If there is such a thing as the mayor of Little Italy it has to be Cha-Cha. Cha-Cha and I go back so far, I even know his real name, … John Ciarcia. But to everyone else in the world, he’s just Chach! And his eponymous restaurant on Mulberry Street, Cha-Cha’s In Bocca Al Lupo, has always been a hangout for bigtime actors, who Chach has worked with, and befriended over the years. Everybody loves the guy!
One night I popped in and ran into Danny DeVito, with his wife Rhea Perlman. Another night it was Abel Ferrara.
In the video below you’ll see me with Cha-Cha on the red carpet of the Soho Film Festival at an event in honor of actor Frank Vincent, also a regular on The Sopranos.
Cha-Cha’s been in movies, and on TV, and he was one of the regulars on the Wiseguy Show in Sirius Radio, Raw Dog 104, with Vinny Pastore as the host.
I was at the premiere of a film he produced called “Men Lie” which was pre-Sopranos that starred people like Frank Vincent, Tony Sirico, Aida Turturro, Michael Imperioli, and Tony Darrow all of whom would become major players on the hit HBO show “The Sopranos”.
I would always see him and his lovely wife Karen at all the Friars Roasts, and he’d always be backstage in the Green Room with pals like Danny Aiello, or Frank Gia. (Believe it or not, he knows people who aren’t Italian also! (LOL) me being one of them! Although I was cast as the original “Wannabe” in the hit play by Vince Gogliormella, ” Six Goumbahs And A Wannabe.”
He was always a big comedy fan, and now he’s offering comedy shows at Cha-Cha’s on Mulberry Street, three nights a week with well known comics like Jim Mendrinos, Reverend Bob Levy from Howard Stern fame, Angry Bob, Ellen Karis, and a big fave of mine, Geno Bisconte, who I’m happy to say I brought to the attention of The Friars Club when I had him MC my book party for “Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive”. The shows are hosted by comic Heather Height and produced by comic David Harris. It’s a really fun time! (And GREAT food, .. needless to say! So if it’s needless to say, why did I say it??? LOLOL)
It’s at 113 Mulberry Street, Thursday thru Sunday. Doors open at 9 and the show starts at 9:30. Come and meet me there, and tell Cha-Cha I sent you!