Call it the revenge of the bridge and tunnel. Gothamites had to contend with not only the NFL Kick Off festivities in Times Square on Thursday, but also HBO’s premiere of the fourth season of “The Sopranos,” at Radio City Music Hall.
Nearly 3,000 eager ticket-holders lined up on West 50th Street and fretted about getting in before 6:45 p.m., when HBO had threatened to shut the doors. Post-screening, everyone ran across to Rockefeller Center, which had been commandeered for the evening. There were no Sopranos on ice, although most everyone congregated in the throng where the rink usually sits. It was not a party for the claustrophobic.
Those in the mix ranged from AOL execs Steve Case and Jeff Bewkes to HBO’s Chris Albrecht. David Chase was too shy to talk to press, but the rest of the gang was only too happy to lavish praise upon him.
“He’s created these amazing characters which gives him a fantastic foundation to work with, and those people are so endlessly compelling,” said Carolyn Strauss, HBO’s exec VP of programming. “I feel really honored to be a part of it in any capacity.”
When not proclaiming mutual adoration for each other, the show’s cast and crew expressed amazement about the event itself.
“It’s definitely the hot ticket.,” bubbled Aida Turturro.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler pointed out, “Our first season event was at a little dinky theater and John’s Pizzeria. I had only two tickets to that first premiere and now I have 25.”
Brad Grey, Joe Pantoliano, Linda Lavin, who appears in the second episode, Matthew Perry, Kyra Sedgwick, Caroline Rhea, Regis Philbin and Peter Gallagher were among those in attendance. Latecomers included Edie Falco, who was treading the boards at “Frankie and Johnny,” Joey Fatone, fresh from “Rent,” and Jon Bon Jovi, who finished his gig with the NFL festivities.