Drake is in the house

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
April 13, 2010

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Aubrey Graham, the Canadian actor and rapper better known as Drake, was at Venu the other night hosting a party with 6one7 Productions.

Two ophthalmologists give Frank an earful
Barney Frank has enemies, even 30,000 feet in the air. Flying back to Boston from LA on Sunday, the congressman was assailed by a pair of ophthalmologists upset about the health care bill. An argument ensued that prompted some passengers to wonder if the plane might be forced to land. “No one was calming things down and people were standing up shouting,’’ said Brooke Sexton, who was seated seven rows behind Frank.

Accustomed as he is to being conservatives’ favorite bad guy, Frank mostly ignored the doctors’ taunts, Sexton said, but the congressman’s partner, Jim Ready, did not. The problem started soon after the ophthalmologists — two sisters on their way to a conference in Boston — boarded the plane. When they discovered that Frank was sitting nearby, the women loudly dissed the landmark health care bill as an “Obamanation.’’ (Frank was returning from LA, where he’d received an award from the Greenlining Institute, an economic development group for minorities, and appeared on Jay Leno’s show.)

“They wanted to talk to me, but I apologized and said I like to read and watch on planes,’’ Frank told us yesterday. “They began to talk louder and that’s when Jimmy said, ‘If you’re trying to be bitchy, you’re doing a good job.’ ’’

Needless to say, the women didn’t appreciate the remark, and things got heated. Sexton, an HR director for the UK-based retailer All Saints Spitalfields, thought the flight attendants weren’t working hard enough to defuse the situation, so she tried to mediate.

“The women had been drinking, and they were crying and shouting,’’ said Sexton. “They were clearly the antagonizers, and Mr. Frank was kind of minding his own business.’’ (She said Ready had also upset another passenger by calling him “Santa Claus.’’) Finally, the parties calmed down and stayed quiet for the rest of the flight. (Sexton was offered complimentary wine for her trouble.) Said Frank: “It reminds me of the joke about the woman who’s in a restaurant and Clark Gable’s there. She complains to the waiter, ‘Clark Gable is annoying me.’ The waiter says, ‘He’s not even talking to you,’ and she says, ‘Yes, and I find that very annoying.’ ’’

Mystery solved, or not
Where is Johannes Vermeer’s “The Concert,’’ the $100 million painting that was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum 20 years ago? If you believe “The Simpsons,’’ it’s been inside Mr. Burns’s mansion this whole time. Sunday night’s “Simpsons’’ episode, titled “American History X-cellent,’’ featured Burns going to prison after police find “The Concert’’ in his art collection. Burns (who’s voiced by former Harvard student Harry Shearer) asks police, “Is it a crime to want nice things and then to steal them from a public museum where any gum-chewing monkey in a Tufts University jacket can gawk at them?’’ This is the second Tufts joke we’ve heard on “The Simpsons’’ this season. It’s not surprising; most of the show’s writers went to Harvard. The Gardner Museum’s director of security, Anthony Amore, happened to catch the episode. He joked via e-mail, “If only they would tell us which Springfield they mean.’’

Stereotype casting
Emboldened by the success of Snooki, the Situation, and JWoww of “Jersey Shore,’’ Doron Ofir is casting a Bay State-based reality show called “Wicked Summer.’’ Ofir, who had a hand in “Jersey Shore,’’ as well as “Design Star’’ and “Wife Swap,’’ said the widely publicized casting call was intended to be tongue-in-cheek. “This is not ‘Jersey Shore,’ ’’ he said. “That’s a location that reflects a state of mind. Massachusetts is a state.’’ The casting call goes on at length and includes the usual stereotypes: A love of “muscle cahs, hair products, and little necks on the frickin’ half shell. . . . You don’t take [trash] from nobody — least of all each othah. You are the hottest girls and proudly buff guys from Massa-freakin-chusetts who believe in God, Family, the Red Sox and partying!!’’ Ofir said the show will be cast over the next six weeks or so, and shot this summer. “It’ll be a love letter — or a kiss-off letter — to the country,’’ he said.

Silk Road to Harvard
The Silk Road Project is on the move. The organization founded in 1998 by celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma is heading to Harvard. The university announced yesterday that the headquarters of the Silk Road Project is moving from Rhode Island to Harvard-owned property in Allston. “We’ll act as a working laboratory, exploring intersections between the arts and academics,’’ said Ma. Harvard president Drew Faust says the move to Allston highlights the school’s commitment to “active engagement’’ in Allston. (Harvard has turned one of its properties into a temporary community skating rink and struck a deal to bring the world headquarters of Earthwatch to the neighborhood.) The Silk Road Project is a nonprofit that aims to connect cultures by bringing together artists and audiences.

Sculptor caps off event
The highlight of the weekend’s down:2:earth festival for sustainable living — besides an appearance by “Blossom’’ actress/holistic mom Mayim Bialik — was a dreamy sculpture by Christine Destrempes, which was installed just outside the entrance to the event at the Hynes Convention Center. The Harrisville, N.H., artist, whose works are all about H20, made the piece out of 13,600 clear bottle caps to highlight the issue of safe drinking water.

Bradys on the run
Tom Brady’s sisters — Nancy, Julie, and Maureen — will be running the Boston Marathon on Monday on behalf of the McCourt Foundation, which raises money for Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis research. The Brady ladies will be running for their late grandparents Harry and Bernice, who had Alzheimer’s and MS, respectively. In a press release sent out by the McCourt Foundation, the women said they’ve been prepping like everyone else. “Training has been tough,’’ Julie said. “Okay, I won’t lie . . . really, really, really tough. To get up at 5:15 in the morning, knowing you are going to run 18 miles, is far from a good time. It’s great that I have my sisters to train with or else.’’ We wouldn’t be surprised to see Tom cheering the family on from the sidelines. He and wife Gisele Bundchen have been in Europe this week with baby Benjamin, but there’s plenty of time to travel home before Monday. . . . In other Marathon news, sports types gathered at Fenway Park’s Bleacher Bar last night to raise money for the Foundation to Be Named Later and Room to Grow’s Boston Marathon team. On hand were Foundation cofounder Paul Epstein and Boston Blazers Daryl Veltman and Paul Dawson.

Sweethearts in sweat
Watertown native and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’’ actress Eliza Dushku and her boyfriend, former Celtic Rick Fox, participated in the Nautica South Beach Triathlon on Sunday. They reportedly held hands during some of the race and finished in under 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Berkowitz honored
Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz was honored the other night by the Environmental League of Massachusetts, and the crowd included a few familiar faces: ELM president George Bachrach, Congressman Ed Markey, state Senator James Eldridge, Representative Frank Smizik, state DEP commissioner Laurie Burt, state Fish & Game commissioner Mary Griffin, Billy Costa, Ceres president Mindy Lubber, environmentalist Trudy Coxe, former EPA official John DeVillars, and restaurateurs Dante DeMagistris, Gordon Hamersley, David Kinkead, Joe Piantedosi Jr., and Garrett Harker.

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