And Then There Were Two…

Above: a second awning hangs inside Angelo's of Little Italy. Below: Team TBB meets for the first and last time.

Above: a second awning hangs inside Angelo’s of Little Italy. Below: Team TBB meets for the first and last time.

Last Saturday was a monumental evening for TBB. After nearly two years of working together we finally met Lesley Rousso (@MommyRou) in person. If that seems weird (and what isn’t in the age of social media?) what is even weirder is that there was no “Nice to meet you” or any awkwardness of a first time encounter. The conversation just picked up like we were all old friends, and in some ways we are.

It’s amazing how much you can get to know somebody over the internet. I almost understand how some people get swooped up into these love affairs with imprisoned strangers they never met. Via your Wifi and cellphone strangers can become besties…they are even meeting for hugs now via some bizarre new app. I’m not about to go hugging strangers, but it was all I could do to hug Lesley like she was a long lost sister. In some ways it felt like I really was meeting one.

Twitter has lead me to some pretty awesome people who will forever be part of my life, especially those who spent some time at TBB. Former intern Drew still checks in with me from his new home in LA and I plan to continue to track him as he chases down all of his dreams. He’s totally going to be big, I know it. If you haven’t seen the last post yet then you may not know that Brent Osborne (@HousewifeGuy) has also flown the coop. Even though he’s been gone less than a week, I still chat with him constantly. Our meeting Lesley was the high of our celebration dinner, the low was saying goodbye to an extraordinarily talented young man who is also going to tackle his dreams in huge ways. Seriously, Brent and Drew I would not be shocked if some day either of you ends up being my boss! In fact I would love it!

So as we celebrated Lesley’s birthday and gifted her with some Good Charma, we also celebrated Brent and all he has done for us, and all he is and forever will be to us. He will always be part of our family. However, there was another event unfolding. With Brent’s absence we need to make some changes. We thought about bringing in some new people, but the problem is when you’ve worked with the best, the bar is set pretty high. So what are two blonde moms who watch too much Bravo left to do?

The answer is simple, to continue delivering what you expect from us. Real life, real laughs, and real encounters with the stars of Reality Television. Of course with two really girly girls at the helm things might get a little more, to quote Wendy Williams, soft and pink. So in the coming weeks you’ll see some changes. Girls just want to have fun, and so we will be doing lots of that and hope you will come along for the ride. The last thing we ever want this site to feel like is work. Not for us and not for you, the reader.

So buckle up it’s about to get crazy in here! Speaking of crazy, it was the blonde leading the blonde last weekend when we both obliviously scheduled our meeting at Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Rino Aprea‘s Angelo’s in Little Italy during the busiest weekend of the NY Italian year. Neither one of us realized that the world famous Feast Of San Gennaro was still in full effect. As I was exiting the door my mother, who was here to babysit the blondelets, said, “Have fun at the feast.” Wha-wha-what? Silly me didn’t know the thing went on across two weekends. The hubs, Brent, and I ended up stuck in major traffic. Les and Darren left midtown on the late side. I feared our table would be gone. I called Angelo’s to tell them we’d be late.

After nudging 99 people in the street with my second hand Louis Vuitton I made it to the famous 100+ year old restaurant with the blue and white awning. The line outside was insane! But hey, our reservation was secured for us by Teresa Aprea. We walked right in and partied at the bar until our table was ready…which considering the timing and that we were a half hour late was not a long wait at all.

Angelo’s is clearly a place that is a tourist and local favorite. Right across from the bar was a table of New York’s Bravest (that’s the FDNY ). Firefighters in the Big Apple are notorious foodies. If you see them dining somewhere you know you’re in a good place to chow down. We loved the rice balls, calamari, and my gnocchi was the right consistency…lots of places get it wrong. The husband felt his steak was medium, though he wanted it medium rare, so if you go, just really stress how you like your meat. And no worries, we didn’t see Rino and his interesting underwear choices anywhere.

Loads and loads of thanks and hugs and kisses to Teresa! My dear I had no idea that I was asking you to squeeze in five of us during TFSG! You are amazeballs!

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Honeymoon In Jersey

Rob McClure and Tony Danza give outstanding performances in Honeymoon in Vegas. Credit: papermill.org /Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Rob McClure and Tony Danza give outstanding performances in Honeymoon in Vegas. Credit: papermill.org /Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

It’s very rare that I get to go to the theater these days. Growing up I had a grandfather who loved Broadway and would annually take me for dinner and a show each year as my birthday gift.  This was a wonderful departure, I’m sure, from the operas my grandmother was always dragging him to. To this day I doubt anyone has taken more naps at the Met than he did. Sadly, those days of dates with grandpa are long gone, and so are the days when trips to the theater are common. Tickets do not come cheap these days, throw in commuting to the city and a babysitter and I can forget dining out again for an entire month.

