Celebrities exhibit generosity for good causes


Eats: dining reviews, Hot Stuff

July 01, 2004|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

B-more's buzzing with celebrity scoops this week. Let's start with the big Tony Bennett shebang at the Meyerhoff last weekend, which benefited the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins.

Center administrative director Kathryn Davis says everything about the evening was fantastic, filled with great energy. A lot of that had to do with the legendary crooner himself.

"Tony loves singing at the Meyerhoff," Kathryn explains, "because he considers it one of the best concert halls acoustically."

In fact, she says, his demonstration of those acoustics was one of the evening's highlights. Tony had the microphones turned off, and with just a guitarist as backup, he sang "Fly Me to the Moon" to great effect. The crowd was totally wowed.

Another high point came when he dedicated the song "Smile" to local ALS activist Laurie Russell. Laurie recently died of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

After the concert, some 110 sponsors and supporters joined Tony for dinner at his favorite Baltimore restaurant, Da Mimmo's in Little Italy, where he dines (at his favorite table) every time he's in Baltimore.

Hitting the bars with `Wire' stars

Ever wish you could go out for a night on the town with a couple of real-live TV stars? Too bad you missed your most recent chance. The cast and crew of the HBO series The Wire threw a fund-raising party for the Ella Thompson Fund, which works to expand youth and recreation programs for Baltimore kids. Not only could you mingle with all the on-camera and behind-camera types, but you got to do it on the actual soundstage of this very cool TV series, which is filmed here in Charm City.

But that's not the night on the town we're talking about. According to party girl extraordinaire Dolores Deluxe, during the evening's live auction, hotties Dominic West (who plays Jimmy McNulte) and Wendell Pierce (Detective Bunk Moreland) spontaneously decided to offer themselves up for bid. They would go out with the highest bidder to the local bar of his or her choice for an hour of drinks. No word on who the lucky winner was, but we hear the winning bid was about $2,400.

But, that wasn't the end of things. Not to be outdone, Dolores says, two of the show's female actors, Sonja Sohn (Detective Kima Greggs) and Deirdre Lovejoy (assistant state's attorney Rhonda Perlman), offered themselves for the same deal. They also threw in dinner and the additional company of Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar on the show. The whole deal went for about $1,000, Dolores reports.

Altogether, the bash put about $70,000 into the charity's coffers.

Dream birthday party

And then there's the recent birthday party of 9-year-old Jake Nevins. Dad and Nevins & Associates pres David Nevins says the Ravens had kindly agreed to let Jake and 19 of his friends -- along with some "dad/coaches" -- actually play football on the field at M&T Bank Stadium. The kids divided themselves up into teams and were having a blast playing, when David offered his next surprise.

"I said to Jake, `There's one other person who's showed up to play football. So would you mind if he joined you?' But Jake and his friends said no, no, they were even teams of 10, and one more just wouldn't be fair."

That's when the Ravens new starting quarterback Kyle Boller walked onto the field.

"The boys' jaws just dropped," says David, with a laugh. Apparently, Kyle played with the kids for about 45 minutes, making sure that every single one of them got to catch a pass from him. And David says Kyle told him it was the most fun he'd had since he was 9 years old himself.

Meanwhile, David contented himself by watching from the sidelines and chatting with Kyle's girlfriend, who introduced herself as Tara. It took David's 12-year-old daughter, Freddi, to clue Dad in that Tara was actress Tara Reid. That was about the time, David says, the dad/coaches lost interest in the game and became more interested in chatting with the star of the American Pie movies.

Needless to say, the party was a huge success. Only, David's now on the hot seat with how to top it next year.

To submit tips, ideas and possible items for Hot Stuff, send e-mail to sloane@sloanebrown.com or fax to 410-675-3451.

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