Showing posts with label ROBERT FUNARO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ROBERT FUNARO. Show all posts

Friday, December 08, 2017



BEGO TIMES --- Author Mark Bego, currently riding high with his Top Ten Amazon-bestseller Eat Like A Rock Star (Skyhorse) was back in New York yesterday for two interviews with Magda Katz and journalist Brad Balfour. Katz’s interview took place at The Lambs; America’s First Professional Theatrical Club, established in New York in 1874 and was a terrific locale as we were on the scene. Bego talked on video about his early career and what led him to become the author of 62 books. Among his book highlights were his 1984 tome on Michael Jackson (which sold in the millions) and subsequent hit tiles on Cher, Elton John, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Raitt, Debbie Gibson, Micky Dolenz and Leonardo DiCaprio, among others. Bego also worked for the late-great Cue Magazine as their nightlife reviewer as well as a brief stint with the legendary publicist Howard Bloom.

Good ‘n Screwed’s Joanna Bonaro showed up, as she was Katz’s next interview, and she revealed to Bego that she had cooked two dishes from his book and that they were both major successes. Bonaro’s TV-pilot unspools tonight in Brooklyn Heights with a special showing and cast-members Robert Funaro and Armen Garo slated to attend.

From The Lambs, I rode downtown with Bego, and his PR-man David Salidor, to the great Italian-eatery Aleo restaurant on 20th street for a chat with Balfour. Balfour has just started his own podcast after a successful run as a major NY-journalist and Bego was to be among his initial subjects. Both Bego and Balfour have known each other’s for decades and their camaraderie was apparent.

Bego, who sees Barry Manilow (an early book subject as well) Thursday night in Long Island, has two in-store signings this weekend; Saturday at the Riverside Square Mall in Hackensack, N. J. (1:00PM-3:00PM) and Sunday at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack (12:00PM-3:00PM).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Robert Funaro

WEB GOSSIP --- You may have started seeing the posters around town trumpeting HBO's Cinema Verite movie debuting this Saturday, April 23. You see the names James Gandolfini, Diane Lane, and Tim Robbins, but, unless you're somewhat clued in, do you even know what this film is about? Last May, the cable-net announced that this film was underway and that the film, written by David Selzter, is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the ground breaking 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family. Still confused? That PBS series was produced by Oscar-winning doc filmmakers Alan and Suzan Raymond and was centered on the Santa Barbara couple Pat and Bill Loud who split up during the filming, and their children, the eldest, Lance, who became TV's first openly gay character. In the HBO-telecast, which is centered on the Pat Loud (Diane Lane) Gandolfini plays the documentary’s producer Craig Gilbert. Actor Thomas Dekker plays Lance; and, Robbins essays Bill. I well remember this series and though it was on the down-low somewhat at the time; it was a fascinating and accurate look at this family's travails and of Lance. I think it's fascinating now to see this family dogged by cameras 24/7; sort of like all the so-called reality shows we have now. I don't work for HBO, but there is virtually no mention of the Loud name, or story on the poster, and I don't know if it was intentional or not? It sure was some lifetimes ago, but for the ones (like myself) who remember, it seems a bit of an oversight. Gandolfini, who has David Chase's forthcoming Twylight Zones (with Robert Funaro, Brad Garrett, and Christopher MacDonald) done and ready for release, is a simply sensational actor. Everything he's been in has been spot-on perfect. My favorite is The Castle with Robert Redford; though I understand that he doesn't consider it one of his best; but, I assure you, it is. Says Lane, "The (Louds didn't know that they were going to get burned in the town square ... for being themselves. That we're so unforgiving is the big discovery here." They were ... the first reality show. Me, I can't wait to see this as I followed the original PBS show and found it nothing short of fantastically compelling. And, what a cast!


Jolene Matthews

IT'S ALL ABOUT JOLENE --- The official trainer to Housewife's of New Jersey’s Teresa Guidance and Jacqueline Laurita, Jolene Matthews, will be making the scenes at several Tribeca Film Festival events when the fete opens this week with a showing of director Cameron Crowe's docu-movie, The Union which chronicles the writing and recording of the album of the same name by Elton John and Leon Russell, produced by T Bone Burnett. John will be on hand to perform following the free outdoor screening at the North Cove of the World Financial Plaza in NYC. “It's a special opportunity to open our 10th festival in this distinct and unique way,” says festival co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “Not only are we inviting the community to join us for the world premiere of Cameron's film, but to have Elton, whose music transcends generations, perform after is an extraordinary gift to our festival and more specifically the downtown community.” The festival runs through May 1. btw: Matthews is also participating in the Mother's Day Charitybuzz auction, with a session of her Fitness Addiction. Check it out here...


