Inqlings: Actress Hathaway here to mourn

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An ominous sign for the Avenue of the Arts? No, just a premature outage before a planned relamping of all eight letters above the Arts Bank at Broad and South Streets. (See "Who turn d out the lig ts?")

Actress Anne Hathaway, accompanied by a harpist, sang "Ave Maria" at the Funeral Mass of her paternal grandmother, Jacqueline Ann Gouin, on Wednesday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in the city's Andorra section.

Her grandmother, who died Aug. 21 at age 86, lived at Cathedral Village.

Hathaway's father, Jerry, is one of five children. The actress' mother, Kate McCauley, also grew up in the area and went to Mount St. Joseph Academy and acted in the troupe at La Salle. Anne Hathaway was born in New York and raised in North Jersey, and still pops up in Cape May. Last summer, out with friends, she sang karaoke at Martini Beach.

 

Media activity

Just as the real estate market is showing signs of recovery, Jay Lamont says next Sunday will be his last All About Real Estate call-in show on WPEN (950) after 30 years and 10 months. "It was not my call," Lamont told me. "They were pretty honest. They couldn't afford me." Lamont had been with WPEN through various formats (rock, oldies, nostalgia, oldies again, now sports talk) and said he had no hard feelings.

Tuesday will mark five years since WPEN dropped the "Station of the Stars" nostalgia format. Alumnus Andy Kortman will assemble a bunch of the personalities - Dean Tyler, Jerry Stevens, Tom Moran, Ed Hurst, Bill Kimble, Andy Hopkins, Elaine Soncini, Bill Kimble, Ed Klein, Charlie Mills, Ruth Weisberg, Walt McDonald, and John Carlton - for a flashback show from 7 a.m. to noon at the Penrose Diner in South Philly. (Some will call in.) The show can be heard on WFYL-AM (1180), WNJC-AM (1360), and WIFI-AM (1180) and at andykortman.com.

Tom Ridge, the former governor and the first homeland security secretary, will be out with the book The Test of Our Times after Labor Day. He'll talk about it at 10 p.m. Thursday on a special edition of Larry Kane's Voice of Reason on the Comcast Network.

 

Barnes story on screen

The decades-long tug-of-war over the art collection of Albert C. Barnes is the subject of a documentary getting its world premiere in two weeks at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

But don't assume just from the name - The Art of the Steal - that the piece condemns those who acted against Barnes' will to get the $30 billion collection moved from Merion to a new home on the Parkway.

"We set out to try to tell a balanced story with both sides coming together," says director Don Argott, whose credits include the well-received Rock School documentary about Paul Green. Argott and partner/fiancee Sheena M. Joyce were approached about two years ago by former Barnes student Lenny Feinberg with the story.

"The more we dug into story, the more I found how really unbelievable and layered it is," Argott says, adding that it has international appeal because of the quality and scope of the Barnes collection.

Argott interviewed players on both sides, such as art appraiser Richard Feigen, former Barnes president Richard Glanton, Gov. Rendell, and Meryl Levitz of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.

Argott says the film is "on lockdown" till its Sept. 12 screening in Toronto. "We want to keep it under wraps to make it as powerful and palpable as possible," he says. It's also booked into the New York Film Festival on Sept. 29.

 

Out and around

Owen Wilson returned to his usual hangout - Parc on Rittenhouse Square - on Tuesday with a new date: his mother, Laura. He had a salad and apple tart; she had tea and profiteroles.

The Mural Arts Program will pack the Market-Frankford El from 30th Street to 63d Street around dinnertime Sept. 12 for an invitation-only gala that will send 500 participants on a tour of murals visible from the tracks. It's part of "Love Letter," Stephen Powers' project in West Philly: www.aloveletterforyou.com.

 

Who turn d out the lig ts?

The Arts Bank's neon sign at Broad and South Streets will be dark for a couple of weeks. As recently as Wednesday night, it proclaimed "Arts Ban" - not a cheery thought, given that it's on the Avenue of the Arts. Phillip Van Cleave, the University of the Arts' vice president for facilities management and operations, said the school had planned to relamp the sign, but just hadn't gotten it done before the K burned out.

 

Aisle see you later

This is my last column for a while. I'm getting married this weekend. My bride, Jennifer Dorazio, knows a few things about nuptials - she formerly wrote about weddings for The Inquirer.

 


Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider.