Monday, October 31, 2022

WOW! Dan Cirucci's Cavalcade - Episode 2

The Dan Cirucci Show / 10-30-2022
In a wide ranging commentary Dan talks about the upcoming elections, mail-in ballots, early voting, vote integrity, what to watch for on election night, possible surprises and l'affaire Pelosi -- among other topics!

What The Latest Polls Are Showing . . .


A Badly Needed Warning Right Now . . .


Oh, Yeah -- It's Happening All Across The Country!

Concluding Italian American Heritage Month!

Our sincere thanks to everyone for a wonderful Italian American Heritage Month.
We hope you enjoyed the bios of famous Italian Americans that we presented each day this month. We certainly enjoyed presenting them as they reflected our rich heritage through the full journey of this nation's existence and showed how we have proudly contributed to this great nation, bringing our many talents from every walk of life
Today, we leave you with this from Angelo Bianchi:

“I am an Italian American. My roots are deep in ancient soil, drenched by the Mediterranean sun and watered by pure streams from snow-capped mountains. I am enriched by thousands of years of culture. My hands are those of the mason, the artist, the man of soil. My thoughts have been recorded in the annals of Rome, the poetry of Virgil, the creations of Dante, and the philosophy of Benedetto Croce.

I am an Italian American, and from my ancient world I first spanned the seas to the New World - I am Christoforo Columbo. I am Giovanni Caboto, known in American history as John Cabot, discoverer of the mainland of North America. I am Amerigo Vespucci, who gave my name to the new world, America. I am Enrico Tonti, first to sail on the Great Lakes in 1679, founder of the territory that became the State of Illinois, colonizer of Louisiana and Arkansas. I am Filippo Mazzei, friend of Thomas Jefferson, and my thesis on the equality of man was written into the bill of rights. I am William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence and, yes, an Italian American.

I am an Italian American. I am Colonel Francesco Virgo – I financed the Northwest expedition of George Rogers Clark and accompanied him through the lands that would become Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. I am Alessandro Malaspina – I mapped the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska and to the Philippines. I am Giacomo Beltrami, the discoverer of the Mississippi River in 1823. I am Constantino Brumidi. They called me the Michelangelo of America – I created the dome of the United States capitol. 

I am A. P. Giannini – in 1904, in San Francisco, I founded the Bank of Italy, now known as the Bank of America, one of the largest financial institutions in the world. I am Enrico Fermi, father of nuclear science in America. I am John Basilone of New Jersey, the first enlisted man to win the medal of honor in World War II.

I am an Italian American. I am the million strong who served in America's armies and the tens of thousands whose names are enshrined in military cemeteries from Guadalcanal to the Rhine. I am the steel maker in Pittsburgh, the grower in the Imperial Valley of California, the textile designer in Manhattan, the movie maker in Hollywood, the home maker and the breadwinner in 10,000 communities.

I am an American without stint of reservation, loving this land as only one who understands history, its agonies and its triumphs; and I can love and serve as fully as any other American. I will stand in support of this nation's freedom and promise against all foes. My heritage has dedicated me to this nation. I am proud of my FULL heritage and I shall remain worthy of it." 

Thank you, Angelo Bianchi!

Sunday, October 30, 2022

We'll Just Leave This Here For Now . . .

A Special message For Tesla Owners . . .


Pennsylvania: Every Voter MUST Know This!

Mastriano SE 60 H ProRes from Andring Consulting on Vimeo.

Italian American Heritage Month: Mario Lanza

Mario Lanza

On January 31, 1921 in the heart of South Philadelphia, Alfredo Arnold Cocozza (Mario Lanza), the son of Italian immigrants, was born at 636 Christian Street. The house is still standing today and it's only two short blocks from the Mario Lanza Museum. A Pennsylvania Historical Marker identifies his birthplace.

As a young boy, Freddie became drawn to the family’s Victrola. With increasing intensity he would listen to 78-RPM operatic recordings with the accent on his favorite, Enrico Caruso. Soon he was singing along and studying plots. In his early teens he could discuss operatic arias and plots with authority. His first formal music training consisted of violin lessons, but his heart remained with opera. Recognizing her son’s latent talent, Maria Lanza Cocozza went to work to pay for Freddy’s voice lessons with Irene Williams, a local teacher with a good reputation.