That’s why when Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ offered me a chance to see their new show Honeymoon in Vegas, I jumped at the opportunity. In thirteen years my husband and I have only seen one play together…and it was a high school one. A writing assignment that can double as a date? Yes please! I was gifted with two tickets in exchange for sharing my opinion.

I had never been to Paper Mill and so I didn’t know much about it. When I learned about the quality of their productions and the stars they attract  (a friend told me Anne Hathaway got her start here) I was thrilled. If you want the quality of New York City theater without the hassles of New York City, well apparently this is the place to be. According to Paper Mill’s John Zeitoun who coordinates social media for the theater this indeed is a pit stop on the way to “The Great White Way”.

There are two big audience draws in Honeymoon, which is directed by Gary Griffin and features music and lyrics by  Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years).The show, based on the 1992 comedy starring Nicholas Cage, Sarah Jessica Parker, and James Caan, stars Tony Danza (Taxi, Who’s The Boss)  in the James Caan role of a gambler who falls for the fiance of Jack Singer played by Tony nominee Rob McClure (Chaplin, Avenue Q). McClure is an onstage powerhouse of energy who takes the role to its max. Danza is convincing as the conniving Tommy Korman. He plays the role with the suavity you’d expect from a rat packer.

Once watching the show you see there are more draws than just the big names on the ticket. Honeymoon  boasts two very talented leading ladies. Brynne O’Malley ( Annie, Wicked) plays Betsy Nolan, Jack’s fiance. She has an incredible voice, one which moved me to tears during the emotional number Anywhere But Here. As she was leaving the theater RHONJ Kathy Wakile, more on her later, told her how wonderful she performed. Another notable performance was from Nancy Opel (Gypsy, Urinetown) who was very funny as Jack’s mother Bea who haunts him from the dead to keep his promise to never marry.

With a strong ensemble, terrific set, and a fabulous score I can see Honeymoon making its way to the Big Apple. Never having seen the movie, I have some strange aversion to Nicholas Cage, I actually would like to rent it now and compare. The stage version was funny, modern, and entertaining. 

Wakile, who was there with husband Richard and another couple enjoyed it as well. I caught up with her backstage after the performance where we got to speak with Danza. “It’s work,” Danza said about his performance, “but as my father would have said it’s good work.” Wakile brought him some of her cannolis. With all that singing and dancing, he can definitely indulge!

Honeymoon in Vegas will be playing at Paper Mill Playhouse through October 27th. For tickets and information you can call the box office at 973-376-4343 or visit papermill.org .

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Reality Roundup: Teresa and Joe Giudice, Not So Fabulicious

Joe and Teresa Giudice arrive at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By: Brent Osborne

@HousewifeGuy

It is no secret that the stars of Bravo‘s Real Housewives franchise have their fair share of financial woes. This time around, The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice have caught themselves in financial peril, again.

Teresa and Joe were indicted last week on 39-counts of federal fraud and tax charges that, according to legal experts, may cause them both to serve time in federal prison.

The 39-count indictment details charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud, against the couple from Towaco, N.J.

The indictment also accuses Joe Giudice of failing to file tax returns for 2004 through 2008.

The 33-page indictment document states that Joe and Teresa falsely represented on loan applications to lenders that they were employed and/or receiving substantial salaries when in fact, they were not employed or not receiving such salaries.

For example, one lender, CBBC, issued the Giudices a loan for 1.72 million dollars after the couple allegedly submitted fraudulent tax and W-2 forms and falsely stated that they had a private bank account with $500,000.

In addition, the couple allegedly concealed assets from the government during their October 2009 petition for bankruptcy protection. The couple allegedly concealed businesses they owned and income they received from a rental property. In addition, Teresa and Joe allegedly failed to disclose Teresa’s true earnings from The Real Housewives of New Jersey and her earnings from paid appearances and magazine deals.

“The indictment returned to today alleges the Giudices lied to the bankruptcy court, to the IRS and to a number of banks,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a statement. “Everyone has an obligation to tell the truth when dealing with the courts, paying their taxes and applying for loans or mortgages. That’s reality.”

Soon after the news broke, Teresa released a statement through her lawyer pledging her loyalty to her husband, Joe, and her commitment to her family.