Reeve Carney

COME BACK SPIDEY --- Spider Man:Turn Off The Dark played its last preview the other day, after more than a 100 such shows, without ever officially opening. Its now closed for three weeks while it re-tools and hopefully, re-boots itself without its touchstone Julie Taymor. According to our sources, the theater was full and notables, such as composer The Edge (aka David Evans), with Bono, sat in the audience along with producer Michael Cohl. Plans call for previews to start up again on May 12th, with a real opening on June 14th … but, I wouldn't make plans just yet. Ironically, I caught Spider Man 3 (the movie!) on f/x this weekend and marveled at the fact that all three movies were huge, and in a way, so has this play been, as all of the previews were SRO. Yet with Broadway, you don't want to open too early, triggering the real reviews that could (and, have) killed many a show. Again, the thinking was, if all the previews were this big … why open at all? As I have said previously, we've yet to hear from Stan Lee, who actually did have something to do with the creation of the character. Will we? He's got Thor, a re-boot of X-Men, and, Captain America opening this summer … so, his dance-card may well be filled. But, I wouldn't count him out just yet. Also, he's working on a new comic-adventure with Arnold Schwarzenegger!


CONCERT BIZ DOWNTURN --- Read an interesting post to a story posted on Deadline Hollywood about the rather outrageous compensation packages to the key players at Live Nation which controls the tickets to most of the major concert attractions these days. The point of the story was with these high salaries, will ticket prices ever come down to a reasonable fee again for the all-consuming public? From Maggie: “Now that every last classic act has toured to death for the last 25 years, what’s next? Live Nation exists on the fumes of a 30 year old blue-print that has been in freefall since the mid ’90s when Robert Sillerman rolled up the regional arenas. Trying to fill white elephant venues built for a climate that no longer exists is a fool’s errand. This industry has been coasting on profits generated by aging stars who have not been replaced, and at this point it doesn't look like they ever will be. Gouging customers on $12 drinks and $30 parking is not the answer. Does LN really think ‘fans’ will be paying $250 a ticket in 30 years to see today’s manufactured crop of pop frauds and electro-tuned samplers? It’s over.” Most legacy acts tour because no one wants to release a new CD from them … and, when they do perform, it's usually their signature hits … nothing new because that not what the audience wants to hear. Interesting … right?


FRINGE BURNS BRIGHT --- This past Friday night, the episode of Fringe, titled "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide" was a rollicking episode that featured a lengthy stretch where all the characters were animated. The animation of the characters, William Bell, Olivia, and, Peter and Walter Bishop, were fun and certainly drove home the continual innovation and brilliance of this show. It harked back to A Scanner Darkly and last year's Inception … and, was spot-on terrific. If you haven't given this show a shot, do yourself a favor and make it happen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Natasha Bedingfield

BELLE ADELE --- It might be a bit early in the year for anyone to pick the best song of the year; but, for this writer, right now, it’s unequivocally Adele’s blistering new single, “Rolling in The Deep.” It’s one thing to have such a sublime song (I mean, both the writing and production are just off the map) but, she’s also seemed to have coined a new term for the masses: rolling in the deep … you know, down deep in the muck, as it were. And, who can't relate to that? I well remember attending the Tom Cuddy/WPLJ Up Close And Personal concert way back at the much missed China Club, and meeting her before she essentially debuted before the East Coast cognoscenti, she was a little overwhelmed, as the soon-to-be-stars usually are, but betrayed a real care and knowledge of the music. I was immediately impressed. Needless to say, when she hit the stage and performed, with her debut single “Chasing Pavements” was just beginning to shine, she was nothing short of miraculous. I believe when I wrote about it then, I recalled she reminded me vocally of Alison Moyet from the wondrous Brit-group Yaz (1982) all those years ago. But, no question, she was the real deal. It’s funny, I was driving home last night when a Natasha Bedingfield song came on, and though I love her, on this record, the song itself was a tad too hooky and as such, paled by comparison to “Rolling In The Deep.” In Natasha’s song, the song itself was the hook; with Adele …she’s the hook. I still have yet to receive the CD, I guess SONY is cutting back on servicing the media, but, without a doubt, this is the song of the year … so far!


