25 Years of Gabagool: The Sopranos Family Reunites in Little Italy

It feels a lifetime ago since James Gandolfini graced our screens as the conflicted mob boss Tony Soprano. Yet, on Wednesday night, in the heart of New York’s Little Italy, time seemed to melt away as the cast and crew of The Sopranos reunited for the show’s 25th anniversary.

The setting? Da Nico, a cozy red sauce joint on Mulberry Street, a haunt frequented by Sopranos regulars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa. As 75 cast and crew members poured into the intimate space, it was as if Bada Bing! had relocated for the evening.

Little Italy Lights Up for 25th Sopranos Family Reunion

David Chase, the show’s creator, beamed amidst the crowd mobbing the bar. “It’s like heaven,” he declared, the years melting away from his face. “It’s extraordinary being with these people. I haven’t seen many of them in years.”

Sopranos Family

The air buzzed with a palpable mix of joy and nostalgia. Bartenders sloshed “Sopranos”-labeled Chianti, waiters weaved through the throngs bearing plates of baby caprese, and familiar faces like Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) and Steve Buscemi (director and actor) swapped stories and inside jokes.

Celebration in the midst of Loses

It wasn’t just a celebration; it was a bittersweet homecoming. The recent losses of Frank Vincent and Tony Sirico cast long shadows, adding a poignant edge to the festivities. Steve Schirripa, who played Bobby Baccalieri, confessed his mixed emotions. “I wanted to make sure I was here because I don’t know if this is going to be the last reunion,” he admitted.

Yet, amidst the bittersweet whispers, the memories painted with laughter were more vibrant. Lorraine Bracco, Tony Soprano’s therapist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, reflected on the profound bond forged during those years. “I shared a big part of my life with them,” she said, her voice thick with emotion. “They watched my children grow up… it continues to be a very large, looming family.”

Even “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, a Sopranos alum, joined the fray, sharing a treasured nugget of advice passed down by Chase: “‘David would always say, ‘if we like it, they’ll like it. If we understand it, they’ll understand it. We are the audience.'”

As the cocktail hour drew to a close, the gathering ascended to a private room upstairs, where a Sopranos-themed feast awaited. Carmela’s Baked Ziti mingled with Satriale’s Special Calabrese, a culinary homage to the show’s iconic haunts. For the next few weeks, Da Nico will remain a shrine to The Sopranos, offering these special dishes and even a Sopranos-red dinner booth, a permanent memento of this special night.

Among the revelers was James Gandolfini’s son, Michael, who played a young Tony in “The Many Saints of Newark.” Standing by a wall adorned with towering wine bottles, he exuded a quiet grace, eagerly introducing his girlfriend to his father’s former colleagues. As one cast member approached, their exchange captured the essence of the evening: “How’s your Mama?” the veteran actor inquired, acknowledging the shared history that transcended mere roles.

Michael, taking in the scene of hugs, laughter, and shared memories, grew reflective. “I’m here not only as a fan of the show,” he said, his voice resonating with the weight of legacy. “But to honor all the cast members and what they have done.”

The Sopranos may have concluded its run years ago, but Wednesday night proved that its legacy remains as potent as ever. In that Mulberry Street haven, amidst the scent of red sauce and the echoes of “gabagool,” a family reunited, not just for a 25th anniversary, but to celebrate the enduring power of a story that redefined television and captured the hearts of millions.

And as the night wore on, one could almost hear the faint strains of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” wafting through the air, a testament to the show’s enduring anthem and the unwavering belief that, even 25 years later, The Sopranos will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.

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