Lessons learned this week:
Some people will use any excuse necessary to utter the words “Deep Throat”; there’s some sort of conspiracy between J. Crew and the media declaring the necessity of a cashmere sweater to handle summer air-conditioning (harrumph); people are finally beginning to see Tom Cruise as (‘allegedly!) the loon we’ve always (allegedly!) suspected him to be (allegedly!). Speaking of conspiracy theories, surely the clever Mr. Cruise has cut some lucrative deal with pharmaceutical companies. Think about it: He storms around the world, hopping up and down like a madman, frothing at the mouth, meanwhile denouncing antidepressants-thereby showing viewer’s what happens if you don’t take antidepressants! Sales will skyrocket! Meanwhile, the season that matters to teen angels is upon us. Yep, it’s prom season: Just think, right now young per East Side nymphets are getting extra collagen injections, colonics and stealing cash from Mommy’s wallet! However, it’s only outside our fair isle where proms really do it right. For example, in Racine, Wis. (which is somewhere out there), the town goes plum crazy for the high-school prom, as shown in the new documentary The World’s Best Prom, screening tonight at the Pioneer Theater. See traditions such as parading prom-goers around on 18-wheelers (and sometimes elephants) and a glam red-carpet entrance, complete with screaming crowds in bleachers and live television coverage. “You can actually go into a bar and find old guys sitting around watching the prom,” said producer and director Chris Talbott, who grew up in the town and attended the 1989 prom (“I had a New Wave thing going on, very Flock of Seagulls. I think that whole look was probably current in 1985, but it took a little longer to filter back to Wisconsin”). “The tradition started in 1953 and has just kept going,” he said. “The city has a lot of pride in itself, and the evening itself is like the Academy Awards; the girls start thinking about their dress a year in advance.” Hell, sure beats our memories involving the Ramada Inn and Mr. Pickle! The film had some help in funding by famous friends such as Susan Sarandon and Gwyneth Paltrow, and tonight’s and tomorrow night’s screenings will be followed by a prom-themed party. “I think it’s going to be fun,” said Mr. Talbott. “I know a lot of people are coming in their prom dresses.” Who fits into that? Across town, try to cheer up Sean Penn at the Free Arts NYC benefit auction; on the block will be large-scale Polaroid prints by 15 contemporary artists such as Chuck Close, Todd Ereble and William (“I § Weimaraners”) Wegman. Chairing the event along with Mr. Penn is nightclub giantess Amy Sacco and crony/designer Mary Alice Stephenson, not to mention the lovelies Naomi Watts and Liv Tyler, who we think are probably two of the very nicest ladies in show business. Among those swiping the hors d’oeuvres are Alan Cumming, Benicio del Toro, Lauren Hutton and David Bowie. Wear your best skinny jeans and glittery tank top!
[Advance screening for The World's Best Prom, with prom to follow, the Pioneer Theater, 155 East Third Street, 7 p.m., http://www.theworldsbestprom.com; Free Arts NYC, Sixth Annual Art Auction Benefit, Phillips de Pury & Company, 450 West 15th Street, 6:30 to 10 p.m., http://www.freeartsnyc.org.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease: Chelsea Handler, a blonde you may have seen on Oxygen’s Girls Behaving Badly (think girly version of Punk’d), has written a book, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands, which is exactly what you think it’s about.as fun to write,” said Ms. Handler, who brazenly wrote about her various dalliances, from frolicking on the Jersey shore (most romantic place on Earth) to Vegas strippers and, she says, little people. Bonus dirty-book excerpt! “The great thing about sleeping with a midget is that first you get to have sex with them and then you can use them as a pillow.” “My family is used to me at this point,” said Ms. Handler. “It’s all out on the table, and I’m all about embracing your shortcomings.” Ms. Handler will be performing at Caroline’s on Broadway tonight. “I’m going on a seven-city book tour here and then a European book tour-so perhaps I’m going to have a follow-up book called Horizontal International,” she said. Watch out for the Gypsies, miss! Moving on, the Cue Art Foundation, a nonprofit for young artists and “aspiring art professionals” (the drunk guy with the crayons on Crosby Street doesn’t count), throws a summer party to benefit itself (the best). There will be music, grub and cocktails. And feel free to smack the first sloppy drunk you see who bellows, “It’s Negroni season!”
[Chelsea Handler at Caroline's on Broadway, 1626 Broadway, 10 p.m. http://www.carolines.com; CUE Art Foundation's Associates Summer Benefit Party, CUE, 511 West 25th Street, 7 to 11 p.m., http://www.cueartfoundation.org.
Here comes another sultry weekend, and you know what that means: The women of New York again blithely stomp through the streets in one or the other of the two most unfortunate looks for summer 2005-you know the ones we mean, either the puffy-Gypsy-skirt/Brazilian-sandal look, or the mini-dress-with-cowboy-boots look (very Pam Anderson, with faint Bush twins undertones- burp!) Meanwhile, or Jenny Aniston should remain indoors and under the covers as Mr. and Mrs. Smith comes blasting into theaters tonight. All we can say is, Angelina Jolie is very, very, very (very) hot in this movie, and Brad Pitt ain’t sore on the eyes neither! Besides, there’s an O.C. crossover-everyone’s favorite young nebbishy fella, Adam Brody. If watching freakishly beautiful people beat the crap out of one another just isn’t your thing, there’s an opening reception for Delicate Demons and Heavenly Delights (sounds like either ice-cream flavors or a sex-club menu), an art exhibit of nine artists, at the Oliver Kamm/5BE Gallery in Chelsea . Watch out! That rustling in the shrubbery might be Rusty Crowe, about to leap out and punch you with one of his famous kangaroo punches!
