A bunch of “wise” actors “hit the couches” in Seaside Heights on Tuesday, but they weren’t going to war or hide, they were collaborating on radio plays.
Ex-Philadelphia plaintiff Mafia reporter George Anastasia and filmmaker Danny Provenzano, also a convicted racketeer and former semi-regular Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member, were hanging out at a Jersey Shore home as they prepared for a new series of radio plays entitled “Mob Stories”. for iHeart radio.
The idea, Anastasia said, involves a series of fictional stories told by two gangsters doing time. Occasionally, there are flashbacks to the crimes that led to their confinement.
In the first episode, “Queen for a Day”, which refers to a “profer”, or a letter that grants an accused or potential witness immunity in exchange for providing information, the two “wise discuss a very real hit involving the Philadelphia crowd. boss Angelo Bruno.
On March 21, 1980, Bruno was shot in the head while sitting in his car outside his home in South Philadelphia.
The murder sparked a mob war in the City of Brotherly Love that claimed more than 20 lives over the next four years. The killer was never brought to justice.
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“It was resolved though,” Anastasia said. “The crowd solved it.”
Anastasia has written five books about her time writing about mobs.
Although he has used most of his materials in books, he explores new mediums, including iHeart radio. Although his books were opted for films, they did not advance. Hollywood is notoriously fickle, he says.
“I got advice from Jimmy Breslin. Just take the money and go,” Anastasia said.
On Tuesday, however, he was on hand to watch Provenzano and his crew, which included former mob associate Angelo Lutz, and several Italian-American character actors, including John Bianco and Alex Corrado, who boast deep IMDb resumes. Vincent Pastore, also known as “Big Pussy” on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” was ill and did not attend the rally.
“Queen for a Day” is the radio version of a TV pilot. It is 22 minutes long and Anastasia and Provenzano say they hope it gets picked up. His production company Genco Olive Oil, has a relationship with iHeart and Anastasia.
So when Provenzano was asked to produce something in the mob genre, he wasn’t surprised and said yes. People seem to have an insatiable appetite for outlaws, especially mobs, he said.
“It’s ingrained in the American psyche,” he said. “People have always been interested in Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Al Capone, John Gotti.”
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Provenzano is hurrying through the radio plays – recorded at the Bada Bing Beach House owned by Guy Madsen in Clifton over the next few Tuesdays – between his development work on a film involving the museum heist Isabella Stewart Gardner.
The heist film is based on the events of March 18, 1990, when two robbers dressed as police officers entered the Boston museum and left with three works of art worth half a billion dollars. Twenty-eight years later, it remains the greatest unsolved art theft.
When asked if this was his usual level of activity, he replied, “Hey in this business, it’s either party or starve.”
Matt Fagan is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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