Constance McCardle

The McCardle Difference --- One of a kind, wearable art? Is it possible? For designer Constance McCardle, it certainly is; she’s been doing it almost her whole life. She created her first dress at age 8; she was taught how to sew and design by her mother and every neighbor in her hometown of Virginia. She first became fascinated with string; and all its applications, including needlework, embroidery, macramé, lace making, and crochet. She started creating artistic fiber art pieces using various needlework techniques, and these initial designs were later exhibited in museums and galleries. She opened her first store in Lexington, VA in 1977. “The only spots back then where you could find really cool vintage pieces to wear were either the Salvation Army or Good Will. A lot of what we're doing right now I would call inspired by vintage clothes and though there is a definite revival afoot, it’s really few and far between. There was a definite architecture of design back then.” Relocating to New York, she formally studied fashion at the Traphagen School of Fashion and created clothes that were sold at Henri Bendel and other boutiques in NYC. She officially launched her CMC label; catering to her growing clientele and started a flagship store in Cold Spring on the Hudson River (1983-1995). She then became the head designer at NYC’s UES boutique The Gallery Of Wearable Art (1995-2002) and designed one-of-a-kind gowns and art wear coats/jackets from vintage museum quality textiles; some of the collections were for private customers. CMC re-organized and continues today stronger than ever, while she has moved her base of operations to her studio in Westchester, she loves designing still with vintage embroideries and trims; new imported designer fabrics; and, hand-painted silks. Her designs for special events; her designs have been worn to every major red carpet event; including the Oscar’s; Emmy’s; and, the Grammy’s. She also designed a gown worn to the Millennium Ball with Bill Clinton. “My approach to designing clothing is more like art. I build each one like a painting. I mix new with old; therefore they have a nostalgic feel to them. The silhouettes are feminine and classic. Background in vintage clothing is a major influence is my designs. Right now, we've been selling item faster than we can get them made. It’s a good time.” Check CMC out.....


Robert Funaro

SHORT & SWEET --- Director Darren Aronofsky, who recently pulled out of the planned second sequel to the X-Men’s Wolverine … according to Deadline Hollywood’s Niki Finke, will make an estimated 5 million against 5% of the gross; which could result in an 8-figure bonus. Personally, I loved his 2008 The Wrestler and wondered why he'd do a sequel in the first place; especially after the first one did less than expected business but clearly, the deal was made before the unexpected success of Swan; which has grossed worldwide $270 million. See, there’s still deals to be made in Hollywood … Robert Funaro, late of The Sopranos and American Gangster is set for several episodes of the next cycle of Denis Leary’s F/X series Rescue Me; which returns in the Spring; PR-pasha David Salidor, who celebrates his 27th year in business this week, is pitching his first ½ hour, original scripted comedy in Hollywood this week … Anyone check out last week’s Inside The Actor’s Studio with James Lipton? His guest was his most successful graduate yet, Bradley Cooper. I've watched the show and found it usually always very profound and very informative; but, this show was stunningly terrific. In addition to a very wry sense of humor, Cooper is also somewhat of a rather brilliant mimic and his impersonations of Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken had me on the floor. I've always liked this show as it gives a very real behind-the-scenes look at many of the greatest actors we have there out there and Lipton’s questions are downright succinct and well thought out … he does do his homework! His show with Robin Williams was a marvel! If you get a chance; check the Cooper-episode out … The Hobbit has finally begun filming in New Zealand under the direction of Lord of the Rings-director Peter Jackson. Though the film was delayed by almost everything possible (medical; business; casting) it is finally a GO … and, they're shooting the two 3D films simultaneously! The tentative titles are The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The films are due to be released late 2012 and 2013, respectively … Though it happened faster than anyone thought possible, former SONY/BMG Pooh-Bah Barry Weiss has assumed the top seat at UMG/Universal Records. Weiss is the son of music-veteran Hy Weiss and is one of the few remaining people in the business who actually knows ALL the ins and outs. When he worked at Jive, he was directly responsible for the success of both Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys. He’s the real deal; talented, knowledgeable, and fun to be with. All the best Barry! …What is it with England these days? They've been systematically delivering these fantastic female voices: Adele; Duffy; Amy Winehouse (???), Natasha Bedingfield (by way of New Zealand) … and, now, get ready for Jeese J. She was on SNL two weeks back and really rocked the house. Our old friend Jason Flom has engineered the deal and the CD is out in two weeks. Get ready! Elton John hosts and performs on SNL on April 2 … should be Captain Fantastic!

