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“Meadow Soprano” hosts Fifth Season Party at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay

By • Mar 10th, 2004 •

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How long have we waited to see Tony Soprano? House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino hosted an extravagant HBO viewing party on March 6 that featured a 2-hour musical set by Louie, Louie. At 10 P.M., giant screens came down and finally episode #53, “Two Tonys” aired.

The crowd was ready!

Hours earlier my press colleague Polly Peluso and I sat down with Jamie-Lynn DiScala, “Meadow Soprano,” for a leisurely and highly enjoyable afternoon. Jamie-Lynn was in Las Vegas to host the party at the House of Blues, introduce the opening of the series fifth season, and answer questions from the invited guests.

Delicate, gorgeous, and much smaller than she appears on “The Sopranos,” Jamie-Lynn was forthcoming and quite open to all questions. Polly and I were warned not to ask any personal questions, but Jamie-Lynn immediately laughed and said: “What personal questions are off-limits?”

A former Las Vegas homeowner, we quickly sped through Jamie-Lynn’s impressive resume: Six months on Broadway as ‘Belle’ in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” starring in the national tour of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” marriage to her manager, and the upcoming USA film “Going Down: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss.”

Jamie-Lynn was thrilled to talk about her role as Heidi Fleiss, and, I hope her publicist will not mind, but I’m going to reveal some “personal facts” that Jamie-Lynn volunteered: USA Films will be pushing the envelope with this film. There will be the network version and an “unrated” DVD version (for which Jamie-Lynn had a body-double). Directed by Charles McDougall, “The Rise and Fall” co-stars Brenda Fricker and Corbin Bernsen and will air premiere at the end of March.

The film is the “unauthorized” version of Heidi Fleiss’ story, but Jamie-Lynn had only admiration and high regard for the woman she played. Jamie-Lynn clearly did her homework and sympathized with her character for 28 days. Jamie-Lynn is an authority on Fleiss. According to Jamie-Lynn (and publicist Suzanne Baum who sat in on our afternoon with Jamie-Lynn and has met Fleiss several times), Fleiss is very sweet, intelligent, and highly personable. Jamie-Lynn and Suzanne were quite adamant about Fleiss: She is a seductive, interesting person who got caught up in the underbelly of Hollywood.

It is fascinating to hear about Fleiss through the actress playing her. Jamie-Lynn seems to understand exactly what made Fleiss a success in her chosen business and what contributed to her downfall. The seduction and addiction of celebrity became Fleiss’ undoing and her flamboyant personality was the sole factor that led to her arrest. Jamie-Lynn takes Fleiss from 15 to 27 years of age. The film ends with Fleiss being arrested.

Quite a change from Cinderella, Belle, and Meadow Soprano (who is still a Columbia student volunteering at a free law clinic).

Robert Loggia has a firm place in film dialogue history, right up there with Clark Gable’s “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” with two memorable lines from “Scarface”: “Don’t get high on your own supply,” and “Never underestimate the other guy’s greed.”

“The Sopranos” creator David Chase obviously feels the same way we do about Loggia and gives him an opening scene reminiscent of his terrific performance in “Scarface.” The “Class of ’04,” is the name the press has given a gang of organized crime figures released from prison. Tony Soprano’s cousin Tony Blundetto, played by Steve Buscemi, is one of the colorful mob bosses that descend upon New Jersey. They want back in the game. Fans do not need to even see Buscemi to know he will be a rusty nail in Tony’s side.

Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico) is my favorite character on “The Sopranos.” In “Two Tonys,” Tony is separated from Carmela (Edie Falco) but still walking in and out of his house. Tony wants to date Dr. Melfi (Lorraine Bracco) and Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) is furious that he has to always pay for big mob dinners. He is getting tormented by a gleeful Paulie Walnuts.

Has the long delay in the return of “The Sopranos” mellowed the show? I thought so when Tony started “romancing” Melfi. I nearly cringed when Tony quoted Dr. Phil and spoke about how he wanted to touch Melfi’s skin! Tony looked silly, soft, and fat as he kissed Melfi. What was up with that? But wait! Our Tony triumphs! The viewing crowd went wild! Add to this Paulie and Christopher dealing with a waiter and all I can say is: “The Sopranos” is back and ruthless as ever!

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