With this, my first Boldface column for Metro, I welcome you to a world of gossip-worthy names you know, love, hate, and love to hate, as well as names that you should get to know. If they’re in boldface, they’re crucial.
Philly’s most famous abandoned property, North Broad Street’s Divine Lorraine Hotel, should get a nice chunk of change ($30-plus million!) from New Jersey real estate mogul Bill Procida for local developer Eric Blumenfeld’s dream condo/retail project. The cash should come within the next two months.
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The first public staged reading of Theater Exile’s controversial “Rizzo” from Philly playwright Bruce Graham (based on ex-Inquirer scribe/ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio’s 1993 “Frank Rizzo: The Last Big Man in Big City America”) happened Monday at Studio X with Barrymore-winning local actor Scott Greer in the lead and Pearce Bunting from HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Amanda Schoonover in multiple roles including activist Shelly Yanoff. Not only was the real Yanoff in attendance, a heated argument broke out between Graham and an angry audience member during the Q&A portion of the event. “Rizzo,” Exile’s first commissioned work, will hit stages in 2015.
A highlight of last Saturday’s South Street Spring Festival was a wedding proposal from Freddie Pantalone, 40, to Erika Tartaglini, 29. Pantalone made arrangements with South Street Headhouse District months ago for Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” to play on loudspeakers while a planned flash mob of CAPA students danced around the groom-to-be. Thankfully, Tartaglini said “yes.”
East Passyunk Avenue chef Chris Kearse (Will) joins forces with interior designer (he just did The Good King’s Francophile nosh spot at 614 S. Seventh St.) and Bar Ferdinand owner Owen Kamihira for a pop-up meal with David Ansill at Ferdinand on May 13.
Scene on the seen:
• Producer-turned-thespian RZA from Wu Tang Clan at HipCityVeg while promoting his upcoming movie, “Gang Related.”
• New Kid (on the Block)’s Donnie Wahlberg at fiancé Jenny McCarthy’s comedy show at the Keswick.
• Expatriate Philly newsman Chris Matthews came home to host Fairmount Park Conservancy’s seventh annual centennial celebration at the Horticultural Center.
• One-time Philadelphia DJ/producer Diplo’s best gal (after new girlfriend Katy Perry) Iggy Azalea signed autographs at Broad Street’s FYE before packing TLA.
• Jeweler and Halloween party host Henri David at the William Way Center to see life partner Paul Struck and John Waters’ actress Elizabeth Coffey in Miller-Rothlein’s dance company benefit “Sinco di Miro.”