Peter Perrotta, AKA Tony Roman on “Gene Simmons “Family Jewels” Keeps His Toes in Show Business and His Eyes on Wall Street
By Sally Deering
Take a drive with Peter Perrotta and he’ll sing in the car. Visit his New York office on the 50th floor overlooking Manhattan and he’ll burst into song working at his computer. Perrotta sings like some people talk – it’s a reflex, he just can’t help himself – the guy’s a natural.
And he’s great at it, too. On a CD he recently recorded, Perrotta sings tunes from the Great American Songbook and his voice has soul, passion and ranges a couple of octaves. He can sound like his heroes Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, yet his sound is pure Perrotta, big, robust and full of life.
Bayonne Boxing Champ Chuck Wepner – the real Rocky Balboa – Star of ESPN Documentary
By Sally Deering
At 72, Chuck Wepner of Bayonne stands 6’5”, weighs 250 lbs, has biceps like ropes of steel, and looks like he can still go a few rounds in the ring – even though it’s been 36 years since his match with Muhammad Ali for the World Heavyweight title.
In 1975, Wepner boxed 15 rounds with Ali and lost with a broken nose, cuts over his eyes and a bruised ego. But what the Bayonne boxer didn’t know was that an unknown named Sylvester Stallone was watching the fight on his TV set and three days later would write “Rocky” based on underdog Wepner. The film became a major hit in 1976 winning three Academy Awards and earning Stallone fame and fortune. Yo! Let’s not forget the sequels, too.
On Tues, Oct 25 at 8 p.m., “The Real Rocky” a documentary about Wepner’s life as a championship boxer and the story behind his bout with Ali airs on ESPN. (It also airs Wed, Oct 26 at 11 p.m. and Sat, Nov. 26 at 7:30 a.m. on ESPN2.) And a film based on Wepner’s amazing story is in pre-production and will star Liev Schreiber as Wepner.
The one-hour documentary is directed by Jeff Feuerzeig, an award-winning director whose feature film “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” won top documentary directing honors at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. On ESPN.go.com, Feuerzeig, who grew up in New Jersey, explained his inspiration for making the Wepner documentary.
“ I’ve been a Chuck Wepner fan ever since 1975, when I was 10 years old and my father took my brother and me to Sports Night at the Raritan High School gymnasium in Hazlet to see Chuck, aka ‘The Bayonne Bleeder,’ just months before he was set to go up against Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title,” Feuerzeig told ESPN. “There were no figures who loomed larger in this 10 year-old’s imagination than Evel Knievel, Andre the Giant and, especially, Muhammad Ali – “The Greatest” – and here was a 6-foot-5 behemoth (Wepner) in a full-length fur coat…and ridiculous amount of jewelry leading us in a chant of ‘Who’s gonna beat Ali? WEPNER!’ And in that instant, Chuck Wepner became a real-life mythological figure — as real to me as the Jersey Devil that haunted the local Pine Barrens.” Continue reading Boxing Legend Chuck Wepner “The Real Rocky” interview with Sally Deering of the River View Observer→
Coming Soon: Film and Broadway star in Concert at Loew’s Jersey City
By Sally Deering
Best known as mob boss Paulie Cicero, who cooked Italian dishes for his crew in the film “Goodfellas” and many other acting roles in film, on Broadway and TV, Paul Sorvino is more than just an actor – he’s a sculptor, painter, writer, director, chef and opera singer. And on Thurs., Oct. 27 and Fri., Nov. 4, Sorvino’s fans are in for a treat when he takes to the stage at Loew’s Jersey City in “Paul Sorvino Sings!” a concert where Sorvino sings arias and Neapolitan folk songs and tells stories of his life as an actor. Continue reading Actor Paul Sorvino Sings and Talks to the River View Observer→
Successful Businesman and Former Hudson County Resident Follows His Passion for Music by Evelyn Bonilla
Record producers will tell you that in order to make it in the music business you have to be equipped with; a good strong voice, loads of confidence and the ability to perform on the spot, and to have passion! The passion to give it all you’ve got and the drive not to stop until you get there!
Fans have waited a long time to buy a boxed set of Clint Eastwood’s early spaghetti westerns by Sergio Leone. featuring Clint as the iconic loner with no name. The wait is over. The boxed set, officially titled Clint, available June 1, 2010, Eastwood in The Man With No Name Trilogy hits a bullseye. Continue reading CLINT EASTWOOD -Hollywood Behind-The-Scenes→
FANS THRILLED TO ATTEND TAPING OF KENNY ROGERS’ TV SPECIAL By Alice O’Neill
Fans from all over the U.S., and even Europe and Asia, are jumping at the chance to see their favorite country performer, Kenny Rogers, tape a show at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Ledyard, CT. April 10.
