HughE Dillon: Free Tastykakes This Saturday!
Last night QFest kicked off with not one but two opening night films along with a party that was held at the Independence Visitor Center. ABOVE: You Can’t Have it All‘s first-time director Jay Arnold (far right), co-screenwriter Thom Cardwell (far left), and star Jon Lindstrom (center, As The World Turns). The film also features Wendie Malick (Just Shoot Me!, Pushing Daises), Natalia Cigliuti (Raising the Bar, Waterfront), newcomer Chris Murrah (above, in white shirt), and the acting debut of James Duke Mason (Go-Go Belinda Carlise’s son).
DJ Glitz and Kelly Burkhardt, managing director of TLA Video and programmer for QFest 2010. DJ Glitz will be spinning at the official after-party celebration for Artistic Achievement Award recipient Cheryl Dunye and her film The Owls, next Friday at StimulusPhilly.com.
Also at QFest: One Degree of Barbra Streisand. There are more than 12 days of GLBTQ films screening in Old City at the Landmark Theaters, and there’s even a Barbra-Palooza July 10th, 14th and 15th. I wonder if Babs’ hubby producer James Brolin will stop by as he will be in town on Tuesday, July 13th at the Prince Theater to screen his new movie Standing Ovation? Will Babs be walking the red carpet with her man I wonder?
Last week I visited Eastern State Penitentiary with my nieces Nicole DeFeo and Kelsey Goleash, here with assistant site manager April Shaw.
Eastern State Penitentiary is open every single day, and on Wednesday nights through August they stay open until 8 p.m. for Twilight Tours. While touring ESP, it’s easy to imagine yourself being incarcerated there 150 years ago. The cell walls are high; each room was designed to hold one prisoner because the Quakers who created the prison felt that solitary confinement would help the prisoner reflect and repent about the crime he committed. The only sunlight comes from a small skylight. There’s also a narrated audio tour by actor Steve Buscemi.
Tomorrow (the 10th) is the Fairmount Bastille Day Festival, one of Philadelphia’s most popular summertime events! There’s a playful reenactment of the Storming of the Bastille at the Penitentiary (influenced more by the campy Monty Python than the French Revolution), followed by a French-themed street party. For years “Marie Antoinette” would shout from the top of the prison, “If the people don’t have bread. let them eat Tastykakes!” But then they would actually toss Twinkies out to the crowd. Well, this year they will be tossing a few Tastykakes to the crowd because for the first time ever Tastykake has decided to donate 750 treats to the cause.
This car was used in Transformers 2 when the movie was shot at the prison last year. They donated it to ESP, and it was incorporated into Terror Behind The Walls, the very popular Halloween attraction ESP puts on every year. This year the very spooky Halloween tours begin September 17th and end November 6th.
I noticed Venus Williams wasn’t wearing a watch when she showed up for her book signing at Borders Center City almost an hour late, which was a little irritating for some of her fans who had been waiting several hours to see her. One person who was not upset was Maricel Vivas, who had won a contest on 97.5 The Fanatic to be first in line for Williams. Venus arrived a little after 11 a.m., to the dismay of Jack Winn who had been first and arrived at 9 a.m.
Venus is in town to play on the Philadelphia Freedoms tennis team, which was co-founded by Billie Jean King. Tennis fans will have the opportunity to watch world-class male and female players competing together on the same team. The Philadelphia Freedoms will play seven home matches at The Pavilion at Villanova University and feature Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova —each will appear during one home match next week. On Tuesday, July 13th at 7:30 p.m., Philadelphia Flyer Scott Hartnell will trade in his skates for tennis sneakers and go toe-to-toe with Wimbledon champion Serena Williams in a doubles celebrity tennis match at the Pavilion at Villanova University.
One fan, Steve Williams, brought a painting Venus signed back in 2007 to show her again, and was able to get her to sign both her new book and a photo book he brought with him (against her handler’s objections). Before last night’s match between the Philadelphia Freedoms and the Washington Kastles, one of the sponsors, Beneficial Bank, hosted a VIP night at the Pavilion at Villanova University with special guests, and 300 kids from the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education Center.
Last call for the Philadelphia Passion Lingerie Football League tryouts!! They’re looking for beautiful, athletic women who’ve played sports in high school or college! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details. By the way, I hear the deal fell apart for the ladies to play at the Wachovia Center, so look for the Philadelphia Passion to return to the Sun National Bank Center (formerly known as the Sovereign Bank Arena) in Trenton. Any further up the river and they would be called the New York Passion.
The movie Safe, starring Jason Statham (The Italian Job, The Transporter) and directed by Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans), will be shot in Philadelphia starting this September. Heery Casting is looking for Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking actors, men ages 25-60, women ages 20-25, and boys and girls ages 10-13.
Celebrity Spot: This morning, Tim McGraw was seen working out at The Sporting Club; he’s got a concert at the Susquehanna Bank Center tonight.