During July 1942 the famous conductor Serge Koussevitzky was visiting Philadelphia and heard Freddy sing. His response was shocked, sincere, and immediate. Repeating the words "Caruso redivivus", the maestro made immediate plans for Freddy to sing at Tanglewood. This resulted in his singing the role of Fenton in Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. Freddy took the masculine form of his mother’s maiden name and became Mario Lanza.

With the world at war it was not long before Mario was drafted. He was soon singing to new audiences, this time in a soldier’s uniform. Before being released in 1945, he had appeared in two Army productions, Frank Loesser’s On the Beam and the acclaimed Moss Hart production Winged Victory. These days also brought into his life the charming sister of an Army buddy, Betty Hicks. It was love at first sight and they were married on April 13, 1945. The union produced four children: Colleen, Ellisa, Damon, and Marc.

After his discharge, Mario spent more than a year in serious study with Enrico Rosati, the former vocal teacher of the great golden age tenor Beniamino Gigli. He signed a contract with Columbia Artists management and toured as the tenor in the Bel Canto Trio with soprano Frances Yeend and baritone George London, both of whom enjoyed very successful operatic careers. After singing with Yeend at the Hollywood bowl on August 28, 1947, he was brought to the attention of MGM movie mogul Louis B. Mayer and the course of his life was forever altered.

As the saying goes, MGM gave Mario an offer he couldn’t refuse. In addition, a recording contract was consummated with RCA Victor. Events were moving at a very rapid pace. While waiting for his first motion picture, Mario fulfilled a commitment to sing the tenor role of Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on April 8 and 10, 1948 for the New Orleans Opera Association. His first motion picture That Midnight Kiss was released in 1949 and was a smash hit making Mario Lanza a screen star overnight. This was soon followed by Toast of New Orleans in 1950. Mario crossed paths with fate and destiny in 1951 when he starred as his childhood idol, Enrico Caruso, in The Great Caruso. This was a major triumph in every respect and brought Mario to the very pinnacle of success. This was followed in 1952 with Because You’re Mine.

Due to artistic disputes with MGM, Mario was replaced as the star of The Student Prince in 1954, however, his voice was used for the soundtrack. RCA Victor released the LP recording and it became the first million-seller soundtrack album. Mario Left MGM, made several recordings, and appeared on radio and television shows until 1956 when he starred in Warner Brother’s artistic Serenade. The Lanza family left for Italy on May 17, 1957 after which he performed for the Queen of England, in several sell-out recitals, and made his final two films, The Seven Hills of Rome in 1957 and For The First Time in 1959.

During the early days of October 1959, Mario experienced excruciating pain in his left leg. Tests in a clinic revealed advanced phlebitis. He suffered a fatal heart attack on October 7 and could not be revived. His family and the world were left brokenhearted. A scant five months later on March 11, 1960, his beloved Betty joined him. They left the world behind.

Today, more than 50 years later, his recordings and films are available on CD and video. He has inspired a new generation of stars and while time passes, the rest of us listen, love, and remember.

H/T: Mario Lanza Museum and Institute

Saturday, October 29, 2022

A Walk Through History On Beautiful Fall Day!

We talk a walk during this bright, lovely autumn day through old Mount Holly, NJ -- a scenic, historic town and the county seat of Burlington County. These photos tell the story better than we could!

Well, There Are Still Plenty Of Jobs Available!


WOW! SF Police Dispatcher Pelosi Intruder Audio!

Listen for yourself. Listen to it closely. In this police dispatcher audio "RP" refers to Paul Pelosi who made the 911 call to the poilice.

Don't Miss This One: Sunday At 8 PM!

Italian American Heritage Month: A. P. Giannini

A. P. Giannini

From a pushcart he built one of the world's largest financial services corporations. From great tragedy he forged opportunity while reaching out to help others. Along the way, with luck, determination and  dauntless confidence he overcame obstacles and forged a simple ethic: wealth comes with a responsibility to improve society.

None of it was easy. None of it happened overnight. But today, Amadeo Peter Giannini is recognized as the father of modern consumer banking. His persistence in innovation and respect for the common citizen gave the world its finest example of banking with a conscience.

