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Visiting with the dear 'Departed'

One of the first things ''The Departed" producer G. Mac Brown told a group of state officials visiting the film's production crews shooting on Boston Common yesterday is how much they appreciated the heavy rain. ''They were really happy they didn't have to water down the field to make the players muddy," said state Representative Tom O'Brien, who has a bill in the Legislature that would provide tax incentives and other breaks to entice Hollywood to make more films here. Besides O'Brien, on hand were House Speaker Sal DiMasi, Representative Eric Turkington, and Senator James Timilty, joined by filmmaker and Newton resident Sam Weisman. Yesterday's scene depicted a rugby match, with hometown favorite Matt Damon suiting up. (There was no sign of the film's other big stars -- Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, or Leonardo DiCaprio.) O'Brien estimated that ''The Departed" is bringing in more than $300,000 a day to the Boston economy. And while it was a quick, friendly visit, O'Brien said that the moviemakers stressed the importance of a tax-break bill becoming law in the state. ''They made it clear that it's about the bottom line," he said.

Nothing serious, folks

Jack Welch did go to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital the other night, but the visit wasn't nearly as ominous as the New York Post made it sound. Turns out the 69-year-old former GE exec and best-selling author just had a stomachache. ''Thank goodness I didn't cook that night," Welch's wife, Suzy, wrote in an e-mail yesterday. The couple, big-time Bosox fans, owns a house on Nantucket.

Gay Men’s Chorus returns

With a sigh of relief, the Boston Gay Men's Chorus has returned from its first European tour. The 120-member chorus played to huge crowds in Berlin, and an appreciative audience in Prague, but the group's visit to Wroclaw, Poland was marred by hatemongering and threats of violence. ''Being an openly gay chorus, we knew we'd be pushing the envelope in Poland, which is more conservative and Catholic," said Steven Smith, the chorus's executive director. Smith said the protest outside Philharmonic Hall resembled the noisy rallies organized in this country by Baptist firebrand Fred Phelps. ''What we discovered is the struggle for civil rights is international."

Coming to a home theater near you

20th Century Fox, the studio behind ''Fever Pitch," is hoping fans still have a hankering for the champs. When the comedy starring Jimmy Fallon is released on DVD Sept. 13, there'll be a special collector's edition that comes wrapped in Red Sox packaging and includes an additional four minutes of footage from the team's World Series win. The regular and collector's DVD editions include deleted scenes, commentary by filmmakers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, a piece on the ''Curse of the Bambino," and a gag reel.

They said it

'Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure onthe G8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert.' David Gilmour, Pink Floyd guitarist, issuing a statement saying he'll donate profits that stem indirectly from his Live 8 appearance to charity and urging other artists to do the same.

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