotti . Star magazine’s foremost gossipette even got the mag to throw an after-party in her honor. (What, and you wouldn’t ?) She called us from the car on speaker phone. “It’s months and months in my life …. Some of the most inopportune moments are on video, from parenting, blind-dating, the premieres-the world everyone thinks is so glamorous, but isn’t,” said Ms. Gotti. “You see everything raw : the first shots of me in the morning, no makeup, in my P.J.’s, my Saturday-afternoon schleppy clothes, my hair looking like I brushed it with a firecracker . And I was watching myself thinking, ‘I know I didn’t .’ I went on a blind-date assignment for Star, where you fill out this extensive questionnaire and they set you up with someone they think is right for you. Imagine my surprise when this 60-year-old man missing a few teeth showed up. The funny thing is that I’d announced to my boys one day during Sunday dinner that it was time for me to date again, and that it’d been five years since my marriage ended and blah blah blah . They were all disgruntled, including my brother, Peter, who was there. When I opened the door and the guy was standing there, I just died! And the kids-oh, their reaction is priceless . The date was not what anyone would expect. It blew my mind.” She added she thinks she’s wearing Roberto Cavalli to the premiere.
[ Growing Up Gotti premiere party, Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway, 7 to 10 p.m., by invitation only.]
We were under the impression that New Yorkers were a great deal less bonkers than they pretended to be, but Christopher Swaine takes the biscuit. Two months ago, the 36-year-old kerplunked into the Hudson River’s highest point, located in Mamaroneck, and started his 325-mile trip to the Statue of Liberty. We caught him during a break between tides. “I’m doing this because it’s my goal to have a pristine Hudson in one or two generations-though I must say, if we don’t successfully connect ourselves to this river, we’ve plateaued now,” said Mr. Swaine, who has a B.A. in French lit and an M.A. in acupuncture. “I swim about eight hours in one go . I have a pretty evenly distributed layer of body fat right now, which means I can swim through cold water. I stick plugs in my ear, shove some zinc ointment up my nostrils, wear goggles and gargle with hydrogen peroxide every 20 minutes. But at the end of the day, I still have yellow stuff coming out of my eyes.” Mr. Swaine swims past the Statue of Liberty sometime this morning. For those who like to keep their feet dry, David Markowitz, a licensed massage therapist who calls himself a “medical intuitive,” speaks up today at Spirit New York. “A chiropractor won’t tell you that your back pain is from 20 years of being angry with your parents. I’m like a spiritual counselor ,” said Mr. Markowitz. “People are energy , and everything vibrates at a certain frequency . Thoughts vibrate, too, and I can contact your spiritual guide , your angel, to give you the correct analysis.” Thanks, but we’ll take our chances with the nut in the Hudson.
[Christopher Swaine, Statue of Liberty, sometime in the morning; “What Is Medical Intuition and How Can It Help You?”, Healthy Yoga at Spirit New York, 530 West 27th Street, 7:30 p.m., 212-871-6925.]