The Sound of Philadelphia
In a novel homegrown partnership, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia plans to record a CD of hits created by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff of Philadelphia International Records. The news was tucked into an announcement Wednesday that the chamber would honor the hitmakers with a lifetime achievement award at a May 21 gala at the Westin Hotel.
Chamber executive director Peter H. Gistelinck said music director Dirk Brossé would meet in early April with Gamble and Huff to select the tracks that Brossé will orchestrate. Huff told me that while he and Gamble had layered strings and other classical touches in their hits, he'd be particularly eager to hear orchestral treatments of "When Will I See You Again," "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," and "Love Train."
The chamber will record this fall and plans to release the CD next March.
Huff, meanwhile, told me he was working on his first solo album in 30 years, a collection of tunes he has been noodling around with on the piano in what he called his "little lab" at his home in South Jersey.
Pitcher Cliff Lee's Center City condo purchase has been recorded by the city, so you can see what he paid: $4.85 million - less than half his $11 million salary for 2011 - for 4,100 square feet on a high floor. That trumps the $4.19 million that Chase Utley paid in 2008 for his condo.
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins really is on Twitter, the team confirms. He's @JimmyRollins11, as in his uniform number.
Philly-raised singer Jill Scott will be in town this week shooting three videos from her new album, The Light of the Sun: "Shame," "So Blessed," and "Hear My Call." She's due Monday morning at Cecil B. Moore Rec Center on Lehigh Avenue in North Philly.
Producer George Manney is hosting a screening party for his documentary about the landmark South Street rock club JC Dobbs, as he hopes to raise money for its completion. It will be 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at jt's Philadelphia House at 7312 Castor Ave. Scheduled performers include Kenn Kweder, Scot Sax, Flamin' Harry, Nik Everett, Skip Denenberg, Peter Stone Brown, Paul Kurrey, and Jeff Washington.
Mount St. Joseph Academy in Flourtown bused 40 Mounties and friends to New York on Wednesday to see alumna Rose Szczesniak Hemingway (Class of 2001) star opposite Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in a preview of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The Broadway show's opening is next Sunday.
Comedians Sheryl Underwood and Kyle Erby turned up for snacks Thursday at 10 Arts restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. She told paparazzo HughE Dillon that they had previously stopped at Jim's on South Street for cheesesteaks but also needed to sample 10 Arts chef Jennifer Carroll's mini-pretzel appetizer.
Since Fox29 picks up the syndicated Inside Edition starting Monday (6:30 p.m.), host Deborah Norville will anchor from the windowed studio at Fourth and Market Streets on March 28 and 29 at 3 p.m. (the show airs live in New York).
Ted Williams, the formerly homeless YouTube singing star, was spotted Tuesday outside the Hotel Palomar at 17th and Sansom Streets, wearing a Boston Red Sox cap and, you must know, turning down a panhandler.
Chef Jose Garces has another Iron Chef America battle at 10 p.m. April 17 on the Food Network. His opponent is Vitaly Paley of Paley's Place in Portland, Ore.
Philly-born Italian cooking impresario Steve Martorano will appear Tuesday on The Real Housewives of Miami (10 p.m., Bravo) as he teaches the wives how to prepare his trademark eggplant stack - an arugula-topped appetizer of layered, breaded eggplant, mozzarella, and sliced tomato. The shoot lasted three hours, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Martorano said. Did they get it? "Probably not," he told me. "But I tried."
Contact columnist Michael Klein at email@example.com. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.