Photos By: RD/Kirkland/Derek Storm/Retna

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Robert Funaro With Keith Girard And Mark Bego

After one of the coldest days in NYC in recent memory, the sun re-appeared and the annual PBA Wives and Orphans Xmas event at Bridegwaters, at South Street Seaport, went off without a hitch.Hosted by the PBA’s Patrick Lynch and Al O’Leary, this year’s event was attended by NY- Senator Chuck Schumer; celeb-scribe Mark Bego; Robert Funaro from The Sopranos; actor-Tony LoBianco; Keith Girard of The Improper; PR-pasha David Salidor; Anthony Edwards from Law And order; and, Harvy Keitel. As with several former events, the entertainment was provided by Stingray … one of the best Elvis-impersonators around and local singer Tony B. O’Leary commented at one point that these events have gone on for so long, that many of the children who first came as infants and children, have now blossomed into full fledged adults. As an attendee now for the last eight years … whereas the mood at the first event was just an outpouring of care and concern, that mood has now grown into full blown hope and pride. Thanks to Mary Grant and Patrick Lynch for having us there again. We consider an act of the highest order.

Sunday, October 25, 2009




Robert Funaro With daughter Sophia,
Gilbert Gottfried And Daughter Lily

Join The Movement-Create A Generation Free of HIV was yesterday’s theme for the Kids4Kids benefit from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation held in lower Manhattan yesterday. Twenty years ago Glaser (the wife of actor/director Paul Michael Glaser) started the organization and though she didn’t live to see the fruits of her labor, her dream continues on with a continuing vision from her son Jake (who contracted HIV through a blood transfusion gone wrong given to Elisabeth) and husband Paul. The Foundation works in 18 countries and at more than 3,700 sites around the world. It has provided more than 6.8 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. Their yearly New York event, save for last year which was held in midtown, is held in Lower Manhattan, with a series of carnival, games for kids. This year, actor Robert Funaro (Eugene Pontecorvo in the seminal HBO-series The Sopranos) attended with his 8-year old daughter Sophia. Funaro is staging a reading of a new project, entitled “Aria,” which stages a invitation-only reading November 18 in NYC. The play is written by Joann Tedesco, writer of the film “Whiskey Train.” Funaro is directing it with a cast including Rose Gregario, David Margulies, Joe Grifasi, Teresa Gambacorta, and Carrie Kozlowski. Also present was the brilliant Gilbert Gottfried, with wife Dara and his new son Max, and daughter Lily. Hannah Montana-star Emily Osment, actress Peyton list, actor Matthew Settle, Connor Paolo, Lizzie Grubman with son Harry, photographer Nigel Barker, TV-personality Sade Baderinwa, and, Funaro’s PR-man David (The Pasha) Salidor.

