Growl …. Well, at least the tourists are enjoying our fair humid city …. You can spot them easily: They’re the aqua-sweaters-tied-around-the-waist folks standing still and swiping a MetroCard, again and again, with a look of befuddlement while the top of Junior’s ice-cream cone falls off and goes splat on the subway-station floor …. At least they’re shopping (what’s with all the Old Navy bags?). But take heart—look, a celebrity over yonder horizon! Entourage star Adrian Grenier (a.k.a. Vincent Chase) will be in attendance at the Virgin Mobile party, thrown, ostensibly, for the company’s launch of a new “Three Ways to Pay” payment plan. What does this mean for the party? Well, for starters, “sexy triplets” will work the grill of the BBQ-themed poolside bash atop Sky Studios. Mr. Grenier will be playing the drums in his band, the Honey Brothers (sweet!), whose sound he describes as “joy rock.” Would we?! “I saw the band playing one night in the Knitting Factory when they were just a three-piece acoustical band, and I fell in love with them,” said Mr. Grenier. “I recorded them at my home studio in Brooklyn, but with the condition that they put in some bass, drums and distortion. And they agreed—and I started playing the drums.” What’s with all these good-looking actor types trying to be rock stars—don’t you people have enough money? “I just love music—it’s so immediate and present,” Mr. Grenier continued, sounding much like his laid-back HBO character. He added that he was looking forward to touring with the band while the show’s on hiatus. “Going on tour is sort of Zen-like,” he said. Anyone else beginning to notice that “Zen” is one of those words that gets bandied around a lot these days? But whatever—we § the bedroom-eyed Mr. Grenier and can only hope he smuggles co-star Jeremy Piven in for some BBQ. Hug it out, bitch!
[Virgin Mobile “3 Ways to Pay As You Go” launch party, Sky Studios, 704 Broadway, 8 to 11 p.m., by invitation only.]
thursday 21s t
“It’s an improv show, but not like Whose Line Is It Anyway,” said Upright Citizens Brigade’s artistic director, Anthony King, about the comedy group’s long-running show, ASSSCAT. “ASSSCAT has been running for nine years,” Mr. King continued, making sure that we knew about the extra “S” in ASSSCAT (as if we could forget!). The U.C.B. (as all the kids like to call it) will be out on Central Park’s SummerStage (celebrating their 20th anniversary), and the show will include special guests like the hilarious Rob Corddry from The Daily Show (we know we’re somewhat averse to change, but does anyone else miss The Daily Show’s old set?) and SNL’s Horatio Sanz, in addition to founding members Amy Poehler, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser. “It’s like rock ’n’ roll comedy, and all about having fun,” said Mr. King. Expect to see lots of girls in white tank tops and cargo pants with the boys that love them. Certainly not wearing cargo pants (unless they’re from Searle) will be staffers from Harper’s Bazaar, clinking glasses at Brasserie 8 1¼2—for some new staff addition, or some really cute shoes, or whatever. But hipsters, fear not: The Kaiser Chiefs, though not from Montreal (sacré bleu!) are still hanging on to “It” hipster-band status and return to Webster Hall, cheeky eyeliner and all. Prediction: The New York Times’ Thursday Styles section assigns a piece on guys wearing eyeliner before you finish reading this sentence ….
[Upright Citizens Brigade at
SummerStage, Central Park, 7:30 p.m., http://www.UCBtheater.com; Harper’s Bazaar cocktails, Brasserie 8 1¼2, 9 West 57th Street,
6 to 8 p.m., by invitation only; Kaiser Chiefs at Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, 7 p.m.]
Remember the tsunami? It’s been easy to forget, what with leaky tub-bucket Karl Rove filling the headlines, but tonight Milk Gallery opens a show, Tsunami Imprints: The Youngest Survivors, today. Supermodel Noot Seear (a name we adore) hosts the exhibit of 100 drawings by Sri Lankan children who lost family and friends in the aftermath of the disaster. Fashion designers Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta (please, sir, we beg you: Stop dressing that barnyard warbler Jessica Simpson!) and Calvin Klein, along with Bliss Spa, have donated work to be auctioned off, as have a variety of photographers. Proceeds go to Rose Charities, a nonprofit that funds art therapy in tsunami-ravaged towns (not to hit on a sour note for so worthy a cause, but how ’bout building these kids a new roof?). But anyway, there’s always more summer blockbusters to see (the $11 air-conditioning never felt so good): the newly booze-free Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson thriller The Island (we don’t think they mean Long Island), or an opportunity to use the word “grizzled” a few times: Billy Bob Thornton starring in the remake of The Bad News Bears. We love how Hollywood is overflowing with original ideas!
[Tsunami Imprints: The Youngest Survivors, Milk Gallery, 450 West 15th Street, now through July 31, 11 a.m. to
6 p.m., www.nickpoe.com/rose.html; for The Island and The Bad News Bears, www.moviefone.com.]
