A phone voice says, “It’s Pia.”
“Pia. How many people you know named Pia?”
Pia Lindström. From whom I haven’t heard since her mom Ingrid Bergman won that first Oscar.
“I’m on the Gulf of Mexico island.”
“Florida. A private island. Birds, animals, fish, golf. Resort not retirement. Wonderful. I have my Havanese with me. Didn’t even know anybody here when I found it. And I don’t care. I don’t need to talk to anyone anymore. Sailors come here, but not regular people. I still have an apartment in New York, but I had enough. This once was a pirate captivity place.”
“Yeah, OK. Great.”
“It’s where Gasparilla hung out.”
“Yeah, OK. Great. So why’d you call me?”
“Oh, accident. I was dialing somebody else.”
Please pay attention
We’ll have to wait until Sept. 24 to see Gandolfini’s son Michael play Tony Soprano in “The Many Saints of Newark,” a prequel to “The Sopranos” which has had more delays than indoor dining … Hardly up “Schitt’s Creek,” the stars of that hit show are reaping the benefits. You may have seen Dan Levy’s recent “SNL” hosting debut. And Emily Hampshire is set to play Mary Hartman. Norman Lear, who created it in the ’70s starring Louise Marie Lasser and is himself in the 90s, is also producing it in the 2021’s. Hampshire will also co-write and co-produce … Not just “Mank” — which some critics say stank — Gary Oldman’s now in “Crisis.” “I play a biochemist working on a drug more addictive than oxycontin and going public.” Evangeline Lilly, as a mom whose son sells the stuff, “went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting to prepare.” Armie Hammer, whose own issues have recently bounced him from other projects, plays a DEA agent.
Dance of joy
Oscar nominee Renée Taylor and Golden Globe nom Lainie Kazan roll out their new film fest comedy “Tango Shalom.” The late Joe Bologna’s in it and co-wrote it. Co-producer’s Joel Zwick, who did “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” As battling moms-in-law, Renée and Lainie schlep in and out of a synagogue, mosque, temple and cathedral because Crown Heights’ grand rabbi enters a tango competition to save his school from bankruptcy but, since orthodoxy precludes touching a woman other than the wife, he asks a priest, an imam and a Sikh for advice.
Why, you ask? This I don’t know. It already won Montreal Independent Film Fest’s best comedy and downtown India’s Jaipur Critics Award. This I know.
Swimming with the fishes…
Worth watching is 2001’s “Boss of Bosses,” about the famous Dec. 16, 1985, hit on Paul Castellano outside Sparks Steak House.
He got whacked after bugged tapes were released showing John Gotti moving loads of illegal drugs. Being either his life or Castellano’s, Gotti ordered the hit on his own boss Castellano and took over two weeks later.
Unknown — except to a very few — is that on that very morning Castellano plus bodyguards were actually at his dermatologist’s Staten Island office. He had skin problems. He’d even brought lunch to the doctor, who never knew that his nice gracious patient with the nice new skin was having his final appointment.
Helluva town will survive
Incidentally, despite the mass exodus to Florida — America’s rest home — we still retain about 8.5 million New Yorkers. And all but three are running for mayor.NYC. An exciting place. Where something is happening all the time. Most of it unsolved and often happening in the subway.
Only in New York, kids, Only in New York.