OFFBEAT: Gabby Douglas, Girl Scout cookies and Jeff Daniels today's topics

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-01-30T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Gabby Douglas, Girl Scout cookies and Jeff Daniels today's topicsBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

My mention of new gluten-free Girl Scout Cookies for this season, as described in the Friday "New Products" column I compile appearing in our Home and Garden section, has apparently caused confusion for the cookie selling troops of Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland.

I received the following email yesterday:

"Dear Mr. Potempa: One of our Girl Scout volunteers in Indiana contacted me about your recent Jan. 24 New Products column that gave a lovely shout-out to Girl Scout Cookies. We would like to clarify, however, that the gluten-free cookie is being piloted only in select locations across the United States and is not one of the items available from the Girl Scouts who are members of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana who are selling cookies in your readership area. Our volunteer pointed out that this will cause some confusion when readers of your column try to find those cookies locally. Would there be an opportunity to clarify that these products are only available in select locations and not from all local Girl Scouts? Thank you for your consideration. Julie Somogyi, Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana"

Thank you for contacting me Julie. The press alert about this new cookie variety sent to me didn't clarify about this cookie's limited release. I hope printing your clarification will help clear up any confusion.

Real to reel

Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle "Gabby" Douglas and her mother, Natalie Hawkins, live in Virginia Beach, Va., but Gabby's ties to our readership region are many. Her grandfather, Theodore Hawkins, lives in Gary and is a 1963 Roosevelt High School graduate and Gabby's other aunts, uncles and cousins live in the surrounding area, including Hazel Crest, Ill.

Gabby, 18, is the second female African-American U.S. gymnast to ever make the team and this weekend, a new world premiere movie about her life airs on cable's Lifetime Network. "The Gabby Douglas Story" airs at 7 p.m. Saturday and stars Regina King as her mother and features Gabby herself in some scenes. Sydney Mikayla plays Gabby in the scenes depicting her life from age 7 to 12 and then Imani Hakim portrays her from ages 13 to 16. Visit for more details.

Film to stage

One of my favorite actors, Jeff Daniels is in Chicago tonight, with his guitar in tow, to share music and stories in his one-man show "An Evening with Jeff Daniels" at The City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St. Doors open at 6 p.m. and his show is at 8 p.m. I'm told his show, with tickets ranging from $25 to $45, is nearly sold-out. FYI: (312) 733-9463 or

Daniels, who turns 59 on Feb. 19, is an all-around good guy and always a great interview. Despite his film fame in such memorable roles like "Terms of Endearment" and "Gettysburg," he has forsaken living on either coast, and instead, raised his family in his hometown Chelsea, Mich. where his father owned the local lumber yard until his death in 2012, and had once served as the city's mayor. Despite his many roles and successful career, Daniels admits he is still often confused for fellow actors Beau Bridges, Bill Pullman, Bill Paxton and even Dave Coulier from TV's "Full House."

"I've often said Andy Warhol had it wrong about 'having 15 minutes of fame,' " Daniels said.

"These days, it's actually only 15 seconds."

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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