The 2,100 trendy New Yorkers who attended Madonna's recent Don't Bungle the Jungle! benefit at the Brooklyn Academy of Music had some pressing questions on their mind. To wit, can urban-jungle dwellers help save the world's rain forests? And what is going on between Madonna and Sandra Bernhard?

During a concert that included the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and the showstealing B-52s, Madonna and her fellow benefit organizer, artist Kenny Scharf, addressed the first issue. "The rain forest affects everyone," said Scharf, who will use the projected $750,000 from the concert and an art sale to buy and protect South American land. "It affects our weather, and many medicines are found there. If we destroy forests, we could destroy the cure for AIDS or cancer."

As for the other concern, Madonna and Bernhard's bump-and-grind rendition of "I Got You Babe" only raised more questions about their flirtatious friendship. "Don't believe those stories you hear about us," said Madonna coyly. "Believe them," corrected Bernhard.

After the concert, Billy Joel, Calvin Klein, Iman and 330 others joined the soul sisters for a midnight supper at the hip Vietnamese restaurant Indochine. There, Bernhard amplified on the teaser that, for the moment, ranked right up there with the planet's survival. "Madonna and I have a heart-and-soul friendship," she said. "Beyond that, it's nobody's business. The way we act together is a political statement. It's to say to the world, 'Get past the judgments. Accept people for what they are.' The rain forest is dying. What do you care more about, the rain forest or our sexuality?"

The rain forest. Really.