When art imitates life

Senator Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff (left), at the Improv Asylum last night. Senator Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff (left), at the Improv Asylum last night. (Lisa Poole for The Boston Globe)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
April 1, 2010

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Senator Scott Brown met Senator Scott Brown last night, when the real-life Republican lawmaker met Evan Kaufman, the actor who plays him in the Improv Asylum musical “You’re a Good Man, Scott Brown.’’ Ted Kennedy’s successor went to see the show, and was trailed by a crew from NBC’s “Today’’ show. The musical pokes fun at the pickup-driving Brown and his underwhelming opponent, Martha Coakley.

McCourts due in court

Finally, Frank and Jamie McCourt have a date — in court. The Los Angeles Times reports the trial to determine the owner of the LA Dodgers is set for Aug. 30. Embroiled in a bitter divorce, the couple are at odds over which of them controls the venerable Major League Baseball franchise. Frank, the former Boston real estate developer who failed in his bid to buy the Red Sox, claims Jamie signed a document that gives him sole ownership of the team and her sole ownership of their many residences. Jamie says the document is invalid. Last year, Frank fired Jamie as the team’s CEO and continues to play hardball with the mother of his three children. Last weekend, Jamie showed up at the ballpark with a lawyers, a camera crew, and a moving truck, and was prevented from entering the property. “She’s had six months to clear her office,’’ Frank’s lawyer Marshall Grossman explained outside court this week. “They were permitted to come Saturday, but no videotaping and no circus.’’ Meanwhile, with baseball season set to begin, Frank is trying hard to keep the focus off his personal life. “I understand the urge by the media to create drama around my personal life,’’ he said at a recent business breakfast in LA. “It’s really not that dramatic.’’

Opening night of stars

Opening Day — or, this year, Opening Night — is always a bit of a circus at Fenway, and this year will be no different. We’re told producer Dr. Dre will be at batting practice to hype the latest in his Beats by Dr. Dre headphone line and that LeBron James may be swinging by to see Dre after the Celts-Cavs game. Also expected: Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Noel Lee, founder of the audio/video accessories company Monster, and Sox chairman Tom Werner. And don’t expect to see tenor Ronan Tynan singing at the home opener against the Yankees. Fired by the Yanks after he allegedly made an anti-Semitic comment, Tynan lives in Boston now, but we’re told there is no plan to have him perform.

‘Twilight’ star returns
The only female werewolf in the “Twilight’’ series is coming to Boston next month on behalf of the Wheelock Family Theatre. Actress Julia Jones, who was raised in Jamaica Plain and grew up performing in Wheelock shows, has signed on to participate in a benefit for the theater on May 27. Jones (inset) plays Leah in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,’’ which comes out in June. She’ll also be costarring in the upcoming film “Jonah Hex,’’ which stars Megan Fox, Josh Brolin, and local guy John Malkovich.

Local actor out of series
Barnstable-bred actor Neal McDonough won’t be starring in ABC’s “Scoundrels’’ after all. The network isn’t saying why McDonough has been replaced in the series by David James Elliott, but’s Nikki Finke reported yesterday the McDonough may have been fired for refusing do “heated love scenes’’ with costar Virginia Madsen. What’s his objection? Simple: McDonough is a good Catholic boy who’s happily married to Ruve Robertson. Finke says the network knew and still cast him. (He didn’t get down and dirty with Nicollette Sheridan on “Desperate Housewives’’ and behaved himself on “Boomtown.’’) McDonough’s rep didn’t respond to an e-mail yesterday. “Scoundrels’’ is based on a New Zealand series, “Outrageous Fortune,’’ about a matriarch of a family of criminals who decides to go straight after her husband is sent to prison.

A lot off the top
Twelve Bruins took some off the top yesterday, shaving their heads to benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation and MassGeneral Hospital for Children’s Pediatric Oncology Unit. B’s tough guy Shawn Thornton helped organize “Cuts for a Cause,’’ which was hosted by Fred “Toucher’’ Toettcher and Rich Shertenlieb of 98.5 the Sports Hub. “I’m hoping it’s good luck,’’ joked Thornton. “I have 115 shots and just one goal.’’ Also sheared were Steve Begin, Patrice Bergeron, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask, Mark Recchi, Dennis Seidenberg, and Mark Stuart.

South End tasting

Former Four Seasons chef William Kovel is now consulting chef at 28 Degrees in the South End, where he made his debut the other night. He hosted a tasting with owners Carl Christian and William Emery, WGBH’s Jared Bowen, Channel 7’s Frances Rivera, Chanel’s Mary Nobile-King, and designer David Webster.

Filming ‘Finest’

Crews with the pilot “Boston’s Finest’’ set up shop to film scenes in Chinatown yesterday. They were expected to shoot through this morning. The cop show features Katee Sackhoff of “Battlestar Galactica’’ and former “ER’’ heartthrob Goran Visnjic.

Ellen finds some famous faces in her roots
Is Ellen DeGeneres a Wahlberg? Not really, but Ellen and Mark Wahlberg share a cousin — who just happens to be Halle Berry. Weird, right? Thanks to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, which has already proven that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are distant cousins, we now know that Dorchester’s own Wahlberg and his brother Donnie are related to Berry, who is DeGeneres’s 10th cousin once removed. The talk show host and “American Idol’’ judge featured a segment on her show yesterday about how the Newbury Street-based Genealogical Society traced her roots not only to Berry, but also to Richard Gere. DeGeneres is related to Gere through the Brewster family of Cape Cod, who came over on the Mayflower. Technically, they’re 11th cousins. Chris Child and Rhonda McClure are the genealogical staffers who made the connections. Society spokesman Tom Champoux says that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show’’ approached his office about researching her background two years ago. It took about that long to figure out Ellen’s weird links to so many celebs. “It’s many, many weeks and months to put these types of connections together,’’ he said. The Society’s research also connected Wahlberg to Madonna, Madonna to Camilla Parker-Bowles, Parker-Bowles to Princess Diana (they were 7th cousins), Diana to Tim Robbins, Robbins to Gere, and Gere back to Ellen. (If your head is spinning, check out the chart.) Champoux says the society has been getting a lot of Hollywood attention lately because of an increased interest in ancestry. Sarah Jessica Parker visited the offices in a recent episode of NBC’s celebrity genealogy program “Who Do You Think You Are?’’ The society’s royalty expert Gary Boyd Roberts will appear on tomorrow’s episode of the show to help Brooke Shields find her roots.

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Scott Brown and wife Gail Huff

You're a good man, Scott Brown

Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, were out on the town for a performance of "You're a Good Man, Scott Brown."