Category Archives: Entertainment

Under The Tuscan Sun with Frances Mayes.

Check out the upcoming special for PBS stations/Create TV in 2019 – Dream of Italy: Under The Tuscan Sun with Frances Mayes. Chances are educated, affluent women are your target market. After all, women make 80% of travel buying decisions and middle age/Baby Boomer are a coveted consumer segment. Some sponsorship time still available (messaging before and after every airing for four or more years and a package of other marketing) – email me for details!

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SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO ALREADY “HUNGRY” FOR 2019 in St. Louis May 4, 2019 Special Pre-Sale Offer



Comedian, Actor and Best-Selling Author Announces
Stay Hungry Tour Dates for Next Year

 Additional Run of Dates Come on the Heels of Maniscalco Selling Out Three Shows at Madison Square Garden and Adding a Fourth Jan. 19-20

Set to Return to ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!” on Nov. 5, 2018

Los Angeles, Calif. –Billboard opined last month comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco “is starting the new year at the top of the comedy game,” when announcing he would be taking the Madison Square Garden stage on Saturday, January 19, 2019. They weren’t wrong. Additional shows sold out as quickly as they were added. Dubbed “one of standup comedy’s breakthrough performers” in a recent CBS Sunday Morning profile, and “the comedian’s comedian” by PEOPLE, Maniscalco is set to perform four shows at the famous venue (three of them already sold out) Jan. 19-20.

On these heels of that career milestone comes news that his wildly successful Stay Hungry Tour will continue through May 18, 2019 with over 30 stops across the U.S. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at 10:00 am local time.  Maniscalco is also set to return to ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!” on Nov. 5 to discuss his upcoming appearances at Madison Square Garden and 2019 tour. Check local listings for time.

Distinguished by the New York Times as having his “own kind of panache,” Maniscalco’s live performances have become critically-acclaimed events “embraced with thundering applause and tear-inducing laughter,” according to a recent Billboard review which described his Sept. 8, sold-out Greek Theatre performance as “devastatingly full-force comedy.”

With a string of record-breaking sold-out comedy appearances, a best-selling memoir Stay Hungry (available in paperback Nov. 13), five sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall earlier this year, an appearance in the summer film TAG as well as appearances in upcoming fall films Cruise and Green Book (winner of Toronto Film Fest’s 2018 People’s Choice Award), 2018 has been a milestone year, culminating in Maniscalco receiving Billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year award this November. And 2019 is already shaping up to be another banner year for one of Forbes’ Highest Paid Comedians. With a role in Martin Scorsese’s 2019 picture The Irishman as well as a new Netflix special coming early next year, Maniscalco can also add playing FOUR nights at ‘The Garden’ to his list of accomplishments.

2019 Stay Hungry Tour Dates:

1/11/19            Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall           Portland, OR
1/12/19            Moore Theatre                                     Seattle, WA
1/19/19            Madison Square Garden (7 & 10 pm) New York, NY*      1/20/19            Madison Square Garden (7 & 10 pm) New York, NY*
1/24/19            Taft Theatre                                        Cincinnati, OH
1/25/19            Palace Theatre                                     Columbus, OH
1/26/19            Connor Palace                                     Cleveland, OH
1/31/19            Warner Theatre                                   Erie, PA
2/1/19              Shea’s Performing Arts Center           Buffalo, NY
2/7/19              Carpenter Theatre                               Richmond, NY
2/8/19              MGM National Harbor                       Washington DC
2/21/19            Morris Performing Arts Center       South Bend, IN
2/22/19            Coronado Performing Ars Center      Rockford, IL
2/23/19            Peoria Civic Center                            Peoria, IL
2/28/19            Hershey Theatre                                 Hershey, PA
3/1/19              Heinz Hall                                           Pittsburgh, PA
3/2/19              Sands                                                   Bethlehem, PA
3/8/19              Eccles Theatre                                     Salt Lake City, UT
3/9/19              Grand Sierra Resort                            Reno, NV
3/22/19            Paramount Theatre                             Denver, CO
3/23/19            Arvest Bank Theatre                     Kansas City, MO
3/28/19            Tobin Center                                       Antonio, TX
3/29/19            Paragon Casino                                   Marksville, LA
3/30/19            Beau Rivage                                       Biloxi, MS
4/5/19              Fox Theatre                                        Detroit, MI
4/6/19              DeVos Performance Hall                    Grand Rapids, MI
4/12/19            Millennium Theater                            Tunica, MS
4/13/19            TPAC’s James K. Polk Theater   Nashville, TN
4/18/19            Paramount Theatre                      Cedar Rapids, IA
4/19/19            Hoyt Sherman Place                           Des Moines, IA
4/20/19            Brown Theatre                                    Louisville, KY
5/3/19              Egyptian Old National Centre             Indianapolis, IN
5/4/19              Stifel Theatre                                      St. Louis, MO
5/17/19            Humphrey’s Concerts                         San Diego, CA
5/18/19            Celebrity Theatre                                Phoenix, AZ

