Category Archives: Celebrity Interview


By Darren Paltrowitz

DaveHill2Successful as a stand-up comic, musician, author and host, Dave Hill is a proven quadruple threat. As a comic, he regularly hosts The Dave Hill Explosion at Upright Citizens Brigade beyond regular appearances on TV. As a musician, he is the voice and lead guitar behind Valley Lodge, whose song “Go” is the theme to HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, beyond playing with a wide array of folks that include Moby, Lucy Wainwright Roche, and Rival Schools’ Walter Schreifels. As an author, he had a collection of essays titled Tasteful Nudes published by St. Martin’s Press in 2012, with a new title for Blue Rider Press slated for release in 2016. As a host, beyond the acclaimed Dave Hill Podcasting Incident podcast, Dave is the voice behind WFMU’s The Goddamn Dave Hill Show. And weirdly enough, those are not all of his credits or projects.

Mr. Hill was very funny in his Q&A for the RIVER VIEW OBSERVER, also proving to be knowledgeable about the Jersey City area. Both original and driven, one cannot help but be in awe of all the work that the guy manages to get done. For more information on Dave Hill in the meantime, click on over to 

RVO: You’re a comic, a musician, a host on radio and TV, a podcaster and an author. How do you usually identify when someone asks what you do for a living?




By Darren Paltrowitz

songwriter Sterling Fox
Sterling Fox

A Jersey City resident since 2007, Sterling Fox has worked on a lot of hit songs in his Jersey City home. Initially, Fox moved to JC out of financial necessity, backing up local musicians after a stint as a pianist on a cruise ship. Less than a decade since his move to Jersey City, Fox remains a highly-demanded co-writer with songs written and/or produced for artists including Gym Class Heroes, Adam Lambert, Tiesto, Lindsey Stirling and Boyz II Men.

When not occupied with making music for other artists, Fox runs Silver Scream Records, a record label and online apparel store. Fox recently released on the Silver Scream label, a single by renowned DJ Samantha Ronson, and Silver Scream will also be the home of an up-coming full-length album by Fox. In the meantime, Fox talked with River View Observer about life behind-the-scenes in music, in addition to everyday life as a Jersey City local. Continue reading PRODUCER, SONGWRITER STERLING FOX TALKS JC LIVING, CREATIVITY AND WHAT’S AHEAD

Tammy Blanchard Joins Cast of TALLULAH Dramedy

Actress Tammy Blanchard
Tammy Blanchard

Hudson County’s own Tammy Blanchard has been added to the cast of TALLULAH as reported by Variety Magazine.

Ms. Blanchard  recently appeared  in Disney’s INTO THE WOODS.

Rounding out the cast Ms. Blanchard joins, ‘X-Men’s Evan Jonigkeit  Ellen Page and Allison Janney, Zachary Quinto, Uzo Aduba, David Zayas and John Benjamin Hickey also star  in the upcoming dramedy .

TULLALAH  is the story of  “a free spirit who everybody thinks has kidnapped a baby after she rescues the child from her reckless mother.” The project is being lead by Sian Heder who also wrote the screenplay for TALLULAH.

Ms. Blanchard has appeared in several movies including: Moneyball, Deadline, The Good Shepherd, Rabbit Hole,  Blue  Jasmine  and the soon to be released Invitation

She has been nominated for two Tony Awards for her performances in  Gypsy (2003) and How to Succeed Without Really Trying in 2013

In 2001 she won an Emmy and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal as a young  Judy Garland in Life with Judy Garland – Me and My Shadows.

To find out more about Ms. Blanchard like her Facebook page at  Tammy Blanchard  Follow her on Twitter  Tammy Blanchard on Twitter



Teresa Guidice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey Makes Appearance at Jersey City’s VB3 Restaurant

River View Observer Staff Writer-Photo by Steve A. Mack

On Wednesday, July 23rd reality TV Celebrity Teresa Guidice appeared at Jersey City’s popular restaurant VB3 to promote her new line of wine Faberlini.

Ms. Guidice  of The Real  Housewives of New Jersey fame has also  written 4  cookbooks of which 3 hit the NY Times Best Selling Author list. The popular reality star  has her own hair care line called “Milania” named after her daughter and has also appeared on Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice.

She can be seen in this seasons The Real  Housewives of New Jersey airing on Sunday nights at 8pm on the Bravo channel.

TEN INGREDIENTS: Chef Rob Burmeister Fans the Flames of Reality TV

 By Sally Deering

rob burmeister photo 2
Chef Rob Burmeister
Chef Rob Burmeister on the Food Networks CUTTHROAT KTICHEN
Far right Chef Rob Burmeister
on the Food Networks

A foodie with a gutsy attitude, Chef Rob Burmeister of Staten Island won the competition on a recent episode of CUTTHROAT KITCHEN on the Food Network when he made New England clam chowder with whipped cream and cognac. Not many chefs could stand up to the challenge, but Chef Rob’s signature cooking style – “international fusion with a hint of American comfort” suggests his versatility as a chef and now with a taste of stardom on his lips, Chef Rob hungers for his own reality TV food show.

