If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb , where does the Liger fit in? After the whirlwind of February-Fashion Week, dog shows, Valentine’s hype, Presidents’ birthdays, topless porno stars (Paris Hilton) and the Oscars ( exhale)-maybe the long, snowy, drizzly stretch of March will be a sweet relief. Speaking of the Oscars, we loved Chris Rock but did not love the “kooky” new ways the producers tried to make things interesting. No matter how well Jeremy Irons can ad-lib, presenting in the audience is a disgrace. And yet again, Julia Roberts had to make it all about her by opening her presentation speech by wishing someone named “Malva” a happy birthday. Never mind that no one in the audience or watching on TV knew who this Malva was-a friend? a spirit goddess? Ms. Roberts’ pet name for her …? Meanwhile, Saint Patrick’s Day is steamin’ down the tracks, and you can get your Irish on a couple of weeks early at the Craic-Fest 2005. Craic (which is pronounced “crack,” as in “Just say no to”) means “a laugh” in Celtic, and the festival features the best in film and music to come out of the very cold and wet British Isles. But listen up, wannabe Irish Americans (the ones who wear Celtics jerseys, chunky Claddagh rings made in Peru and continue to listen to House of Pain): This is not some leprechaun-happy clover party. “There is film, music and no green beer,” said director Terence Mulligan (in a swoon-worthy accent). “It’s not about shamrocks and all that stuff; our festival is an antidote to many of those Saint Patrick’s Day conceptions. It’s about the great artistic product.” Tonight, the festival opens with The Boys and Girl from County Clare, which features ravishing Irish singer Andrea Corrs making her starring-role film debut in a very un–Mariah Carey like way. “She’s going to surprise a lot of people,” predicted Mr. Mulligan. “She’s a true talent. It’s a sound film.” Oh, a talkie! Both Ms. Corrs and Colm Meany are expected to attend, as well as some whispers about tall drink of water Liam Neeson. However, if you’re sniffing around for last year’s guest, Colin Farrell ( Lindsay Lohan, we’re talking to you), forget it: “Unfortunately, Colin has a scheduling conflict,” said Mr. Mulligan. (In other words, Mr. Farrell is beating the crap out of some guy in a pub somewhere.) A cultural ocean away, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra marks its 25th anniversary with its first-ever New York City concert at Avery Fisher Hall. Special guest start: Mr. Yo-Yo Ma, fresh from providing the live accompaniment for the Oscar’s death montage. And if Yo-Yo Ma isn’t the best name in the whole wide world, then we don’t know up from down anymore.
[The Craic-Fest, The Boys and Girl from County Clare , Loews 34th Street, 312 West 34th Street, 7 p.m., http://www.thecraicfest.com; Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Avery Fisher Hall, 8 p.m., 212-721-6500.]
“It’s a party we’ve been doing in London for several years-what I would call ‘the great and the good of London,'” said The Economist magazine’s director of marketing, Humphry Rolleston. “Every year we like to bring in the politicians, the media, academics-the people we write about-and have a party to thank them for being in our pages.” Just don’t invite Economist rippin’ Andrew Sullivan! Tonight, the bash is held right here in New York: “We’ll have all walks of life from New York society.” No word if Graydon Carter will turn up in his fox-hunting outfit. Tally- ho! Remember back in August, when the Armory on Park Avenue was actually housing tanks and burly fellows here to protect us from evildoers? Now we’re back to effete art collectors swanning about the cavernous halls in honor of Sanford Smith’s 17th Annual Works on Paper. The show features international works of watercolor, fine prints, photography, drawings, illustrated books-but, thankfully, no graphic novels for the geek-boy set. More work on paper can be found at the PaceWildenstein Gallery which features the drawings of Saul Steinberg, the New Yorker illustrator extraordinaire. Mr. Steinberg produced 121 covers and 1,675 drawings for the weekly-they keep rolling out new ones, too, sort of like the new records from Tupac-and thanks to his 1975 cover, View of the World from 9th Avenue, he became a fixture in dorm rooms everywhere alongside Monet’s lilies.
[The Economist 's cocktail party, the Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., by invitation only; Sanford Smith's 17th Annual Works on Paper, the Park Avenue Armory, Park Avenue at 67th Street, noon to 8 p.m., http://www.sanfordsmith.com; Steinberg at the New Yorker , PaceWildenstein Gallery, 32 East 57th Street, http://www.pacewildenstein.com.
Does everyone have a film festival these days or what? The seventh annual New York International Children’s Film Festival, “the best new films around the world for ages 3-18,” kicks off this evening with the U.S. premiere of Danny Boyle’s Millions. Danny Boyle, one might recall, is the man who gave us Trainspotting, featuring unintelligible Scottish burrs and exciting heroin scenes. Sleep well, little ones! Apparently Millions is a much friendlier kid caper, and Mr. Boyle and his child stars will be on hand for a Q.-and-A. session and the “all-ages” gala (read: apple juice and graham crackers for some, Jameson for their parents). The festival features 52 movies from around the world and a jury made up of good-skinned Susan Sarandon, pervy Gus Van Sant, frog-loving Adam Gopnik and actor-turned-socialite-husband Matthew Modine ( hooray!). More from the cine-philes: Did last week’s Oscar win for still-dreamy Clint Eastwood inspire you to go back to the western? The Film Forum, that theater that insists on having you line up with a bunch of talky and opinionated cineaste dopes, only to have you rest your onion on a foldout chair, is having a four-week “Essential Western Classics” festival. Tonight will be a two-for-one showing of John Wayne’s The Searchers (1956) and Stagecoach (1939). Suggested dress: chaps.
