Inqlings: For 5-year-old, the role of a lifetime

A swashbuckling Pat Croce exults at the ribbon-slashing for the openingof his St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum in St. Augustine, Fla. With him Friday were (from left) son-in-law Jeff Sorg, wife Diane, builder Thom McDonald, St. Augustine Mayor Joe Boles, and son Mike Croce.
A swashbuckling Pat Croce exults at the ribbon-slashing for the openingof his St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum in St. Augustine, Fla. With him Friday were (from left) son-in-law Jeff Sorg, wife Diane, builder Thom McDonald, St. Augustine Mayor Joe Boles, and son Mike Croce.
Posted: December 05, 2010

The region's newest soap-opera actor is a kindergartner.

Plymouth Meeting's Patrick Gibbons Jr., 5, premieres Dec. 22 on ABC's One Life to Live as Sam Manning. Through plot twists that only daytime writers can muster, Sam is the son of Todd Manning (Trevor St. John) and was adopted by Blair Cramer (Kassie DePaiva). From birth, Sam had been played by sets of twins.

Patrick was discovered by Barbara Kline, manager of his teen sister Anna-Marie, a model-actress. "She told us for a year, 'He's got something,' " said his father, Patrick, a partner in Emerson Group, a marketing company. "We were reticent because of his age and lack of training and experience, so we decided against sending him on the audition." He and Patrick's mother, Maureen, caved after agent Barry Kolker - alerted to the tyke, who plays guitar and studies Spanish - asked "one more time."

Patrick's big sister Mary-Kate, a high school senior, has no interest in acting, their father said.

Fund-raising

WMMR's Preston & Steve show on Friday wrapped another Camp Out for Hunger, in which the guys live in an RV at the Metroplex Shopping Center in Plymouth Meeting for a week to raise money and collect food for Philabundance. Collections were being tallied Friday afternoon (and they surely want to announce the totals on the air and not in the newspaper).

Among visitors were the Flyers' Mike Richards, the Phillies' Ryan Madson, and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan. The leading contributors were J.P. Mascaro & Sons and Subaru, each of which donated nearly 60 tons of food. Subaru won last year, and got the show to broadcast from headquarters.

The Four Seasons at the Four Seasons: About $150,000 was raised Monday through a Jersey Boys auction benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Two walk-on parts each sold for $10,000, and a third $10,000 sale is in the offing, says the charity's Chris DeAngelis. A $4,000 bid cinched original sheet music for the Four Seasons hit "Let's Hang On," arranged by Charles Calello in 1965. Big ticket: A guitar signed by original band members Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio and cast members fetched $22,500. Jersey Boys is at the Forrest through next Sunday.

Radio activity

Friday was the finale for the sports-talk show on 97.5 the Fanatic hosted by NBC10's Vai Sikahema and The Inquirer's John Gonzalez. Fanatic program director Matt Nahigian says the two, who signed on about nine months ago, were just too busy.

He says he is talking to them about other shows, but not together. Sal Paolantonio and Harry Mayes will work the 10 a.m.-to-noon shift this month, "hammering football," Nahigian says. A new host won't be announced till next month.

Grammy noms

Many local ties to the Grammy nominations, including Samantha Aurelio, a senior at the University of the Arts, and Anne Sciolla, a UArts alum and adjunct professor, who sing background on Joey DeFrancesco's album Never Can Say Goodbye, which is up against UArts alum Stanley Clarke's The Stanley Clarke Band in the contemporary jazz album category. WMGK's Andre Gardner; WXPN's Helen Leicht, Kathy O'Connell, and Gene Shay; and comedian Grover Silcox lent voices to the album Healthy Food for Thought: Good Enough to Eat, up for best spoken-word album for children. The album, a fund-raiser for the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, aims to teach children about the importance of healthful eating. Grammys are Feb. 13.

Briefly noted

Screen gem Ernest Borgnine, who lives part of the year in the Malvern area with his QVC beauty pitchwoman wife, Tova, was at the Marriott in Center City Wednesday to receive the Pennsylvania Franklin Medal from the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge's grand master, Thomas K. Sturgeon. Borgnine, 93, is a 33d-degree Mason.

Wear long johns to Manayunk on Saturday as Manayunk.com hosts an appearance by Santa Claus, who will pose for photos with kids on a carved throne of ice at Canal View Park (Main Street at Connaroe Street). Peter Slavin will carve the throne from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the photo ops go from 1 to 3 p.m. The ice throne is a preview of the first Manayunk on Ice winter festival, Feb. 11-13.

'Nutcracker' by numbers

For the 42d year, the Pennsylvania Ballet is staging George Balanchine's The Nutcracker; it's on through New Year's Eve. Herewith, some numbers:

2,182: Seats in the Academy of Music.

200: Pairs of toe shoes worn.

85: Dancers.

40: Gallons of fake snow.

25: Choirboys per performance.

8: Sugarplum fairies.


Contact columnist Michael Klein at mklein@phillynews.com. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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