- - Sunday, October 23, 2011

Diane Keaton’s memoir details life with Woody

Diane Keaton would know: Going out with Woody Allen was like being in a Woody Allen movie, she writes in an upcoming memoir.

The Academy Award-winning actress starred with Mr. Allen in such favorites as “Sleeper” and “Love and Death” and got an Oscar for “Annie Hall,” in which her baggy-panted WASP meshed unforgettably with Mr. Allen’s patented schlemiel. Mr. Allen and Miss Keaton dated for a few years and remain close.

“I was his endearing oaf. I had him pegged as a cross between a ‘White Thing’ and the cockroach you couldn’t kill,” Miss Keaton, 65, wrote in “Then Again,” which comes out next month and is excerpted in the November issue of Vogue, arriving at newsstands Tuesday.

“We shared a love of torturing each other with our failures. His insights into my character were dead-on and hilarious. This bond remains the core of our friendship and, for me, love.”

Miss Keaton wrote that she met Mr. Allen in 1968 when they worked together in Mr. Allen’s stage comedy “Play It Again, Sam,” roles they re-enacted for the 1972 film version. Mr. Allen is the divorced neurotic who channels the spirit of Humphrey Bogart to help with his love life. The actress falls for him in the script and soon did the same in real life.

“How could I not? I was in love with him before I knew him. He was Woody Allen. Our entire family used to gather around the TV set and watch him on Johnny Carson. He was so hip, with his thick glasses and cool suits,” she wrote.

Miss Keaton’s book centers on her close relationship with her mother, Dorothy Hall, and “Then Again” includes excerpts from family journals and letters. In one journal entry, Miss Keaton’s mother remembers seeing a screening in 1977 of “Annie Hall.” The movie was based in part on Mr. Allen’s relationship with Miss Keaton, whose birth name is Diane Hall.

“Annie’s camera in hand, her gum chewing, her lack of confidence; pure Diane. The story was tender, funny and sad. It ended in separation, just like real life,” wrote Dorothy Hall, who died in 2008.

Jon Bon Jovi opens ‘pay-what-you-can’ eatery

In three decades as one of the world’s biggest rock stars, Jon Bon Jovi has eaten in some of the world’s best restaurants, savoring the best food the planet has to offer.

Yet there’s no place he’d rather have dinner than the Soul Kitchen, a “pay-what-you-can” restaurant he and his wife, Dorothea, established in a former auto body shop near the Red Bank train station in central New Jersey.

The restaurant provides gourmet-quality meals to the hungry while enabling them to volunteer on community projects in return without the stigma of visiting a soup kitchen. Paying customers are encouraged to leave whatever they want in the envelopes on each table, where the menus never list a price.

The restaurant is the latest undertaking by the New Jersey rocker’s Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which has built 260 homes for low-income residents in recent years.

“With the economic downturn, one of the things I noticed was that disposable income was one of the first things that went,” Mr. Bon Jovi told the Associated Press in an interview Wednesday before the restaurant’s grand opening ceremony. “Dining out, the family going out to a restaurant, mom not having to cook, dad not having to clean up - a lot of memories were made around restaurant tables.

“When I learned that one in six people in this country goes to bed hungry, I thought this was the next phase of the foundation’s work,” he said.

It took a year and $250,000, but the restaurant now rivals any of its competitors in trendy Red Bank, with entrees like cornmeal crusted catfish with red beans and rice, grilled chicken breast with homemade basil mayo and rice pilaf, and grilled salmon with soul seasonings, sweet potato mash and sauteed greens, many of which were grown in the herb and vegetable garden right outside the restaurant’s doors.

Mr. Bon Jovi, who has a home in next-door Middletown, is adamant about one thing.

“This is not a soup kitchen,” he emphasizes. “You can come here with the dignity of linens and silver, and you’re served a healthy, nutritious meal. This is not burgers and fries.

“There’s no prices on our menu, so if you want to come and you want to make a difference, leave $20 in the envelope on the table. If you can’t afford to eat, you can bus tables, you can wait tables, you can work in the kitchen as a dishwasher or sous chef,” he said.

After volunteering, a person will be given a certificate good for a meal at the Soul Kitchen.

“If you come in and say, ‘I’m hungry,’ we’ll feed you,” Mr. Bon Jovi said. “But we’re going to need you to do something. It’s very important to what we’re trying to achieve.”

Springsteen documents headed to N.J. university

A New Jersey university will be the new home for nearly 15,000 documents associated with Bruce Springsteen, according to the Associated Press.

Books, concert programs, magazines and newspaper articles formerly kept at the Asbury Park Public Library will be moved to Monmouth University in West Long Branch on Nov. 1.

The material has outgrown the library, which offered viewing by appointment only.

The university’s Bruce Springsteen Special Collection will be accessible to anyone and have enough space for it to grow to include recordings, film footage and other documents.

Monmouth University President Paul Gaffney II said the school’s music industry students will benefit greatly from having access to the documents.

The university is about five miles from Asbury Park, where Mr. Springsteen performed in his early days.

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