*Previously Announced

For more information, please visit



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Festa di Ferragosto By Marianne Peri-Sack

CIAO ST. LOUIS and the Sicilian Cultural Association of St. Louis combined efforts to bring Festa di Ferragosto to St. Louis on Aug. 12 at Orlando Gardens at the Hoffmeister location. The price was $50.00 each which included buffet dinner and open bar from 4-9 p.m.

Like most Italian things, this holiday is steeped in tradition and goes back to Emperor Augustus who founded it in 18 BC under the name of Feriae Augusti (Festivals Holidays) adding it to earlier ancient Roman festival that fell in the month. These holidays normally celebrated the harvest or a long period of rest which were a welcome relief after the intense period of hard labor. This is also the period when many Italians go on vacation. Horse races were organized such as the “Palio dell’ Assunta” the colorful and famous race in Siena. People from all over the world come to watch this event. Celebrations are many and varied from town to town but the holiday is often celebrated in conjunction with Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, a public holiday in Italy.

The highlight of the evening was the performance of Savio De Martino direct from Italy. The singer-songwriter began his artistic career at the age of 7 years. He offers a varied repertoire of Italian pop to jazz, from blues to good light music and his talents and passion for music have brought him a wider and wider audience. Quite a trooper, De Martino performed for five hours straight and the happy dancers filled the dance floor all during that time. Also, from Chicago was fantastic Italian DJ who played the music with multiple lighting effects while also projecting live videos of musical extravaganzas. It was a splendid evening for those wanting to celebrate their culture while having a great time.



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St. Louis International Film Festival will take place Nov. 1-11, 2018.

J. Kim & Sharon Tucci Italian Focus

Sponsored by Pasta House Co.

Call Me by Your Name

Friday, November 10 at 8:00pm

It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family’s 17th-century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend… Read more

Doc Shorts: The Unexpected

Friday, November 10 at 5:00pm

Unusual dispatches from around the globe.

Read More

The Leisure Seeker

Saturday, November 4 at 6:45pm

The first film in English by Italian director Paolo Virzi (“Human Capital”), “The Leisure Seeker” — which debuted at the Venice film fest — tells the story of a runaway couple going on an unforgettable cross-country journey in their vintage camper. Seriously ill… Read more

Let Yourself Go

Saturday, November 11 at 6:30pm
Sunday, November 12 at 5:20pm

In this Italian variant on the screwball comedy, an uptight psychologist gets more than just a physical workout when he signs up for personal-training sessions with an attractive young instructor. Toni Sevillo (“The Great Beauty”) is outstanding as Elia, a… Read more

Pizza Shop: An Italian-American Dream

Sunday, November 12 at 2:45pm

What is an immigrant’s typical experience in America? What does he sacrifice, and what does he gain? “Pizza Shop” provides one family’s answer to those questions, lovingly illustrating what it means for Charlie and Fred Osso, immigrant brothers from Calabria,… Read more

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Brave Chihuahua from Italian crime movie wins Palm Dog

CANNES, France: A tiny chihuahua won the “Palm Dog” award at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, for its performance in “Dogman”, an Italian film about an animal groomer who reluctantly gets involved in burglary.