No side dish, Chef Rob has been featured on CHOPPED, RESTAURANT STAKEOUT, THE NEXT PORK PERSONALITY with GUY FIERI, and STATEN ISLAND CAKES. He also does the Tuesday night podcast CHEWING THE FAT WITH BIG AND BEEFY with co-host Clemenza Caserta, Jr. who was featured on Season 10 of HELL’S KITCHEN with Chef Gordon Ramsey. (Tuesday nights on, 7-9 pm.)

Chef Rob is also executive chef for Harvest Café in Staten Island, a training facility/restaurant for adults with mental disabilities to learn restaurant skills to obtain work in the community.

Let’s meet Chef Rob and ask him the Ten Ingredients to his success.

RVO: Chef Rob, where you were born & raised and who introduced you to cooking?

Continue reading TEN INGREDIENTS: Chef Rob Burmeister Fans the Flames of Reality TV

LIFE AFTER SOPRANOS Actor Vincent Curatola Picks up where Johnny ‘Sack” Left Off

By Sally Deering 

On the HBO award-winning TV series THE SOPRANOS (1999-2007) it was easy to like Vincent Curatola’s character Johnny “Sack” Sacramoni, a mobster who worshipped his heavyset wife. Sure, Curatola’s character was a cold-blooded killer and he was scary to watch, but there was always a touch of humor, especially when he had to endure wisecracks about his wife’s weight. Curatola was so convincing that when Johnny Sack winced at a fat joke, the viewers did, too.

 A Jersey guy, Curatola grew up in Englewood a residential community just north of the George Washington Bridge. According to his website – – he always had the acting bug and it was his wife Maureen who encouraged him to take classes. Soon after Curatola brought Johnny Sack to life.

In the seven years since the show ended, Curatola has made a few movies, appeared in several TV shows and taught acting in New York. He recently taped five episodes as an exasperated judge on the CBS hit show THE GOOD WIFE starring Julianna Margolis. Has it been difficult for Curatola to reinvent himself after eight years in a hit series? Do all roles pale in comparison to Johnny Sack? 

On a recent afternoon, Mr. Curatola took time from his busy schedule to speak to River View Observer about what it’s like to continue his career after THE SOPRANOS.

RVO: Mr. Curatola, can you tell us a little about your background; where you grew up?

VC: I was born and raised in Englewood and I had a unique paper route on the block I lived on. My customers were Tony Bennett, Jerry Vale, Wilson Pickett, Lesley Gore, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughn. I used to deliver The Record. My father had a masonry business and I started one on my own in the mid-1970s, but I had fantasies (about acting). So I went to study with Michael Moriarty.

 RVO: Did you do much acting before being cast in THE SOPRANOS?

VC: Michael got me on LAW & ORDER and I wrote a one act play about a funeral guy called DEARLY BELOVED. I also did the show EXILED.

Continue reading LIFE AFTER SOPRANOS Actor Vincent Curatola Picks up where Johnny ‘Sack” Left Off


By Sally Deering

Enzo photo 2 from big brotherEnzo Palumbo appeared in Big Brother 12 on CBSBIG BROTHER just wrapped its 15th season on CBS, a long-time hit where viewers seem to enjoy watching people live under a microscope. Bayonne resident Enzo Palumbo, who was a contestant on BIG BROTHER 12 is a huge fan of the show and keeps a new strategic plan in his back pocket ready to be used against his enemies when BIG BROTHER decides to do an “All Star” season.

“It’s like mental warfare,” Palumbo says. “Once you’re into that house you’re in game mode.’

A reality show, BIG BROTHER puts a hodge-podge of 15-20 people in a house together with TV cameras and microphones that record their every move. During their stay, the contestants are isolated from the rest of the world and not informed on current events. Each series lasts about three months, with the contestant who outlasts all his housemates winning a big cash prize. Palumbo, who went by the nickname “The Meow Meow” and was a member of an alliance known as “The Brigade” made it all the way to the final three before being evicted from the house and kicked off the show. Continue reading BIG BROTHER 12 HOUSEMATE ENZO PALUMBO RAPS ON THE WRAP OF SEASON 15

The Play’s the Thing for Chazz Palminteri

 Popular Film Actor takes Center Stage in his One-Man Show, A Bronx Tale on Saturday, September 29th at The Harbor Lights Theater Company in Staten Island

Our River View Observer Interview with this Oscar Nominated Actor


By Sally Deering

Fans of ABC-TVs Modern Family know Chazz Palminteri as Jay’s metrosexual friend and the celebrated actor plays the recurring role with a comedic flair that keeps the audience guessing “Is he or isn’t he?”  Film-goers loved his portrayal of Customs Agent Dave Kujan in The Usual Suspects and his comedic turn as “Cheech” in Woody Allen’s film Bullets over Broadway that won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing comedy or drama Palminteri always gives a stand-out performance because he’s a risk-taker.

