Dan Gross: Big party for flying Virgin

In this photo released by Virgin America Airlines, Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson (C), Terrence Howard (L) and M. Night Shyamalan chat at the Philadelphia launch party for Virgin America's Inaugural Flights, on Wednesday, April 4, 2012. The airline known for personal entertainment systems with live TV and sports at every seat, hosted an evening party at the Philadelphia hotspot - Hotel Palomar to celebrate the first flights with DJ Jazzy Jeff. (Bloomberg Photo/Virgin America Airlines, Bob Riha, Jr.)
In this photo released by Virgin America Airlines, Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson (C), Terrence Howard (L) and M. Night Shyamalan chat at the Philadelphia launch party for Virgin America's Inaugural Flights, on Wednesday, April 4, 2012. The airline known for personal entertainment systems with live TV and sports at every seat, hosted an evening party at the Philadelphia hotspot - Hotel Palomar to celebrate the first flights with DJ Jazzy Jeff. (Bloomberg Photo/Virgin America Airlines, Bob Riha, Jr.) (Bloomberg News)
Posted: April 05, 2012

FILMMAKER M. Night Shyamalan, actor Penn Badgley of "Gossip Girl," actors Seth Green and Terrence Howard, and Boyz II Men singer Nate Morris were among celebrities who turned out Wednesday night at Hotel Palomar for a Virgin America airlines party celebrating its launch in Philadelphia.

Virgin's chief, Sir Richard Branson, was also at the party and introduced DJ Jazzy Jeff, who spun as Mayor Nutter and wife Lisa danced it up on the floor.

Green was on the inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon and told us he is a regular on Virgin and even hopes to travel to space on Virgin Galactic. The Overbook Park native is working on the sixth season of his cartoon show, "Robot Chicken." Also aboard the flight was South Philly-native model Amber Rose, who said her fiancé, rapper Wiz Khalifa, couldn't make the party because she gave him pink eye, which she just got over last week. Rose, who now lives full time in L.A., just recorded two singles and is focusing on music at this point. She stopped for pictures with fans inside the event.

Shyamalan enjoyed a night out with wife Bhavna, a psychotherapist, and a night off from shooting "After Earth" in the area with Will Smith. Shyamalan put it simply when asked about the importance of shooting locally, which he's done with almost all his films. "Philadelphia is the best city on Earth," said the usually quiet filmmaker, who has recently taken to Twitter, where he has been discussing the movie and his emotions about the shooting process.

Jon Gosselin, who has gone from reality-show parent to "computer geek," ditched the Ed Hardy shirts for a nice suit and came to the party with his attorney, Chris Cabott. Gosselin, formerly of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," said his computer company, Omega Systems, is keeping him busy and TV is in the past.

Eagles Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek, and Flyers Scott Hartnell, James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Max Talbot also hung out, as did Greater Philadelphia Film office head Sharon Pinkenson, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. CEO Meryl Levitz, Food Network host Marc Summers - formerly of "Double Dare" - Fox 29's Mike Jerrick and 6ABC's Shirleen Allicot.

Also on hand: actress Zoe Kravitz, who's dating Badgley; "Top Chef" alum Jennifer Carroll, soon to be seen on Bravo's "Life After Top Chef"; Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga, of Sbraga (Broad and Pine), and James Poyser, of The Roots.

Kingsley helps theater

Local filmmaker Tigre Hill is thrilled he just directed Sir Ben Kingsley, even if it was over Skype. Kingsley recently taped a promotional video for the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 W. Lancaster) that will soon be played before movies at the nonprofit theater. Hill says Kingsley recorded his parts from a studio outside London, while BMFI executive director Juliet Goodfriend recorded locally. She and the star of "Gandhi" and "Sexy Beast" will appear in a split screen. Kingsley has been a BMFI board member for several years.

Hill is also working on "The Corrupt and the Dead," a South Philly mob documentary, which he says will be half-animated.

Sisters sell shirts to celebs

Bucks County native Dorothy Cascerceri, a senior editor for In Touch Weekly, and her sister Danielle, a student at Quinnipiac University, have launched a line of women's organic cotton T-shirts called bittle D.

Dorothy, who pops up on "Today" and the " Wendy Williams Show" for In Touch, says the company name is a combination of her and Danielle's nicknames for each other, Big D and Little D. The former Doylestown Intelligencer reporter and current Philadelphia Style contributor says Williams has one of the 100 percent organically farmed shirts as do Sammi Giancola of "Jersey Shore," Tamra Barney of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" and Patti Stanger of "Millionaire Matchmaker." For info, visit bittle-D.com.

Radio regular a robber?

Fans of former 94WYSP host Kidd Chris have pointed out that Sean Kevin Sweeney, who was arrested in New Jersey in February in connection with a series of bank robberies, was a former regular caller on the morning radio show and known as Jim the Regular. Sweeney appeared at public events hosted by Kidd Chris, now with Project 96.1 in Atlanta.


Read Dan's latest at PhillyGossip.com, follow him on Twitter @PhillyGossip, email DGross@phillynews.com, call 215-854-5963. For recent columns: philly.com/dangross

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