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Seen: Kevin Costner + More Celebs in the 401

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


He's just happy to be here: Kevin Costner, on stage at Cranston's Park Theatre. Photo: Leah Michaels.

Field of Dreams star Kevin Costner was in Cranston on Saturday night, but not as an actor; he was here as a musician. Costner and his country rock band Modern West performed at the Park Theatre to an enthusiastic full house. Before the band went on, State Senator Joshua Miller took the stage to introduce them. After Costner’s daughter Annie graduated from Brown University, Senator Miller hired her to work for him, and Costner was always grateful for that, so he reached out to him personally to introduce the band. Costner also had a small meet-and-greet prior to the show, at which South Kingstown’s own American Idol contestant Erica van Pelt was present with her family. It was a fitting that she should meet him, as Van Pelt sang “God Bless America” at the PawSox Home Opener at McCoy Stadium on Thursday. On the acting front, Costner is due to play Jonathan Kent, Clark Kent AKA Superman’s father in the 2013 superhero film Man Of Steel starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams. Even after 20 years Costner is still as “dreamy” as ever…

Returning to her stomping grounds: Brown alum Laura Linney on stage in Providence. Photo: Leah Michaels.

She’s an acclaimed television, film, and theater actress, but she got her acting start right here at Brown University. Laura Linney spoke last night at Brown as a part of the 2012 Ivy Film Festival. Linney talked about the experience of acting in three different media, how to deal with failure and rejection ("you have to allow yourself to suck so you can learn"), and how the arts and entertainment have changed over time. She said that she learned all the most important things at Brown (things beyond academics), that Brown has the most interesting student body on the planet, and that even now she still can't believe she got into Brown. She also threw in a few quips about other stars, raving about Meryl Streep's phenomenal acting and mentioning that Anthony Hopkins is extremely chatty on set to keep himself ready for action, which made her call him a "smart motherf***er." Despite her huge success, Linney is still humble and gracious, saying that if she had never gotten famous, she would have been happy sweeping the stage at a theater, and still would be today if she lost everything. It will be hard to follow that act, but there are more celebrities on the way for the festival in the next few days, and Seen will have the scoop on them next week...

The inimitable Jacques Pepin, charming the bookish crowds in Barrington. Photo: Leah Michaels.

French master chef, television personality, and cookbook author Jacques Pepin held a book signing at Barrington Books on Saturday for his newest cookbook, Essential Pepin. Pepin has starred in many cooking shows including Jacques and Julia Cooking at Home with Julia Child, and although he is very French, he has some local cred as well. He lives in Madison, CT with his wife and is a contributor to the Gastronomy department at Boston University. His daughter Claudine Pepin, a star chef in her own right, lives in Barrington with daughter and her husband Rolland Wesand, an instructor at Johnson & Wales in Providence. Both he and Claudine have appeared as celebrity chefs at the Newport Food and Wine Festival. Pepin wanted everyone at the bookstore to know that good technique is essential for successful cooking, but you don’t need to spend a lot of time and money in order to make a delicious meal…

The nicest judge around was in Rhode Island for Easter weekend. Paula Abdul was seen eating at Texas Roadhouse in Warwick on Easter Sunday night with a member of the Caprio family and others. She was happy to take photos with some of the staff members, which must have brightened their Easters considerably. She also paid a visit to the Alex and Ani corporate headquarters in Cranston during her time here. Perhaps she is a fan of the company’s jewelry and wanted to pick up a few pieces…

First it was just dad, then it was just mom, and this time it was both. Kevin Bacon and wife Kyra Sedgwick were seen eating at Brickway on Wickenden in Providence's Fox Point on Sunday afternoon. Their daughter Sosie Bacon, a sophomore at Brown, performed in a senior thesis play called The Reality Effect this past weekend on campus. Bacon and Sedgwick are very supportive parents, frequently attending Sosie’s acapella concerts and other performances. I just wonder whether or not they know that there are other restaurants in Providence besides Brickway…

Now that his spinoff show The Pauly D Project has aired, Pauly D has a little bit more free time. And he’s been using that time to hang out in Providence. On Thursday night he was seen doing what he does best—partying—at Monet Lounge in downtown Providence, and Friday afternoon he was spotted walking down Thayer Street near East Side Pockets. Maybe he was trying out new restaurant Mike’s Calzones?

Two actors from Brown have appeared recently on NBC television shows. Harrison Chad, who voiced the character Boots the Monkey on Dora the Explorer as a child, is currently in his sophomore year at Brown, but that didn’t prevent him from taking a guest role on the Broadway drama Smash. He played the star of a high-school musical production in the show, which also stars East Greenwich’s own Debra Messing. The other actor is David Walton, who graduated from Brown in 2001 and is currently starring in NBC’s comedy Bent, which he is also producing. However, Bent’s low ratings have made it almost certain it will be cancelled. But good news is still on the horizon for Walton, as CBS has signed him on to play the lead in a still-unnamed comedy from Greg Berlanti and Greg Malins. That is assuming, of course, that Bent gets officially cancelled. It seems strange to hope for a cancellation, but that’s show business…

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