Fun on a Friday: A departed friend reminds us about the strength of Show Biz.

We’ll get to the “fun” part of this Friday post in a paragraph or two, but this first bit ain’t so fun.

The world tragically lost the big boss, Mr. James Gandolfini, on Wednesday.  And I think we’re all still in shock that our modern day Godfather could go so young.

I worked with Mr. Gandolfini for a moment and a half, when I was on staff at the General Manager’s office of the Broadway adaptation of On The Waterfront in the early 90s.  Watching him in a itty-bitty role, I remember thinking, “That guy is good . . . too good . . . why am I watching him more than others, even when he’s not talking.”

And I wanted to work with him again, when I offered him the role of Jessep (the Jack Nicholson character) in A Few Good Men.  (He would have crushed it.)

Unfortunately, he won’t ever grace our stages again, which is another tragedy, since this is a guy that while terrific on the tube was a force of nature on the stage.

You’ll be missed, Boss.

So this fun on a Friday is dedicated to James Gandolfini.  Watch the clip below, which is a fantastic monologue from The Sopranos (there’s a tip for the actors out there – don’t just look to plays for your monologues – look to TV and movies as well).  

And when you watch all the way to the end, you’ll see why this video qualifies for a “F on a F” post – and you’ll pick up a little known mob fact that you can use when looking for investors in your shows as well.  Email subscribers, click this link if you can’t see the video.  (Oh, and thanks for that VIP industry reader out there who reminded me of this cool clip).


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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  • james oneill says:

    Thanks Ken for that beautiful tribute. I had a moment with Jim on 57th st. He was going to Tourneau to buy a watch, and while we did not speak we made that unmistakable eye contact where he knew that I knew. That moment I will always remember now. May he rest peacefully.

  • Paula says:

    I regret not seeing James Gandolfini in God of
    Carnage when he appeared on Broadway. My loss.
    I thought I’d have the opportunity to see him the next time around.
    We always learn from the untimely passing of people, whether celebrities or not.
    See people–family, friends, or the
    people we admire in the entertainment field-before it’s too late. 51-too young! Thoughts
    and prayers to his family and friends.

  • Jeremy Bennington says:

    Your idea of him in A Few Good Men gave me chills. I can only imagine how wonderful that would have been

  • A friend of mine owns a restaurant on Gansvoort Street — Macelleria (means “Butcher Shop” in Italian). A couple years ago he told me that James lived around the corner and for a while was in the habit during the summertime of having Sunday dinner at his place, sitting at one of the outdoor tables on the sidewalk.

    There’s always a lot of people walking on that street, and when some of them spied him, they reacted like he really was Tony Soprano — stopped to pay their respects, practically kiss his ring.

    That character he embodied captured the imagination of so many that they didn’t see James, they saw Tony. I guess the setting helped sustain that illusion (back in the day this really was a butcher shop).

    He said James was always good-natured about it, his dinner being interrupted every few minutes by fans of “The Sopranos.” It’s so sad that he died young, but at least he got enjoy the fruits of his labors while he was here.

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