Tuesday, February 09, 1999

Coach/actor on track to Lexington

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Merciful heavens, and isn't Kirven Jackson putting the mileage on his car this month? Not to mention his alarm clock.

        Jackson, see, is track coach at Mount Notre Dame High School, which means he has to be in town every day for practice. The runners are getting ready for a Saturday meet at the University of Kentucky. But he also has to be in Lexington from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily because he's starring in Jackie Robinson: MVP at Lexington Children's Theater. He plays Robinson, so he can't skip out. Ever.

        “We have a 9 o'clock call and 10 a.m. performance,” Jackson says. “So I have to be up by 5 and out by 5:45. I drive to Lexington, do the play, get out at 1:30 and head for school. It's 94 miles, so you know I'm cutting it close.”

        Meaning he's sorry he took the role? “Are you kidding? It's been hard, I won't lie, but it has also been wonderful. I feel blessed.”

        His cars don't. Jackson alternates between an '86 Camaro and a '93 Camaro. “You have to give them a day's rest after all that driving.”

        This has been going on for three weeks and will continue until Feb. 26. Then it gets worse. “We tour Southern and Western Kentucky. Now that's going to be busy.”

        Jackson isn't sure how he'll work it out. “But I know I will,” he says.

        NEXT UP?: Eavesdropping on Mayor Roxanne Qualls at a bash Barbara and Larry Kellar gave for Duke Ellington's granddaughter Mercedes, here for a Sunday Cincinnati Pops date:

        “I'm wondering that myself.”

        She was answering (or rather not answering) a question she's getting a lot now: “What are you doing next?”

        The good thing, she says, is there's no rush: “I have some breathing room here, so I'm just working and exploring.”

        And biking. The kind you pedal. All over town.

        AT THE DANCE: Eavesdropping on Cincinnati Ballet artistic director Victoria Morgan, on her way to Saturday's Imagemaker Awards ceremony: “Well, yes, I guess I'm a little worried. There's a real sense of adventure here.”

        She was talking about Beyond Innocence, a work she is choreographing for the ballet's Valentine Festival this weekend.

        “Adventure?” What does that mean? “Sensual. And very, very hot,” answered Covington developer David Herriman, who caught a recent rehearsal.

        ON THE TUBE: Eavesdropping on Fred Anderson, we find what fans watching Jay Leno saw Friday: Jerry Springer. What they almost saw: Springer blush.

        Turns out Anderson supplied a friend on Leno's staff with a videotape of what is supposedly Springer's first acting job.

        Say what? Seems Marilyn Hyland, a candidate for county commissioner last November, shot it in 1990 when she was the marketing exec producing the re-opening gala for the Esquire Theater. Theme was an interactive mystery in which local celebs were accused of a murder that guests had to solve.

        To get it started, Hyland shot a video of the celebs acting out roles. Including Springer as one of the murder suspects.

        Flash forward to last December, when Hyland associate Anderson told his Leno friend about the tape. The friend requested same.

        The plan was to surprise Springer and embarrass him a tad (if that's possible). Sadly, there wasn't enough time to run the tape . . . this time.

        Psst! appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.

        Psst! appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.