Giannini was born in California’s Santa Clara Valley to Italian immigrant parents. Like many immigrant kids of that time he had to be put to work to help provide for the family. Consequently, he left school at age thirteen to work with his stepfather in the produce business.

Giannini's instincts were good and he was blessed with a first rate mind. As he grew up, he saw firsthand that established banks refused to serve ordinary people, especially the large Italian immigrant population.  In response to inequity,  rather than complain Giannini took action, opening the Bank of Italy in San Francisco in 1904 as an institution for the “little fellows.” After the earthquake and fire of 1906, his bank, the only one to survive the catastrophe with all its assets intact, was the first to reopen. Giannini went full throttle providing the loans needed to help countless small businesses rebuild. This helped San Francisco rise from the ashes by making loans “on a face and a signature” to the these business owners whose lives were shattered. 

Addressing the financial needs of the underrepresented in rural areas as well as cities, the Bank of Italy opened branches throughout California, becoming the first statewide branch-banking system in the United States. By the mid-1920s, Giannini’s strategy of serving common people had made his bank the third largest in the country.  Renamed the Bank of America in 1930, it withstood the Great Depression and provided the financial horsepower to build the Golden Gate Bridge, develop Hollywood’s movie industry, and nourish the state’s agricultural development and wine and aerospace industries. Clearly, Giannini was a visionary who saw beyond the problems of the present day to the possibilities that would fulfill the American dream.

And Giannini never forget the less fortunate citizens that he set out to serve. In 1928, he created the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics at the University of California, which supports the world’s foremost agricultural economics library and funds leading-edge research in agriculture, water, and forestry. In 1945, he created the Bank of America-Giannini Foundation to promote medical research into the discovery, treatment and care of diseases.

Giannini changed the face of banking forever, and directly or indirectly, virtually every American alive today has benefited from his success. Indeed, Bank of America is now a worldwide financial institution with assets of more than three trillion dollars!

H/T: California Museum

Friday, October 28, 2022

Control Of Congress: GOP Races Ahead In Poll

The 2022 midterm elections are now just 11 days away, and Republicans have a seven-point lead in their bid to recapture control of Congress.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, if the elections for Congress were held today, 49% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican candidate, while 42% would vote for the Democrat. Just four percent (4%) would vote for some other candidate, but another five percent (5%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Italian American Heritage Month: Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi

Vincent Thomas Lombardi is arguably the greatest football coach of all time, and is on the short list of history’s greatest coaches, regardless of sport. His ability to teach, motivate and inspire players helped turn the Green Bay Packers into the most dominating NFL team in the 1960s.

The oldest of five children, Vince Lombardi was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 11, 1913. As the son of an Italian immigrant, Lombardi was raised in a strict Catholic household. In 1928, at the age of 15, Lombardi entered the Cathedral College of Immaculate Conception to study for the priesthood. Deciding on a different career path two years later, Lombardi transferred to St. Francis Preparatory and starred as fullback on the football team. Upon graduation, Lombardi attended Fordham University and starred on the football team, where he was a member of Fordham’s famed “Seven Blocks of Granite”. After graduating magna cum laude from Fordham in 1937, Lombardi attended law school in the evenings while working for a finance company during the day. Lombardi once again shifted gears, deciding to take a teaching and assistant football coaching position at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey. During his successful 8-year stint at St. Cecelia, Lombardi married Marie Planitz in 1940 (with whom he had two children, Vince Jr. and Susan).

Lombardi joined the coaching staff at his alma mater, Fordham University, in 1947 and enjoyed a two-year run there. But Lombardi couldn’t resist the opportunity to continue his coaching career at West Point in 1949, while learning under the direction of the great Red Blaik. It was during this time as an assistant to Blaik that Lombardi identified and developed what became the hallmark of his great teams……simplicity and execution. He developed a reputation for being a tireless workaholic, a trait that helped Lombardi land a position as assistant coach in the NFL for the New York Giants. During his five years with the Giants, Lombardi helped lead the Giants to five winning seasons, culminating with the league championship in 1956.

