In Conversation With The Sopranos
Crown Casino, 29 May
Wednesday Night I headed to Crown Casino to checkout ‘In Conversation with The Sopranos’ at The Crown Theatre. All I can call this show is – hilarity. It happened before I even got into the theatre. There was a man in front of me in the merchandise line, wearing a nice suit, and he was with a friend. This dude was acting like he was ‘connected’. Seriously, he was talking with the cocky Italian-Australian accent, and thought he was a real wise guy. Asking the merchandise girl her name and where she’s from – mate, you’re not in the mafia. You like a TV show about it, get a grip. It’s like everybody’s inner Italian came out of themselves on the night. Not me though, I’m already Italian. It was just interesting to see how the situation influenced people’s behaviour.
The proceedings began with the host of the conversation, comedian Bruno Lucia.
I hate to start things off negatively and I apologise to Bruno for what I’m about to say, but I did not think his warm-up set went well in Perth. Whilst there were laughs here and there throughout the 15 or so minutes he was on stage, the comedy and one liners came across dated, somewhat cringe-worthy, and I don’t know if it was because the people in attendance weren’t interested in what he had to say and just wanted to see the Sopranos boys – but it did not connect the way I think he may have hoped. I felt like the humor would have been hilarious in the 90s but it just felt like we had already heard it all before. I really think somebody like Vince Colossimo would have been more ideal for this position, but that’s just me. I am sure Bruno put a lot of thought into what he was doing and I respect that, he did a great job actually hosting the conversation but this part of the proceedings did not work out well in my opinion.
Finally after what seemed like forever, Steven Schirripa (Bobby ‘Bacala’), Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) and Vincent Pastore (‘Big Pussy’ Bonpensiero) all made their anticipated appearances to a resoundingly strong ovation from the audience at Crown Theatre. As Steven sat down he was already winding the other boys up about their grey hair and how they looked older and he hadn’t changed a bit. Their remarks about Steven dying his hair being the reason – this was all great shtick because they made it seem like legitimate bickering. Their Italian American accents made it hilarious.
What I loved the most about the proceedings was the constant banter between the 3 of them. This was so intriguing and engaging, seeing these three colleagues and friends discuss their life in the Sopranos. How they auditioned for the show, how they got the gig, and really fun stories about them all walking out of the Emmy Awards when they lost the Emmy to the West Wing (The West Wing? Are you kidding me?) and their thoughts on the ending of the final episode, and also how they all found out how they were getting whacked on the show! Terrific stuff.
Steven was an incredible shit-stirrer throughout the night toward Vincent. When Michael got involved, the most fun and hilarious moments of the night were when these 3 Italian men bickered among eachother. It happened several times and boy it didn’t get old. Especially with the schtick of Vincent’s character being ‘Big Pussy’ and them calling him ‘Old Pussy’.
I found it shocking how they were actually contacted by Mafia figures when the show was being made. Some of those stories were a real eye opener! I feel inclined not to give too much away, sorry readers.
The tale that rang clear so much throughout this chat was how much these three men loved and admired about the man that played Tony Soprano – James Gandolfini. There were many stories about what James was like to work with, how fun he was to be around and how generous and loyal of a man he was. It was a great tribute that they paid to him with their words and their stories.
This show was obviously the greatest thing that happened in their lives, and many in the audience too. It was a really great experience being there and hearing them talk with such pride over their life on the show.
Overall the time seemed to fly by, and if you were a Sopranos fan, I hope you were there because if you missed out on this, you should regret it!