[Mr. and Mrs. Smith, for show times and theaters, http://www.moviefone.com; Delicate Demons and Heavenly Delights opening reception, Oliver Kamm/5BE Gallery, 504 West 22nd Street, second floor, 6 to 8 p.m., 212-255-0979.]
Giddy-up! The pretty ponies
are back, and the stinko Off Track Betting parlors will be overflowing for the 137th running of the million Belmont Stakes, thereby concluding the Triple Crown Series. Sure, Belmont Park isn’t as glamorous as Louisville, Ky., but then again, you can’t exactly take the Q110 bus to Kentucky, can you, smart guy? Bring cash-and if you see fleck, run as far as you possibly can. Meanwhile, it’s Garden Day up at the Cloisters (technically Manhattan), that leafy, tony branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ed to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.” Today there will be a variety of one-hour tours, lectures and workshops, including the riveting “Weaving, Warp, and Weft” (a great name for an ironic Billysburg band if ever we heard one).
Look out, Shake Shack! The Third Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party moved into Madison Square Park yesterday (we don’t think all those smug little mommies are going to like it one bit, either) and continues today with delicious barbecue offerings. In addition to stuffing your face, there will be live jazz, blues and bluegrass, and something described as “distinctive beverages.” Listen, besides having Blue Smoke and other delicious-sounding places, they have real live Texans coming, including reps from a restaurant in Driftwood, Texas, called lt Lick BBQ. Salt lick! Driftwood! Would we! Besides, how often does one really have the chance to say something like “pit-master” in casual conversation (unless you’re Angelina Jolie, of course)? Last year, 800 pounds of cabbage and 2,100 pounds of pork shoulder were consumed. Does Alec Baldwin know about this? Definitely not dining on the swine is “Stay the Night: The Alma Tikkun,” which is an “up-all-night experience” to celebrate Shavuot, a really obscure holiday. Dr. Ruth is due to attend, and, worryingly, there’s Israeli dancing (something we’ve seen and don’t recommend) and free doughnuts, cheesecake and coffee all night long. Oh, wacky Jews, how we love you!
[The Third Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, Madison Square Pork (or Park), noon to 6 p.m., http://www.bigapple.org; "Stay the Night: The Alma Tikkun," 92nd Street Y and the J.C.C. in Manhattan, 76th Street at Amsterdam, 10 p.m. till dawn, http://www.92y.org.
Simon says! And you better listen!It’s basically a portrait of someone who has clawed their way to the middle. I’m like a low-rent Madame Bovary,” said Simon Doonan, The Observer’s style columnist and creative director of Barneys New York, of his new book, Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints. “One of my first memories is of my mother’s dentures flying out of her mouth when she sneezed-and that’s when I realized that one really only remembers the horrid things, the jarring things, the nasty things,” he said cheerfully about his unusual childhood in Reading, England. Bonus nasty excerpt:Flying dentures were a common sight back then. Nobody in our house seemed able to keep choppers in place for any length of time. Sneezing and coughing were the most common cause. The sequence was as follows. ‘Achew!’ Rattling sound. ‘Oh, Christ!’ (spoken in toothless voice).” Mr. Doonan-who has a tendency to look fabulous-will be at the Union Square Barnes & Noble today. “At the end of the day, it’s a very sweet book. My background of growing up with mentally ill people formed me. So it’s a celebratory thing-celebrate the dysfunction.” Hooray!
[Simon Doonan and Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints, Barnes & Noble, Union Square, 7 p.m., http://www.simonsays.com.
Are you the kind of person who froths for the costumes of Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford? If so, the Museum at F.I.T. hose student body seems to be of the long and skinny-limbed variety that leans toward chain-smoking, preferably Gauloises) has an exhibition on view of American designers who rose to prominence during the 30’s and 40’s. Get your hair set in a finger wave and flap-flap-flap on over! Speaking of films, Rockefeller Center transforms itself into an outdoor movie house (hooray!) with free admission (double hooray!). Again, the seating is provided in the shape of cars (we get the whole drive-in thing, we guess, but feel this is a waste of space), and they’ll be screening films like The Baxter and Show Business through Friday. Popcorn costs extra. Harrumph.
[Fabulous! Fashions of the 1940's, Museum at F.I.T., 27th Street and Seventh Avenue, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 212-217-5800; "Drive-In Movies at the Rock," Rockefeller Center, 6 p.m., http://www.rockefellercenter.com.
Hey, it’s Alanis Morissette remember her? Remember when she sang that song kind of naked in the subway? Remember when she dated the guy on Felicity? Remember when she was on Curb Your Enthusiasm that one time? Remember how she sent a whole generation out into the world not understanding the concept of what is and what isn’t ironic? Regardless, she’s at Madison Square Garden this evening. Watch out for droves of nice Park Slope lady couples.
[Alanis Morissette, Madison Square Garden, 8 p.m., http://www.thegarden.org.