HughE Dillon: The Best Place to Watch the Flyers

Plus: Cleopatra comes to the Franklin Institute, and Jimmy Rollins throws a fund-raising bowling party

“Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt,” opens Saturday, June 5th at the Franklin Institute, and runs until January 2, 2011. Last night, I attended the gala world premiere and it was really breathtaking. The movie you see before the exhibit really sets the tone, and many of artifacts, which were lost under water for centuries, are astounding.

Franck Goddio, who is a French underwater archaeologist, used advanced technology to explore the submerged ruins of several ancient underwater cities and temple complexes from which Queen Cleopatra ruled.

ABOVE: Chuck Bongiorno, Cara Schneider (GPTMC), Franck Goddio and Kat Stein (PR for the Franklin Institute).

ABOVE: When guests first entered the museum they could take a picture with “Cleopatra” and her court. Laurie Marshall and Gretchen Riley did just that.

ABOVE: Restaurateur, caterer and author Steve Poses (Frog, The Commissary), Andi Coyle, and Meryl Levitz, GPTMC executive director. Poses just opened a burger place outside the Franklin Institute called Frog Burger.

ABOVE: Joyce Sando, Dan Stack and Lara Bach. The dress was festive, and reflecting of the event. A few guests were mindful of the theme while dressing for the event.

ABOVE: Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal and his partner Jason Villemez, with Maria Papadakis and Andrew Rosenthal. Jason just returned from Japan where he taught English for a year.

ABOVE: Life partners Dennis James and Romulo L. “Romy” Diaz (Jr VP of governmental and external affairs at PECO), with Alison McGill and her mom, Charisse Lillie. Romy and Charisse both served as Philadelphia city solicitors—Charisse under then-Mayor Rendell, and Romy under Mayor Street.

Every visitor also gets an audio tour from the perspective of Cleopatra, who recounts the tale of her life and death while explaining the 150 artifacts that include gold coins, jewelery, and statues; the vast majority were found buried in the Bay of Aboukir, off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. My favorite were the videos shown on TV screens of the excavation of artifacts by divers and the placement of the underground City. For information, times and tickets, go to the Franklin Institute’s website.


Earlier in the day I went to Lucky Strikes bowling alley for the Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation, which strives to help children and young adults living with arthritis by providing funds and awareness about the disease.

Almost the entire rooster of Phillies attended, as well as Miss Philadelphia Andrea Helfrich, NASCAR driver Martin Truex, Jr., and a few former Phillies such as Mitch Williams and Darren Daulton. Bowling in lane one was Philly’s favorite 2nd baseman, Chase Utley, who posed for a picture with Maggie Gonsiewski. (Her husband Mike snapped the shot.)


Wednesday night I attended the kick off SIPS event at Table 31. I then settled in with about 100 people, including Dana Spain, Steve Rockman, Sabrina Tamburino Thorne, Nicole Cashman, Megan Smith,  Steve Olitsky and Chef Chris Scarduzio, to watch the Flyers pull off a stunning victory played out on the Comcast’s giant lobby screens. I highly recommend watching a game from the outdoor dining area there because they pipe in the game over the speakers.

I met a few of my readers there (above): Dana Rothberg, Marni Snyder, Neil Stein and Rachel Rosenfeld. So if you see me walking by, give me a shout out and maybe you’ll be in my next column.


Check out my personal blog for daily posts or follow me on Twitter @iphillychitchat for up to the minute info on events and who’s doing what. Have a nice weekend. See you Monday.

Steve Poses, Andi Coyle and Meryl Levitz, Greater Philadelphia Marketing and Tourism Executive Director. Steve is the founder and One of the best sites to explore all things Cleopatra happening in and around Philadelphia can be found on the GPTMC special Cleopatra website here.