Monday, December 31, 2007

Buon Capo d'Anno - Happy New Year, 2008!

Ciao a tutti,

Vi auguro a tutti un Buon Capo d'Anno! (I wish you all a Happy New Year)!

da parte mia, (from me)


P.S. Just for fun here is a video I found on which is a New Year's Eve Party sketch staring three Italian-Americans, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Ruth Buzzi. (In English)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

E Natale, Tanti Auguri A Tutti - It's Christmas, Best Wishes To All

Ciao a tutti,

About a year ago I did a show in New York and artist fan of mine came up to me during a meet and greet and showed me a sketch that he had made of me. I was quite taken by this, especially since he had done other another art piece of me before. It was a collage actually that he gifted me at another show a few years back.

The artist is Anthony Mancini and this is the sketch that he made of me. He said at the time that he wasn't quite finished with it, so he couldn't give it to me then. Now, I received an E-mail with this surprise. In the E-mail, he wished me a Buon Natale from him and his wife, and then included not only a scan of the sketch that he had done, but one that was modified especially for the Season.

I got such a kick out of it, I thought it would include it here in my Christmas blog post. Grazie Anthony, I am honored and touched. And grazie to all of you who have been following this blog, our Filippo and the Chef Show, and all who are part of my beautiful and growing family. Wishing you all a Buon Natale, Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart.

Con affetto,


P.S. I found this video on Youtube yesterday and I found it humorous. The protagonist is just irreverent enough for my taste and thought it would put a smile on your faces. It is a man who calls himself Marcello Mastrantonioni and he has a series of Italian language short videos.

The lesson, at least this particular Christmas lesson, is tongue in cheek and he teaches the viewer how to say the "appropriate" Christmas phrases in Italian. (In English and Italian)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

'Tis The Season Of Parties - 'Tis The Season For Giving

Ciao a tutti,

'Tis the Season of Parties and the Season for Giving. It is so wonderful how during this season the two come together so beautifully. I have actually stayed away from parties this season and come to think of it, have not gone to a one. I am not sure why exactly.

It is not because I am a hum bug. I really love this season and enjoy my friends, family and socializing too, but for some reason, besides being busy, going to parties has not been a priority as it has in past years.

This one party, the first I went to all season so far, was special because it felt to me that people were having a party to really give, and give from the heart. Of course, it had Italian-American written all over it, and Christmas, and GIVING. It was the "Adopt A Family Christmas Luncheon," which was to "help to make this Christmas Season a little brighter for families of the United States Marine Corps."

It was put on by the Curci Asset Management Co. and the Lido Peninsula Co. and the food was sponsored by Sabatino's Sausage Company. The whole thing was coordinated by Sandy DiGiovanni of the Curci Companies, who personally invited me, and I was only too happy to oblige.

I had never been down to that part of town, what a beautiful area it is. And it was so great to see people from all walks of life, careers and families and friends coming together for some good Italian food and lots of good cheer.

In fact, one of the people helping raise that Christmas Spirit was Pete Villani who was the singer for the occasion. He is known as the "Vocalist of the 'Classics'" and is a regular at Sabatino's. He is pictured here with Sam Romeo, the Maitre d' at Sabatino's for years. Here I am pictured with the two of them, Pete and Sam.

At the top of the post is a picture of John Curci and I, and just below that, the two of us with Sandy DiGiovanni.

Below I am pictured with the owner of Sabatino's, Mr. Pete Sabatino himself, and below that with Bill Brown, also of the Curci Companies.

So great to have met everyone and to have spent the time together for a good cause while enjoying our high Christmas Spirits.

Buon Natale,


P.S. Speaking of Italians and Christmas, I found this interesting video on Youtube of the Christmas movie "Polar Express." It is one of the sweet moments in the animated feature in which the children sing "When Christmas Comes To Town," only this is the Italian version and in this clip, they sing it in Italian. (In Italian)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Christmas Music - Singer Patrick Basile

Ciao a tutti,

In this post, I have another Italian-American singer acquaintance who has gifted me a CD that I would like to tell you all about. After all, it is the season of giving, right? So, it is my pleasure to give some promotion to yet another fellow singer. In this case, it is singer Patrick Basile.

I actually don't need to say too much about him because his CD is in all kinds of stores this season, Target, Walmart, etc. and of course on the net. Of course you could find Patrick all over the net but probably the most up to date info is at his MySpace account which you will find at

This is not to mention the fact that he is being played on the Christmas stations on radio all over, where you are more likely to here his clever rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas," than any of his other songs.

I hope I am not giving away too much here but what he did was to take the song "Home," from the musical "The Wiz," and combine it, in a clever way with the Christmas song, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." You'll just have to hear it to know what I am talking about. It seems to be the one the radio disk jockey's like the most of his "Home For Christmas" CD.

Auguri Patrick and Buon Natale.


P.S. Here is a video from of Patrick, I imagine, as a little boy with his family, with the soundtrack being him singing from his CD "Home For Christmas." (In English)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Holiday Season Is Upon Us - Time For Christmas Music

Ciao a tutti,

As we get ready for the Holiday Season people are getting out their Holiday decorations and their music that they probably haven't heard for a year. I say probably, because if anyone is like me, then they have heard heard a bit of Christmas music since then. I myself listen to Christmas music every once in a while, just because. But, in my case, I at least have an excuse, as a singer, I am reviewing music all the time.

