Drexel fashion instructor Pamela Ptak will be among the designers under the microscope on next season's Project Runway, which premieres on Lifetime at 10 p.m. Jan. 14.
Ptak - you pronounce the first letter of her name - credits God as her favorite designer and gets high praise from the persnickety Tim Gunn: "These are among the most beautifully constructed clothes I've ever seen."
She was selected on her third tryout. "I very much loved the process of interviewing," says Ptak, 47, a Massachusetts native and New York transplant who lives with her husband, illustrator Scott Hanna, in Riegelsville, Bucks County. "They gave me amazing insight. I would keep trying out and sharpening my brain. You can't pay anyone for the knowledge you get from trying out. It was like grad school for me."
Ptak, who teaches the couture graduate class for corseted evening wear at Drexel, as well as at Baum School of Art in Allentown, is a career-changer, having started as an art director on campaigns for such products as CoverGirl cosmetics and Noxzema skin cream. Legendary creative director Dick Huebner encouraged her to try fashion at age 30. Her resume also includes studies at Maison Sapho School of Dressmaking & Design and design time with Chado Ralph Rucci.
Also in the reality realm: The episode of Fox's Kitchen Nightmares showing the irascible Gordon Ramsay butting heads with the owners and staff of Fishtown's Hot Potato Cafe will air at 9 p.m. Jan. 29, the season premiere. It was shot over several days in late May.
Former Flyer Keith Primeau is getting into the deli business with a franchise of Bain's Deli, coming to the northeast corner of Broad and Lombard Streets in January, in a deal first noted on City Paper's "MealTicket" blog. Primeau has assorted businesses, including a hockey school, a hockey team, the concession at the Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken, and with his brother-in-law - former Flyer Derrick Smith - a bar in Oshawa, Canada, called Shagwell's on the Ridge. Primeau professes his love for turkey wraps.
Broadcaster Don Tollefson is a first-time father at age 57, as he and his wife of five years, Marilyn, yesterday welcomed a daughter, Gabriella Laura. "Awesome," said the Fox29 alumnus, who does the Eagles Linebacker show on WPEN-FM (97.5) as well as charity work with kids. "I just had my first learning-to- change-diapers moment, and I passed with flying colors," he said.
Mayor Nutter will attend the lighting of a public menorah at 6:30 p.m. today in Rittenhouse Square. As a preliminary act, at 5 p.m. at the Ethical Society on the square, the Budapest Jugglers will perform an act that includes apples, knives, and flaming torches.
The Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale will perform live on the morning of Christmas Eve on ABC's Good Morning America, singing in and out of commercial breaks. It's the choir's second consecutive year.