It’s only a matter of time before your summer fling dumps you for a more serious “fall girlfriend” (brunette, square eyeglasses, low heels, has a cause ). So show you’ve got more culture than a carton of sour milk by schlepping him to the New York Grand Opera Company’s outdoor rendition of Puccini’s Turandot . It’s based on the play by Carlo Gozzi. Don’t forget to pretend to pay attention in case there’s “discussion” afterward ….
[ Turnadot , Central Park Bandshell, enter at 72nd Street, 7:30 p.m., 212-245-8837.]
Mark Webber, the surly stud from Storytelling and various other “edgy” movies , has put together a scruffy scrum of actor Brendan Sexton III ( Welcome to the Dollhous e ), Leo Fitzpatrick (Larry Clark’s Kids) and writer John Buffalo Mailer (son of legendary Norman Mailer ; works for a magazine about pot, which can happen if your folks name you after a bison) to help him sell art on behalf of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign . It’s a subset of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, founded by his mama back in da 90’s. “My mother was a massively determined person,” said 24-year-old Mr. Webber. “While we were on welfare and sleeping in her car, she got a grant to go to college to become a teacher . She actually started one of the first women’s-studies programs in Minnesota. Then, of course, they arrested her in front of her class for committing welfare fraud.” Eventually Mr. Webber landed in some special performing-arts school in Philly, and now he lives in the East Village with his girlfriend. “Which is the only way I could possibly think of living in that area,” he said. “I mean, it’s so expensive, it’s ridiculous!”
[Dactyl Silent Art Auction, 64 Grand Street, 6 to 9 p.m., http://www.dactyl.org.
Polygamy is hot in New York right now , which means the city’s Mormons are also hot ! Today Steven Sales opens Confessions of a Mormon Boy , an Off Broadway play based on his life story: Boy comes out of the closet, gets ex-communicated by Mormon church, leaves wife, kids, Utah, moves to New York City, gets into drugs, becomes a struggling actor and high-end male prostitute (same thing). “I called it my gay internship! I was self-destructing in the penthouses of New York,” he said. “You can make soooo much money as an escort. I could make up to $500 an hour, $2,000 a night. There’s tons of wealthy penthouse guys paying for sex with men behind their wives’ backs.” Oh, and today is Friday the 13th: spooky !
[The Fringe Festival's Confessions of a Mormon Boy , the Plaza Cafe, Pace University, 3 Spruce Street, 8:15 p.m., 212-279-4488.]
“Somewhere between Tequila Sunrises and Dirty Mothers, I started drinking White Russians,” said Jeff Dowd , the real-life inspiration behind “the Dude” in the Coen brothers’ 1998 film, The Big Lebowski . We found him in L.A. playing Monopoly with his 9-year-old daughter, Annabelle Daisy. (He was the boot .) These days, the former political activist makes a living writing and producing, but today he joins the unwashed masses (that’s you) for a Lebowski Fest -costumes requested!-at a bowling alley in Queens . ( Note to self : Does the fact that there’s a Lebowski Fest in Queens spell the death of the Coen brothers’ once-hot careers? Probably.) He first found out about the Lebowski movie secondhand from a friend. “I was heavier back then , so when I heard John Goodman and Jeff Bridges were in it, I was like, ‘Shit! They’re going to have Goodman play me!’ Not that he’s not a great actor but, well, you know …. Anyway, they were like, ‘Don’t worry, Dude, it’s Bridges !'”
[Lebowski Festival, the Cozy Bowl, 98-18 Rockaway Boulevard (as if you're gonna go to Queens-be real!), 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., http://www.lebowskifest.com.
Are the Hamptons back? Let’s see, according to the press release, Safe Horizon’s Sunset Celebration features three things (circle which one doesn’t belong) : “cool cocktails,” “sumptuous snacks” and “fun-filled activities for kids.” The host committee includes “It”-boy-in-absentia Fabian Basabe , Cynthia Rowley (best friend of Ilene Rosensweig , whose husband, that silly-willy Rick Marin , wrote that wacky story in The New York Times last Sunday about how they live next to white trash in the Hamptons), and Queer guy Thom Filicia . Closer to base camp is a Judith Leiber sale (handbags, shoes and pillboxes for Republican women from Texas) kicking off today at Woodbury Commons …. And what’s this? Seems Iceland is more than just a place where horny Blender editors go for freebie junkets: The Icelandic Connection is offering up an existential something or other called Plums in New York . “I know it sounds really esoteric,” said publicist Bridget (“Call me Bridge !”) Kaplinski. “It’s about a writer who’s studying Strindberg and has a dream about these plums in New York that are ready for harvest, and she’s sort of breaking down Strindberg’s philosophy, and apparently his spirit ends up literally inhabiting her body.” And yes, Six Feet Under is still on at 9 p.m.
[Safe Horizon's Second Annual Sunset Celebration in the Hamptons, 2 Tyson Lane West, East Hampton, 5 to 7:30 p.m., 212-577-3878, by invitation only; Judith Leiber Sample Sale, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, Grapevine Court, No. 912, Central Valley, N.Y., 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Plums in New York, Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, 3 and 7 p.m., 212-239-6200.]
Mort’s manse? Wanna see how the other 0.1 percent lives? Crash the book party that Daily News owner Mort (“Mouse Slippers”) Zuckerman is throwing tonight for tabloid troop master Iain Calder , author o f The Untold Story: My 20 Years Running the National Enquirer . He grew up in a wee coal-mining village in Scotland (“We were poor, but too stupid to know we were poor; I didn’t see a banana till I was 7!” ), but has retired to Palm Beach County , where he has a home and country club and all the bananas a grown man could want. “Some of the things we did were spectacular!” he said. “What would you do if your boss said to you, ‘Pete Rose is in a penitentiary-the same one where John Gotti is being held-and it’s your job to get access to him’?” We’d stare at him blankly. “Well, we did it! We broke into Marion and got an exclusive interview and pictures of Pete Rose! … We uncovered that O.J. had bought a knife very similar to the type they thought was used in the killing. We proved that he’d walked around wearing those Bruno Magli shoes …. I lost only one lawsuit, and that was Carol Burnett . We’d reported that she had traipsed around a restaurant in Washington offering everyone a piece of her dessert, and she claimed the word ‘traipsed’ made it sound like she was drunk. Can you imagine?”
[ The Untold Story book party, Mr. Zuckerman's poontang pad on the Upper East Side, 6 to 8 p.m., as if.]
Anyone else disturbed by the new wearing-crop-tops while-preggers trend propagated by Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson ? Bulging stomachs, “outties” pointing at you almost prosecutorially, shudder …. Anyways, the fertile babes behind Big City Moms-who like to get together and talk about swollen feet and strained carrots-are getting a jump on next week’s Barneys warehouse sale , with a li’l preview of Barneys’ fall fashions for the kiddoes. “It’s hard for new moms,” says Big City Mom president and co-founder Leslie Venokur. “Getting into a cab with a baby is truly frightening…. Between hailing the taxi and collapsing the stroller, it’s a mess.” Expect goodies from Kiehl’s and discounts for opening a charge account, although any financial guru will tell you it’s a mistake! Meanwhile , you gotta give it up for a sport that knows “love” has nothing to offer: The New York Junior Tennis League ( thwock! ) holds a Summer Gala with the Stars at Tavern on the Green tonight, if your idea of stars is Alec Baldwin and former Mayor David Dinkins . “We’ll also have a caricaturist and a roving magician,” says organizer Pam Glick. Uh -oh! Worthy cause: Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS.
[Big City Moms shopping event, Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., http://www.bigcitymoms.com or 917-601-0068; Summer Gala with the Stars, Gala to Benefit the New York Junior Tennis League, the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of AIDS and other New York City AIDS charities, Tavern on the Green, Central Park, 6:30 p.m., 718-786-7110, ext. 146.]
When was the last time you listened to “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” all the way through? The Three Terrors (a former Belgian pop star, a Alabaman graphic designer, Magnetic Fields front man Stephin Merrit) claim they were able to hold an entire Bowery Ballroom audience enthralled until the last bottle. “It was about fii-iive years ago,” drawled singer and ukulele player Ld Beghtol, “after hours and hours of retracted conversations about pop minutiae , we decided it would only be wise to do something about this swelling, itching encyclopedia of pop knowledge.” Right. “We’re definitely not doing ‘New York, New York.’ We don’t tend to be very ironic, when it boils down to it. Our songs are just radically different interpretations of classics, and totally recontextualized.” Zzzzzz … oops! Tonight, T3T appears at Angel Orensanz, the neo-goth former synagogue where JAP’s (Sarah Jessica Parker et al.) get married to try and get bohemian cred ….
[T3T vs. N.Y., Angel Orensanz Center, 172 Norfolk, 8 p.m., http://www.howlfestival.com.
“It really is the perfect place to find designer clothing. Or a husband or wife-or just a shag,” says Observer columnist Simon Doonan , who also works as Barneys’ creative director, of the store’s big-ass warehouse sale. “It’s packed with those overachieving lunatic Wall Street types looking for suits, so there’s tons of possibility.” Bring Mace: “There are definitely fist fights, with people ending up slumped over in hallways.” Luckily, you know what to do, because earlier this eve you attended a Red Cross class on emergencies, “Preparing for the Unexpected.” Every Thursday, jittery folks get even more jittery as they receive instructions on how to create a family emergency-communications plan. We say: Drop everything and run like hell.
[Barneys warehouse sale, 255 West 17th Street, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., 212-450-8400; Preparing for the Unexpected, the American Red Cross in Greater New York, 150 Amsterdam Avenue, 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., 877-REDCROSS.]
Nightclub owners keep trying to revive the sepia-toned days of the truly classy clubs, but they don’t realize that to do that, you’d need actual classy clubgoers , and not bubbleheads like the Hilton sisters and the rest of the glaze-eyed pseudo-hookers and Page Six pissboys who currently make up 90 percent of the city’s nightcrawlers (have you taken a look at the meatpacking district lately?) …. Tonight, you can follow the white rabbit to Table 50 -a club in the Village named after the table at the 1920’s Stork Club where Walter Winchell used to perch-and “get your groove on” (as our summer interns say) to the sexy house tunes of Pockit Rockit. Get there early and you’ll pocket a free pocket-rocket vibrator . Of course. (But be warned: If Dorothy Parker had a pocket rocket, she would never have gotten a single word written!)
