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Prince statue is merely standing in the rain

Also Michael B. Jordan at El Vez and Bobby Rydell sings at kidney gala

Actor Michael B. Jordan ("Creed") is making the Philly scene, most recently at El Vez.
Actor Michael B. Jordan ("Creed") is making the Philly scene, most recently at El Vez.Read moreTODD WILLIAMSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

I ALMOST bumbled it in a column last week - the identity of that tall, handsome, stationary, brown fella outside the Prince Music Theater on Chestnut Street near Broad.

In a Twitter poll I did yesterday, I asked some DN gossip followers to answer this question to the best of their knowledge: Just who is that lanky bronze man who is clearly attempting to either a) hail you a cab or b) shield you from the rain and open the door of the theater for you?

The answer may surprise you. It did, me. And not one responder to my poll got it right, either. They thought what I thought: that it was - of course - Gene Kelly from the 1952 American movie-musical "Singin' in the Rain."

But not so! Thanks to the keen eye of a perceptive editor over here, I was informed that the iconic Center City statue - "Allow Me" - is not of any particular individual and is the work of J. Seward Johnson, the New Jersey-born artist and entrepreneur. (His grandfather founded Johnson & Johnson.)

"Allow Me," the life-size businessman holding an umbrella, is one of seven casts that can be found in public art displays around the U.S. The others are in Bath, N.Y., Chicago and Portland, Ore., as well as elsewhere in private collections. Constructed from bronze, aluminum and stainless steel, "Allow Me" stands 6 feet 10 with its base and weighs in at 460 pounds.

So, I don't care how many times "Allow Me" is maligned and knocked over by flash mobs at the newly saved Prince Music Theater - he should be here to stay.


My friends inside Stephen Starr's El Vez (121 S. 13th St.), in Midtown Village, informed me that actor Michael B. Jordan was at the bar Saturday night with a group of friends.

The "Friday Night Lights" actor and portrayer of Wallace in "The Wire," is in town to film "Creed" with Sylvester Stallone. In the "Rocky" spinoff, Jordan plays the son of Apollo Creed.

He's again working alongside Ryan Coogler, who directed "Fruitvale Station," in which Jordan acts out the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a young, black man killed by Oakland, Calif., transit police in 2009.

Sources say that Jordan and comrades were very friendly with fellow bar patrons, shook hands with fans, sipped on Don Julio 1942 (one of El Vez's best tequilas) and tipped accordingly.

'All of me,' including vital organs

Philly-born crooner Bobby Rydell sang "All of Me" for the Kidney Foundation's volunteer award winner at the 31st annual Kidney Ball, held Saturday night at Vie (600 N. Broad St.).

This year's gala honored Arthur Pasquarella, the Bobby Rydell Volunteer Honoree, and nephrologist Jeffrey Berns, associate chief of the Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The annual event recognizes volunteers, physicians and corporations that champion the mission of helping those with kidney disease.

Rydell, who underwent a kidney and liver transplant in 2012, posed for pictures with the honorees and with Fox 29's "Good Day Philadelphia" co-host Alex Holley and chief meteorologist Scott Williams, the evening's emcees.

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN