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Opera Star Cristina Fontanelli and Her Fans Celebrate The 14th Annual Christmas In Italy at Symphony Space in New York City

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Friend and Opera Star Cristina Fontanelli and Actor Tony Lo Bianco

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with 

Barry Gordin at Christmas in Italy

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TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Krystyna Chmielews and Patricia Ann Parenti at Christmas In Italy at Symphony Space

Opera Star Cristina Fontanelli celebrated with New Yorkers and fans at  her 14th Annual Christmas in Italy at The Symphony Space in New York City on December 9th and 10th.


Cristina sang her usual Italian favorites mixed in with traditional Christmas tunes including "Old Holy Night" and "Whte Christmas." New to the production was a poem "Just A Common Soldier," recited by American Actor Tony Lo Bianco. The poem is also known as "A Soldier Died Today," is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York. This year marks the poem’s 25th anniversary.


The career of actor Tony Lo Bianco is distinguished as much by its depth and variety as by the skills and gifts Mr. Lo Bianco brings to his work. He has appeared in over 100 films, television programs, and stage performances, both on-screen and off as a writer, director, and producer. Throughout his career, Mr. Lo Bianco has collaborated with many of the brightest creative minds in the performing arts, both past and present.


On stage, Off-Broadway, Mr. Lo Bianco won an Obie Award for Best Actor in Jonathan Reynold’s Yanks-3, Detroit-0, Top of the 7th. Following his memorable performance as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge on Broadway, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award. He also received an Emmy Award for Hizzoner! The Life of Fiorello La Guardia.


Born in Brooklyn, New York, as a teenager, he was a former Golden Gloves boxer and an all-star baseball player.

His best known film performances are as Sal Boca in the 5 Academy Awards winner The French Connection, with Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider ; as Ray Fernandez in cult classic The Honeymoon Killers; as Peter in God Told Me To; Bloodbrothers with Richard Gere; City Heat with Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds; Oliver Stone’s Nixon with Anthony Hopkins; The Juror with Alec Baldwin and Demi Moore; and F.I.S.T. with Sylvester Stallone, Kill the Irishman, alongside Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer, and Christopher Walken and The Engagement Ring with Lainie Kazan and Patricia Heaton.


Cristina Fontanelli — has become a well-known personality through her recordings, her appearances on TV, radio, in concert, nightclubs, and opera, and through her acting debut on network television.


She has appeared as PBS-TV/NY affiliates host for Andrea Bocelli’s “Live From Central Park” also starring Celine Dion and Tony Bennett; for the “Il Volo Takes Flight” special; Vienna Boys Choir and Qi Gong PBS-TV Specials. In November of 2014 Cristina was chosen by the Italian government as a world-wide representative of the Puglia region to sing in Bari, Italy. She is the “voice of Domino’s Pizza” on their national radio commercial, the voice of “Nonna” on PBS-TV Chef Lidia Bastianich’s Christmas special (in over 300 PBS outlets across the U.S.) and has appeared on CBS Weekend NY in interview/performance/co-hosting roles for the past 2 years. Cristina’s beautiful soprano voice has taken her to the White House as part of President Clinton’s holiday celebration and Cristina was invited to open the ceremonies at the Stars and Stripes Inaugural Ball for President George W. Bush. This following her “Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts” from the Order Sons of Italy in America (previous honorees include Luciano Pavarotti).


Critic quotes include: 14th-annual NYC Holiday favorite celebrating the joy of a musical Christmas Italian style. "We had a magical time." - 2 Italian Boys from Brooklyn; "Cristina Fontanelli Preserving Values thru Opera" - NY Epoch Times; "The best work came from Cristina Fontanelli." NY Times; "La Diva della Canzone" - America Oggi

Fans were delighted as they joined Cristina Fontanelli in bringing her program of Italy's best-loved songs, arias, Neapolitan and  Christmas classics during her 14th-Annual "Christmas In Italy®" show. Ms. Fontanelli sang the great Italian classic and popular songs such as Torna a Surriento, Mamma, the Italian Street Song and O Sole Mio; the aria from "Madame Butterfly" or other beloved Puccini opera, Ave Maria and Christmas songs accompanied by world-class musicans on piano, mandolins, guitar and accordion, plus orchestral tracks. The Little Language Studio of Brooklyn (Alberta Gulotta, teacher) sang the traditional Italian Christmas carol "Tu scendi dalle stelle" ("You came down from the stars"); the children of the Jersey City Ballet (Judith Elin, teacher/choreographer) performed; the "Christmas in Italy®" choir will perform "Silent Night" and there will even be a visit from Santa Claus.! Tenor (T/B/A) will join Ms. Fontanelli singing the famous drinking song from Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata". Maestro David Maiullo (piano); John La Barbera (mandolin/guitar); Jay Posipanko and Barry Mitterhof (mandolin); Angelo Coppola (accordion). A portion of the proceeds to benefit a children's charity such as the Casa Famiglia Orphanage in Meta di Sorrento, Italy.

Called a "Vocal genius" by the New York Sun, Ms. Fontanelli's show is a love letter to her Italian heritage and a tribute to her grandparents. "I began this beloved annual Holiday tradition to preserve Italy's great classic and popular songs and to teach them, and more importantly, the values and joy they represent, to younger generations." says Ms. Fontanelli. "Cristina Fontanelli, Preserving Values Through Opera" The Epoch Times, January 2014 http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/395522-cristina-fontanelli-preserving-values-through-opera/


Fan Quote: "Just like Santa, Cristina spreads her gifts thru her annual "Christmas in Italy®" show, consisting of songs in Italian, and English, and much more. For many of her fans attending, Cristina's "Christmas in Italy®" Concert and the tree at Rockefeller Center have become a tradition. Bring your family and friends, she will fill your hearts with Christmas Joy!" Ed Rackley, Expert Designer and Fan

Through the generosity of the event's sponsor, RONZONI, each audience member received free Ronzoni Pasta.

As a friend, Cristina has sung for my family and friends. Their is no pretense in her performance only joy, warmth and love as sings her classic Italian favorites.


For more information please visit http://www.cristinafontanelli.com

for the very best in entertainment in Long Island, Manhattan and the Hamptons keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine.


Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

Celebrity Impersonater and Tribute Artist Devon Cass Performs at Sergio's Italian Restaurant in Massapequa, NY



TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Tribute Artist and Celebrity Impersonator Devon Cass at Sergio's Italian Restaurant in Massapequa, NY


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Tribute Artist and Celebrity Impersonator Devon Cass at Sergio's Italian Restaurant in Massapequa, NY



TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at Sergio's Italian Restaurant with Comedians Patty G, Purcell Holloway and Howard Newman at Sergio's Italian Restaurant in Massapequa New York


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Owner Mike Sergio at Sergio's Restaurant in Massapequa, NY


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op at Sergio's Italian Restaurant for the Michael Jackson and Elton John Tribute Show

Longislanders came out to enjoy the Holiday Season with Celebrity Impersonater and Tribute Artist Devon Cass at Sergio's Italian Restaurant in Massapequa, New York on December 2, 2017.


Devon Cass is so "UNBELIEVABLE" CHER herself thought Devon was her when shown pictures of him during a KTU radio interview in NYC. Take a listen to the interview by watching Devon's promo video as Cher. Devon Cass is the only EXACT sounding "LIVE SINGING AND SPEAKING" male Cher impersonator in the East Coast... Setting him apart from the rest this allows Devon to stay in character throughout the whole show and picture taking to give you 100% Cher at all times during your event!!


HE'S THE NEXT BEST THING TO HAVING THE REAL CHER AT YOUR EVENT!!!


Devon over the past five years has incorporated 20 more star studded celebrities to his roster allowing himself to dazzle a party with two to three characters an event. He just needs 20 minutes to change.

He also impersonates Elvis, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Prince, Howard Stern, Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce, Joan Rivers, Celine Dion, Britian's' Dame Edna, Madonna, Dolly Parton, Rod Stewart, and Donald Trump.


Devon Cass's impersonation and make up talents have been showcased on "Entertainment Tonight","Kelly and Michael","Access Hollywood",and "Extra". He was also was on the cover of the millineum issue of "Rolling Stone" as Cher, and declared a Makeup Genius! by "Glamour Magazine"


If you want top notch entertainment which outshines the rest in look and performance hire Devon Cass Master of Celebrity Impersonation.  You and your guest will be mesmerized!!!


For more information about his Art of Makeup as a Professional Makeup Artist please visit http://www.devoncass.com/ and for more information about his upcoming gigs or hire Devon please visit https://www.doubletakestars.com


Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best info and news on Entertainment in Manhattan, Long Island and the Hamptons.


Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

LONG ISLANDERS ATTEND NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE AT SERGIO'S RESTAURANT IN MASSAPEQUA, NEW YORK

TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Owner Mike Sergio, Comic Howard Newman and Jerry Lewis Impersonator Larry Lombardi at Sergio Restaurant for The Neil Diamond Tribute


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Singer Anita Starlight, Jerry Lewis Impersonator Larry Lombardi, Singer Dennis Gustaferri and Neil Diamond Tribute Artist Johnny Diamond at Sergio Restaurant for The Neil Diamond Tribute


TV Host Cognac Wellerlane poses for a photo-op with Johnny Diamond before he performs at the Neil Diamond Tribute Show at Sergios's Restaurant in Massapequa, Long island

It was a night of nostalgia as patrons experienced a Neil Diamond Tribute performed by Johnny Diamond (John Prussen). Mr. Prussen entertained the audience with favorite hit songs like "Sweet Caroline," "Love on The Rocks," "Hello Again" and "Forever In Blue Jeans," fabulous classics sung by Neil Diamond.


