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‘Sopranos’ shooting draws crowd to Whitestone bar

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Someone was gunned down last Thursday in a Whitestone bar.

But the police were nowhere in sight nor were the paramedics. Instead, the pub was surrounded by lights, cameras and a crowd of women hoping to meet Tony Soprano.

HBO's hit series "The Sopranos" turned to Fiddler's Green at 14-17 150th St. to film one of its scenes for its upcoming season.

The filming of the show, which chronicles the life of a Mafia family in suburban New Jersey, attracted a small but excited crowd, many of whom had clearly dressed up for the occasion.

"I love Tony Soprano!" shouted Nicole Vanasse. "I absolutely adore him. If I can kiss him today, it will be the best thing in my entire life!"

But Vanasse was disappointed. James Gandolfini, the actor who plays Tony Soprano, the show's central character, was nowhere to be found.

Instead, Frank Vincent, who has played roles in mob-themed films such as "Goodfellas," "Made Men" and "Casino," and actress Patty D'Arbanville starred in the scene.

Both Vincent and D'Arbanville play new characters on the show's upcoming fifth season.

The scene, which is scheduled to air on HBO in the third week of January, features a shooting, said Milton Davis, the owner of Fiddler's.

The episode is not the first time the Whitestone bar has appeared under the bright lights. The film "Boiler Room" also used the location to shoot a fight scene.

Fiddler's, however, is not as violent as it is portrayed in television and the movies, Davis said.

"It's a nice, quiet place," he said.

Davis said the scene portrayed Fiddler's as an old-time bar in Manhattan. The pub's wood interior appeals to producers, he said.

"They like the wood, the wood floor, the dark tint in the ceilings," he said.

The 'Sopranos" fans who waited patiently outside, however, did not have a view of the wooded interior. Instead, they peered at the bar from across the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the actors as they strolled to the trailers parked outside.

But others just stopped to get a quick peak on their lunch break.

"It's kind of interesting," said Erin Michaels, a fan of the show. "Whitestone of all places!"

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 141.

Updated 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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