Monday, January 12, 2009


David Salidor With Mark Bego,Robert Funaro And Chris Gilman

When I think back over my many, many memories at Steve Walter's Cutting Room on 24th street, I immediately recall all the great acts I've seen there and all the events I've had there (more on that in a minute), and, the always-terrific hospitality and the great people he's always had working there (thank you SUSAN HATHAWAY; PETER ABRAHAM; HOWARD MARK; PR-co-hort CLAIRE O'CONNOR -who I first met decades ago with the legendary LIMELIGHT-icon MAX SABRIN-; and, club-manager JACKIE!), but more than that, and, it's a bit surprising, I think what I enjoyed most there were my musical conversations with him. You know, he went to Boston's Berklee School of Music, and the passion for the music has always remained for him. During my college years, I worked at the legendary Long Island-music club MY FATHER'S PLACE ... and, no, it wasn't my Father's before you ask yourself. I saw first hand, acts like HALL & OATES, DAVE MASON, THE BRECKER BROTHERS, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, BOZ SCAGGS, TOWER OF POWER, and, CHICK COREA, at the early developmental portions of their careers. I worked there because I enjoyed the music and loved seeing these bands for the first time; I got to see first- hand what it took and who really had it .. and, who didn't! I recognized that quality immediately with Steve when we had our very first conversation. I'm tempted to say, having known most of the so-called legendary music-impresarios in NY, Steve's been more responsible for creatively booking the club and keeping alive the musical legacy of great acts appearing in NY live, than mostly anyone else I know. The music industry owes him a great debt. Truth be told, he always reminded me of Ron Delsener, who in his heyday was a force of nature; booking the best bands out there and then, continuing to nurture them. And, not that I'm saying Mr. Delsener is no longer in his prime ... but, it's somewhat of a different playing field for him these days... actually, for us all! Hey, I've seen Delsener there many, many times ... and, love the guy! As a PR-person I've utilized the venue many, many times: several book release events for celebrity-biographer MARK BEGO (one which actually drew out WPLJ's legendary TOM CUDDY, DJ-RACE TAYLOR, Supreme-MARY WILSON and, LAMAR FIKE, from The Memphis Mafia); I was there when DEBORAH GIBSON sang with JORDAN KNIGHT (then-and-now a New Kid On The Block); many RONNIE SPECTOR shows; legendary-60's performer MELANIE, who actually rocked the place and was as good as when I first worked with almost 25 years ago; was front and center with MICKY DOLENZ for the recording of a live performance of DONAVAN ... with THE BAND'S GARTH HUDSON, PAUL SHAFFER and WILL LEE in the band; a release party for SONIC Underground's LUCKY 13 package; was there for NEIL and PEGGI YOUNG ... which was an awesome performance; FOX NEWS-scribe-ROGER FRIEDMAN's birthday which was a delight; also there for jazz man JOHN TROPEA and songwriter JIMMY WEBB ... who puts on a one-man show that he started at The Bottom Line; a surprise birthday party for Times Square Gossip's JAMES EDSTROM, several birthday-events for co-owner CHRIS NOTH, the book release party for ELLIOT TIBER' S TAKING WOODSTOCK ... soon to be a major motion picture directed by ANG LEE; many birthday-parties for MAY PANG and Steve (who share the same birthday); a terrific BROADWAY CARES EVENT with DONNIE KEHR, SANDY HICKS, TOM VIOLA, Micky Dolenz ... and, actress JOYCE DeWITT, AL STEWART doing his "Year Of The Cat", and DJ-KEN DASHOW walking in, looking around and uttering 'all the music geeks are here'; a launch party for KEITH GIRARD's terrific, and, to be honest, I had considered for some of our current clients, CHRISTINE VASKAS and LARRY STEVENS. The club will be missed ... mostly, I think, as a place where you could go and hear some fabulous music and get away from the day-to-day craziness in this business. I was there last night for a Jimmy Webb-show and there was a distinct, palpable air of bittersweet-ness in the room. Even when Steve introduced Webb, you could hear a tinge of sadness in his voice. The room will be back ... of that I am very sure. But, the missing time will be hard to swallow. THE CUTTING ROOM became an inspiration in the city and moreso for the dwindling music industry. There may be other clubs, other venues out there, but there will NEVER be anything like this. If you missed it, and, really how could you ... it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and one that I know I am all the richer for!
Editors Note: We love this club. Steve Walter is a class act. The club should re-open in a new location by the summer if everything goes well. The closing party is Tuesday night. This is just another story of a greedy landlord who raised the rent so high, no one can afford to stay in business. And in this economy, this is one dumb landlord. The place will stay vacant for years.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Robert Funaro With May Pang, Little Steven Van Zandt And Maureen Van Zandt

Lampost Reunion Books for Kids Charity Benefit and performance at the Arclight Theater with Vincent Pastore, Robert Funaro, Ricky Aiello, Frank Pelligrino, Anthony Ribustello. Other celebrities in attendance included Frank Vincent, Little Steven and Maureen Van Zandt and icon May Pang.
Photo By: Derek Storm

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tony Noto And Robert Funaro

Miss New York Latino 2008 Johanna Sambucini And Robert Funaro

There may not be a SOPRANOS movie in anyone's near future, but last night in Manhattan Soprano-ROBERT FUNARO, debuted a new line of SOPRANOS-wine ... (at TONY NOTO's most-fab wine shop, MURRAY HILL WINES at 34th and Third) that is enthusiastically endorsed and officially sanctioned by the show's home, HBO.Funaro, who essayed gangster-Eugene Pontecorvo on the mob-show, was joined by several ladies from the Surrotica company who specialize in body-paint-on-women! Funaro is on something of a personal high right now, as his play LAMPOST REUNION debuted last week in New York City at the ArcLight Theatre. He is joined in the production by fellow-Soprano-actors VINCENT PASTORE; ANTHONY J. RUBISTELLO; and, FRANK PELLEGRINO. Also seen at the soiree, was KEITH GIRARD, from The Improper photographer ROBERT MILAZZO; Surrotica's ROBERT BERNARD (with some of his ladies, Margi, Jessica, and, Nickyta); Miss New York Latina 2008 JOHANNA SAMBUCINI; and, PR-pasha DAVID SALIDOR, who helped set this event in motion. And, the Soprano Wine (7 blends including red and wine) is smooth and supple ... two traits we always look for here at Times Square Gossip. Noto, who with his late-father Lore, created and produced the original Off Broadway production of The Fantasticks (which ran for 42 years at their Sullivan Street Playhouse home!) was in fine form for this latest event and promises more similar events like these. "Most wine stores don't do any promotion. If there's one thing I've learned from my Broadway-days ... the only BAD publicity ... is NO publicity!"