[Pockit Rockit, Table 50, Bleecker and Broadway, 9 p.m., by invitation only-but really, do you think they're gonna keep anyone out?]
The R.N.C. is but a week away, so the Hamptons Comedy Festival thought it wise to stage a Comedians Convention in Bridgehampton. It’s not entirely a laughing matter, as the festival raises money for cancer research and the rumors of a Ben Affleck and Vanessa Kerry tryst get milked to death (cue the pail!). Members of MTV’s former comedy-sketch show The State hover and make mischief …. If you’re feeling more Falstaffian , bon vivant photographer Peter Beard and his wife of 19 years, Najma , host a Shakespeare fest in their cliffside abode. “I despise the rest of the Hamptons-I cannot even be there. We are true Montaukers,” said Najma. ” I became enamored with Shakespeare as a child. We were seven kids, and every night we were lined up somewhat like The Sound of Music and asked to perform something I don’t allow my daughter to watch TV; she’s banned … Last year, the party was wonderful: The guests danced like lunatics and then it started storming, there was lightning in the sky and rain and no one stopped dancing. The ocean was in turmoil below us, and we were on the cliff above- it felt like the Vikings were landing.” Bring galoshes.
[Hamptons Comedy Festival, the Field House at the Morriss Center School, 739 Butter Lane, Bridgehampton, 212-396-2015; the Hamptons Shakespeare Festival Benefit Celebration, Beard residence, Montauk,
by invitation only.]
Jazz, poetry and hippies! India.Arie -who is not a dot-com, but a softer, gentler Erykah Badu -closes the weekend’s New York Jazz festival in Central Park. Fresh off a plane from Europe, she called us from her home in Atlanta . “I’ve been doing the festivals over there.” Which ones did she play? “Oh, I can’t remember the names.” We asked about jazz. “I guess my music’s got some jazz in it, I don’t really know where it is.” On her festival comrades: “Soulive? Who are they? Am I playing with them? I’ve never heard of them …. Oh, well, I do call and find out before some festivals and go out of my way to see bands who are also performing-you know, as an audience member.” Meanwhile , before the Republican locusts swarm in, flutter up to the Wave Hill Gardens and enjoy some butterflies that aren’t tattooed on your office intern. Downtown, the Howl Festival puts together something called a “poetry jam,” which suspiciously rhymes with the dreaded “poetry slam.” Worthy cause: FEVA , the organization which has taken upon itself the task of honoring the East Village’s historical role as the “cradle of the city’s counterculture,” if counterculture includes pearl-milk iced teas and stripy stockings .
[India.Arie, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, 1 p.m., 212-307-7171; Butterfly Gardening, Kerling Learning Center, Wave Hill Gardens; 675 West 249th Street, da Bronx, 718-549-3200; All-Star Poetry Jam at Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, 9:30 p.m., http://www.publictheatre.org.
“Everything you need is already inside you,” claims “life coach” Angie Speranza . Not everything , honey, believe us. Slip into a tunic, some sensible shoes, tune your iPod to Enya and head down to Soho , where Ms. Speranza conducts a workshop called “Women Who Do Too Much (All About Me for a Change!)”, for urban chicks who keep themselves overbooked so they don’t have to think about him .
[Open Center, 83 Spring Street, Room 2B, 6 to 8 p.m., 917-287-6169.]
Ever wonder what a roomful of desperate singles with A.D.D. looks like? Enter HurryDate tonight at Lush in Tribeca ; it’s one of those deals that sets people up on 20 dates that last four minutes. “One guy loved his drink specials a bit too much on a previous HurryDate and passed out at the bar during a break,” said flack Allyson Leonard. Can ya blame the poor bastard? Tonight’s group comprises men ages 24 to 32 and women ages 21 to 29 -which is insulting, frankly. Why don’t they just call it WorryDate?
[HurryDate, Lush, 110 Duane Street, 7 p.m., http://www.hurrydate.com.
Splendor in the grass: If you threw your blanket down in Bryant Park two nights ago and spent two hours whining about how they don’t make ‘em like Bacall and Bogart anymore, your big trampling feet and nasty toe rings probably wrecked the good work of Maureen Hackett . “It is demoralizing sometimes,” said Ms. Hackett, the park’s horticultural director. “But I’ve been here for nine years now, and I’ve become somewhat philosophical about it.” Ms. Hackett, who favors the blue petunia (“We call it a blue carpet”), and her staff take care of the park’s 100 species of woody shrubs, 20,000 bulbs and herbaceous perennials. Take a walk in the park with one of her herbiphiles, Elly Fine, as expounds on the grounds’ history and restoration. And keep your feet on the pathways, where they belong .
[Bryant Park Garden Tours, Sixth Avenue and 41st Street, 12:30 p.m., http://www.bryantpark.org.