Chianese to croon in Staten Island

September 10, 2012 Denise Romano
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Italian-American actor Dominic Chianese, better known to many as Corrado “Uncle Junior” Soprano from the hit television show, “The Sopranos,” will be bringing his talent to Staten Island this Friday.

The show, “One Night in Naples with Dominic Chianese,” will feature the actor singing songs in Italian.

“It’s two singers and a pianist and a little accordion music on the side,” Chianese, 81, told this paper on a rainy Saturday morning from his Manhattan home. “The whole show will be in Italian, mostly Neapolitan songs.”

Chianese’s grandfather immigrated to the states from Naples in 1904 and settled in the Bronx. Chianese was born in the boogie-down borough during the Depression.“It was a very warm neighborhood feeling growing up in an Italian neighborhood,” he recalled. “[We had] lots of love and security.”

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But Chianese has Brooklyn roots, too. His mother’s side of the family settled in East New York “around St. Marks Place and Ralph Avenue…not too far from Utica Avenue, way back in the Depression days,” he said. “[But] my mom and dad got married in the Bronx.”

Chianese remembers visiting Brooklyn as a kid. “We would take a long train ride from the Bronx to Utica Avenue. I remember it. Then [we would] take the subway ride back again,” he explained. “I have been riding the subway for 80 years.”

Chianese said his show focuses on those fond memories. “[It reminds us of] a sense of tradition that our grandparents came to this country with. They will be traditional songs that people of Italian and American backgrounds will remember and other people will realize the value of the Italian song in America since 1900.”

He said when he sings the tunes, “It makes me go back to my childhood, which is a good thing. It gives me deep insight into why my grandfather’s family would sing these songs in the first place,” Chianese explained. “It would remind them of home – remind them of where their heart was when they were children.”

“One Night in Naples” will take place at Lorenzo’s Restaurant and Bar at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Avenue, Staten Island, on Friday, September 14. Tickets for a four-course dinner with wine pairing and the show are $79.95. Dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 9:30 p.m. For tickets, call 718-477-2400 ext. 5 or visit

“If people want to hear beautiful songs, they should come to the show,” Chianese said. “It will remind them of their grandparents.

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