Lombardi became a hot commodity in the coaching arena, accepted the head coaching position and signed a five-year contract with the Green Bay Packers in January 1959. From the outset, Lombardi established himself as a coach firmly in charge. He conducted grueling training camps and demanded absolute dedication and effort from his players. His hard-edged style turned the Packers into the most envied and successful franchise in the 1960’s, leading them to five NFL Championships, including victories in Super Bowl I and II, and solidified Lombardi’s status as the greatest football coach in history. After a one year break from coaching, Lombardi returned to lead the Washington Redskins in 1969, promptly leading them to their first winning season in more than a decade.

Tragedy struck as Lombardi was diagnosed with an aggressive form of colon cancer in June 1970, and died a short ten weeks later on September 3, 1970 at the age of 57. A beloved national icon, thousands of people attended two separate funerals. Shortly after his death, Lombardi was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as honored by the NFL by having his name adorn the trophy awarded to the Super Bowl champion each year.

H/T: Vince Lombardi family

Yes, Your Life Really DOES depend On It!

The Dan Cirucci Show / 10-26-2022

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Once Again, He's Totally Clueless!

 Has no idea what he's doing . . . where he is or where he's going . . . 

Prognosis USA: How Things Are Shaping Up


TahDah! Presenting Dan Cirucci's CAVALCADE!


Watch Dan's new one hour show "Dan Cirucci's Cavalcade" on TheNexGenUSA Network. 

Thank you, Rory Sauter for making this possible! 


The Dan Cirucci Show / 10-26-2022

Italian American Heritage Month: Alan Alda

Alan Alda

Alan Alda is, quite simply one of America's most beloved actors. And he's hugely accomplished as well!

Born under the name Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo, he is also a comedian, film director, producer and screenwriter. It just seems to be in his blood. His father was the Italian-American actor Robert Alda.

Alda's best known role was playing chief surgeon Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in the landmark medical-themed sitcom M*A*S*H for 11 seasons. Today that show is considered a television classic. He twice won the "Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series" for this role. Alda was later nominated for the "Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor", for his portrayal of career politician Ralph Owen Brewster in the biographical film "The Aviator".

Alda was born in the Bronx, New York City in 1936. By that time, his father Robert Alda had already started performing in vaudeville and burlesque theaters. Alda's mother was former beauty queen Joan Browne. Alda spend much of his childhood touring the United States with his father, as his father's acting job required frequent travel.

In 1943, Alda contracted polio. His parents chose to administer a painful treatment regimen, "consisting of applying hot woolen blankets to his limbs and stretching his muscles". This treatment had been developed by the Australian nurse Elizabeth Kenny and was based on the principle of muscle rehabilitation. Though the treatment was considered controversial, it seemingly helped Alda to recover his mobility.

In 1956, Alda was introduced to Jewish-American musician Arlene Weiss (a clarinetist). They soon bonded due to their similar tastes in humor, and started dating each other. They were married in 1957. and have three daughters.

Alda honed his craft as part of the the improvisational group Second City, and the regional theater company Cleveland Play House. He made his film debut in the comedy-drama film "Gone Are the Days!". The film was a satire of segregation and bigotry, based on a play written by Ossie Davis. Alda was part of the recurring cast of "That Was the Week That Was", a political satire series which targeted various political figures of the era.

In 1968, Alda had his first starring role in a film. He portrayed sports journalist George Plimpton in the sports comedy "Paper Lion". After that Alda appeared in many film roles.

Alda got the biggest break in his career when cast to play chief surgeon Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in M*A*S*H . The series depicted life within a "Mobile Army Surgical Hospital" (MASH) during the Korean War. It was based on the novel "MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors" by military surgeon H. Richard Hornberger. The series often questioned the United States' role in the Cold War, and satirized authority figures. Alda appeared in all 256 episodes of the series, which helped him become a household name. Alda eventually served as the series' producer, creative consultant, and co-writer.

Alda made his directorial debut with the romantic comedy film "The Four Seasons", depicting the relationships between three upper middle-class married couples. Alda had a hiatus in his acting and directing career during the early 1980s, as he had to take care of his terminally-ill parents. He attempted a comeback by directing the comedy film "Sweet Liberty" , which parodies Hollywood filmmaking. Alda's next directing effort was the romantic comedy "A New Life" in 1988 which depicted the problems faced by middle-aged divorced people.