Photos By: Robert Milazzo/Milazzo Studios

Saturday, November 08, 2008


The Cast Of Lampost

Actor ROBERT FUNARO (Sopranos/American Gangster) opened last night in Louis LaRusso's LAMPOST REUNION at the ArcLight Theatre here in NYC. The play is about a supposed world-famous singer, from Hoboken, who after a 20-year exodus from the town and the Lampost Bar, stops in and comes face-to-face with his former partner-in-crime and several other colorful personalities. The ex-friend (Biggie) is played by VINCENT PASTORE, and the world famoous singer (Fred) is played by FRANK (Rao's) PELLEGRINO. Now, these three all were on The Sopranos, and the interplay between them is worth the price of admission alone. Obviously, they know each other very well and how they work and it shows. At times tense, yet cathartic and terrifically enjoyable, the play at these moments almost conjurs up the ghost of Mamet. Pastore, who has appeared in more than his fair-shire of mobed-up works is terrific as he carries himself and his lines with grace and passion. Funaro, who famously hung himself on the pent-ultimate episode of The Sopranos (Members Only) is outstanding as Tommy ... a would-be wonder in the neighborhood with aspirations of grandeur. Funaro's line-readings are spot-on perfect and he shows immediately why all his roles have been so important; he's the perfect lynch-pin. Be it with JAMES GANDOLFINI or JOSH BROLIN, his work is brilliant. Also in the stellar cast is ANTHONY J. RIBUSTELLO (as Frank's bodyguard and compadre Jobby) and RICKY AIELLO (Mac) as the pub's over-inebriated customer. Pellegrino actually blew me away. He too was on the HBO show and always carried himself with grace. Here, he's outstanding and essays a character who is having his own personal doubts about his character and his friends. The story why he left the town and he friends, I won't, or can't, reveal here, but suffice it to say once it is resolved (and, is it really resolved!) everything moves forward to a rousing end. There's one line spoken by Pellegrino that is still resonating with me the day after: After confronting the posse, he says "2 thirds of our life is over ... let's enjoy the final third!" Indeed! Interestingly enough, actor DANNY AIELLO, who was present for the opening, was in the original production of the play on Broadway. Aiello, if I may add, is just one terrific actor and personality. His TV show several years back DELLAVENTURA (1997), was absolutely brilliant. Subsequent TV shows, like MONK and even, LAW AND ORDER, owe much to that show. He's also one funny dude too! It only runs for 2 weeks ... a must see! The direction by Frank Licato is flawless, and the Pasha's new best-friend producer Paul Borghese shines. It only runs for 2 weeks ... a must see!

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Lindsay Lohan

Robert Funaro

One night before Halloween, hosted a soiree at The Bryant Park Hotel's Cellar Bar, with SAMANTHA RONSON as guest DJ. Now, I've never heard her spin her magic before, but she was just plain terrific, hitting on a personal high note (to me, at least) with DAVID BOWIE's "Golden Years." A great track if there ever was one.The Cellar Bar''s ceiling reminds one of the lower level at Grand Central, sweeping, white, and very, very comfortable.Standing proudly by was LINDSAY LOHAN, as well as ROBERT FUNARO, from THE SOPORANOS, and, opening next week in LAMPOST REUNION. Also, spotted in thr throng ... and, we do mean throng, was CHARLOTTE RONSON; ALI LOHAN; MENA SUVARI (AMERICAN BEAUTY); model JAIME KING and husband KYLE NEWMAN; AARON YOO; ABC-producer SHEILA MARIKAR; ZACH GALLIGAN; TRAVIS VAN WINKLE; the VH1 SCREAM QUEENS; and our 'Pasha' pr-man DAVID SALIDOR.
Photos Courtesy Of : Sylvain Gaboury

Thursday, October 16, 2008


The Singhs

Randy Jones With Micki Singh And Robert Funaro

Last night in Lower Manhattan, the Boston-based group THE SINGHS had a most fashionable do at The Rivington Hotel, which as we entered seemed totally constructed in glass ... in their hide-away bar spot 107 Riv spot. The 5-piece aggregation has just released their new CD SUPERSATURATED (on Redstar*) which is without a doubt one of the premier surprises of the year. Laid back, atmospheric, and a welcome nod to the best rock-music of the 80s and 90-s ... the CD is an absolute must-have.After posing for some terrific-outdoor photos, the group went into a special set for the crowd. Live their music was even better and they were able to interject a nice, personal touch to their work. The title track was terrific, as were "Invisible" "Beautiful Thing", and their current single "Daddy's All Gone." Their guitarist Peter Parcek was absolutely brilliant, bringing the caliber of the night even higher with his inspired and emotional playing. Keyboardist Brother Cleve, besides having a wicked sense of humor, which we loved, was terrific as well. This band was just a knockout and I would look for them appearing everywhere soon. They were at Steve Walter's Cutting Room ... they should go back there immediately. The band, along with their affable-manager ART EDELSTEIN held court for a bevy of guests and friends, including, ROBERT FUNARO (The Sopranos/American Gangster); RANDY JONES from The Village People; famed-photographer ROBERT MILAZZO (fresh from a body-painting photo shoot with 2 of the models ... still in their war paint!); the PR-pasha-DAVID SALIDOR, who consulted on this party; the ravishing SHEILA MARIKAR from ABC News; KEITH GIRARD, editor of The Improper; the Singhs PR-team of RANDY ALEXANDER; MARA STEFAN and SUE AUCLAIR; the fashion world's PAIGE NELSON; and, lighting and sound designer MARSHA STERN. Funnily enough, the band, and Funaro were due to be on WOR radio's JOEY REYNOLDS SHOW later that night. Talk about timing! One last note: While walking through lower-Manhattan to the shindig, I marveled at how that area has changed. In fact, it's starting to look more like SoHo with designer shops, food emporiums and great restaurants opening up. and, I mean that in a GOOD way! It also seemed easily to breathe too ... if that's even possible in the Big Apple. Actually, I loved it down there. A nice change ... great evening. As our friend Madame Cindy Adams says, ONLY IN NEW YORK KIDS, ONLY IN NEW YORK!

David Salidor With Marsha Stern And Keith Girald

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Dominic Sassone With David Salidor And Robert Funaro

Robert Funaro With Gary Osland,Keith Girald, Michelle Novak And The Palms Bruce Bozzi Jr.

One of our favorite haunts ever, PALM WEST, held a dinner and smoker (!!!) for the wondrous DRESS FOR SUCCESS charity last night. Upon our arrival, we spied their pr-man DAVID SALIDOR (The Pasha!) and KEITH GIRARD, editor from the terrific on-line site The Improper at the bar. There we quickly met several of the DFS-people and BRUCE BOZZI, JR. from the Palm-corporate office. Behind the bar we immediately spied our fave-bar-keep CHRIS LOGAN and it was on from there. We chatted with the restaurant's DOMINIC SASSONE, who introduced us to their new GM JEREMY MAZAL. Great fellow, gracious, and a perfect host. From Miami ... welcome! ROBERT FUNARO, from THE SOPRANOS and AMERICAN GANGSTER was on hand as well. As we sauntered through, we saw several familiar faces, including Palm corporate honcho MICHELLE MCGUIRE and actor GORDON SILVA. DFS provides a service for women who are going through a rough patch in their lives. They'll find a suitable interview for a woman and dress her if need be for the interview and job. A godsend if there ever was one. Their success rate is high and they have received high marks for their efforts. Check out their web site for additional information.

It was a typically terrific evening at a restaurant that is one of the best ever in Manhattan. The Palm West remains an outstanding addition to restaurant-life-in-New York. It remains a startlingly good environment. Get ready for Funaro to star in a new play, LAMPOST REUNION in early-November. Check it out for sure. And one last mention, I ran into old friend Kathleen Turner at the table next door. She looked great, but was not sure if she remembered me at first. It has been so very long since we saw each other, almost another time and galaxy. She was the first photo I ever sold to a major tabloid. We all used to hang out together at the old Cat Club where ex. hubby Jay Weiss and his band the Blue Suits used to play. Those were the days.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Laine Spenser with Bill Murray, playmate Krista Ayne and Robert Funaro

