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Screening up in Boston

(John Bohn/Globe Staff)
Email|Print| Text size + By Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / December 13, 2007

The Dropkick Murphys were at the Fenway Regal yesterday to introduce a screening of Tim Burton's latest, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." Why Ken Casey and the Dropkicks, you wonder? Apparently the Irish rockers' faithful fans have been deemed the film's likely demographic.

TV writers’ strike heads east...to Harvard Square
Why is the writer's strike coming to Cambridge tomorrow? "This isn't just a New York and LA issue," says Jaime Paglia of the now six-week old walkout by television and film scribes that has halted the development of new shows and stalled several feature films. The Cambridge resident and creator of the Sci-Fi channel hit "Eureka" decided it was time to take the writer's fight national and the first stop is Harvard Square. "We need to start spreading the word" and, he says, rallying the fans who want to "get involved." Paglia will be joined at noon in front of the Meeting House of the First Parish Unitarian Church by "Daily Show" writer Rob Kutner, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" scribe Joss Whedon, and his father, Tom, who wrote for TV's "Alice" and "Benson." The writers will speak then march across Harvard Square, wrapping up the rally at the Harvard Lampoon building. Whedon is looking forward to expanding the concept. "This affects the whole country because it's a union struggle and because the studios rather blithely decided that all of America would sit back and watch 'American Gladiators' instead of actually being told stories," he said. "The audience has a voice now. . ."

Theo's a dad
It's better late than never for Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and wife Marie Whitney, who gave birth yesterday to the couple's first child, a healthy baby boy named Jack. Originally due Saturday, the baby, weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces, and measuring 20.5 inches, was delivered at 10:35 a.m. at a Boston hospital. Neither Epstein, who is fiercely private about his personal life, nor the Sox had an immediate comment. Later, team spokesman John Blake called to say "everybody's doing fine. . . . The family would appreciate some privacy." It is the fifth grandchild for Epstein's parents Ilene and Leslie. Theo's sister, writer Anya Epstein, has two daughters, Sylvie and Eve, with her husband, actor Dan Futterman, and Theo's twin brother, Paul Epstein, has a girl and a boy, Annika and Ezra, with his wife Saskia Grinberg. For what it's worth, there haven't been many notable Jacks in Sox history, the greatest being right fielder Jack "Jackie" Jensen, who was the AL MVP in 1958. Less illustrious were slugger Jack Clark, who played for the Sox in the early '90s, and Jack Brohamer, who toiled for the Old Towne Team in '78 and '79.

The Boss tours BC
Word out of Chestnut Hill is that Bruce Springsteen, his wife and bandmate Patti Scialfa, and their son, Evan, stopped by Boston College the other day for a tour of the school. BC officials were mum yesterday about the family's visit. But students spilled that the Springsteens arrived at the admissions office for their prearranged meeting and made their way around the campus - just like the family of any other prospective student.

Stern no Ben fan
Seems shock jock Howard Stern is less than thrilled that Ben Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Garner, have taken up residence on his Upper West Side block during Garner's Broadway run in "Cyrano de Bergerac." Speaking on his Sirius radio show this week, Stern said the power couple has "put a plague" on the neighborhood, attracting a swarm of paparazzi who snap pictures not only of Ben and Jen, but also Stern. "It's unbelievable," said Beth Ostrosky's significant other. "Now I know why co-ops block famous people from getting into buildings." Said Stern sidekick Robin Quivers: "Who cares about them anymore?"

Real Rocky story
Boxing legend Rocky Marciano is about to get worked over on the big screen. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the family of the Brockton native is cooperating on a biopic. The film will follow Marciano from his blue-collar upbringing in Brockton to his 1969 death in a plane crash. (Marciano was the only champion to retire undefeated, notching six heavyweight championships and 49 straight wins.) His younger brother Lou Marciano has given producer Morris S. Levy and writer Terri Apple never-before-revealed details about the boxer's life, including his relationship with his wife and father, for a screenplay written before the writers' strike began Nov. 5. The family's hoping the film will erase memories of the unauthorized 1979 ABC TV movie "Marciano," starring Tony Lo Bianco and the 1999 Showtime movie "Rocky Marciano," starring Jon Favreau. "They didn't have any similarities to my brother," Marciano said. "He was a very restless, impatient man - very curious and bright, not your typical fighter from the streets."

Signing on to help
Donnie Wahlberg signs a script of "Real Men Cry" for the Make-A-Wish Foundation auction that begins today on Oldies 103.3. His costars Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, Amanda Peet, and writer-director Brian Goodman also autographed the item.

On the go with Timbaland
Boston-based music producer Dennis Dunphy has traveled all over the world to work with 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake, and Nas. Tonight, two of his former collaborators, Timbaland and Fall Out Boy, are coming to Dunphy - sort of. They're performing at the KISS 108-FM Jingle Ball at the Tsongas Arena, and they want Dunphy there. "I got the call to get to Lowell as their guest," Dunphy told us. The owner of Soul Estate Records will be backstage during the show. Then he's bringing Timbaland back for an after-party in Boston, Dunphy tells us.

Surprise present
Toward the end of last night's Boston Pops Company Christmas concert, Red Sox skipper Terry Francona was slated to take the stage and narrate a special Sox rendition of "A Visit From St. Nicholas ('Twas the Night Before Christmas)." But Francona made arrangements to bring along a special treat: the World Series trophy. The lineup for the annual gathering of some of Boston's biggest bosses included Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, and Hyde Park native Lawrence E. Waters Jr., an Iraq War veteran, was on tap to conduct "Sleigh Ride." Some of the biz honchos on the guest list were Morgan Stanley's Dick Connolly, Harvard Pilgrim's Charlie Baker, Tufts Health Plan's Jim Roosevelt, Liberty Mutual's Ted Kelly, Eastern Bank's Rich Holbrook, Hill Holliday's Karen Kaplan, and Bank of America's Bob Gallery, who was chairman of the swanky concert.

Spirit of giving
Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and wife Shonda raised yet more money for the SHADE Foundation last night, hosting a Holiday Bubbles and Bites event at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel. The gala and gift auction, MC'd by Lenny Clarke, included tasty treats prepared by several Boston chefs and a performance by Sinatra soundalike Michael Dutra.

Sarah Rodman of the Globe staff contributed. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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