 On Sat, Sept. 29, Palminteri is at it again – performing live without a net – when he takes center stage at The Harbor Lights Theater Company in Staten Island to portray 18 characters – including two women – in his semi-autobiographical one-man-play A Bronx Tale. It’s a one-night stand, so to speak, and Palminteri can’t wait to perform in front of a live audience. 

 It was during his salad days as a struggling New York actor that Palminteri wrote A Bronx Tale to give himself a great role that would get him noticed – and it did. When Robert DeNiro saw him perform his show Off-Broadway, DeNiro decided he wanted to direct the film and with the proviso that Palminteri play one of the leads and write the screenplay, Palminteri and DeNiro sealed the deal with a handshake. Continue reading The Play’s the Thing for Chazz Palminteri

River View Observer Celebrity Interview- Hitting High Notes with Jay Black

Legendary Singer to Perform at St. Peter’s Pac in Jersey City.

By Sally Deering

 In the 1960s, Jay and the Americans’ hits “Only in America” “Come a Little Bit Closer” and “Cara Mia” topped the record charts and on Sat, Sept. 15, lead singer Jay Black will headline – along with Darlene Love – at the new Saint Peter’s PAC in Jersey City.  

Now in his 70s, Black works with a different set of musicians (for legal reasons he can’t use the name ‘Jay and the Americans’ – sanctioned by the IRS over unpaid taxes) and he sings his hits at venues like The NYCB Theater at Westbury, formerly the Westbury Music Fair. Black still packs the house and even though the girls who saw him perform on The Ed Sullivan Show back in the day are now grandmothers, they still scream and shout when they hear him sing. 

With a career that spans more than 50 years, Black does it his way. He doesn’t rehearse or warm-up before a show, just hits the deck running when the curtain opens. On a recent Friday afternoon, Black gave an impromptu interview with Riverview Observer to talk about his show biz career and performing at the new Saint Peter’s PAC.      Continue reading River View Observer Celebrity Interview- Hitting High Notes with Jay Black

Mob Wife’s Counter Punch Drita D’Avanzo of Reality TV’s “Mob Wives” Debuts New Cosmetics Line

 By Sally Deering       Photos by Sally Deering

 Reality TV star Drita D’Avanzo of Mob Wives VH1 sometimes talks like a thug on camera but when it comes to cosmetics she’s a a girlie-girl.

 On Thursday, August 2nd,  D’Avanzo greeted fans and took to the stage at the Staten Island Mall to unveil her new line of make-up, “Just Me.” A former fashion model, D’Avanzo isn’t just lending her celebrity to sell lipstick to the masses. She actually went to school to study skincare and make-up and starting her own cosmetics line has been a dream ever since she was a tomboy growing up in the Projects. For those of you unfamiliar with Mob Wives (VH1, Sunday nights at 8) the show’s title tells all. D’Avanzo and her co-stars married men who aren’t 9-to-5ers, but rather, wiseguys with connections to crime families. For D’Avanzo, she was still a newlywed when police arrested her husband, Lee, and sent him to prison for five years. Like other women who have had to pick up the pieces after a life-changing event, D’Avanzo went to school to study cosmetology. When a friend suggested the idea for a Reality TV show, D’Avanzo signed on.   

At the Staten Island Mall, customers lined up to buy lipsticks and lip plumpers and with just an hour to go before premiering her products, D’Avanzo took a few minutes to talk with the Riverview Observer about her new life as a Reality TV star and cosmetics designer.

 RVO: Hi Drita, can you share with our readers how “Just Me” came about?

DD: I used to model and watch how the make-up artists did my makeup and I was amazed at how they made me look. When Lee went to jail, I took a job in a high-end department store. I worked all the counters. I loved selling and dealing with everyone’s makeup. I knew I wanted to make high-end products affordable.

 RVO: What makes your cosmetics different or better?

DD: I am big on scent and I hate sticky. What makes it different? A lot of cosmetics are created by professional make-up artists. Nobody was behind the counter like I was. For seven years, I listened to a lot of women and what they wanted. All these things give me a lot of leverage.

 RVO: Will you be working your new cosmetics into the show?

DD: Yes. The makeup artist for the show uses my lipsticks. Big Ang (another Mob Wife on the show) loves my lipsticks and Carla (also a Mob Wife on the show) loves my lip plumper. My main goal is to have a beautiful, cool store with a DJ, and a  place for girls to get their make-up done and hair styled.

Continue reading Mob Wife’s Counter Punch Drita D’Avanzo of Reality TV’s “Mob Wives” Debuts New Cosmetics Line