Tony Noto With Krista Ayne And Robert Funaro

A tropical night in Manhattan gave rise to the grand re-launching of Fantasticks-producer TONY NOTO new wine shoppe emporium, at 34th and Third, MURRAY HILL WINES.
Partnered with next-door neighbor, sushi-themed restaurant MOCCO, they provided a wonderful night out in NYC, with a nice sampling of brand new titles from Shannon Ridge and Wente wines ... and, a terrifically inspired organic-vodka we particularly liked, Square One. Mocco provided some of the best sushi we've had this year, and a fantastic home-made pizza with tomatoes and beef. We also feasted on edamame; home made potato chips; and, seared chicken wings. Our thanks to Nobu and Mocco-owner Frank Hau.Noto hopes to make this new enterprise as successful as his previous enterprises, "We've introduced a whole selection of the new Green-wines ... the, next step in eco-friendly spirits.They're terrific ... everyone should try them!" Noto, who penned THE STOKER FILE last year is prepping another Broadway-project in his future too, BALD EAGLES. "Its politically oriented", he adds. Appearing for this event, was, ROBERT FUNARO from The Sopranos; Celebrity Service's BILL MURRAY; RANDY JONES from The Village People; Penthouse-pet KRISTA AYNE with Penthouse-pr chieftain LAINE SPEISER; PR-pasha DAVID SALIDOR; KEITH GIRARD from The Improper; and, RACE TAYLOR from WPLJ. Also stopping by were famed art dealer Derek Storm and artist Sean Paul.

Sean Paul With Randy Jones, Robert Funaro And Derek Storm

Randy Jones With Bill Murry, Robert Funaro,Race Taylor And Keith Girard

Photos By: James Edstrom

Saturday, May 10, 2008


"Soprano-ROBERT FUNARO, who played 'Eugene Pontecorvo' in the HBO series, was sitting at the bar at Park Slope's ELEMENTI restaurant last night chatting with owner ROY RUTLEDGE, when 2 police officers came in responding to a phone call they had thought came from the eatery.When Rutledge assured them it did not, they look abruptly at Funaro ... and, smiled, saying that they now knew with him (Funaro) sitting there .... there wasn't going to be any problem." Meanwhile, more on the rumors of a Soprano Movie in the works below.

Friday, November 02, 2007


American Gangster star Robert Funaro with Pasha David Salidor

Robert Funaro with Palm West GM Chris Gilman

Star ROBERT FUNARO, who was on THE SOPRANOS and essayed 'Eugene' who famously hung himself on the opening show of Season 5 show (episode titled "For Members Only"), is in the new movie AMERICAN GANGSTER(where he plays McCann), opening today, starring DENZEL WASHINGTON and RUSSELL CROWE, and most certain to be the weekend's #1 flick, was in at Palm West last night on West 50th, celebrating the movie's opening with TIMES SQUARE GOSSIP"S James Edstrom and P.R. powerhouse David Salidor.

"I finally saw it Wednesday night, and thought it was just terrific ... in the same league as 'The Departed' and 'Scarface.' The violence is fairly graphic, but considering what it's all about ... it's very necessary." Funaro also commented on the music, saying "The original score is just great, Ridley Scott, the Director, always has terrific music in his movies ... and, this one's no exception."
Funaro was presented with the script by JAMES GANDOLFINI, who he is close with and who has collaborated with on several projects. "I think he felt the script wasn't right for him, and although the character's development has gone through some changes in the final script, it was a great role for me." Funaro, who just finished a three-week run in the H.G. Brown's play THE LADY SWIMS TODAY, is a low-keyed individual, brimming with intelligence and finely-tuned knowledge about all things film. Talked turned to working with Mr. Crowe, who has not always gotten the best press. "Once the Director yelled action, he instantly became the character (Richie Roberts). Its another memorable performance ... no question ... he become the character. You know, you hear all sorts of things before you actually met him ... but, he and I got on fine." Robert is eyeing several new films projects and is even looking at perhaps taking THE LADY play to Europe for a month or so. "It was a great production, terrific set, great cast ... and, the reception here in New York was most receptive. It kind of lends itself to a European-feel, so I'd love it." Robert also noted that the producers of the play put together a video and posted it on YouTube. "I really think that type of marketing is going to be the new direction for exposing new projects. I'm taking a serious look into that technology." Palm West just hung (no pun intended!) Funaro's caricature on the wall ... and, it quietly greets you on the way in. The eatery's GM CHRIS GILMAN, a big Funaro-fan, wanted it up there immediately after The Soprano's episode ran. "He's a great guy ... loves the restaurant and is always a welcome presence here," adds Gilman. The restaurant's pr-man David Salidor (The Pasha!); Gilman; and, Funaro, had a huge birthday-cake delivered to yours truly Times Square Gossip guru James Edstrom, with one candle, as the assembled wait staff sang 'Happy Birthday', led by our waitress Eva.