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April 16, 1999

THE HOWARD FISHMAN QUARTET. The new It Band of! The HFQ blends swing standards with early-in-the-century hillbilly/country/jug band tunes. BG's favorite types of music all at once, top-notch and charming musicians (guitar, bass, cornet, fiddle, occasional banjo moments), perfect gimlets, great friends -- all in the fabulous fabled setting of the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel ... last Tuesday night, Breakup Girl really did border on overstimulated. (They're at the Oak Room this week and next; if too pricey, wait impatiently until Howard & Co. start -- 4/26? -- playing regular Monday nights at Tramps.)

THE COMEDY CAUSE. The Associates, Breakup Girl LIVE's resident uber-sketch comedy group, holds a benefit next Saturday featuring all manner of festive madness: jugglers, belly dancers, magicians, drag queens... even a comedian (Tom Shillue, a regular on The Daily Show and a veteran of BG LIVE). Steve "Chip Chop" Gonzalez from KTU (103.5 FM) to spins. For more info call the Associates hotline at 212-501-3741 (and check next Wednesday's Big To Do).

SHACK ATTACK. In case of spontaneous sleepover due to breakup (can't leave friends) or breakup (rebound), grab The Stacia Sleepover Duffel, brought to you by designer Stacey Johnson of Brooklyn's must-shop Smith St. (like SoHo, only with actual humans). Each is handmade of silk and nylon by Miss Stacey herself. The women's contains: a stacia cotton camisole and thong, candle, and toothbrush. The men's: boxers instead. Breakup Girl plans to wear a stacia design at the next Breakup Girl LIVE, by the way (if you miss it, just check Superhero Wear Daily). stacia new york, 267 Smith Street, Brooklyn, 718-237-0078

MONICA LIPSTICKSKY: SO FIVE MINUTES AGO. Bag that waiting list and make your own. (Keep reading, non-cross-dressing/gender-label-bucking gentlemen, this is a killer gift for a gal.) Laura Geller Custom Color Lab Lipsticks will match the shade of whatever you send: traces of a discontinued hue, a scrap of fabric, a bottle of wine, a .gif of Breakup Girl. Call 800 MAKEUP-4U for the dilly.

NATALIE AND JEREMY. On Sports Night, the breakup that wasn't. Jeremy did his damndest, but Natalie refused to accept it. I don't mean she went in to weepy doodly "he'll come back" denial; I mean she went around saying matter-of-fact things like, "Jeremy broke up with me, but it didn't take." Sure enough, they were reunited last week, Jeremy actually having gotten the space he needed, and Natalie having avoided the fallout entirely. Brilliantly written and executed. (Still, don't try this at home.)

SECRETARIES DAY is next Wednesday. Rent 9 to 5.

ACCESSORY TO A COMMITMENT. You know those plastic "I'm old enough to drink at this club" bracelets that don't come off without the use of a diamond-sharp blade? Now imagine a similar trinket that proves not your age, but your love. London designer Francesca Amiftheatrof has crafted all-weather friendship (or more than) bracelets with industrial plastic bands and -- permanent -- sterling silver clasps. The plastic is cuttable, yes, but I can still hear it now: "We're staying together for the bracelets." Available for $38 (each, that is) at Ether, 28 Prince Street (at Mott).

"LOVE BITES." No, not a change of BG heart; the title of next week's series of readings of six new short plays -- three ("Fantasy Draft," "Betrayals," and "The Third First Blind Double Date") penned by Jenny Lyn Bader, BG's very first "A Date With" guest (BG received word too late for this week's Big To DO). Other playwrights: Craig Pospisil, and Michael Racanelli. Directors: Chris Smith, the others John Ellis, Rob Fruchtman, and Eva Patton. Featuring Eileen Chang, Matt Conlon, William Driscoll, Isabel Keating, James Lorenzo, Nancy McDoniel, Beverly Morris, Sharon O'Connell, Anton Pagan, Saxon Palmer, Joakim Pierrou, Maylin Pultar, Alysia Reiner, and Robert Trumbull. $10 suggested donation. Reception to follow each performance. Monday April 19 and Tuesday April 20 at 8pm, the Neighborhood Playhouse, 340 East 54th Street (between First & Second). For reservations call (212) 595-0924.

SELLS SEX. The Erotica USA convention opened yesterday and runs through Sunday at NYC's intimate Javits Center. Products, fashion, erotic dancers, plus some sort of sneak preview of Gotham's most controversial "attraction"-to-be, the Museum of Sex of New York City (MOSEX) [hacky comedians: insert joke about "ancient history,." etc.]. A featured speaker: Dan Savage, who is next month's featured speaker right here!

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