“The Sopranos,” now the seniors, have come of antiquity. It’s their almost-adult passage. They’re 20 years old. Last Saturday and Sunday’s two-day SopranosCon anniversary at the Meadowlands in Secaucus sold thousands of tickets long in advance.
Promoters Mike Mota and Dan Trader, fans since Episode 1, had no permission to use the show’s logos or other HBO branding. The network, however, had no objections to SopranosCon and may air a completed documentary.
James Gandolfini’s widow, sisters, son Michael (who’ll star in the prequel, “The Many Saints of Newark”) and director David Chase, after being convinced the event would be done with sensitivity, had confirmed appreciation of the event, including eulogies planned for cast members with an especial tribute for James.
The Soprano sets showed up again, as did castmembers including Drea de Matteo, as well as the UK-based band Alabama 3, who’s responsible for the show’s theme song “Woke Up This Morning.”
For some oddball reason, some Sopranos actually did a Saudi Arabian Comic Con. Why Saudi Arabia? Who knows? I’m told even Pastore and “Entourage’s” Kevin Dillon met the House of Saud’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
So why did they meet the Saudi leader? Only some whistleblower knows why.
James Gandolfini’s daughter Liliana Gandolfini at SopranosConGetty ImagesWhat it takes to write
“The Inheritance” is about writing a play. “The Sound Inside” is about writing a novel.
Tony Kushner’s “A Bright Room Called Day” (at the Public), Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal,” (at the Jacobs) and David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” (coming July 2020) are revivals.
Tennessee and O’Neill I’ve seen more often than my manicurist. Shakespeare I’ve listened to more than his wife did. So what makes a big-time writer?
Forty-two publishers rejected Samuel Beckett’s first novel. Beatrix Potter had to self-publish “Tale of Peter Rabbit.” Kurt Vonnegut: “[Writing is] like making wallpaper by hand for the Sistine Chapel.” Henry David Thoreau: “I am not worth seeing personally, the stuttering, blundering, clodhopper that I am.”
Larry McMurtry, reviled by classmates, signed one’s “The Last Picture Show” book, “Revenge is sweet.” On his copy of “Ulysses,” James Joyce wrote: “Not for literature but for personal revenge.” Blaise Pascal’s apology for a long letter: “No time to write a short one.”
Mickey Spillane told me he wrote strictly in a dark room. Shades drawn. One desk lamp on. “The French Connection’s” Robin Moore showed me his unending paper sheet, no breaks, on a rigged nonstop overhead machine-to-machine canopy.
Joaquin Miller installed sprinklers on his roof to simulate the sound of rain. This he didn’t tell me personally. He said it in the 1800s.
Woody Allen’s “Rainy Day in New York,” starring Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning, is playing in Paris. Will it show in the US? Not sure. It’s his 50th . . . Hollywood pro: Only big tent-pole jobs will play theaters. Streaming killed regular movie dates. Stay home, comfy, pay nothing, no nearby cougher or popcorn chewer. Movie palaces will disappear.
Pics losing their worth
The world turns. Paparazzi once earned major big. To beat rivals back in those lush days, one magazine paid over a million and a half dollars for just one first photo of Gwyneth’s baby daughter Apple.
Now, with cell shots, Instagrams, retweets and no magazines, A-Rod sitting on the can, or even on J.Lo, earns no more than a bagel.
In the thoughts of immortal Adam BullSchiff: “This is the ‘I’m not a crook’ defense. You say it and I guess, that’s the end of it,” citing Nixon. The actual quote from Nixon? ‘I am not a crook — but keep your eye on Spiro.’ ”
Only in Washington, kids, only in Washington.
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