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Seen: Keenan Thompson + More Celebs in the 401

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


He is all that: SNL's Keenan Thompson

For the 1,000 people at Edwards Auditorium at the University of Rhode Island last week, Kenan Thompson was all that! The former All That star and current Saturday Night Live cast member entertained the crowd (filled with mostly students) with humorous stories of his life as an actor. Thompson felt the crowd was very receptive, and especially liked it when they yelled out for him to reprise some of his classic characters. Unfortunately, he told everyone that he isn’t close anymore with former Nickelodeon co-star Kel Mitchell, but now that All That and Kenan and Kel are airing again on TeenNick (along with other 90’s favorites), maybe a reunion is in order…

As I watched the pilot of Fox’s new sitcom New Girl, I expected witty dialogue and wacky shenanigans. I didn’t expect to see Providence on my television screen. After recognizing the colorful Downtown Providence lamppost signs, I figured out that the scene was McFadden’s at the intersection of Peck and Pine streets (although the restaurant’s name was edited out). New Girl stars indie darling Zooey Deschanel, known from such movies as Elf and (500) Days of Summer and the band She & Him, plus Max Greenfield (Veronica Mars and Ugly Betty) and Damon Wayans Jr. (but only for the first episode). The show isn’t set in Providence, but this use of Providence imagery makes me optimistic that we way see more of the city as the show progresses. The pilot episode of New Girl is currently available for free download on iTunes, and the official premiere is next Tuesday at 9 PM. Tune in if only to spot the local scenery…

The lovely Zoe Deschanel's New Girl features the PVD

Looks like Providence isn’t the only town that can throw a great block party. For music fans, last Saturday was all about the Bucket. Rocktucket 2011 saw many great local and national acts take over Main Street in Pawtucket, along with food, art, and more. Local groups included The ‘Mericans, who were a big hit during the day, hyperactive electro rock outfit Math the Band, and genre-defying RISD quintet Fang Island, who will be joined on many of their upcoming East coast tour dates by breakout rock band The Joy Formidable (due to play The Met in Pawtucket on November 18). Fang Island guitarist Chris Georges was very excited to eat at Julian’s again, where he had a job as a dishwasher, and visit the Armageddon record shop. The main event of the night was electronic musician Dan Deacon (also known from the viral video “Drinking Out of Cups”. He’s legendary for his high energy interactive live shows, and he certainly didn’t disappoint this time, as everyone in the street was dancing by the end of his set… 

Some big-name Rhode Islanders have recently been involved in some interesting collaborations with other celebrities. First off, dance punk duo Matt & Kim, with East Providence drummer Kim Schifino recently released a video of their new song called “I’m a Goner,” made in cooperation with Converse. It features rapper Soulja Boy and rocker Andrew W.K. (who was in town recently for AS220’s Foo Fest), and the video involves all the artists throwing a zombie dance party in a morgue. Pretty weird.

One more unlikely pairing is Brown grad John Krasinski and actor Alec Baldwin. In an online commercial for hat company New Era, Baldwin commits a mortal sin when he burns a handful of Red Sox tickets to torment Krasinski, who is an avid Sox fan (as he should be). Hilarity ensues. What famous Rhode Islanders would you like to see work together (Buddy Cianci and Pauly D, anyone)? 

Two women (with very famous parents) who share a common Rhode Island background will see their first film hit RI screens this Friday. Tatiana von Furstenberg, daughter of fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and Francesca Gregorini, daughter of Bond girl Barbara Bach and Ringo Starr, met and befriended one another while studying at Brown University, and they’re still best friends to this day. Their first film together, Tanner Hall, which was shot in 2007 in Rhode Island, was released on Friday in Los Angeles. The film follows four girls’ lives in a boarding school and stars Rooney Mara of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Brie Larson, and Amy Sedaris. Obviously


RISD's creations at Dylan's Candy Bar in NYC

neither filmmaker is a stranger to the spotlight; Gregorini was engaged to Portia de Rossi and was a member of the band Mazzy Star, while von Furstenberg was a journalist and pop singer. Hopefully the film will come back to be shown in the state it was filmed in soon and the two will consider returning here when working on their next blockbuster… 

The sweet and colorful work of Rhode Island School of Design apparel students was on display last week at Fashion’s Night Out in New York City. Seventeen students were tasked with creating candy versions of Rockport shoes for the “May Each Step You Take Be Sweet Event” on Thursday, September 8. It was hosted by Dylan Lauren, founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar and daughter of Ralph Lauren, and celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman, and the confectionary creations were shown in the windows of the flagship Dylan’s Candy Bar in NYC. There was also a surprise appearance by up-and-coming actress Olivia Munn and other members of the fashion elite, including former Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley. Congratulations to contest winner Sarah Richardson, and fan favorite winner Elise Pelletier!


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