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Hollywood stars headed for Charlotte

By Theoden Janes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. As Clint Eastwood might say, here come the hot-doggers. Whereas Hollywood conservatives (save for Eastwood and Jon Voight) seemed to shy away from the spotlight during the Republican National Convention in Tampa last week, Hollywood liberals are lining up to get into Charlotte for next week’s Democratic National Convention. Some highlights:

MONDAY

Grammy winner James Taylor and Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges will both perform (yeah, The Dude is a musician, too) at CarolinaFest in uptown. Ty Pennington, former “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” host, will build half a house at the festival. R&B man John Legend, right, and neo-soul hip-hoppers The Roots will perform at separate parties, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Elder Gallery, respectively.

TUESDAY

Actress Amber Riley (Mercedes on Fox’s “Glee”) will sing the national anthem at Time Warner Cable Arena.

“CSI: New York” star Hill Harper and Golden Globe winner Alfre Woodard will host a political summit for students at Johnson C. Smith University.

Actresses Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera will sit on a panel at Voto Latino’s policy forum at Stage Door Theater.

A cocktail reception for the National Association of Broadcasters at Dressler’s Restaurant has a guest list that includes several Hollywood stars: Tim Daly, Patricia Arquette, Woodard, John Leguizamo, Beau Bridges, Rose Byrne, Tony Shalhoub and Wayne Knight (Newman from “Seinfeld”!).

A party for the California delegation will feature guest appearances by rocker Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and Oscar nominee Juliette Lewis.

The People for the American Way Foundation will party with Hollywood stars including Alec Baldwin, Jane Lynch (“Glee”), left, Seth MacFarlane (director of “Ted”), David Hyde Pierce and Kathleen Turner at Kazba at the EpiCentre.

Comics D.L. Hughley, Aries Spears and Tommy Davidson perform standup at Belk Theater.

WEDNESDAY

Jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis does the national anthem at the arena.

Gabrielle Douglas, right, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Jordyn Wieber of the gold-medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team will headline an event at Foundation for the Carolinas.

Actor Kal Penn (“House,” the “Harold & Kumar” movies) will be on a panel at Discovery Place moderated by Chelsea Clinton.

Daly, Arquette, Woodard, Leguizamo, Bridges, Byrne, Shalhoub and Knight will lunch on the Patron Tequila Express near the Amtrak station. They’ll also be at the Creative Coalition’s benefit gala, headlined by The B-52s.

Rock band Foo Fighters and rapper Flo Rida will perform separate concerts at the Fillmore and Amos’ Southend, respectively.

Dawson re-teams with Ferrera; they’ll join Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas and hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons at Voto Latino’s Purple Carpet Bash at All American Pub.

THURSDAY

Actress Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”) will make the keynote address at a business program at the Hearst Tower.

Actress Jessica Alba, right, will co-host the week’s most important fundraising event, “Super-O-Rama,” at the Fillmore. Rapper Pitbull and pop-rockers the Scissor Sisters will perform.

ALL WEEK

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington will pop in and out of Flex and Fit gym, where her “Oasis” (a “rejuvenating retreat” will be set up Monday through Thursday.

“The Daily Show” and host Jon Stewart will be at ImaginOn Tuesday-Friday for tapings.

Ashley Judd: The actress is coming to Charlotte as a delegate (from Tennessee).

Elizabeth Banks: She tweeted earlier this month that she’ll be here for the DNC; no other details.

Follow Théoden Janes on Twitter for updates about celebrities in town for the DNC: @theodenjanes; https://twitter.com/theodenjanes. If you see a celebrity, email tjanes@charlotteobserver.com.
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