Soprano Sue's Sightings
 


John 'Cha Cha' Ciarcia at his Cafe in Little Italy


John "Cha Cha" Ciarcia, joined the cast of The Sopranos in the sixth season, starting with the episode of "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh." His character, Albie Cianflore is part of Phil Leotardo's crew and is the only cast member who I handle the web site for , (as far as I know) that is still alive and kicking.

I bring to you an interview with one of the very special people who have touched my life because of The Sopranos.

June 9, 2007

When is your birthday?

February 19

Where were you born?

Mulberry Street, New York City

In the street?

Yeah

Are you Italian, and where do you trace your Italian roots?

Calabria and Naples, Italy

What was it like growing up in an Italian neighborhood?

It was the greatest place in the world to grow up. We had food! Every apartment in the building I lived in always had their door open. You could literally eat dinner anytime of the day. There were days me and my friends would have dinner 5 times in one day, and then of course you had to be home at a certain time for your Mom's cooking, which by the way, was always the best!

Do you speak Italian or any other language?

Yes I speak Italian, I am dabbling in cha cha-onics

How did you feel about getting cast on The sopranos?

I turned them down twice, cappa di tutti cappa (the boss of all bosses) David Chase personally came to me and he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

What was one of your favorite moments on the set of The Sopranos?

My favorite moment was when Jimmy (Gandolfini) saw me dozing off in one of those director's chairs; he came over and woke me up. He showed me where he had a bed hidden and told me to use it anytime I wanted.

You've worked with many of the actors previously on the show, how does that effect you when you do a scene with them?

It has no effect on me, I am not in awe of a big star, I treat a hobo on the street the same way. Nobody is better than anyone else.

Does that mean you give them a buck or a free meal?

My friends can get a free meal from me anytime; even my enemies can, if they need it.

Your name is John Ciarcia, how did you get the name of Cha Cha?

I'm called Cha Cha because off the pronunciation of my last name.

You also hold the title of The Mayor of Little Italy? I know for a fact that Little Italy does not have separate mayoral elections from the City of New York, how did you get that title?

The Madison Square Garden announcer John Condon, affectionately gave Cha Cha the nick name The Unofficial Mayor of Little Italy during one of the numerous boxing events held at the Garden.

How did you get into being a boxing promoter?

I was managing a fighter and I literally got fucked on 23 decisions, I threw a chair at the referee. I decided I would never get fucked again and I would clean up boxing. Unfortunately I didn't succeed.

As a boxing promoter, who did you work with?

Tony Danza, Emile Griffith (Champion of both the Welterweight and Middleweight divisions), and Vito Antuofermo (1979 World Middleweight Boxing Champion) to name of few.

Tony Danza? Is that before he became an actor?

I also see worked with him in A Brooklyn State of Mind and Mamamia

Was this a natural progression, with both of your careers?

Yes

According to your website, you were the Associate Director of casting for the Martin Scorcese film, Goodfellas, providing the 400 extras needed, how did you pull this one off, and keep everything organized?

Keep what organized? I am the most unorganized person on the face of the earth. My motto is the squeaky wheel gets oil, so what ever needs oil, I oil it and keep going

You own the restaurant, Cha Cha's in Bocca Al Lupo Outdoor Caffe', in Little Italy, where is it?

113 Mulberry Street , near Canal Street , New York City

What makes your restaurant more special than some of the other eateries in Little Italy?

It has a fabulous outdoor garden as part of the café. I have the best Gelatto this side of Rome. We also have the best Tiramisu

Besides your restaurant on Mulberry Street , I heard that you also have something going on with Wild Women, can you talk about it?

I also own Cha Cha';s of Coney Island , The Home of Wild Woman and Wise Guys. My manager, Machine Gun Johnny, is a musical genius and he is responsible for all the entertainment. He also hosts the legendary weekly Wet T Shirt contest. Machine Gun Johnny also provides the music for parties, including Do Wop, and Oldies Groups.

I am also in the process of opening Big Al's, the Hot Dog King of Chicago in the Adventure Inn on Shore Parkway. It's near Coney Island.

You also are a co-host on a weekly radio show, Vincent Pastore's Wise Guy Show how has that changed your life. Do people recognize you for your voice now?

Absolutely, I also co host with the undisputed leader of The Royal Order of the Night People, Joey Reynolds's Show one or 2 night's a week.

You have been involved in some many different facets of the entertainment business, what other projects do you have going on?

I am presently at the helm of an off Broadway theatrical production based on the life & music of legendary American songstress Kate Smith starring the talented, Karen King.

I am also heavily involved with the Schoharie Horror Film Festival. I am also going to start production in the first ever mafia/horror genre movie with Charles Messina.

Do you have any hobbies?

My hobby is working and enjoying what I do.

How do you think other people would describe you?

As a Napoleonic nasty man

Tell us something that people don't know about you

I am a hand grenade, don't pull the pin

What are your favorite websites?

Sopranosue.com, Mulberry Street Cigars

What charities are you involved with?

Heartshare , St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Cooley's Anemia

What are your favorite foods?

Chinese food, beef over rice, pork over rice, chicken chow mein, Cantonese style

You're still on a deserted island; with no hope of a rescue. You are only allowed one of your favorite food dishes, one music cd and one piece of clothing, what would be your choices?

If I am on a desert island with my wife, the first thing I am going to do is kill her, cause if I don't she'll eat me

Food: Italian tuna fish - Genovo tuna in a can, mix it with, eggplant

Music: American standards

Clothes: Jock strap

 

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