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Action! Around the Bay State

By Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / May 21, 2008

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"This Side of the Truth" writer/director Ricky Gervais kept his cast on its toes in Andover yesterday as filming continued on the comedy, which stars Rob Lowe, Tina Fey, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman. Comic Louis C.K., a Newton native who's also working on the film, made a return trip to the Comedy Connection on Sunday and Monday nights to do a little standup. . . . Another day brought another wedding reception on the set of "Bride Wars," which filmed yesterday at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. A playful Kate Hudson interacted with the crowd as she left the hair-and-makeup trailer to go inside the museum. Even with big sunglasses, Hudson's costar Anne Hathaway couldn't escape being spotted by fans. The comedy about two friends who fight after picking the same day to hold their wedding is in its final stretch of filming.

Manny's magical mouth guard
Never mind his diet or daily workout regimen. It's apparently a mouth guard that has Manny Ramirez hitting the hide off the ball. The future Hall of Famer is one of several Sox who've started sporting the Pure Power Mouthguard, an unusual device created by Canadian dentist Dr. Anil Makkar. We're told Manny, who doesn't flack for many products, is wild about the PPM, and swears it's helping his already-sweet swing. "Believe it or not, he came to us," says Terry Klironomos, marketing director for the Nova Scotia-based Pure Power Athletics Group Inc. According to Klironomos, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia, Javier Lopez, and Jed Lowrie all have been fitted with the magic mouthpiece. (The company says 150 pro athletes now wear one, including Blue Jays pitchers Shaun Marcum and Dustin McGowan, and Seattle Seahawks kicker Josh Brown.) So how does it work? Using electronic stimulation, measurement, and analysis, dentists create a unique PPM that puts an athlete's jaw into the "optimal position" to maximize performance. "The process gets rid of all the tension in the head and neck, and increases strength, flexibility, and range of motion," Dr. Gary Lederman, a New York dentist who fits athletes with PPMs, told us yesterday. "We can't take all the credit, but Manny's certainly having a fine season, isn't he?" Ramirez has become increasingly inquisitive as he seeks to extend his career. He was observed reading Rhonda Byrne's new age self-help book "The Secret" during spring training, and also meditates and does yoga.

Wahlberg's 'Code' to have local flavor
While reveling in the hometown love at the Kiss Concert last weekend, New Kid on the Block Donnie Wahlberg confirmed that the pilot for his new Boston-set TNT series "Morse Code" will shoot in the Hub. It's up in the air whether location shooting will be on the table if it goes to series or even if Wahlberg, who is also an executive producer, will star in it. He hopes to shoot the pilot soon, he said, "because we're going to have to go in for rehearsals for the tour, and once that starts I'm not going to be able to come up for air for a while." If the demands on his time become too heavy, he said, "I'll just get someone else to star in it." The series, co-executive-produced by "Law & Order" vet Walon Green and Wahlberg's "Boomtown" director Jon Avnet, will follow a war hero who returns to Boston to work as a Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Seen at the C's
There were a few familiar faces at Game One at the Garden last night, including Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner; actor Rob Lowe; Patriots players Laurence Maroney and Vince Wilfork and coach Bill Belichick; Boston culinary group biggie Joe O'Donnell, who was sitting with Celts CEO Wyc Grosbeck and Harrah's head Gary Loveman; hedge fund high-roller Jim Pallotta; Donnie Wahlberg; and night club naybob Ed Kane.

Their wishes come true
Tom Brady and Randy Moss made the day, if not the year, of four youngsters who'd wanted more than anything to meet the Patriots pair. In a visit yesterday made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts, the dynamic duo met at Gillette Stadium with Charlotte Hutnak, 16, of South Attleboro, DJ Murphy, 19, of Medford, 12-year-old Matteo Petosa from Ontario, Canada, and David Sierra, 17, of Fullerton, Calif.

Le-Blanc, 'Stomp' pals set to express themselves
Lorraine Le-Blanc, cast member of the London company of "Stomp," played peekaboo during rehearsal for tomorrow's show by Beverly-based arts organization Express Yourself. During the performance tomorrow at the Citi Wang Theatre, LeBlanc will be joined by other "Stomp" cast members. "Express Yourself" was recently chosen as a semifinalist for the 2008 "Coming Up Taller" award by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. The award recognizes arts programs serving youth beyond school hours.

Gone to the movies
Actress Lynn Redgrave joined former Boston Pops conductor John Williams for his annual "Film Night" concert at Symphony Hall last night. The program featured music from "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which opens in theaters tomorrow, and Redgrave narrating "A Grand Suite From Harry Potter."

Sarah Rodman of the Globe Staff contributed. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.