Toasted in the Hamptons: Finally, an event in the Hamptons that sounds less than horrific: “I’m very honored,” said Union Square Café chef/partner Michael Romano, appropriately, of being chosen as the guest of honor at this year’s Chefs and Champagnes Gala, an annual shindig courtesy of the James Beard Foundation. “When it’s a group of your peers—and I’m looking now at the roster of chefs turning out to cook and come to the event—it’s just great to be recognized.” Tonight at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, guests will have the chance to taste the work from such restaurants as the Biltmore Room, Pearl Oyster Bar, the Lever House and Eleven Madison Park, in addition to lots of champagne (burp). Mr. Romano is also looking forward to celebrating the Union Square Café’s 20th anniversary this fall (just imagine what Union Square would have continued to look like if that fancy restaurant hadn’t plunked itself down). “What’s really wonderful about this toast is that James Beard was instrumental to me getting in the business,” Mr. Romano said. “I was working at Serendipity, and the owners introduced me. At the time, I had some notion of getting into the business; James Beard gave me some encouragement, and it was really all I needed to hear.” Look for hungry Hamptonites denying themselves delicious morsels while hitting the open bar with a vengeance. Next! Elsewhere on the Fork, another excuse to dress up and look around for someone more fabulous than the person sitting next to you: Elle Decor’s own charity, Dining by Design, celebrates eight years of benefiting DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). Festivities will take place at the East Hamptons Studios in Wainscott and will feature cocktails, silent auction, dinner and dancing. Yawn. When are these people going to hire a magician?
[Chefs and Champagnes 2005, Wölffer
Estate Vineyard, Sagaponack, 5 to 8 p.m., 212-627-2308; Elle Decor’s Dining by
Design, East Hamptons Studios, Wainscott, 7 p.m., www.diffa.org.]
“I am an identical twin,” said Lois Colin, group sales director of Astroland Amusement Park in Coney Island. “And I thought we had an ideal venue for an event such as this.” Yes, it’s Twins and Multiples Day on Coney Island! (No freaks, please.) “I always look forward to when the park opens and all the twins and multiples arrive with their families; it’s always a heartwarming experience,” said Ms. Colin. “There’s joy on people’s faces—parents, kids, siblings in similar situations. They realize they’re not oddities.” There’s even a talent show: “My twin and I used to do a mean tap dance,” Ms. Colin said. Meep! Meanwhile, Live 8 may have come and gone, but benefit concerts are here to stay: Soldier Ride benefits wounded soldiers from Iraq and features Joan (“What If God Was One of Us?”) Osborne, the Funk Brothers and the Supremes (we’re guessing sans Ms. Ross), as well as some armed-service members. “We want the soldiers to have a good day and get recognized. It’s important people recognize the sacrifices that are made by these men and women,” said Nick Kraus, one of the founders. “And the Funk Brothers are really great.” Two birds, Mr. Kraus—all right!
Anyone else thinking that they should start writing a young-adult novel about either au pairs or a shy wizard? Melissa de la Cruz, author of The Au Pairs (three nannies hired for a summer in the Hamptons end up partying like a Hilton), celebrates the sequel, Skinny Dipping, tonight at Light. The books are aimed at young readers but—thanks to some, um, racy content—find many adult readers at the same time. “It’s from ages 14 to fortysomething,” laughed Ms. de la Cruz. The three protagonists drink too much and strip down to their Cosabella underwear in hot tubs, scandalizing those of us who were raised on Little House on the Prairie. “I think things are a little bit different now,” said Ms. de la Cruz. “We’re now trying to compete with The OC and MTV. Look at The Real World—they’re having threesomes now!” We can’t argue with that logic. “I think a lot of the girls know when they’re reading it that it’s a fantasy,” Ms. de la Cruz added. “Besides, I was a good girl—and I was reading Jackie Collins!” Ms. de la Cruz hopes for a good showing tonight but knows the reality of summer in the city. “You never really know who you’re going to get—last time it was Farnsworth Bently.” Sigh. Who’s ready for fall?
[Melissa de la Cruz book party, Light, 125 East 54th Street, 7 to 9 p.m., by invitation only.]
Seems like everyone loves that Chicken Soup for the Soul series, but has anyone asked the chicken? It was only a matter of time, we suppose, that the Chicken Soup juggernaut (something that isn’t quite as creepy as Tom Cruise, but hovering in that region) would start a magazine. And so it is—the new magazine promises to be “playful”, “insightful,” with “inspiring articles” (uh-oh) for “women who are young at heart.” What if you’re feeling terribly old at heart? The debut issue features the young, still-hot Elvis on the cover, and tonight’s launch party at Elaine’s promises special guest Al Wertheimer, the photographer who had “unbridled access” to the King. Also toasting will be J. Mignonne Wright, both publisher and editor in chief, who waxes eloquent about friendship in the first issue. We don’t know why, but just thinking about all this stuff makes us itchy.
[Launch party for Chicken Soup for the Soul Magazine, Elaine’s, 1703 Second Avenue, 6 to 8 p.m., by invitation only.]
Two interesting choices: Make like a New Ager and go to the Wave Hill Barefoot Dancing gig (even thinking about all those unpedicured feet makes us shudder), or depress yourself further and check out the premiere of The 3 Rooms of Melancholia, a documentary about children victimized in the Chechen conflict, at the Film Forum (which has only two rooms of melancholia). Sigh. We’re just going to sit in the dark with the air-conditioning on full blast, waiting for America’s Next Top Model to return.
[Wave Hill’s Barefoot Dancing with
La Cumbiamba eNeYe, Wave Hill,
675 252nd Street, 6:30 to 8: 00 p.m., www.wavehill.org; The 3 Rooms of Melancholia, Film Forum, West Houston Street, www.filmforum.com.]