[New York International Children's Film Festival, Millions , Directors Guild of America Theater, 110 West 57th Street, 6 p.m., http://www.gkids.com; Essential Western Classics, Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, http://www.filmforum.com.
Just when you thought Williamsburg couldn’t possibly be any more insufferable-what with the haircuts, leg-warmers and T-shirts emblazoned with the names of obscure rock bands layered over long underwear-they go and bus in Germans ( kidding!). Open Ground hosts seven German artists from Wedding (the Billyburg of Berlin) with a group exhibition, and then the Vaterland will play host to our countrymen in April. “We’ve been developing this for the past four or five months,” said Open Ground director Jenny Walty. “Wedding is a neighborhood where tons of artists live, and you get the sense it’s a place on the brink-maybe the way Williamsburg was five years ago.” Uh, not for nothing, but five years ago we were ready to carpet-bomb the Bedford stop on the L, but whatever. (And don’t be surprised if the visiting German artists are unfamiliar with the Williamsburg mantra: “Thanks for buying me this loft, Mummy and Daddy!”) This exhibition, with an opening reception on the 12th (these kids are just so wacky they hold the opening party in the middle of the run), also marks the last “big blowout” in Open Ground’s current space. “Our rent is going up,” said Ms. Walty. See you in Bushwick, baby.
[Williamsburg Wedding: A Brooklyn-Berlin Exchange , Open Ground, 252 Grand Street, Brooklyn, http://www.open-ground.org.
Cooper?! I hardly knew her! CNN’s handsomest anchor, Anderson Cooper (sorry, Larry King, you horny maniac!), takes a break from reporting all the muck that’s going on in the world to guest-judge on the weirdly popular Iron Chef . In case you’ve never turned on the Food Network (a mistake, we assure you), Iron Chef is a Japanese import which is described as ” Ultimate Fighting Challenge meets Julia Child” and pits a guest cooker against the Iron Chef. A secret ingredient is always announced at the last minute; high jinks ensue. Past ingredients include spiny lobster and cuttlefish. “I thought the secret ingredient was going to be bagels,” said Mr. Cooper. “I had seen a ton of them backstage, but it turned out just to be regular old green-room bagels …. They asked me to do it, and I thought it would be fun. It’s a cult favorite, and I had done a story about the show when they first came to the United States. But I felt ridiculous. I guess I was there to provide the comic relief.” Speaking of relief, today is the last day of the Barneys Warehouse Sale. If you haven’t already headed to Chelsea to fight with well-toned shiny-haired girls over t he last DKNY cashmere V-neck, then give it a go!
[Iron Chef , Food Network, 9 p.m.; Barneys Warehouse Sale, 255 West 17th Street, 212-593-7800.]
Nothing makes our head go boom like the words “First Annu al Gala.” This evening, it’s the little sugarplums over at the School of American Ballet having an “Après Soirée” ( sigh) at Jazz at Lincoln Center (in the scary Time Warner building). The official sponsor is Hermès; former and maybe future First Daughter Chelsea Clinton serves on the committee along with a bushel of other boldface names, including Amanda Hearst, Derek Lam, Tinsley Mortimer and the towering Amy Sacco. The theme is a 1940’s dinner and dance, featuring a live performance by some of the twinkletoes. Dress is billed as “evening chic”-tutus and eyeliner?
["An Enchanted Evening: A Gala for the School of American Ballet," Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, 10 p.m., 212-769-6600.]
Hippity-hop! Along with crocuses bloomin’ in the ‘burbs, a sure sign of spring is that enough of polite society has returned from warmer climes (flap, flap) for beneficial galas. Tonight, the well-dressed and underfed head to the very scary American Girl Place (freaky-deaky dolls) for a good cause, the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Bunny Hop. Clifford the Big Red Dog is on the list of attendees, along with Peter Rabbit and Pikachú (gesundheit!). Further west, the New York City Opera celebrates the start to its spring season with a gala (natch) and a performance of Harold Prince’s Candide, featuring a Leonard Bernstein score. Two stars of the opera circuit, Keith Jameson and Anna Christy, will perform. Bring them some hot water with lemon. Post-performance, cocktails and dinner will be served and ad man Donny Deutsch will be honored (perhaps for having what he himself calls “the best body of any C.E.O. in advertising”). Be nice-he’s worked to get his buns that tight so he can be your Mayor one day. Or pack it all in and watch failure up close: The Knicks play the Washington Wizards. Let’s all hope for the season to end mercifully quick.
[Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's 14th Annual Bunny Hop, American Girl Place, 609 Fifth Avenue, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., 212-639-7975; New York City Opera gala, 20 Lincoln Center, 5:30 p.m., 212- 925-2300; New York Knicks and Washington Wizards, Madison Square Garden, Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street, 7:30 p.m., http://www.thegarden.com.
Is anyone else perturbed by how many “cool” bands hail from Canada these days? We prefer our lead singers to be British, angsty and wearing eyeliner-not pale, even-tempered, with a collection of moose jokes, thank you very much. Tonight, the Canucks of Hot Hot Heat plug in and play a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom. We stay home and watch Eugene Levy movies with our pal the Pirate.
[Hot Hot Heat, Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, 8 p.m., http://www.boweryballroom.com.