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Tuesday, April 25, 2006


My niece is a "Sopranos" cast member!

Well, calling her my niece is a bit of a stretch. This precious little girl is the daughter of my wife's cousin. So while she's not technically my niece, that's how Kathy and I always thought of her.

Calling her a "Sopranos" cast member is also a stretch, but it's so much fun to let your imagination make that leap. My niece played the flower girl in Allegra Sacrimoni's wedding in the recently premiered Season 6/Episode 5 of "The Sopranos."

An "extra" part, yes, but one not without significance. (Was her character the daughter or granddaughter of a wiseguy? Was her character's appointment as flower girl personally approved by Johnny Sac? After all, we see the New York mob boss pouring over the seating plan for the reception. Again -- the imagination runs wild.)

In our family, we'd heard about the episode quite a while back. It was an eight-day shoot ... there was outdoor shooting in stifling heat (which was reflected in the episode) ... my niece posed for photos with James Gandolfini and Edie Falco ... the director, Steve Buscemi, got a kick out of her ... and I heard that Gandolfini sprung for ice cream on an especially hot day.

When I finally watched the wedding sequence, which had just about every major "Sopranos" cast member except for Lorraine Bracco and Dominic Chianese (both for obvious reasons), I couldn't spot my niece. I figured her contribution must have ended up on the cutting-room floor.

After a few quick phone chats with my sisters-in-law, I found out that I merely missed her. She's in the scene where Allegra and her new hubby are introduced as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time (when the couple is seen in silhouette, back-lit behind a curtain). To the right of the couple are the bridesmaids. Closest to the camera is a blond angel, my niece. She even does a cool little thing where she turns her head.

I showed the scene to a girl at the office who dabbles in extra work, and herself appeared in Season 6/Episode 2 of "The Sopranos" as a smartly dressed conventioneer. "That's a good clip," was her assessment.

Aunt Kathy, wherever you are, I hope you saw our niece on "The Sopranos."


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