Getting his book party legs back

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / May 31, 2008

Best-selling author Dennis Lehane was back in book-hyping mode Thursday in LA, where his highly anticipated new novel, "The Given Day," was cause for a cocktail party at the chic Skybar. Lehane, who splits his time between Boston and Florida, looked relaxed but admitted his schmoozing skills are a little rusty. "I've been kind of out of circulation," he said. "I really haven't done a big book event in five years, so I'm sort of getting my feet under me again." Doesn't help that he's not a fan of book parties. "It's the nature of the beast," said Lehane, who's also taking part in this weekend's Book Expo America. "I'm not an antisocial person, but there's a line where you cross into a sort of celebrity factor, and I feel like I'm very wary of that line. It's nice to pop up in 'Names' every now and then, but - and you can quote me on this - the first time I call you guys, I'm an [expletive]."

Dining Patriots-style
No wonder Pats owners Robert and Myra Kraft were sampling chef Otto Tsai's sushi at Skipjack's the other night. We're told the seafood restaurant, which has locations in Natick, Newton, and, for the past 20 years, the Back Bay, is about to break ground on a new location in Foxborough as part of the ballyhooed Patriots Place development. "Mr. Kraft has been a customer over the years, and this is something we've been talking about for a while," Skipjack's owner Jeff Senior said yesterday. The new location, which should be open by the beginning of football season, will feature a 240-seat dining room, separate sushi bar, outdoor seating, and large-screen TVs for special events. Asked if he'll get to a Pats game or two, Senior laughed. "I'm hoping they can sneak me in through the gate," he said.

Lynn stands in for Hollywood
Lynn became the area's latest Hollywood backlot yesterday as the cast and crew of "The Surrogates" shot scenes inside the former Security National Bank. Large crowds were looking on as Bruce Willis (above) walked between his trailer and the vacant building, which was turned into an electronics store for the sci-fi film.

Report: Sox exec is dating heiress
The New York Post is reporting that Tom Werner has a new girlfriend. According to the tabloid, the Sox chairman is seeing billionaire heiress Alexandra von Furstenberg, formerly Alexandra Natasha Miller. A Brown grad, von Furstenberg was previously married to Diane von Furstenberg's son Alexandre. She is an executive at DvF, the famous clothing line founded by her former mother-in-law.

Benefit is a family affair for Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman is returning to her native New Hampshire this summer. The tart-tongued comedian announced yesterday that she and her significant other, Jimmy Kimmel, will play a benefit in Manchester July 9. The show, which will include Silverman's sister Laura and writer/ actor Chris Romano, will benefit the Theatre in the Park program presented annually by New Thalian Players. Tix are on sale at the Palace Theatre box office.

A night out in the city
Dressed in their Carrie Bradshaw best, a gaggle of sales gals from Yolanda's - Yolanda Cellucci's boutique in Waltham - arrived last night at the AMC Loews Boston Common in a white limo to see "Sex and the City." Like the actresses in the film, the women were clad in cute cocktail dresses designed by the likes of Basix II, Bill Levkoff, Jovani, and Monique Lhuillier.

Sushi and the starter
How much would you pay to dine with Dice-K? The Boston-based nonprofit Good Sports is auctioning off dinner with Daisuke Matsuzaka and his wife, Tomoyo, and the bidding's already through the roof. By yesterday, one big spender was offering $10,100 to eat spicy tuna rolls with Matsuzaka and the missus. "This is a very unique item," said Good Sports COO Christy Keswick. "It's dinner for you and three friends [with the Matsuzakas], and we're also providing a translator." The date of the dinner, which will take place at Haru, one of Dice-K's favorite sushi spots, has not been scheduled. In the past, Good Sports has auctioned off whiffle ball games with Big Papi, raising $30,000 each time. Good Sports aims to increase youth participation in sports, fitness, and recreational programs.

Singer shows her true colors
While in town preparing for today's True Colors show at the Bank of America Pavilion, Cyndi Lauper (above with, from left, Andrew Fullem of the AIDS Action Committee, Rob Venditti and Jeff Spano, captains of the Stop & Shop walk team) took time out to promote tomorrow's AIDS Walk, which begins and ends at the Hatch Shell.

Release set for NKOTB
New Kids on the Block will drop their new CD Sept. 8, reps for the man band announced yesterday. The album, the band's first collection of new songs in 15 years, is being released by Interscope. "In the end, it made sense to create a partnership with a label," said manager Jared Paul. "It makes sense for [Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood, and Jonathan and Jordan Knight] to have someone to underwrite six weeks of rehearsal . . . and to work with people who have good deals with great songwriters, and a strong online and radio department."

Globe correspondent Janice Page contributed. Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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