Alda had his final directing credit with the romantic comedy "Betsy's Wedding" in 1990. Alda played the main role of Eddie Hopper, a construction contractor. From 2018 to 2020, Alda had a recurring role in the crime drama television series "Ray Donovan". The series depicted the life and career of a professional "fixer" of the entertainment industry, in charge of bribes, payoffs, threats, crime-scene clean-up, and other illegal activities. Alda also appeared in the spin-off film "Ray Donovan: The Movie" , which concluded remaining plot-lines from the series. Alda is now 86-years-old -- a rich and full life with no announced plans to retire!


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Story That Simply MUST Be Told . . .

OMG! Has It All Become A Horror Show?

I never take anything for granted; never put anything past the Dems and never underestimate the R's ability to eff things up, especially in the stretch.
I learned as a little boy, at my daddy's knee: this is a blood sport.
A ghoulish thought on the eve of Halloween, huh?

Once Upon [A More Innocent] Time . . .

Once upon a time there was a company called Disney. 
It produced fun, enchanting entertainment for children and families . . .  

Italian American Heritage Month: Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Giuliana Matticchio Bastianich was born in 1947, in Pola, Italy just before the city was assigned to Yugoslavia in September 1947 (now part of Croatia). She is the daughter of Erminia and Vittorio Matticchio Until 1956, she lived with her family in Yugoslavia, during which time the family changed their surname from Matticchio to Motika. Bastianich then fled to Italy, with her brother Franco and her mother on the pretense of visiting their sick aunt Nina, who was a personal chef. 

Soon after, her father joined them in Trieste after he crossed the border into Italy at night. After Nina could only provide temporary shelter, Bastianich and her family became refugees. According to Bastianich in a public television documentary, although a wealthy Triestine family hired her mother as a cook–housekeeper and her father as a limousine driver, they remained residents of the refugee camp. Two years later, their application was granted to emigrate from Italy to the United States. In 1958, Bastianich and her family reached the United States, arriving in New Jersey and later settling in New York City. At age 18, Lidia made the commitment to become an American citizen and was the first among her family to become naturalized.

Bastianich gives credit for the family's new roots in the United States to their sponsor, Catholic relief Services.

Today Lidia is an internationally known celebrity chef, author, TV personality and restauranteur. Lidia owns or has owned several Italian restaurants in the U.S. in partnership with her daughter and/or her son.
Lidia is an Emmy award-winning TV host, a best‐selling cookbook author and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. Most importantly, Lidia has accomplished all of this by marrying her two passions in life – her family and food, to create multiple culinary endeavors alongside her two children, Joseph and Tanya.

Lidia has published numerous cookbooks, co-authored with her daughter Tanya, and companion books to her Emmy winning television series Lidia’s Kitchen, Lidia’s Italy in America and Lidia’s Italy. Lidia’s most recent book is Lidia’s A Pot, A Pan, and a Bowl, a companion to her brand-new 26-part Public Television series, Lidia’s Kitchen: Home Cooking. She is also the author of the English and Italian version of her memoir: My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food. Lidia’s cooking shows air nationwide in the U.S. on Public Television and CREATE and internationally and on various other digital networks including Amazon Prime, Tubitv, and Xumo. Her cooking segments are also part of her TUTTOLIDIA youtube channel.

Lidia is a celebrated chef and restaurateur and a partner in Eataly NYC, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Together with Tanya and son-in-law Corrado, Lidia also has developed a line of artisanal pastas and all-natural sauces, called LIDIA’S.

Lidia is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier and founding member of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, two non-profit organizations of women leaders in the food and hospitality industries. She is also a champion for the United Nations Association of the United States of America’s Adopt-A-Future program, in support of refugee education.

Lidia  is also actively involved with various non-profit organizations that are focused on promoting and celebrating Italian and Italian American culture and heritage. She is part of the National Organization of Italian American Women's Distinguished Board, a national organization for women of Italian ancestry that focuses on preserving Italian heritage, language and culture. In 2010, the Bastianich family was honored by NOIAW for their outstanding contributions to Italian culture in America

Among the numerous awards and accolades Lidia has earned are seven James Beard Awards (Outstanding Chef, Television Food Show, Best Chefs in America, Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, Specials 2016, Special 2017 and 2018), and two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Culinary Host (2013 and 2018).