The unofficial award is made every year at the festival as an “antidote to the extreme serious human ego issues at the real ceremonies,” said organiser Toby Rose.

In the film, directed by Matteo Garrone, known for Naples mafia movie “Gomorrah”, the burglars shut the chihuahua in a freezer to stop it yapping. It is later rescued by the film’s hero.

“Dogman” is competing for the Palme d’Or – the official prize given to the best film that will be awarded on Saturday.

(Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Circus Flora Opens Soon

by Annette M. Graebe

Make plans now for our favorite local circus — Circus Flora!  (Yes, they’ve changed their season from a hot, muggy summer to early spring, and they’ve moved down the street!)  Show dates:  April 19 – May 13.  Circus Flora beginnings go back to the Spoleto Festival more than thirty-two years ago.  Under that red and white Big Top, they still continue that rich, Italian tradition incorporating original, new artists and techniques.  This year’s show is “The Case of the Missing Bellhop” as the plot twists and turns to the delight of the audience.   It includes a full cast of characters – including a troupe of trained pigs!  For more information and tickets, visit  Tickets ($12 – $60) will be available at their new box office opening Monday at 10 a.m./phone: 314-230-9191, or tickets may be purchased through MetroTix (with a service fee).  Look for the red and white tent at their new location at 3401 Washington Blvd. — not far from The Fox.

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Triumphing over familial, cultural and professional obstacles Ermal Meta

April 2018 | 

Triumphing over familial, cultural and professional obstacles Ermal Meta

Ermal Meta è un cantautore, compositore e polistrumentista italiano di origine albanese. Cresciuto ascoltando musica classica,  ha cominciato da ragazzo a suonare il piano e la chitarra insieme a vari gruppi prima di entrare a fare parte degli Ameba 4 in qualità di chitarrista. A partire dal 2013 ha intrapreso una doppia carriera da solista (pubblicando tre album in studio) ed autore scrivendo brani per molti noti interpreti italiani. In qualità d’interprete insieme a Fabrizio Moro di Non mi avete fatto niente, canzone vincitrice del Festival di Sanremo 2018, Meta è stato automaticamente designato come rappresentante dell’Italia all’Eurovision Song Contest 2018 a Lisbona.

What is sometimes lost among the roar of the crowd and the glare of the bright lights within the entertainment industry is the fact that behind some of those smiles, are people dealing with painful memories. The admonition of “one must walk a mile in another person’s shoes before judging them” holds true to this day. Take, for example, the story of Ermal Meta, a singer/songwriter and poly-instrumentalist who was born in Fier, Albania on April 20, 1981.

Ermal, whose name means “mountain wind,” grew up in a polarizing home setting; culturally nurtured by his mother, a professional violinist, but also suffered greatly at the hands of an abusive father. By age five, he began seeking refuge from his ordeal and gravitated toward music for solace and inspiration. The political climate in Albania during the nineties was a period of instability as communism had fallen and the country lacked direction, offering little hope and few opportunities for Ermal and those of his generation. At age 13, the difficult decision was reached whereby he, his mother, brother, and sister fled the country and relocated to the Italian port city of Bari in the southern region of Puglia to begin life anew. They were immediately welcomed with open arms and, within a few years, Ermal began his musical journey by learning to play both the piano and guitar.

He joined several fledgling bands in the process and performed publically throughout the region. He also enrolled in college during this time and began formal studies in foreign languages only to later abandon his education to exclusively pursue his musical aspirations on a full-time basis. He achieved his objective of forming his first band as he partnered with Fabio Properzi (guitarist/vocalist), Tullio Ciriello (bassist) and Luca Giura (drummer) to form the group “Ameba 4.” The outfit caught the attention of noted record producer Corrado Rustici with their demo tape. This fruitful relationship led to an invitation to participate at the 2006 Sanremo Music Festival in the “Giovani” portion of the competition. The entry “Rido forse mi sbaglio” was eliminated but would lead to the signing of a recording contract with legendary record producer Caterina Caselli on her “Sugar” music label. Their eponymously titled debut album in 2006 featured their Sanremo single along with 12 other original compositions.

