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‘Lion King’ cast makes Prime time appearance

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / February 19, 2010

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Cast members from the “The Lion King,’’ which is at the Opera House through March 21, partied it up at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse the other night to celebrate the start of their run. Revelers included (from left) Norwood’s own Nicholas Carriere, who’s a standby for Scar and Pumbaa; Springfield’s Madai Monica Williams, who plays Young Nala at some performances; and Brookline’s Brigette Dunn, who’s the show’s dance captain.

An architect’s dream
The Boston Society of Architects has some big news. The nonprofit told us yesterday that it is proposing to open a public museum of architecture and design at Fort Point’s Russia Wharf, which is across the street from the Children’s Museum. Tom Keane, the society’s executive director, said the project is in the early stages; he’s in the process of arranging public information sessions and informing his members and the local architecture community. Keane says the space, which he hopes to open in the summer of 2011, would give the city insight on “how neighborhoods are created and what’s behind buildings.’’ He promised the museum would be “hands-on,’’ “interactive,’’ and “very cool.’’

Affleck-Damon project
Variety reports that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the dynamic Boston-bred duo who starred in and won a screenwriting Oscar for “Good Will Hunting,’’ are in negotiations for a first-look producing deal at Warner Bros. The pair previously partnered as producers, along with Chris Moore, on the documentary series “Project Greenlight.’’ The trade mag notes that Ben and Matt have both worked at Warner Bros. in recent years: Affleck directing and acting in “The Town,’’ and Damon starring in “The Informant,’’ “Invictus,’’ and “Hereafter.’’ (Damon’s role in Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus’’ has earned him a best supporting actor Oscar nomination.)

Bundchen’s body work
How does one get Gisele Bundchen’s body? Leandro Carvalho (below) says it’s all about working the behind. The New-York based celebrity trainer, whose clients include Bundchen and model Alessandra Ambrosio, was at Equinox in Boston yesterday to teach locals his secrets, including his “Brazilian Butt Lift’’ routine (available on DVD). Carvalho told us during his lunch break yesterday that Bundchen hasn’t had much time to make it down to New York to work out with him these days. “Her life has changed a little,’’ he said, laughing, referring to her husband, Tom Brady, and their 2 1/2-month-old son, Benjamin. Carvalho also told us that supermodels like Bundchen have to work as hard as the rest of us do. Any little imperfection stands out on a runway. “Anything bad can ruin their careers.’’ This was Carvalho’s first trip to Boston. He said his favorite part of the trip was taking in our architecture. “I’m surprised by the old buildings,’’ he told us. “My city is in Brazil; it’s all colonial baroque. I didn’t expect - I don’t know why - I didn’t expect this old construction. It’s nice.’’

A ‘Shutter Island’ scene
Big-time celebs just didn’t make it out to the runway shows at New York’s Fashion Week. Perhaps that’s because the stars are too busy celebrating the opening of Martin Scorsese’s latest Boston-based thriller, “Shutter Island.’’ Scorsese and “Shutter’’ stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, and Patricia Clarkson were joined at Wednesday’s NYC premiere of the film by a number of recognizable faces including Mick Jagger and his girlfriend, L’Wren Scott. Celebs who flocked to a Tuesday night “Shutter Island’’ party at New York’s Armani Ristorante included DiCaprio’s on-again girlfriend, Bar Refaeli, “Gossip Girl’’ actress Michelle Trachtenberg, Isabella Rossellini, and designer Roberta Armani (Giorgio’s niece).

Casting a new Stew
New Repertory Theatre’s 2010-11 season will end with "Passing Strange," which won a Tony in 2008 for best book of a musical. The show earned six other Tony noms for its tale of a middle-class black teen in Los Angeles on a sex-drugs-and-rock 'n' roll journey that takes him to Amsterdam and Berlin. The single-monikered Stew wrote the book and lyrics, and co-wrote the music with Heidi Rodewald. He also narrated, sang, and played guitar in the show in New York, where it played the Public Theater before moving to Broadway. Spike Lee filmed the final performances for a movie version that debuted last year. Casting a new Stew is going to be a challenge for New Rep artistic director Kate Warner. "We'll be looking for someone who can take on the qualities of Stew and of course not imitate him, because while this is his story, it is universal enough that a lot of people can relate to it as well as perform it."

Around town
New England Patriot Gary Guyton was spotted lunching at Sonsie yesterday. He ate chowder. Meanwhile, Bobby Brown was seen sipping chowder with his daughter at the Park Square Legal Sea Foods. . . . Maine native Patrick Dempsey is the cover boy of next month's Boston Common magazine. He tells the mag, of growing up in Vacationland, "Going to Boston from Maine was like going to the big city. We'd take the bus down and go to Faneuil Hall Marketplace."

Toasting the bar
Pops Restaurant on Tremont Street threw a party on Wednesday night to celebrate its brand new bar. Revelers included dbar chef Chris Coombs, restaurateur Darryl Settles, 28 Degrees' William Emery, life-of-the-party Marilyn Riseman, and Andrew Fenlon, the guy who copped an attitude with Victoria Beckham and Kara DioGuardi earlier this season on "American Idol."

Local 'Idols'
Two Bay Staters have sung their way to the Top 24 on "American Idol." Berklee-trained Chelsea native Ashley Rodriguez, 22, and Cape Cod-bred Marstons Mills resident Siobhan Magnus, 20, made the cut and will perform next week. They'll be joined by a number of talents from across the nation, including Tim Urban, the Texan who replaced Chris Golightly, a contestant who was dropped from the Top 24 because of a "lack of veracity" during the audition process, the AP reported yesterday. This year, all "Idol" contestants will be chronicling their experiences on Twitter. You can follow our locals at @ARodriguezAI9 and @SMagnusAI9.

Globe Correspondent Joel Brown contributed. Read the Names blog at www.boston.com/namesblog. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.