On a Mission

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / June 14, 2008

Post-punk pioneers Mission of Burma have their share of famous fans, and a few of them were at the Boston band's show at the Paradise the other night. Watching as Burma's Clint Conley, Roger Miller, Peter Prescott, and Bob Weston played their influential first two records in sequence were Mike Mills and Scott McCaughey of R.E.M., and former Smiths guitar ace Johnny Marr, who performs these days with Modest Mouse and the Cribs. Said MOB manager Mark Kates: "Between Burma shredding, all those guys getting into it, and the [Celtics' comeback victory], it was an insane night."

A real happening
After Thursday's red carpet appearance and the screening of his new movie, "The Happening," Mark Wahlberg (inset) made a brief appearance at the rooftop after-party at the Ritz. (Catered by Osushi, the invite-only affair included sweet swag bags from Izod and Mohegan Sun.) The crowd included former Pats linebacker Ted Johnson, ex-WWE wrestler Chris Nowinski, "Apprentice" alum Michael Tarshi, and a crew of un-Hollywood homeys, Wahlberg's friends from his Dorchester 'hood.

Affleck to Ante Up
Ben Affleck doesn't need a reason to play poker, but it helps. Homeboy is among several celebs who've signed up for "Ante Up for Africa," a high-stakes fundraiser July 2 for the Not on Our Watch Project. To be hosted by card shark Annie Duke and actor Don Cheadle, the Vegas event's guest list includes Matt Damon, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, Jeremy Piven, Jason Kidd, and assorted professional poker players.

Joy for Jermanok
A shout-out to producer Jim Jermanok, whose latest work, "Em," premieres this weekend at the Seattle International Film Festival. A love story, "Em" is directed by Tony Barbieri with a score by celebrated composer Harry Gregson-Williams, whose credits include the "Shrek" films and "The Chronicles of Narnia." We're told Jermanok, who splits his time between Newton and New York, is just about finished with his next project, a documentary about BU legend Harry Agganis that's narrated by none other than Olympia Dukakis.

Merrill on the move
Channel 4 weekend anchor and reporter Kate Merrill is moving to Channel 38 Monday to handle the station's 9 p.m. newscast. (She'll continue to contribute to Channel 4's newscasts at 5 and 6 p.m.) Merrill, who's been with WBZ-TV since 2004, replaces Scott Wahle, whose contract was bought out last month. Wahle had been anchoring the 9 p.m. news alone since his co-anchor, Sara Underwood, left the station in March.

The marrying kind
Just imagine how bad Rebecca Houston felt: Three weeks before her wedding, a fire swept through her Peabody apartment complex, burning all of her belongings, including the dress the bride-to-be planned to wear on her big day. Now, imagine how happy Houston was when Yolanda Cellucci called. The owner of a high-end bridal boutique in Waltham, Cellucci had heard about Houston's predicament, and offered to give her - yes, give her - a replacement dress. "I was stunned," said Houston, who works as a marketing analyst. "Every woman wants their own wedding dress." Thanks to Cellucci, hers is a white strapless Jasmine dress with silver embroidered flowers on the train. At the final fitting this week - Houston is marrying Charles Varnes in Illinois June 21 - the bride was over the moon. "Just looking at it, I love it so much more than the original dress," she said. For her part, Yolanda said she was just trying to help. "Your wedding is probably the most important day of your life, and Rebecca had nothing," she said. "To see her be able to laugh again is something very special."

Tip of the cap for Howard's O'Neill
Members of the National Jewish Democratic Council got a sneak peak this week at "According to Tip," Dick Flavin's play about the late, great Tip O'Neill. In the one-man show, which has its world premiere at the New Repertory Theatre June 22, actor Ken Howard channels the masterful Massachusetts pol. The performance took place at an event honoring NJDC vice chairman Cam Kerry, brother of Senator John Kerry. "The accent's not entirely there, but [Howard's] a dead ringer for Tip. It's scary," said political consultant Larry Rasky, who was there. Others in the audience included heavy duty Dems Steve Grossman, Alan Solomont, and Barry White.

At home in the park
"Squawk Box" became "Sox Box" yesterday as the CNBC morning show broadcast live from friendly Fenway. Former GE CEO and super Sox fan Jack Welch was the special guest host, and panelists included BoSox principal owner John Henry, team president Larry Lucchino, Pats poobah Robert Kraft, Dunkin' Donuts CEO Jon Luther, and Governor Deval Patrick, who was asked by Welch if he'll head to the White House in the event of an Obama victory in the fall. (Patrick has pooh-poohed those reports and did so again yesterday.) Overseeing the action were "Squawk Box" anchors Joe Kernen, Becky Quick, and Carl Quintanilla.

Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.

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