Jim Belushi, the Chicago native and star of ABC’s “According to Jim,” hosted a pre-opening party and Imerman Angels fundraiser Thursday night at Martini Park, the newest addition to the River North scene. I congratulated Belushi on his show being picked up for a seventh season. “How cool is that?” he responded. And when I asked about his reaction to the news: “What about my wife’s reaction?” he cracked. “She said, ‘I’m gonna get a new car.'”
Belushi, who lives in L.A., comes to Chicago often to see his son Rob, who’s also an actor. “Last time we were here was June 9th, to see Rob in a Theatre on the Lake production,” Belushi said. As for his son’s career choice-“It’s just in the blood, honey,” he told me-Belushi doesn’t recommend getting into acting. Hey, even Rob works a second job as a bar back at Martini Park. Then again, the nightlife industry has its privileges. When I asked Belushi if he thought working at the bar would help 26-year-old Rob pick up chicks, he responded, “Oh, he does very well.”
Belushi senior and his band, the Sacred Hearts, played for 90 minutes on a stage set up behind the front bar. The charismatic and better-looking-in-person frontman wore sunglasses and belted out tunes including “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Hard to Handle,” and spent a lot of time interacting with the ladies in the crowd, both pulling them onstage to dance with him and jumping into the crowd to dance with them. At one point, a random bar patron got onstage, and Belushi and fan performed a belly-baring dance-and I’m talking a lot of belly-shaking their assets for
a cheering crowd.
* * *
Think pink: as in carpets, dance platforms, glow sticks, and teenagers decked out in the Victoria’s Secret PINK line. The second annual “world’s largest PJ party,” held Friday at Northerly Island’s Charter One Pavilion, brought out about 5,000 PINK party-goers, mostly 18-22-year-old girls.
Even “Laguna Beach” Barbie doll Kristin Cavallari, who moved to California from Barrington after junior high, was there. “I live in their sweatpants; I work out in them, I lie around the house in them,” she told me. The 20-year-old reality-TV-star-turned-actress just finished filming the movie Spring Breakdown with Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, and Parker Posey (“the funniest women in comedy”), and is currently living in West Hollywood with her boyfriend, actor Nick Zano, who’s in Mexico filming a movie of his own. But don’t count on the two lovebirds tying the knot anytime soon. “I’m 20 years old,” she said. “My father would kill me! I know everyone gets married at 22 in Hollywood, but, no, definitely not.” Following an introduction by Billy Dec, Cavallari greeted screaming fans and tossed plastic beach balls into the crowd. Later, mother and daughter hung out backstage before accompanying Dec to The Underground.
Also at the bash: DJ AM, who spun a set at 7:30 p.m. (after which he headed to Manor, 343 West Erie Street, where he hung out at the owners’ table until close), and Fergie, who took the stage at 9 p.m. wearing a black leather jacket and Victoria’s Secret short-shorts with “PINK” emblazoned across the bum. Her set included “London Bridges” and “My Humps,” as well as snippets of Black Eyed Peas’ songs “Don’t Lie,” “Don’t Phunk with My Heart,” and “Where is the Love?”-plus an encore of “Glamorous.” On a break from her own tour-and coming off a stint opening for Justin Timberlake in London-Fergie said she’ll tour with the Black Eyed Peas later this year.
Although she knew nothing of her supposed appearance at a much-hyped after-party in her honor at The Underground, the sexy brunette told me she loves hanging out in Chicago: “My drummer, Keith, is from here, so we usually go to his place for a barbecue. And I always order pizza when I’m here. I was in town about a month ago for my tour, and we ordered Giordano’s.” (From the looks of her, you’d never know it.) As for her boyfriend, hot-hot-hot “Vegas” actor Josh Duhamel, Fergie was a little tight-lipped, but did say that one of their favorite activities is going fishing. “I’ve been fishing since I was a kid, girl!” she told me.
* * *
But the real fun took place Saturday night, when former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams showed up at The Underground with rap star R. Kelly; both played impromptu sets at the club after dining at Rockit. Another unscheduled performance came courtesy of former *N Syncer and “Dancing with the Stars” goofball Joey Fatone, who cleared out the middle of the club to dance for the crowd. Also spotted: “Access Hollywood”‘s Billy Bush, who, a spy tells me, was running around the nightspot proclaiming, “Chicago is the best city ever!”
Photography: Courtesy of Marion Curtis/Startraksphoto.com