Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Bit parts helping local guy in L.A.




BY JIM KNIPPENBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Well for goodness sakes, look who's back in town with a CD and armloads of movie credits.

        It's Chip Chinery, the Anderson Township comic who moved to Los Angeles to seek his fortune in 1994.

        “No fortune yet, but I am a homeowner now. Do you know what houses cost out there? That's a fortune right there.”

        Maybe the bit parts in four movies due in 2000 will pay the mortgage:

        • Space Cowboys with Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland as aged astronauts. Chinery plays a space technician.

        • Rocky and Burwinkle, an animated/live character job with Robert DeNiro and Rene Russo. He's a security guard in this one.

        • Mail to the Chief, scheduled for to come out earlier this year, but shelved for a while on account of Lewinskygate.

        • Coyote Ugly, just finished and due in late 2000 or beyond.

        Two more things: He's also the new voice of Crash Bandicoot on the popular Play Station series. And he has a CD, You Might Be a Redhead, full of his standup routines.

        They'll sell it this weekend when Chinery headlines at Go Bananas (Thursday-Sunday). Or check out www.chipchinery.com.

        CHOW DOWN: Just wondering: Where does one of the nation's top chefs go after a nightful of signing books? And what does he eat?

        Emeril Lagasse, for example. He spent an evening last week signing 2,000 copies (a Joseph-Beth record) of Everyday's a Party (Morrow; $26). Working up an appetite and a hellacious case of writer's cramp, he and three lady friends went looking for food at 9:30.

        And found it at Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, says maitre 'd Lamar Cheatham. Wine of the night was Cain 5, a trendsetting red blend.

        But the food! Gracious hello, can they eat: Crab cakes and crab cocktail appetizers, followed by Jeff Ruby's Jewel, a 26-ounce rib eye, New York Strips and Big Sir, a really huge sirloin.

        Side dishes? Green bean casserole, potatoes Anna, onion rings, asparagus sunny side up (with a fried egg), creamed spinach and carrots two ways (whipped, topped with roasted ones).

        Desert? Cheescake and Chocolate Illusion, a sinful concoction that looks like a porterhouse steak.

        And yes, they ate it all.

        PARTY ON: One question: Did that Titanic crew ever sleep?

        They must have, says Broadway Series manger Van Ackerman, but he doesn't know when. After a two-week Aronoff run that ended Sunday, they left Monday for Hartford, Conn.

        But mercy, were they ever visible while here. Top spot was Westminster's, the Over-the-Rhine billiards club with 12 pool tables. Ackerman threw the cast party there and some, as nearly as we can tell, never left. Loved those cosmopolitan cocktails, don't you know.

        They did leave for parties: Two at Carol's on Main and a whopper at the home of Fred Martens. That's the one where they arrived by bus — try turning that around on an East Walnut Hills lane — and hung around the piano singing show tunes 'til way past bedtime.

        When they weren't partying, they ate — Palomino, Redfish and Nicholson's — and did movies at the Esquire — “We needed a shuttle,” Ackerman says.

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.