Is The Ground Shifting In . . . NEW YORK?


Well, This Is Really Quite Significant . . .

"A new RealClear Opinion Research poll, done in concert with Catholic television network EWTN, shows that a majority of Catholic voters in six key battleground states would rather let states determine abortion policy; believe that the economy remains the most significant concern for the country; and generally favor Republican challengers and incumbents in the coming electoral contests."

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Italian American Heritage Month: Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano

Many believe he was the inspiration for Rocky in the Oscar-winning film of the same name. Sometimes he's confused with another Rocky (who's name also ends in a vowel) who really was the inspiration for a successful movie starring Paul Newman.

This much we know: He was unquestionably one of the hardest-punching heavyweights of all time and he helped to bring boxing to the masses, so much so that his name become synonymous with prizefights. In fact, many still consider him the greatest champion of all time.

Rocco Francis Marchegiano was born on September 1, 1923 in Brockton, Massachusetts, to a couple of Italian immigrants. But the world came to know him as Rocky Marciano. As a kid growing up in a blue-collar family (and one of six siblings) Marciano found sports in his local high school, where he excelled in both baseball and football. But soon enough, he found himself more entertained while punching a homemade heavy bag in his backyard.

During  an Army stint in World War II  Marciano became involved in amateur boxing compiling a record of 8–4. He had his first professional bout in 1947. After a short tryout as a baseball player, Marciano found his way back home and started training to be a professional boxer. And get this: as a professional fighter he never lost a single match!  Right from the start, he stopped 15 foes to start making a name for himself in the big leagues.

He finally exploded onto the scene with a closely disputed win over fellow then-unbeaten contender Roland LaStarza in what was Marciano’s 26th pro bout, ending in his only split decision win ever. After that, he began his inevitable march towards the title, with wins over the likes of Ted Lowry, Rex Layne, Lee Savold, and a memorable and emotional win over his idol Joe Louis at the fabled Madison Square Garden, in what proved to be Louis’ last bout.

Less than one year after defeating Louis, Marciano stopped Jersey Joe Walcott in 13 rounds to win the Ring heavyweight belt, also stopping Walcott in a rematch. He gave LaStarza a shot at the title next, stopping him in 11 rounds, and won the only points win of his championship rule in 1954 against Ezzard Charles next, stopping Charles in the rematch a few months later.

He went on to stop Don Cockell in his next bout, and finished his career in 1955 with a win over light heavyweight legend Archie Moore, winning by stoppage in nine rounds after visiting the canvas earlier. He would then retire undefeated as a champion, having stopped every man he faced during his title reign at least once.

The likable, engaging Marciano was a legend and a certified American success story. He celebritized boxing as he became a public speaker and traveled all over the country to fulfill his engagements. He probably could have been elected to almost any office.

Sadly, however on  August 31, 1969 (the day before his 46th birthday). Marciano boarded a small private plane on his way to a speaking engagement in Des Moines, Iowa. Attempting a risky landing in bad weather,  the plane's pilot missed the runway by two miles and crashed, killing all three passengers aboard the aircraft, including Marciano.

Marciano was inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

H/T: The Ring

So Long As They're Polite, We Absolutely Agree . . .


KABOOM! Peter Doocey Hit It Outta The Park!

So Sad, But Graphically True!


OMG! What A Chilling, Breathtaking True Story!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Italian American Heritage Month: Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

He was at heart a choreographer with a keen sense of show biz. But his star ascended just as Broadway was turning to choreographers as directors of musicals. And, at a time when the Great White Way was in the doldrums, Michael Bennett (born Michael Di Figlia) dazzled Broadway with a breakthrough hit that sent the box office soaring and became one of the longest running shows ever. In fact, it's still frequently revived and remains a modern day classic.

Broadway choreographer and dancer Michael Bennett  was a theater director, producer, and writer. Most famous as the creator of the 1975 mega hit A Chorus Line, he won, over the course of his career, seven Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards, either for choreography or direction of musicals, and received thirteen nominations in all. Many of his most ambitious projects were left unfinished when he succumbed to AIDS in the mid-1980s.