The stars are coming out for Kenny as well. Smokey Robinson, Tim McGraw, Chris Isaak, Darius Rucker, Billy Currington, and Sheena Easton have signed on to perform on the television special Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years, joining previously announced guests Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, Wynonna Judd, and The Oak Ridge Boys. The array of all-star artists will perform, along with Kenny,and a few will host different segments of the show traveling through his six decades of hits at the special taping. Parton, Richie, Krauss, Robinson, Isaak, Judd, The Oak Ridge Boys, Easton, original members of The First Edition and Rogers will perform live at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. McGraw, Rucker and Currington will be performing for the show from remote locations. Continue reading “Hollywood Behind-The-Scenes”→
“Tammy Blanchard’s performance in Amish Grace gets to your heart and evokes emotions that leave you feeling numb from sorrow for the character she portrays. This multi -talented actress is one more role closer to winning an Academy Award . She is well on her way to becoming a certified movie star like Meryl Streep, Helen Mirrin, Charlize Theron, Betty Davis, Greta Garbo and “Hollywood Lady Royalty” we have come to love – She is the one to watch” –The River View Observer
Amish Grace Sunday Night March 28th-8pm on the Lifetime Channel
By Sally Deering
Emmy-award winning actress Tammy Blanchard recalls growing up in the 1980s a shy girl who cherished Judy Garland’s performance in “The Wizard of Oz,” and dreamed of her own stardom in her tiny bedroom. In the past ten years, Blanchard’s break-out performances as Judy Garland and other complex women have received critical acclaim and respect from her peers. And like Garland, whom Blanchard calls her “angel,” when it comes to playing a role or singing a song, her shyness disappears and she becomes a chameleon blending herself into the part and in the process turning in dynamic, edge-of-your-seat performances that are anything but shy. Continue reading TAMMY BLANCHARD “Amish Grace” Actress Follows Her Yellow Brick Road→
To his fans he’s the “King of Nostalgia,” but to thousands of show folk, Joe Franklin is a friend who gives stars a place to shine and unknowns the chance to stand out from the crowd. In his 50-year career, Franklin has made it his mission to help the struggling artist get a foot in the door, and with a look-back, it seems this spunky octogenarian not only accomplished his goal, he picked up a little stardust of his own along the way.
In 1951 TV was a toddler still learning and discovering its capabilities. Many of the TV studios were in New York – on the fringes of the Theater District broadcasting game shows, kiddie shows, dramas and comedies live and in black-and-white. That year, station WJZ (which later became ABC,) approached Franklin about doing a TV talk show.Things clicked and “The Joe Franklin Show” premiered with Franklin as host engaging celebrity guests in the art of conversation.
Cake Boss Star on the Rise- How Bitter- Sweet It Is…
TLC Monday Nights …10pm
By Sally Deering Photos by David Bayne
No disrespect to Frank Sinatra, but Hoboken’s bouncing a new favorite son on its knee, a charismatic cake baker who followed in the floured footsteps of his father to become the star of his own reality TV show.
Buddy Valastro is TLC’s “Cake Boss,” the guru of cakes and the driving force behind Carlo’s Bake Shop on Washington Street in Hoboken, an Italian pastry empire he runs with his mother, Mary, and four older sisters – Grace, Maddalene, Mary and Lisa. On “Cake Boss,” (TLC, Monday nights at 10,) cameras trail Valastro as he wrestles with the demands of a thriving bakery business and the antics of his kooky, close-knit, hard-working family and crew. Continue reading Cover Story -CAKE BOSS- Buddy Valastro -Our River View Interview→
Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band Draws Large Crowd at “Right to Rock” Fundraising Event at B.B. King Blues Club New York
Pictured with Clarence Clemons is Jersey City student, Jade Adams of P.S. 29, recently performed with legendary E Street Band member Clarence Clemons at a fundraiser held by Little Kids RockonOct. 22 at B.B King Blues Club in New York City. The “Right to Rock” benefitraised over $160,000 to restore and revitalize music education in public schools nationwide. Adams, 12, performed Jailhouse Rock with Clarence Clemons and a student band from the Bronx. She also performed her original song, Change, with the student band, whom she met that evening. Adams’ song was selected as a grand prize winner in the 2009 Little Kids Rock songwriting contest.
Little Kids Rock currently reaches nearly 2500 underserved students in Jersey City and Newark, and over 42,000 nationwide. Here is a high-reolution photograph of Jade and Clarence at the event: