New York -- HBO celebrated the final run of The Sopranos at Radio City Music Hall here Tuesday nightby presenting a pair of new original episodes and then hosting a post-screening affair at the underground concourse surrounding the skating rink at Rockefeller Center.
Following HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht, who joked about this being the next-to-last season of the hit mob show, and Brad Grey, the head of Paramount Pictures and executive producer of The Sopranos, series creator David Chase introduced top directors and producers. He then summoned more than two-dozen cast members who took their bows on the giant proscenium made famous by The Rockettes.
Next up: a 15-minute tribute film to the people who made the behind-the-screen scenes come to life in our living rooms over the six seasons and the new installments, “Soprano Home Movies” and “Stage 5.”
Amidst the plates of fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, salami, ravioli and calamari, there were celebrity sightings aplenty at the after-party. To the credit of HBO and Chase's cast, there were few, if any, shrinking violets at the subterranean soiree.
Although Edie Falco (Carmella Soprano) and Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi) evaded the view of a pair of Multichannel News staffers and their guests, our crew did spot: Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts), Frank Vincent (Phil Leotardo), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano), Steve Buscemi (Tony Blundetto), Steve Schirripa (Bobby ‘Bacala’ Baccalieri), Dominic Chianese (Corrado ‘Junior’ Soprano), Federico Castelluccio (Furio Giuntu), Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti), Drea de Matteo (Adriana La Cerva), John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco), Kathrine Narducci (Charmaine Bucco), Aida Turturro (Janice Soprano), Robert Iler (A.J. Soprano), Will Janowitz (Finn DeTroilo), Vincent Curatola (Johnny ‘Sack’ Sacrimoni), Caitlin Van Zandt (Allegra Sacrimoni), Matt Servitto (Agent Harris), Max Casella (Benny Fazio), David Proval (Richie Aprille), Annabella Sciorria (Gloria Trillo), Tony Lip (Carmine Lupertazzi), Ray Abruzzo (Little Carmine Lupertazzi Jr.), Peter Bogdanovich (Dr. Elliott Kupferburg), Angelo Massagali (Bobby Baccalieri Jr.), Dania Ramirez (Blanca Selgado) and Cara Buono (Kelli Moltisanti).
There were also handshakes and photo ops with Steve Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) and the big man himself, James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano), plus a bar-side reminisce by one MCNer and Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy) concerning the 1970s and early 1980s club scene in lower Westchester County.
Pastore, ordering a couple of drinks, confirmed that he had been the owner of small joint, The Crazy Horse, in New Rochelle, N.Y. Asked if he’d also been on hand with Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Vincent at Hoops, a disco in neighboring Mount Vernon, where the winner of a summertime wet T-shirt contest was supposed to earn a role in a little 1980 Martin Scorsese film called Raging Bull, Pastore didn’t hesitate: “Yeah, that’s how Cathy got the job.”
Pastore’s reference was to Cathy Moriarty, who earned a best-supporting-actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Vickie Thailer, the young Bronx wife to DeNiro’s out-of-control portrayal of one-time middleweight champion Jake LaMotta.
Obviously, she proved to have a lot more talent than was on display in Hoops that summer.