After a brief tour in support of their release, the band would break-up in 2007. The recording and touring experience proved invaluable to Ermal and he used the opportunity to front his own group which he christened “La Fame di Camilla.” With complete artistic control, he developed and refined the group’s music catalog and sound production to his liking. The group participated in numerous public exhibitions and musical festivals all throughout Italy and Europe plying their trade and sharpening their performance skills for a couple of years. It was only then that he was prepared to release the group’s debut album, “La Fame di Camilla” (2009). The album was well received and the single/video “Storia di una favola” garnered awards and earned the band much-deserved notoriety. The group’s good fortune continued with an invitation to the 2010 Sanremo Music Festival as they submitted the song “Buio e luce.” Although the entry was eventually eliminated from the competition, the song would serve as the title track to their second album (2010).

The release entered the charts, enjoying a lengthy stay and found its way into numerous radio playlists earning valuable time in regular rotation. An extended tour throughout the peninsula exposed the group to new markets thereby generating increased record sales. The group eventually returned to the studio and released their third and final release “L’attesa” (2012). The single/video “Suzy e l’infinito” became another hit for the band. The recording was tabbed by the critics as the group’s best, as it reflected maturation in the band’s music and lyrics. Despite all the positive results, Ermal sensed that he needed to reach the next level of his personal development and that would require that he disband the group and embark on a solo career.

Wasting no time, he immediately began writing compositions for other established artists including Emma Marrone, Francesco Renga, Patty Pravo, Chiara Galiazzo, Marco Mengoni, Francesca Michielin, Francesco Sarcina, Giusy Ferreri, Annalisa Scarrone, and Lorenzo Fargola. Emboldened by the demand for his talents, Ermal made the difficult decision to leave his family in Bari and move to Milan. Once he settled in the music epicenter of Italy, he commenced work on his debut solo album “Umano” (2016). Ermal played the majority of the instruments on this recording and composed nearly all the music and lyrics. The recording was self-produced and yielded four hit singles including “Odio le favole,” which was entered into the 2016 Sanremo Music Festival in the “Nuove Proposte” (Newcomer’s Section), finishing in third place.

His momentum continued with his second solo release “Vietato Morire” (2017). The album achieved platinum sales and the title track was entered into the 2017 Sanremo Music Festival and finished in third place among the 20 other contestants in the “Categoria Campioni” (Champions Category). Ermal’s best was yet to come and his star burned brightest at the recently concluded 2018 Sanremo Music Festival as his composition “Non mi avete fatto niente,” co-written with and performed as a duet with Fabrizio Moro, captured first place at the prestigious annual Italian music competition. The hit single made its way onto his third solo album “Non abbiamo armi” (2018) which has already entered into the charts. Because of their victory, Ermal and Fabrizio will represent Italy at the 2018 Eurovision Music Competition in Lisbon, Portugal in May of 2018.

For more information you can visit his Facebook Page at
Photos courtesy of

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First Team JUVENTUS Official Trailer NEW (2018) Netflix Documentary Series

If you have Netflix check out this series. Even if you don’t like Juve it is very interesting. A great look into top tier professional soccer. Da non perdere. Don’t miss it.

First Team JUVENTUS Official Trailer #1 NEW (2018) Netflix Documentary Series HD A look behind the scenes of Juventus FC. Follow the club during the 2017-2018 both on and off the field, with interviews to legends like Alessandro Del Piero and players like Federico Bernardeschi, Giorgio Chiellini, Douglas Costa, Gonzalo Higuaín, Claudio Marchisio, Miralem Pjanic, Daniele Rugani, the captain Gianluigi Buffon and the coach Massimiliano Allegri. Watch

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