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Vogueing at the MFA

From left: Timatha Kasten, Malcolm Rogers, and Julie Kramer at the MFA yesterday. From left: Timatha Kasten, Malcolm Rogers, and Julie Kramer at the MFA yesterday. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
July 10, 2009
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It’s not all about Michael Jackson tributes these days. The Museum of Fine Arts last night paid homage to Madonna with a material girl-inspired outdoor karaoke party that celebrated the exhibition “Seeing Songs.’’ MFA Director Malcolm Rogers, WFNX DJ Julie Kramer, and assistant curator of contemporary art William Stover were on hand to watch guests perform Madonna’s “Vogue,’’ while “Queen (A Portrait of Madonna)’’ by video artist Candice Breitz was projected behind them. The party also featured an appearance by Madonna impersonator Timatha Kasten, who, based on what we’ve seen of her website, also does a good Reba McEntire and Carmen Miranda.

Corwin seals the deal

Always-adorable Animal Planet star Jeff Corwin, who’s from Norwell, was at the New England Aquarium yesterday getting shots of the brand-spanking-new New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center. Corwin will use the footage in Web segments for the organization Defenders of Wildlife, which, as its name suggests, aims to protect animals and their habitats. Later in the evening, the Aquarium officially celebrated the new Marine structure and its inhabitants - the seals - with a party. The guest list included Aquarium president Bud Ris, New Balance CEO Rob DeMartini, Mayor Tom Menino, and Sovereign Bank President Joe Campanelli and his wife, Carolyn.

Trading places in ‘True West’
Poor Nate Corddry. The Weymouth-bred actor, who’s been on “The Daily Show’’ and “The United States of Tara,’’ was supposed to appear with his real-life brother (and “Daily Show’’ costar) Rob in “True West,’’ Sam Shepard’s play about siblings, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival next week. But months ago, the elder-Corddry, Rob, pulled out of the performance because of scheduling conflicts. His replacement was Bradley Cooper - but that didn’t last long. In the spring, the suddenly A-list Cooper had to pull out, too, most likely to film “Valentine’s Day,’’ an ensemble-cast love story with Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel, and Anne Hathaway. “I think it was a combination of personal and scheduling conflicts,’’ said Molly Barnett, a Williamstown spokeswoman. The replacement for Cooper is Paul Sparks, whom you’ve probably never heard of, but has a pretty good resumé. He recently appeared with Mary Louise Parker on Broadway in “Hedda Gabler’’ and has had tiny roles in “Rachel Getting Married’’ and that locally shot Mel Gibson movie “Edge of Darkness.’’ It won’t be like seeing two Corddrys or even a Corddry and a Cooper, but Williamstown says Sparks will hold his own. The show starts Wednesday. Nate, by the way, will soon be on the big-screen himself in the locally produced Ricky Gervais comedy, “The Invention of Lying.’’

Yoon in the ‘Sandbox’
Yes, that was mayoral candidate Sam Yoon on WFNX’s “The Sandbox’’ yesterday morning promising to give free iPhones to everyone in Boston if he wins. Yoon was kidding, of course. Sandbox hosts Special Ed, Charlie, and Fletcher bullied Yoon into making a crazy campaign promise, so he did. Yoon also participated in the show’s “My Song Is Better Than Your Song’’ contest, which had him choose a song and face off against the previous week’s champion, local musician/writer Elijah Wald. Yoon chose “Electioneering’’ by Radiohead. Wald chose an Algerian version of the Clash song “Rock the Casbah.’’ Not surprisingly, Yoon won. In related news, “The Sandbox’’ celebrated its two-year anniversary on Wednesday night at the Lansdowne Pub. Special guests - besides the show’s hosts and newsman Henry Santoro - included the band Stellastarr*.

Baring it all - again
Why did Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer send naked pictures of herself to fans via Twitter? To make art, of course. The pictures in question - which, not surprisingly, were getting some buzz on the Internet yesterday - show punk-cabaret gal Palmer in the buff with words written all over her body. Palmer asked fans on her Twitter page to use the shots to make fake Rolling Stone covers and send them back to her. Palmer told us yesterday that the idea came from one fan, who used an image of her to make a mock Rolling Stone front. She wanted to see what other fans could come up with. Palmer was surprised that anyone was taken aback by her nudity. “I’ve been naked online since 2002,’’ she said, matter-of-factly. Palmer then gave us some bigger news: One of the reasons she’s in Portland, Ore., this week is to meet with Henry Selick, the director of “Coraline’’ and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.’’ Apparently, Selick is interested in having Palmer write some music for him. Seems like a good fit.

Yes they can
A uniformed group of Red Sox wives pitched in at the Greater Boston Food Bank yesterday to rev up for the 18th annual Can & Cash Drive on July 24 and 25. Mrs. Dice-K, Tomoyo Matsuzaka, Bertha Lowell, and Meryl Masterson were just a few of the spouses who took a tour of the huge new Food Bank facility and volunteered for about a half-hour. The most talkative of the bunch was Lowell, who wanted to know all about the new structure and its specs. Pictured at right with the wives (from left: Matsuzaka, Lowell, and Masterson) is Food Bank COO Carol Tienken.

Shields sighting
Why was Brooke Shields spotted at the InterContinental Boston on Wednesday? Probably because she has a job here in the Hub. We hear the actress took a red-eye flight to Boston straight from the Michael Jackson memorial service to get working on the family comedy “Furry Vengeance,’’ which costars Brendan Fraser, Dick Van Dyke, Ken Jeong (of “Pineapple Express’’ and “The Hangover’’), and Samantha Bee of “The Daily Show.’’ The movie’s about a real estate guy whose proposed development threatens a pack of feisty animals. According to IMDB, the movie will also star Matt Prokop, of “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.’’ Feel free to swoon. Auditions for “Furry’’ extras were held in Topsfield earlier this month.

Casting call in ‘Town’
In other made-in-Boston movie news, there’s a casting call for Ben Affleck’s upcoming film “The Town’’ today from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Boston Teachers Union in Dorchester. Boston accents are a plus, but casting directors will be looking for all kinds. Local author Chuck Hogan, who wrote the book on which “The Town’’ is based, recently admitted to us that he spied on one of the first casting calls for “The Town’’ just to see who showed up. Perhaps you’ll see him this afternoon on another stakeout.

Damon adds his voice
Our own Matt Damon is one of the celebrity storytellers featured on a recording of “Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales.’’ The family-friendly album - which also features Scarlett Johansson, Debra Messing, Helen Mirren, and Don Cheadle reading tales - has Damon telling the a story called “Mpipidi and the Motlopi Tree.’’ We’ve heard a snippet, and it was lovely. Worth mentioning is that the producer and director of the recently released album is Boston University alum Alfre Woodard. You can hear a bit of Damon’s story at www.MandelasFavoriteFolktales.com.

Read the Names blog at www.boston.com/namesblog. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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