“Today is a most difficult day for our family,” she said. “I support Joe and, as a wonderful husband and father, I know he wants only the best for our lovely daughters and me. I am committed to my family and intend to maintain our lives in the best way possible, which includes continuing my career. As a result, I am hopeful that we will resolve this matter with the Government as quickly as possible.”

During the couple’s first hearing this past Tuesday, the two were each released on $500,000 bond, co-signed by Joe Giudices’s parents. The duo has yet to enter a plea; however, according to Teresa’s attorney, Henry Klingeman, she will plead not guilty.

“Teresa will plead ‘not guilty,’” he said. “The judicial process that begins today with an indictment is a search for the truth. As it moves forward, we look forward to vindicating her.”

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According to RadarOnline, the United States’ Attorney’s Office may be considering calling some of Teresa and Joe’s RHONJ co-stars to testify AGAINST the couple in court. Producers and executives for Bravo could also be subpoenaed.

“The U.S. Attorney will be extensively going over all potential witnesses which would include her (Teresa’s) co-stars on the show,” a source close to the prosecution case told Radar.

“The women could be called to testify at the trial because they could have firsthand knowledge of Teresa’s financial dealings, before and after the show premiered. Prosecutors could also subpoena footage from the New Jersey housewife franchise, along with producers who might also have information.”

If convicted, Teresa and Joe could each face decades behind bars. Joe even faces being deported to Italy if he is found guilty of just one of the 39 counts in the indictment, prosecutors said — as it emerged yesterday that he is not a US citizen.

Added to that, Juicy Joe is currently awaiting trial for allegedly impersonating his brother to illegally obtain a driver’s license after his own was suspended for a DWI. He can face up to 10 years in prison for those charges.

Despite the animosity, Teresa has every intention on continuing her role on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

“Teresa has no plans to stop filming,” a show insider exclusively told In Touch. And with season six on the horizon, Teresa plans on filming the season five reunion episode in September. “She would never miss it,” the insider shared.

However, due to the ongoing legal issue, the indictments will not be discussed.

It will have to stick to show drama,” the source says. “She’s putting on a face because she doesn’t want anyone, especially Melissa, to see her sweat.”

While Bravo has not released an official statement regarding the indictment, a source told The News that the network is no longer interested in a spin-off involving Teresa

“Bravo only spins off happy situations — marriages, baby news. Not prison.”

Teresa and Joe have starred on The Real Housewives of New Jersey since the show began in 2009. (Source: JLN Photography/WENN)

Bravo’s Andy Cohen addressed the charges on twitter saying “I’m not avoiding it I don’t have any information!”

Since news broke about Teresa’s indictment, the reality star has been garnering support from some unlikely sources.

Lea Black, star of The Real Housewives of Miami, reached out to Teresa on Twitter.

“Sending strength @Teresa_Giudice asking everyone to support you and your family and not pile on – love to your girls and sending blessings”

MobWives star “Big Ang”, who is no stranger to troubles with the law, announced that she believes Teresa and Joe are innocent.

“I think they’re innocent. I feel like she’s innocent and so is he,” Ang told TMZ.

“I wish them all the luck, them and their family. I’m sure they’ll be OK; you have to keep your chin up,” she advised.

One reality star who is not offering any sympathy is former Housewife and queen of cocktails Bethenny Frankel.

“I haven’t paid that much attention,” Frankel told US Weekly. “Do I feel sorry for them? No, I don’t. Not so much because it broke the law. You broke the law and you went on television. That’s not really that smart.”

Undeterred by the unfortunate circumstances, Teresa, who is not allowed to leave the New York/New Jersey area, made an appearance Wednesday night too accept a Beauty Buster Award for her Milania Hair Care line. She was also able to spend some downtime with longtime friend and former RHONJ cast member Dina Manzo in the Hamptons this past weekend.

Teresa snapped some photos of her getaway for her Twitter followers , writing alongside one picture, “Hamptons visit with my girls @dinamanzo and@pamcolacino #greatfriends”

Teresa and Joe were also able to spend some time with their family this weekend, posting pictures via Instagram on Saturday. The mother of four shared photos of their daughters, Gia, 13, Gabriella, 10, Milania, 7, and Audriana, 3, enjoying time with their parents and cousins at a family member’s backyard birthday party.

The couple’s next court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 14, the same day Teresa is scheduled to have another Fabulicious on the Grill book signing in Wayne, N.J. The book signing has yet to be postponed.

Tell us— Do you think Teresa and Joe are innocent? Leave a comment below and voice your opinion! Your email will never be sold or shared.

**Disclaimer: This article was written as an informative piece, without any intention of giving an opinion. Teresa and Joe Giudice are innocent of the crimes mentioned above until proven guilty in a court of law.**