Also Jerry Lewis Impersonator Larry Lombardi came out to try his new act "Dean Martin" which was a tremendous hit.   Singer Anita Starlight and Dennis Gustaferri also joined in for fun!


The event was coordinated by Comedian Howard Newman who has been telling jokes and doing standup comedy for thirty-five years at Caroline's and Catch a Rising Star in the New York City.


"High-Powered Howard" has headlined nationally on the comedy club circuit for over 15 years, performing regularly at Caroline's, Stand-up New York and the Funny Bone and has appeared on MTV and Comedy Central.

Howard is also a Certified Personal Trainer home-based at New York Health and Racquet Club for the past five years, specializing in senior fitness.


For the past four years, Howard has worked diligently on the Jokesercise Program appearing regularly at Nursing Homes, Assisted Living facilities and Senior Centers in the New York area.


Howard's troup of comendians and tribute artists will be continuing their performances also at the Paradise in Hauppague for a few more engagements.


Their will be a Johnny Cash Holiday Spectacular on November 18th starring Broadway Star Tom Cavanagh and a Cher Thanksgiving party starring Louise Bruno at Sergio's in Massapequa located at 5422 Merrick Road, Massapequa, NY.


Other Engagements include:


Michael Jackson & Elton John

at PARADISE DINER | Sat Nov 11

Johnny Cash Holiday Spectacular

at Paradise Diner | Sat Nov 25

Elvis! at Paradise Diner

at Paradise Diner | Sat Dec 02

Sinatra! at Paradise Diner

at Paradise Diner | Sat Dec 16

New Year's Eve With The Beatles

at Paradise Diner | Sun Dec 31

For More Information or Booking,

Please Call Howard Newman at

718-707-1293


For more information about you can also visit http://www.jokesercise.com/

Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in red carpet events and celebrity interviews.

Pink Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane

 Nail Artistry by Tina Panariello



HANDPAINTED FINE NAIL ART BY TINA PANARIELLO

Tina Panariello

Author of "Polished: Filing Away at Life's Truths"



When she was eleven years old, she realized something was terribly wrong with the dynamic of the outer family members. Tina left this chapter out of her book due to the fact that the particular family member was still living and was protecting the family from shame.


I had the pleasure of sitting with Tina as she meticulously handpainted my nails and spoke about her life, her dreams and her passion for doing the very best!


Tina Panariello grew up in the Marlboro Projects in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. And she has written a book about her life experiences. Her journey from secretary to International Award-Winning Nail Artist includes a few stops along the way – actress, mother, businesswoman, competitor, teacher, salon owner, and author. And she paved her road with courage, curiosity, creativity, and perseverance. Through physical challenges, traumatic transitions, devastating financial disasters, and personal sorrows, her indomitable spirit and faith in humanity edged her forward.

It makes her feel proud to know “THAT NO ONE GAVE A DAMN ABOUT HER, BUT SHE GIVE’S A DAMN ABOUT YOU, AS YOU SHOULD GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOURSELF.”


Tina live’s by the words “I JUST DID IT” with no guidance, with a silent mentor, no professional schooling, in business that is, but she wanted what she wanted and would like to share with you through her motivational/inspirational speaking on how SHE did it.


Tina's love of art is not just handpainting nails.  She loves to paint and is commissioned to do various artwork for clients.


"I wanted to expand my artwork, so I decided to start painting furniture. First, one of my nail art clients asked if I would paint her television console. Through word-of-mouth it began to grow. From furniture to walls, murals in homes, a tree grows in a Staten Island entrance way, a swing and a birdcage, to a garden room, even telephones! I’ve painted bedrooms, hallways and living rooms. And I have painted a Tuscany kitchen!"


In addition to being an author and an artist, Tina also loves to teach.


"Teaching my hand-painted nail art is like a breath of fresh air. I have given a three day (six classes in total) instructional workshop at The Midwest Beauty Show, Chicago, Illinois. For two years I conducted my hand-painted nail art technique classes at The Nail Technology Institute, Patchogue, NY. For three years I taught my hand-painted nail art technique for OPI. I was commissioned to do a one-week hand-painted nail art seminar in Puerto Rico. I also teach my hand-painted nail art technique privately. My classes can be as small as one or as large as 20. A one day class is eight hours, from 9 to 6, with a one hour lunch and two 15 minute breaks."


For more information on  Tina and her artwork please visit https://tinapanariello.com


Keep reading Cognac's Corner Magazine for the very best in Celebrity Interviews!


PInk Champagne Kisses

Cognac Wellerlane