Friday, October 31

Sarah Palin is protected from witches—can you say the same? Halloween revelry—New York women dressed as sexy cats or, this year, sexy, Valentino-clad Sarah Palins—includes Lydia Hearst’s Halloween Masquerade at 1Oak, sure to attract the rich and dubiously famous, while bookish pessimists gather for an instructional talk on “The Art of the Obituary” featuring NPR’s Leonard Lopate (women will actually wear bras to this one). Later, cock ring emporium Babeland comes through with the inevitable Sexy Jack-O’-Lantern contest, and Bette Midler hosts a Hulaween gala (“It is a Hawaiian Halloween, so it’s got the tropical but it’s also got the ghoul. It’s tropic-ghoul!” as La Bette told us) at the Waldorf, benefiting her New York Restoration Project, which spruces up city parks. Performers include comedian Kathy Griffin and Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine while Michael Kors combs the room for winners of the costume contest. Our money’s on Ms. Midler herself, who last year dressed up as “the spirit of the forest. I had a birds’ nest in my hair. I was a tree trunk with leaves.” This year? “I’m sort of still working on it, please forgive me.” Turning up will be a horde of entertainers including basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar; resilient Martha Stewart; the B-52’s; formerly angry, now jovial, tennis legend John McEnroe; financial guru Suze Orman (Suze! Help us!); and culinary pioneer Alice Waters. “One year we were honoring Sting and Trudie and we had [Sir] Elton [John] come,” said Ms. Midler. “He was completely on fire that night. They were dancing on the tables.” Yes, a Knight will do that for a party.

[Lydia Hearst’s Halloween Masquerade, 1Oak, 453 West 17th Street, 9 p.m.; Sexy Jack-O’-Lantern contest, Babeland SoHo, 43 Mercer Street, during business hours; Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project’s Hulaween Gala, Waldorf-Astoria, 6:30 p.m., 914-579-1000]

mbryan@observer.com

Friday, October 31