Mickey, as he was known as a youngster, studied dance and choreography in his early teens. He showed a natural talent right from the start. He staged several musical shows at his Buffalo high school before dropping out at age sixteen to join a road company of West Side Story, playing Baby John. After touring Europe as well as most of the US, he landed a dancing gig on Broadway in the 1961 Betty Comden/Adolph Green/Jule Styne musical Subways Are for Sleeping. From there on, he certainly paid his dues and earned his place on Broadway marques. 

In November of 1962 Bennett was serving as assistant to the choreographer of a very short-lived musical called Nowhere To Go but Up. In the cast was another aspiring dancer and choreographer, Bob Avian, who was to become his lifelong friend, his assistant, and his collaborator on nearly every important project in the coming years.

In 1963 Michael Bennett was dancing in Meredith Willson’s Here’s Love, and a year later in Bajour. In 1965 and ’66 he was a featured dancer on the NBC pop music series Hullabaloo, where he met another lifelong connection, Donna McKechnie.

Bennett began as a solo choreographer in 1966 with A Joyful Noise, which, although it lasted only twelve performances, earned him a Tony nomination. The next four years brought increasing success, with four shows – Henry, Sweet Henry (1967), Promises, Promises (1968), Coco (1969), and Company (1970) – each of these outran the last, except for Promises, Promises which outran them all.  Finally in 1971 Bennett scored a Tony win with Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, and shared the Tony for direction with Hal Prince. Having worked with Prince on his last two shows, Bennett was beginning to think he was meant to direct as well as to choreograph.

For the musical Seesaw in 1973  Bennett not only directed and choreographed, but wrote the book as well. He won the 1974 Tony for choreography, and snagged nominations for both book and direction.

Bennett  was now convinced that the usual method of “developing” the Broadway musical – out-of-town tryouts, rewrites, last-minute substitutions – was counterproductive. He had a better idea: rather than start from a script, he would let the “book” evolve out of the lives and experiences of the performers. He taped hundreds of hours of interviews with dozens of Broadway chorus dancers – known as “gypsies” – and developed his show in a year of workshops at Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre. This experiment turned out to be A Chorus Line

Without stars, without the customary intermission, without props or stagecraft, A Chorus Line was truly audacious. It debuted off-Broadway in May of 1975 and moved to Broadway in July. Not only did it sweep the 1976 Tony Awards with nine wins  but it won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Drama and didn’t close until April 1990.

Bennett devoted the better part of the rest of his life to overseeing productions in far-flung parts of the world. 

Bennett’s next musical, Ballroom (1978), was a disappointment, despite another Tony win. Dreamgirls (1981), however earned him his seventh and last Tony Award. It ran for three and a half years.

Bennett's mark on the musical stage is indelible and his presence shimmer to this day. In his relatively short life Bennett left us with artistic creations that have lived on and attained deeper meaning and resonance through the decades. 

H/T: masterorksbroadway

Pro Sports' Greatest Ambassador Right Now!

Wow! Could most people learn a lot from THIS guy!

Don't Tell Anybody But It Seems To Be Happenin'

GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT ⦿ Emerson: GOP +5 ⦿ Data for Progress: GOP +3 ⦿ Monmouth: GOP +6 ⦿ NYT: GOP +4 ⦿ Big Data Poll: GOP +5 ⦿ CNBC: GOP +2 ⦿ Trafalgar: GOP +5 ⦿ Economist: GOP +1 ⦿ CBS: GOP +2  

All polls were conducted in October . . . . and there's more! 

Here Is The OFFICIAL World Series Schedule!


All Of The Signs Point One Way . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2022


Just When You Thought It Couldn't Get Worse . . .

When Truth Starts To Mirror Fiction . . .


OMG! On Biden, Maria Positively Nails It

It IS Possible -- If You're Willing . . .


