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Dan Gross: 'Office' actress to perform here

ARDMORE native and "Office" actress Kate Flannery is due in town Wednesday to perform at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom) with Scot Robinson as the Lampshades.

ARDMORE native and "Office" actress

Kate Flannery

is due in town Wednesday to perform at Helium Comedy Club (2031 Sansom) with

Scot Robinson

as the Lampshades.

Flannery, who plays Meredith on the show, usually visits the family bar T.A. Flannery's (11 S. 21st), around the corner from Helium, but she says it's all work this time, with the Lampshades here on the 16th, in New Brunswick, N.J., on the 17th and New York on the 18th. For more info, visit

Hamels help Philly schools

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels and wife, Heidi, announced yesterday that their Hamels Foundation will award more than $90,000 to Philadelphia public schools. The largest grant, $50,000, went to Alexander Wilson Elementary in Southwest Philadelphia, where the announcement was made. The school will use the funds to build a new playground.

Among attendees at the news conference were Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy, Sen. Anthony Williams, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, LeRoy Nunery, deputy superintendent of schools, and Cole's mother, Amanda Hamels.

Other beneficiaries are Bayard Taylor Elementary School, John F. Hartranft Elementary, John Marshall Elementary, Edwin H. Vare Middle School and Thomas G. Morton Elementary. The Hamels Foundation's next fundraiser is Aug. 9, when Cole Hamels hosts a kids pitching clinic at FDR Park in South Philly.

For more info or to register,


Are you the next 'Millionaire'?

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is holding a contestant search from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Pennsylvania Convention Center during the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Convention. Start lining up at 10 a.m. Auditioning for "Millionaire" does not permit free entry into any Wizard World events.

You must be at least 18 and a legal resident of the U.S., and meet other eligibility requirements that may be found at millionaire

Don't forget the show's last "Millionaire" was local bartender Sam Murray, who took the top prize in November, after successfully answering Meredith Vieira's questions.

Cheesecake, not cheesesteaks

Aramingo Diner (3356 Aramingo) owner George Grigos doesn't seem to go anywhere without one of the diner's famous cheesecakes. On Tuesday night, Grigos and pal Jerry Blavat presented one to a gracious Mayor Nutter at the Comcast Center, where they attended a preview party for National Geographic Channel's "World's Toughest Fixes," which at 9 tonight features an episode about SEPTA projects.

Writers' Conference weekend

Wall Street Journal columnist Jeffrey Zaslow is the keynote speaker at this weekend's 61st annual Philadelphia Writers' Conference at the Holiday Inn at 4th & Arch. He'll donate his speaker's fee to pancreatic-cancer research. The conference features three days of workshops on short story, magazine writing, fiction, mystery, screenwriting and poetry, as well as legal rights, marketing and Web development. The People Paper's Will Bunch and local writers Bill Reed, Karen E. Quinones Miller and Katherine Ramsland will take part. The conference is $225. You can register by calling Rhonda Hoffman at 215-677-2570, e-mailing info@ or online at

Cardwell's drag debut

Local dandy Thom Cardwell makes his drag debut tomorrow at the Arts Bank (Broad & South) during the Traverse Arts Project's 2nd annual Philadelphia GLBT Arts Festival. Cardwell, of the Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, will play Mary Haynes' mother in an all-drag stage reading of the play "The Women" by Claire Booth Luce. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, $10 for students and seniors, and may be bought online at or by phone at 800-595-4849.

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