Penn a cappella group rocks cameo in 'Pitch Perfect 2'

Posted: August 28, 2014

THE MEN of Penn Masala were sworn to secrecy about their cameo in "Pitch Perfect 2," the sequel to the sleeper hit "Pitch Perfect," which made a reported $113 million at the worldwide box office and netted a Billboard Top 10 hit with "Cups (When I'm Gone)," sung by star Anna Kendrick.

"Pitch Perfect 2" is directed by fellow Penn grad Elizabeth Banks (class of '96), who produced and starred in the original.

Members of Penn Masala, billed as the world's premier South Asian a cappella group, were "beyond excited" about the cameo in the movie about the all-ladies a capella group at fictional Barden University, as first reported by the Daily Pennsylvanian.

While president Dilip Rajan, a senior at Wharton, and business manager Pranay Sharma, a sophomore at Wharton, kept mum on what they sang and why they were chosen as the only collegiate a cappella group in the film, they noted their unique blend of Hindi, Bollywood and western music that spurs from their members' backgrounds, some of whom were born abroad and others in the States.

Twelve of the 14 members made it to the Baton Rouge, La.-based shoot, and got to work with Deke Sharon, a renowned a capella producer.

While the men of Penn Masala may finally be able to spill the beans about their cameo, you won't be able to see them in the film until the spring. It's coming out May 15. Keep up to date with the group for local dates at pennmasala.com.

Nun-sense

Yardley-born-and-raised writer Jo Piazza has nuns on the brain. She's the author of If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission, in local bookstores and available online next Tuesday.

Piazza profiles 10 nuns who shatter the stereotypes of their vocation, including two Philly sisters: Sister Nora Nash, director of corporate social responsibility for the Sisters of St. Francis, and Sister Jeannine Gramick, who grew up in Philly and went to Penn. Piazza says she was inspired to go on her journey after an education at Villa Joseph Marie, in Holland, Bucks County. Piazza, a former gossip columnist at the New York Daily News, previously wrote Celebrity Inc.: How Famous People Make Money, a must-read for lovers of the rich and fabulous.

McCusker's on camera

Football fans will be seeing quite a bit of McCusker's Tavern (2601 S. 17th St.) this pigskin season. The South Philly bar will be featured in ads for the NFL. I hear the bar has been scouted as a filming location for other film projects over the years, but rejected offers because they didn't fit with the unofficial motto of the bar: "The day you can't bring your mother in is the day we close the door."

The friendly spot, opened in 1968 by John McCusker and now operated by sons Ryan and Douglas, is close enough to Lincoln Financial Field that bar patrons are able to tell when a touchdown happens before any HDTV delay because they can hear the fireworks from the field.

OUT AND ABOUT

* Kevin Jonas, of Jonas Brothers fame, and his wife, Danielle, dined at Buddakan Atlantic City (1 Atlantic Ocean) over the weekend. I hear the bachelorette party seated next to them freaked out when they spotted the Jo Bro, but he took time to chat it up with the bride and take photos.

* Martorano's, the new Italian joint at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City (777 Harrah's Blvd.), courtesy of South Philly's own Steve Martorano, welcomed even more celebs than my buddy Chuck Darrow told you about in Monday's column. I hear that Sean Lowe ("The Bachelor"), Danny Masterson ("That '70s Show"), 98 Degrees' Jeff Timmons, Angelina Pivarnick ("Jersey Shore"), GinaMarie Zimmerman ("Big Brother"), Jennifer Graziano ("Mob Wives"), Leticia Reyes ("The Quest") and Dee Vee ("Dating Naked") all stopped by for the big blowout last weekend.

* Actor/comedian Craig Robinson and Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had a little quid pro quo action going on this week. As I told you yesterday, Robinson attended the Phillies' day-game win over the Cardinals before heading to Helium Comedy Club for a one-night stand. Howard celebrated the team's win by catching Robinson's late-night set.


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

Online: ph.ly/DNGossip

 

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