But come to think of it, why do we need an excuse to listen to Christmas music "off-season?" Technically, isn't Christmas music about love and hope and peace and.... That being the case, wouldn't it even be a good idea to be listen to Christmas music all year round?

Well, regardless, tis the season, and I am looking forward to hearing some of my old Christmas favorites and some new ones by new artists and some of my friends and acquaintances.

In fact here is a CD I haven't heard yet from an acquaintance who gifted me her two latest CDs and one of them is a Christmas one called "December." The other CD is called "The Best Is Yet To Come."

I had to include an image of her CD here because it must be her as a little girl standing in front of a Christmas Tree dressed in a Cowgirl outfit, and she looks adorable.

The, now grown up singer, is Joyce Garro and she has quite an interesting story. To begin with, she was the youngest member of "The Golddiggers," from "The Dean Martin Show."

She heralds originally from Chicago but started out her professional singing career here in Los Angeles. Besides the Dean Martin show she has appeared on the "Mike Douglas Show," and "The Tonight Show." As part of "The Golddiggers" she got to tour in concerts all over the world including Monte Carlo, Acapulco, Montreal, Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, and of course Los Angeles.

One one of the tours she got to perform with both Dean and Frank Sinatra. Imagine what a thrill that must have been and what stories she must have. We run into each other at many events and actually shared the stage a couple times but have never had the opportunity to sit down and relay those stories.

Someday I hope to do that, but in the meantime, I am looking forward to at the very least, hearing her sing on these two CDs. For more information or to get a CD, contact Loving Heart Music at

P.S. I found this video on of Dean Martin and the Golddiggers doing their thing on an episode of the Dean Martin Show. I can't tell if Joyce was part of this Episode but maybe she can comment on this post and fill us in. (In English)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wow! So Many Pictures - And All of WHOM?

Ciao a tutti,

I have to say that this could be a bit overwhelming. I have never seen so many pictures of me from one event before in my entire performance life. Literally, I have been sent and have seen hundreds upon hundreds of pictures of me with hundreds of facial expressions, position of mouth, body gesticulations and in various strides across the stage.

It seems that there were more than a few photographers at the Feast of San Gennaro in Los Angeles this year who took a liking to what Chef Richard and I were doing as part of our live version of the Filippo and the Chef show, and we are so grateful for the attention. Little by little they have been trickling in.

This last batch which came in today was really appreciated because it included pictures of me with people with whom I had not seen pictures of as of yet. Most specifically, I didn't have a picture with Joan Kimmel, Kimmy Kimmel's Mom and Uncle Frank.

At the top of the post is her making pasta fasul or "fagioli" with Chef Richard, with me looking on, and talking on and on, he, he. In this picture here I was telling a story about her, actually it was really about me. But it went like this.

When I met Joan that night before I gave her my E-mail address and asked her to E-mail me the recipe that she was going to make and the ingredients she needed. That next day she E-mailed me as planned. At the end of her E-mail she wrote, "I love you."

I got the E-mail and without batting an eye-lash wrote her back, "Thanks, I love you!" Just before I sent the E-mail, I happened to check her E-mail address and noticed that it wasn't her name on the E-mail but that of her son, JIMMY KIMMEL. Thank God I didn't send it. She explained to me later that she was using her sons computer at his house and sent the E-mail from his E-mail account.

So I shared that story with the audience ending it with "Can you imagine if I had sent the E-mail and Jimmy had read it?" I think, whether he thought I was saying "I love you" to him, or saw me writing it to his mother, it would have possibly been awkward either way. You know those Italians and their mothers, he, he.

Here are some other pictures that I think you would enjoy, and I guess there's no need to explain them, I will just post them here with captions, just in case they are needed. Oh yes, there were a couple other things I wanted to say.

Firstly, here is a picture of the singing group we formed especially for the Festival which we called "Filippo and the CHEFS!" The "Chefs" part of the group was made up of actors Bobby Costanzo, Johnny Capodice, and our very own Chef Richard Lombardi. It was a hoot, we sang doo wop and brought the house down because it was so funny.

And what was the other thing I wanted to say? Oh, and I wasn't kidding when I said the pictures keep coming in. I recently got an E-mail from yet another photographer, Andre, who took some fun pictures of us at the Feast and if you want to see even more pictures you can click on this link. Thank you Andre for your interest in taking pictures of us and posting them on them web.

With Actor Mario Macaluso

So that's it for now, until someone else sends some more pictures, he, he.


Backstage with Actress, Director and Producer Penny Marshall

P.S. This Italian-American comedian, John DiResta, was coming to town and I wasn't able to go see his live stand-up, but I checked out clips of him on the web and on Youtube. In case you are not familiar with his comedy or his show, like I wasn't, I posted a clip of his and his brother Jimmy's show "Hammered," here. (In English)

Singing on stage to Actress, Model, TV Host Tanya Memme

On Stage with Actor and TV Host Mark DeCarlo and Actress and Model Marisa Petroro

At the festival with Comedian Mike Marino and Actor Mario Macaluso

On stage cooking with Penny Marshall and Chef Richard