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Archive for November, 2010

Ryan Seacrest: Live from Atlanta!

Ryan Seacrest during last year's visit to the new Atlanta Ronald McDonald House

Ryan Seacrest during last year's visit to the new Atlanta Ronald McDonald House

Is there a nicer guy than Ryan Seacrest?

On a recent visit to Bacchanalia with gal pal Julianne Hough, who was in town filming the “Footloose” remake, another couple at Atlanta’s favorite special-events restaurant recognized the affable “American Idol” host.

Turns out the other folks were there celebrating a wedding anniversary, and Seacrest immediately turned on the charm.

“I told the wife I had been hired especially to provide entertainment for the evening!” he said. “In Atlanta, people are not in awe. It’s like they’re meeting a friend.”

He’ll be making lots of friends this weekend, as Seacrest is back in his hometown for a number of events. He’ll be at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta today to launch “The Voice,” a media center for young people. Saturday, he’ll emcee a gala at the Georgia Aquarium to benefit the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities‘ facilities.

“I have spent many hours in …

Continue reading Ryan Seacrest: Live from Atlanta! »

New role for John Smoltz: movie star!

Former Braves pitcher John Smoltz is back at the Ted this weekend

Former Braves pitcher John Smoltz is back at the Ted this weekend

John Smoltz returns to the mound at Turner Field this Saturday.

For a movie.

The former Atlanta Braves pitcher is going to shoot a cameo bit for “The Change-Up,” the buddy flick starring Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds and Olivia Wilde. It’s been filming all over town. This Saturday, the crew shoots scenes where the characters apparently take in a baseball game. Smoltz will be throwing heat for the cameras and the production needs tons – TONS – of extras to come pack the seats.

Note: the call for extras is rain or shine, so don’t let a little frosty drizzle keep you from your shot at a glimmer of fame.  Check-in starts at 12:30 p.m., parking is free and you get lunch out of the deal. They’re not paying extras, but for everyone who shows up to help fill up the frame, Universal Pictures will make a $5 donation to the Atlanta Braves Foundation.

Want in? Pre-register at

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Tyler Perry is on “Oprah” again today

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This is a still photo from Perry's visit, from oprah.com

Last month, Tyler Perry confessed on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” painful details about abuse he suffered as a child. He was beaten by his father on a regular basis, and was sexually abused by a woman and several men as a child.

He is back on the show today, joined by 200 men who also will share details of the abuse they suffered. Oprah airs at 4 p.m. weekdays on Channel 2 WSB-TV. Today’s show is billed as a time of support and empowerment for men who have been carrying the painful memories of abuse with them.

Perry’s visit to his friend Oprah’s show also coincides with the opening of ”For Colored Girls,” his adaptation of  Ntozake Shange’s play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”

Some reviews are already in, and they aren’t great.

For-Colored-Girls-Tyler-Perry-Cast-3-9-10-kc-300x200Time magazine calls it “a dated horror show bordering on parody.” The Mercury News is a bit more forgiving, calling the film “compelling and powerful,” but …

Continue reading Tyler Perry is on “Oprah” again today »

To some, Kim Fields will always be “Tootie”

Kim Fields and her husband, Christopher Morgan

Kim Fields and her husband, Christopher Morgan

A festive crowd gathered Monday at the Woodruff Arts Center for the 2010 Women in Film and Television Atlanta’s annual gala. Honorees included HLN’s Robin Meade, actress-producer-director Kim Fields and representatives from the Georgia Production Partnership.

The gracious Meade credited everyone who works on her morning show.

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Robin Meade keeps it positive.

“It says something about my team,” she told us, asked about her award.

Meade said she strives to keep things upbeat on air. “I’m a firm believer that the early morning news audience doesn’t want all that gory detail,” she said.

Fields’ body of work includes the sitcom “Living Single” and she now works on Tyler Perry’s television shows “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne.” But she didn’t mind when we said we’d overheard guests tittering about getting to meet “Tootie,” her role on the beloved show “Facts of Life.”

“I understand the …

Continue reading To some, Kim Fields will always be “Tootie” »

Former Braves player Andruw Jones hosts gala

photoFormer Atlanta Braves player Andruw Jones and his wife, Nicole, will again host the annual Jaden’s Ladder “Fairway Affair,” a golf tournament and gala this weekend benefiting domestic violence survivors.

We got together with the pair – he has gone on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox while she has started a jewelry business – this week to talk about the event.

“We hope to be able to help more families,” said Nicole Jones, noting that the charity has aided more than 200 people with housing, education and other costs.

Andruw Jones said their son Druw, 6, has begun donating his toys to children who have left domestic violence situations. He doesn’t quite understand what the charity is about, but knows it’s important to help kids less fortunate than he is.

“We just cleaned out his toys again,” Andruw Jones said. He and Nicole are expecting a number of notable guests, including Atlanta Falcons players Coy Wire and Brian …

Continue reading Former Braves player Andruw Jones hosts gala »

Sneak peek at “The Change-Up” set!

"The Change-Up," starring Ryan Reyolds and Olivia Wilde, above, took over Ecco in Midtown on Monday to film some scenes. The restaurant was closed to patrons.

"The Change-Up," starring Ryan Reyolds and Olivia Wilde, above, took over Ecco in Midtown on Monday to film some scenes. The restaurant was closed to patrons but thanks to one of our Twitter buddies – an extremely well-placed one, from the looks of things, we got our hands on these exclusive pix. Enjoy!

Ecco was the site for the wrap party for "Wanderlust," the Jennifer Aniston-Paul Rudd movie, last week. And now it will star in "The Change-Up." Here's an exterior shot.

Ecco was the site for the wrap party for "Wanderlust," the Jennifer Aniston-Paul Rudd movie, last week. And now it will star in "The Change-Up." Here's an exterior shot.

Ryan Reynolds also was spotted having dinner at Aria the other night with his wife, Scarlett Johansson. Seems like movies are great for the local restaurant biz.

Ryan Reynolds also was spotted having dinner at Aria the other night with his wife, Scarlett Johansson. Seems like movies are great for the local restaurant biz.

After finishing for the day, Olivia Wilde tweeted, "GREAT first day of shooting on The Change Up. Laugh-ity laugh laugh fun. Ryan Reynolds is so Canadian he doesn't even sweat. Infuriating."

After finishing for the day, Olivia Wilde tweeted, "GREAT first day of shooting on The Change Up. Laugh-ity laugh laugh fun. Ryan Reynolds is so Canadian he doesn't even sweat. Infuriating."

Setting up a shot. The restaurant was closed and security was tight. We got these photos from a very well-placed source!

Setting up a shot. The restaurant was closed and security was tight. We got these photos from a very well-placed source via Twitter. #friendsinhighplaces

"The Change-Up" stars Ryan Reynolds, above, and Jason Bateman.

"The …

Continue reading Sneak peek at “The Change-Up” set! »

Jennifer Aniston noshes at Nava

17ECAtlanta’s restaurant owners are going to cry now that Jennifer Aniston’s movie “Wanderlust” has wrapped up.

Since the film co-starring Paul Rudd and Alan Alda set up shop here, she’s been spotted at Ecco, Paces 88 and most recently, at Nava. She and and a group of about 15 people, including her bodyguard, dined at Nava Friday night. The crew took up three tables in the main dining room.

Chef Ryan Delesandro thrilled the party with chili-rubbed lamb loin tacos with pickled red onions as an amuse bouche. Jen then enjoyed a prickly pear margarita, a quesadilla appetizer and the Key Lime Chicken as her entrée.

She was kind enough to pose for this photo with Nava’s general manager, Jon Skinner, and assistant manager Lauren Heflin.

Continue reading Jennifer Aniston noshes at Nava »

Want to take Phaedra Parks to dinner?

Kandi Burruss attended Phaedra's baby shower. Here's a photo from the event.

Kandi Burruss attended Phaedra's baby shower. Here's a photo from the event, which Parks tweeted.

If you just can’t get enough of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast member Phaedra Parks, here is your chance for some quality time, in person.

Dinner with Parks, an entertainment attorney whose lavish baby shower was the setting for one of the episodes so far this season, is up on the auction block at the Charity Buzz web site. Proceeds benefit the Southern Rural Black Womens Initiative.

Here is the link for the item.

The bidding goes on through Nov. 17. Right now the asking price is $300, although Charity Buzz values this “celebrity experience” at $2,500.

If you win, you get to have dinner with Phaedra, one-on-one. And you’ll be picking up the tab. The auction information states that the winner is responsible for dinner.

Happy bidding!

Continue reading Want to take Phaedra Parks to dinner? »