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NAMES

Making the scene

Email|Print| Text size + By Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / November 28, 2007

Christopher Walken and Morgan Freeman readied to film scenes for "The Lonely Maiden" at the Grecian Yearning restaurant on Harvard Avenue in Allston early yesterday. The comedy, about three museum guards who plot to steal a painting, also stars William H. Macy and Marcia Gay Harden.

Beauty queen sober and having fun
As many parties as she attends, it's a wonder Tara Conner's still sober. "You just have to watch the slippery slope that you put yourself on," says Miss USA 2006, who was in town last night to host the "Little Black Dress" party at Ed Kane's club Estate. "But you don't have to be boring to be sober." A Kentucky native, Conner has proven to be anything but boring. A year ago, she was nearly dethroned by pageant master Donald Trump after testing positive for cocaine and behaving boorishly. (Remember those pics of her kissing Miss Teen USA Katie Blair?) But that was then, this is now. "I'm writing a book about my experience," Conner, 21, told us yesterday. "I want to share my strength and hope with people." She's also hoping for a film career a la Anna Faris or Kate Hudson. "I would love to do every one of Kate Hudson's movies. . . . 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' is so great," she said. "Our time here is short and I want to have the most fun I can." Clearly.

Patriots QB in the spotlight
An Off-Broadway play opens this week about a certain New England Patriots quarterback, but it's not Tom Brady. The play, called "Runt of the Litter," is a one-man show starring Bo Eason, kid brother of former Pats QB Tony Eason. The play, which director Frank Darabont plans to bring to the big screen, is Bo's semi-autobiographical account of growing up in the shadow of his celebrated sibling. "I began by imagining what would happen if the brothers were pitted against each other on the field," says Bo, a former defensive back for the Houston Oilers. "Then I pared it down and just made it about one brother." A first-round draft pick, Tony Eason played for the Pats from 1983 to 1989, taking the team to the Super Bowl in '86. Never a big fan of the press, Eason declined yesterday to talk about his brother's play. "He's seen it," Bo told us. "He's just so shy, he doesn't like anything that puts the spotlight on him." That could be a problem when Darabont casts the movie. Bo says A-list actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Nicolas Cage have expressed interest in the script. (DiCaprio was so taken with the play, which debuted in New York in '02, that he asked Bo to pen a screenplay based on the 1924 Olympic rugby team.) Asked if his brother is paying attention to the Pats' perfect season, the playwright said he didn't know. "When he and I talk, it's never about football, it's about kids and family," said Bo. "But, yes, I'm sure he's a fan of Tom Brady." Previews of "Runt of the Litter" start Friday at 37 Arts Theatre in Manhattan.

He pitched in; now he’s a hit
Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester autographed copies of the "2007 World Series Film: Rockies vs. Red Sox" DVD for fans last night at iParty in Brighton. The official Major League Baseball film was released in stores yesterday.

Damon raises eyebrows
Matt Damon may be rethinking this celebrity thing after a recent appearance on Japanese TV. A guest on the popular show "Let's Go to School," Damon was subjected to a shrill performance by world whistling champ Takumi Gima, who tootled a bit of Mozart for the "Bourne Ultimatum" star. As a token of their appreciation, the show's hosts gave Damon a couple of gifts, including a pair of googly-eye glasses.

The dating game
Lance Armstrong's former flame, designer Tory Burch, is trying out a few new beaus, and one of them is Sox chairman Tom Werner, according to the New York Post. Sources tell the tab that Burch, a mother of six who's the current darling of the fashion world, has been on a few dates with both Werner and Paramount Pictures poobah Brad Grey.

Ortiz gets his vote
Before it announces its Sportsman of the Year on Dec. 3, Sports Illustrated has invited its scribes to write about their nominees. Baseball writer Tom Verducci casts his ballot for Big Papi, calling David Ortiz the "inspirational leader" of the world champion Red Sox. But beyond the big numbers, it's Big Papi's benevolence that impresses Verducci. The slugger has written fat checks for everything from heart surgeries in Santo Domingo to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Just this week, Ortiz missed a photo op in New Bedford because he was bound for the Dominican Republic to deliver supplies to those hit hard by recent storms.

Celebrate with oysters
Fresh off his huge game Sunday night, Patriots hotshot receiver Wes Welker stopped by the Union Oyster House Monday afternoon with teammates Matt Cassel and his wife, Lauren, and Larry Izzo and his wife, Mara. Each of the players had a dozen oysters and washed them down, we're told, with soft drinks.

Sweet Caroline a cover girl at 50
Caroline Kennedy just celebrated her 50th birthday yesterday, but she's already the cover gal for the latest AARP magazine. The retiree org chose Kennedy as one of its Inspire Award recipients for her work as a community service advocate. Other winners include actor Gary Sinise and singer Gladys Knight.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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