At the Mob Museum, the good guys win. Always.
So it was that the upcoming release “Mob Town” celebrated its premiere Saturday night at the museum’s storied courtroom, site of the Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime in 1950-51. Starring David Arquette as New York state trooper Ed Croswell, the movie chronicles a doomed Mafia summit in the remote town of Apalachin, New York, in November 1957.
The event, which had been assembled at the home of Joseph “The Barber” Barbara, led to the arrest of 58 Cosa Nostra bosses and exposed the Mafia to the international community for the first time. The film is due for wide release Dec. 13.
If you are interested in a unique and consequential moment in mob history, or even some stunning vehicles of the era (including a ‘57 Chevy Bel Air), check it out.
At an after-party at the museum’s Underground lounge, Arquette said he was impressed with the Mob Museum itself. The building’s authenticity lent itself to the movie’s retro-mobster spirit.
“It’s incredible. I love it,” said Arquette, who had toured the attraction earlier in the day. “It’s very detailed, so well done, and it’s inside an amazing building that obviously has a lot of history, the movie’s story is in it. This place we are now (the Underground) has a great feel to it, too.”
Arquette is friends with Downtown Project and Zappos founder Tony Hsieh, who was among the VIPs attending the screening. Mark and Jonnie Houston of On The Record at Park MGM, Life is Beautiful CEO Justin Weniger, MGM Resorts International nightlife exec Sean Christie, famed spirit tracker Zak Bagans with Holly Madison; supermodel Marta Pozzan; Tao Group official Mike Snedegar; and of course Mob Museum President and CEO Jonathan Ullman.
For Las Vegas movers/shakers, court was in session in downtown L.V.
“I love visiting Las Vegas. I love the shows, the shopping, the gambling and having fun on the Strip,” Arquette said. “But here, it’s the other side of Vegas. It’s the whole arts scene, where great things are happening, and I like that too.”
That Strip-fun option Arquette referred to happened after the Mob Museum event. The film’s cast members who attended the premiere tooled it to the Houston brothers’ OTR speakeasy. Arquette led a contingent of director/co-star Danny A. Abeckaser (who played Barbara) and cast members P.J. Byrne (Vincent Vasisko), Kyle Stefanski (Joe Gallo), Jon Carlo (Agent Ruston), Stevie Guttman (Bartolo Guccia), George V. Andreakos (Frankie) and Diana Madison (Maria).
In the film, but not in Vegas this weekend, was Robert Davi as Genovese. In February, Davi performed a very cool Frank Sinatra-themed show on the Strip. He always fits the scene, on or off the screen.
Time for a tome
It was the first time I’d seen Bagans, of “Ghost Adventurers” and The Haunted Museum fame, and Madison together at an event. The former co-star of “Peep Show” at Planet Hollywood, Madison says she is working on her next book. Expect fiction from the author of best-sellers “The Showgirl Next Door” (2011), “Down the Rabbit Hole” (2015), and “The Vegas Diaries” (2016).
Dayna Roselli is considering a side career as a stand-up comic. Don’t laugh. Wait. Go ahead and laugh.
Roselli wants to do this and has actually told jokes in front of a live audience before, at Emmy-winning set designer Andy Walmsley’s 2013 “Showbiz Roast” of Zowie Bowie’s Chris Phillips at the Stratosphere.
Host Mike Hammer of Four Queens introduced her with, “We couldn’t get Marie Osmond, so here is Dayna Roselli!”
“I didn’t think people would think I was funny, because I’m not edgy, but I got some good laughs from the audience,” Roselli said on the latest episode of PodKats! “I had a blast doing it.”
Roselli, who left KTNV, Channel 13 in October, worked with expert improv comic and writer Matt Donnelly (of “Penn’s Sunday School” and “Ice Cream Social” podcasts) on material for that event. She has recently been assembling a few minutes of stage material and is reviewing and open-mic opportunity to test out this concept.
So far, no props. No verdict on how “blue” Roselli will be, but she can be funny. And she has observations, believe it.
Cool Hang Alert
Keeping with the mob theme, a shoutout to the Underground jazz lineup. From 7-11 p.m. Dec. 8 it’s the Shaun DeGraff Band. From 6-10 p.m. Dec. 10, it’s The Old Fashions. No cover, and take a look at the still, the wall art and the descriptions of the era. You will learn a lot about dance marathons, a bygone form of entertainment that was not for the meek. Hit themobmuseum.org for further directives.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.