How about one last serving of celebrity scoop for 2011? I'm on vacation through Jan. 3, so here are some star-studded talking points you can use to impress your out-of-town guests over the holidays.
"Coma," an A&E miniseries starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn, James Woods, Geena Davis, has been filming in a number of spots around metro Atlanta including Decatur, the Castleberry Hill area and at Southern Regional Hospital in Riverdale. It's a modern take on the Robin Cook bestseller “Coma” and the 1978 Michael Douglas film adapted from it. It's about the strange happenings at an Atlanta hospital where odd numbers of people lapse into unconsciousness.
The USA pilot Nathan Lane is working on is now known as "Local Talent," (a working title was "On We Go.") It has been filming in Locust Grove and Palmetto. It's a comedy about a guy who looks like Nathan Lane but isn't Nathan Lane, played by Nathan Lane. (Got it?) The upcoming season of "Teen Wolf" has been filming in downtown Atlanta this week. It's an MTV drama about especially hairy adolescents.
John Mellencamp has been spending time in Atlanta working on "Ghost Brothers of Darkland County," a musical written by Stephen King that the Alliance Theatre will premiere in the spring (See story on D1). Mellencamp, who's writing the music and lyrics, stopped by Richie Arpino's Buckhead salon this week for a haircut. Arpino is no stranger to famous noggins, having once freshened Justin Bieber's erstwhile swoosh. "He wanted it kind of military style, with texturizing," Arpino said, referring to Mellencamp, not the Biebs. Mellencamp's ladyfriend Meg Ryan was with him, but Arpino didn't get his hands on her tresses even though he pleaded, "Do you know how many times people bring in your picture saying, ‘I want Meg Ryan hair?'"
Cuba Gooding Jr., who's here filming "Crew 9," where he plays a counselor working with troubled kids, dined at Nava the other night.
Comic actress Bette Midler has been in town filming “Parental Guidance,” a family-friendly comedy also starring Billy Crystal and Marisa Tomei that comes out in time for Thanksgiving 2012. Midler was spotted admiring the holiday decor at the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead the other day, and a tipster spotted her at the Lenox mall Hermes store, too. Sources said she frequented Souper Jenny, an Atlanta favorite.
Midler also noted early in her stay that Atlanta loves driving almost as much as it loves calling streets the same name. “Atlanta has 26 streets called Peachtree. But get this, no peach trees! However, parking lots for DAYS!” she tweeted soon after she arrived this fall. With “Parental Guidance” wrapping up Midler was on her way this week, but not before enjoying one more Atlanta staple: the Real Housewives of Atlanta. “Sat next to Phaedra (Parks) from Housewives of Atlanta on the plane yesterday, and got me an earful of jaw-dropping chatter!” Midler tweeted on Monday. “Holy cow!” Parks retweeted the post. Can you imagine the racket those two created?