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'NYPD Blue' to New England orange

For "NYPD Blue" stalwart Gordon Clapp , the chance to play the coach in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson 's football movie "The Game Plan " was not just an opportunity "to channel all the great coaches" of the NFL, but his first chance to see "orange leaves in years." The New Hampshire native, who attended high school in Connecticut ( with an undefeated team, no less) just finished several weeks of shooting for the movie about a QB who finds out he has a young daughter. "I wish I could work more in New England," said Clapp, who drew raves and a Tony nomination for his work in last year's Broadway revival of David Mamet 's "Glengarry Glen Ross ." "This was a great chance to head back to some familiar places. " Clapp made it a point to return to Jackson, N.H., where he filmed scenes for John Sayles 's "The Return of the Secaucus 7 ." An avid Red Sox fan, Clapp cheered for the Chicago Bears -- before there was a New England Patriots team -- as a young man. So was Mike Ditka his role model? "Probably everyone but Ditka."

How sweet election is for James Taylor

It took two songs -- 10 minutes tops -- before James Taylor made reference to the Democratic Party's regaining control of both the House and Senate. "What a difference a day makes," Taylor said the other night in NYC. "It's a beautiful new blue America. I can't tell you how beautiful I feel. The sound of paper shredders are being heard across the land," he joked before a cheering Beacon Theater audience. Taylor, in New York for two sold-out performances of his "One Man Band" show before a star-studded audience that included Ron Howard, Taylor's wife , Kim , Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, Caroline Rhea, Barry Levinson, Sydney Pollack, Michael J. Fox, and Tom Brokaw. Taylor's due back in New York later this month ; he'll appear on the "Today" show to perform songs from his Christmas CD.

And speaking of Michael J. Fox, he hosted a benefit at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for his foundation seeking to cure Parkinson's disease that drew boxing legend Muhammad Ali, Worcester native and long time Fox cohort Denis Leary and his wife, Ann Lembeck, and Boston novelist Alice Hoffman. The performers included Rob Thomas, Axl Rose, and Sheryl Crow -- and Fox jamming on guitar.

Jewish film fest closes with a premiere


The Boston Jewish Film Festival wrapped up yesterday with a world premiere of "The Rape of Europa " at the Museum of Fine Arts with Tufts alum Bonni Cohen and Richard Berge, two of the film's directors. Also in town for the festival were actor Judd Hirsch , star of rookie film director Todd Yellin's "Brother's Shadow," who dined with Berge at Domani in the Back Bay on Saturday night. . . . Also yesterday, the festival's executive director Sara L. Rubin was honored by M. Francois Gauthier, consul-general of France in Boston, for her commitment to French film.

Boston firm lit DeVito's 'Halls'
When the movie "Deck the Halls " opens in a couple of weeks, starring Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick as neighbors warring over who has the biggest and brightest holiday display, you can credit the Boston-based company Color Kinetics for DeVito's movie house 's over-the-top look. We're told the local crews not only created the special LED displays that virtually cover the house in a "skin" of holiday lights, but also crafted a roof display that features a video of DeVito's face. . . . Robert Newman , best known as Josh Lewis on the long-running TV soap "Guiding Light," stopped by the North Shore Music Theatre's production of "Hairspray" the other night and caught up with the show's stars, Bridie Carroll and "Mad TV" alum Paul Vogt . Newman played Guido Contini in the North Shore 's 2004 production of "Nine."

Irish actor Brendan Gleeson was honored by the Magner's Irish Film Festival Saturday night at the Harvard Film Archive. Gleeson and some festival supporters had dinner at Grafton Street Pub & Grill before heading to the award ceremony.

Domestic lifestyle queen Martha Stewart was at the Barnes & Noble in the Prudential Center yesterday signing copies of her latest book , "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook ."

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