Italian American Heritage Month: Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli

A multiple award-winning legend, Liza Minnelli moved beyond the long shadow cast by her mother, Judy Garland, with an accomplished and prolific career of her own. Along the way, she became one of the few people to score an EGOT (winning the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).
Of course, as the daughter of renowned director Vincente Minnelli and entertainer Judy Garland, it came as little surprise when Liza followed in her parent's footsteps. It's well known that she absolutely adored her father  and has often spoken with pride of her Italian heritage. 
Already a Tony-winning Broadway performer, Minnelli won an Oscar for her role as bohemian chanteuse Sally Bowles in "Cabaret" (1972) and followed with the Emmy-winning "Liza with a Z" (NBC, 1972) television special. Her marriage to singer-songwriter Peter Allen ended in 1974, and would be among the most stellar of Minnelli's many romantic relationships. It was Allen who penned the Oscar-winning theme song to Minnelli's next film, the comedy classic "Arthur" (1981), starring Dudley Moore. 
Although beloved by fans, the vulnerable performer suffered from addictions to alcohol and pills, much as her mother had, eventually seeking rehab for her issues. Ever the survivor, Minnelli continued to record and perform, reaching a new generation of fans with the concert special "Liza Minnelli Live from Radio City Music Hall" (PBS, 1992) and again with a hilarious recurring role as an over-sexed socialite on the acclaimed comedy series "Arrested Development" (Fox, 2003-06). Still going strong, she made a triumphant return to Broadway in the Tony Award-winning "Liza's at the Palace...!" in 2008 and continued to perform live for her devoted fans. 
After more than 50 years on stage and screen, the passionate and dazzling Liza Minnelli has truly earned her reputation as one of the greatest entertainers of all time.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

As These Important Elections Apporoach . . .


Italian American Heritage Month: Joe Piscopo

Joe Piscopo

Television, film, theater, night club- they are all arenas in which Joe Piscopo has won the acclaim and affection of millions. For decades, Joe has proven to be one of show business’ brightest lights. After a career as a disc jockey and dinner-theater performer, Joe turned to comedy. He was chosen to join a newly formed ensemble charged with one of the most difficult tasks in TV history- replacing the original cast of Saturday Night Live.

By the time he left the show, Joe had left his mark not only on the program, but the nation. Thanks to his widespread portrayal of hilarious original characters and celebrity impersonations, including The Sports Guy, Doug Whiner, David Letterman and with the utmost respect, Mr. Frank Sinatra, Joe has become a household name. The legend repeatedly endorsed Joe’s portrayal of him, referring to him as ‘The Vice-Chairman of the Board.

His work on SNL naturally led to Hollywood; with starring roles in Wise Guys (with Danny DeVito) and Johnny Dangerously (with Michael Keaton). Other film credits include “Dead Heat”, “Sidekicks” with Chuck Norris and a dramatic, critically acclaimed performance in Jonathan Parker’s “Bartleby”. Joe performed as the lead role of Jack Cosmo in the musical comedy, “How Sweet It Is” with Paul Sorvino. Look for the upcoming blockbuster films from Avellino Productions; “Joey Benefit” and “Bloomfield Avenue.”

Joe continued with his successful career and conquered yet another realm when he starred on Broadway as the disc jockey Vince Fontaine in Grease! Ever the trooper, Joe insisted on performing opening night, despite conditions created by one of the worst blizzards in NYC history. And indeed, history was made as Grease! was the only Broadway show to open that night!

Live performances have always been an important part of Joe’s career. He has long been one of America’s most popular comedy and concert entertainers, filling arenas and casino showrooms from coast to coast and Canada. Notoriously, Joe even has history performing at the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival. Currently, Joe tours with his own original Big Band tribute to Frank Sinatra, as well as his multimedia comedy show. Throughout his career Joe pioneered some of the most innovative television commercials on the air. Starting with his unforgettable Miller Lite campaign to GNC, Bally’s and even touting Ragu (with his Italian mom’s permission, of course!).

Joe won acclaim for his dramatic guest-starring roles on the NBC drama, Law and Order. He is a recurring guest on The FOX News Channel, he co-hosts The Columbus Day Parade each year in NYC with Maria Bartolomeo, performs for The Tunnel to Towers Foundation and frequents political shows like Tucker Carson. Today Joe is the host of the Joe Piscopo Show on 970 am The Answer, achieving the respect of being the most listened to radio show in the greater NY area.

Honoring his parents and grandparents, who emigrated to this country from Italy, Joe continued the legacy of his heritage by receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. And “Jersey Joe” was also inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.