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'Jordan' isn't crossing country to film here

FROM AFAR ''Crossing Jordan" has been on for four years, but like so many TV shows that use Boston as a backdrop, it rarely, if ever, films here. ''We've been to Boston once to shoot exteriors for the pilot," actor Miguel Ferrer said on the phone from -- where else? -- LA. ''The technology's so good. We can be sitting on a stage, and you'd swear we're at the Boston Harbor." Tomorrow's episode, a cops-and-mobsters story that costars Ken Howard, marks Ferrer's directorial debut. ''I've done a lot of plays, but I wanted the opportunity to direct a show," said the son of actor Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney. Ferrer said he'd like to shoot some more in Boston, but it's not likely. ''There's not much wiggle room in TV," he said. ''You gotta stay on time and stay on budget."

AROUND TOWN He must like the chowder, because every time White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card is in town, the former state legislator stops by the historic Union Oyster House downtown. . . . Meanwhile over at Kingfish Hall in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, former Georgia senator Max Cleland had lunch with Cam Kerry, brother of Senator John Kerry, whom Cleland supported in last fall's election. Cleland was in town for last night's 30th anniversary celebration of the Center for Working & Living in Worcester. The artwork of Keith P. Jones, Jessica Vohs, and Heather Freeman was featured in an auction before a program in which Representative James McGovern was honored.

SINGING FOR HERSELF Veteran musical theater and cabaret performer Jinny Sagorin of Durban, South Africa, became a US citizen the other day at a ceremony at Faneuil Hall where, along with other newly minted citizens, she sang ''The Star-Spangled Banner." Only we're told Sagorin was able to hit the high notes. Sagorin, who launched her first CD ''It's For You" at a sold-out show at Scullers last month, will perform a benefit concert for the Newton Symphony Orchestra next month.

MCC HONORS LOCAL ARTISTS Filmmaker and scholar Laurie Kahn-Leavitt of Watertown and Tim Chan Thou, founder and artistic director of Angkor Dance Troupe in Lowell, are among this year's Commonwealth Awards winners from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Known as the state's highest honors in the arts, humanities, and sciences, the awards will be presented March 28 during a ceremony at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Others honorees include: The Huntington Theatre's managing director Michael Maso; Shakespeare & Co. of Lenox; Raw Art Works of Lynn; and Wheelock Family Theatre of Boston.

CHESNEY BRINGS ''SUN" TO FOXBOROUGH Country superstar Kenny Chesney is adding Gillette Stadium to his ''Somewhere in the Sun Tour," it was announced yesterday. He will perform there July 23.

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