WHO IS HE: Before he became a household name in the 1990s, Jerry Seinfeld was a hard-working stand-up comedian from Long Island whose down to earth, observational humor was instantly relatable. Seinfeld made his first appearance on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” in 1981 and his career took off. He became a frequent guest on the show along with the other talk shows such as “Late Night with David Letterman” and “The Merv Griffin Show.” Seinfeld created the hilarious hit television show that bore his name along with fellow comic Larry David in 1989. Initial ratings for the show were not good, but by its fourth season, “Seinfeld” was the most popular and successful show on television. It received numerous Emmy awards and left the air while still on top in 1998. The show still airs heavily in syndication.
WHO IS HE: This Queens-New York native scored his first hit back in 1951 with “Because of You” and followed it up with another, “Cold, Cold Heart.” In 1953 Tony Bennett reached the top of the charts with “Rags to Riches” and then again with “Stranger in Paradise” from the Broadway musical “Kismet.” By the late 1950s, Bennett’s string of chart-toppers seemed to be coming to an end due to big competition from rock n’ roll music. However in 1962 he released “I Left my Heart in San Francisco” which remained on the charts for nine months and became Bennett’s signature song. In the early 1990s Bennett had resurrected his career once again and introduced his music to a whole new audience. His 1994 “MTV Unplugged” album went platinum and won a Grammy for Album of the Year.
WHO IS HE: Comedian Bill Engvall is best known as a member of the Blue Collar Comedy group along with Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White. Engvall’s initial success came in the late 1980s when he starred in the hit television sitcom “Designing Women.” He also went on to star in the short-lived comedy “Delta” in 1992. After several years of relative inactivity, Engvall’s career was revived when he turned his famous line “Here’s your sign” into a hit song for country star Travis Tritt. Engvall went on to star in the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” film, its sequels and television show. In 2007 he starred in his own TBS sitcom “The Bill Engvall Show.” He has released several successful comedy albums including “Here’s Your Sign,” “Dorkfish,” “Cheap Drunk: An Autobiography,” “Now That’s Awesome” and “Here’s Your Christmas Album.”
WHO IS HE: The career path of Rick Springfield is an interesting one. The Australian-born singer got his start in the late 1960s, achieving a moderate degree of success as both a solo artist and as a member of the band Zoot. In the late 1970s, Springfield’s career had stalled and he decided to pursue a career in acting. He wound up as a popular heartthrob for his portrayal of Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera General Hospital in 1981. This popularity helped to garner excitement and boost sales of his upcoming album “Working Class Dog.” The album featured the smash hit single “Jessie’s Girl” and “I’ve Done Everything for You.” Later Springfield hits include “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “Affair of the Heart” and “Love Somebody.”
WHO ARE THEY: With their lush harmonies, choreographed dance moves and instantly catchy hit songs, The Temptations became one of the most successful acts of the 1960s. With hits such as “My Girl,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “Get Ready” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” The Temptations helped to define what became known as the Motown sound. In the late 1960s, after the departure of singer David Ruffin, the group began incorporating elements of funk and psychedelic soul into their sound with tracks such as “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Cloud 9” and “Just My Imagination.” Out of what became known as its “classic five” lineup, only Otis Williams is still alive. With Williams at the helm, the group has released four albums in the past decade.
WHO ARE THEY: Manheim Steamroller was founded by Chip Davis in 1974 and since that time has gone on to sell more than 28 million albums. The group became known for its “Fresh Aire” albums which mix classical music with rock. In 1984 they released “Manheim Steamroller Christmas,” which set the band on a whole new successful path. In addition to several more Christmas albums, Manheim Steamroller also released “Halloween” and “Manheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse,” a collection of Disney songs.
WHO ARE THEY: El Gran Combo is a salsa orchestra from Puerto Rico that formed in 1962 and is considered by many to be the most successful group in the salsa genre. Led by founder Rafael Ithier, over the years they have featured greats such as Andy Montanez and have backed up performers such as Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe and La India. El Gran Combo’s hits include “No Hago Mas Na,” “Acangana,” “El Menu,” “Ojos Chinos,” “Telefono” and “No Hay Cama Pa Tanta Gente.”
WHO ARE THEY: Although he had always dreamed of forming a big band, Brian Setzer initially attained success as the frontman of The Stray Cats, a 1980s rockabilly band that scored hits with “Stray Cat Strut,” “Rumble in Brighton” and “Rock this Town.” After the band felt apart, Setzer was able to revive his career by putting together a 17-piece band known as the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Several albums were to follow.
WHO IS SHE: Theresa Caputo is a psychic medium who is best known for her TLC television show “Long Island Medium.” The show highlights Caputo’s interesting daily situations where she suddenly starts receiving messages from the beyond while in the midst of doing ordinary tasks. Caputo is a certified medium with the Forever Family Foundation and has been practicing for more than a decade.
WHO ARE THEY: With his sentimental ballads, tasteful arrangements and serene vocals, Bobby Vinton became the quintessential crooner of his generation in the early 1960s. His most successful year was 1963 when he hit the top of the charts with “Blue Velvet” and “There! I’ve said it Again,” as well as a No. 3 hit with “Blue on Blue.” Vinton scored another hit in 1964 with “Mr. Lonely.” The balladeer maintained his popularity throughout the decade and even managed to score a comeback hit in 1974 with “Melody of Love.”
WHO IS HE: Mike Marino is a stand-up comedian and actor known as “New Jersey’s Bad Boy.” The Jersey City native has appeared in more than 200 television commercials as well as on television shows including “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” “Becker,” “Frasier” and “Party of Five.” He has also starred on the big screen in films such as “Crooks,” “Lucky Quarter” and “Pizza with Bullets.”
Due to a polyp recently discovered on the throat of ’80s pop icon Boy George, the group Culture Club has just announced that they are cancelling their tours in both the United States and United Kingdom.
Allen Edwards is creating a “Home for the Holidays” at Resorts Casino Hotel. The vocalist and entertainer is in the midst of an extended engagement that runs through Dec. 10 at the Screening Room.
WHO ARE THEY: Holiday Extravaganza is a group of two female singers and 10 dancers in holiday-themed costumes who perform all the favorites of the yuletide season. Music, dance and merriment all play a part in this show that is suitable for all ages. Holiday Extravaganza has been a favorite at Tropicana Casino and Resort for many years.
Rock band Linkin Park has announced that they are bringing “The Hunting Party Tour” to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall Friday, January 23. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, November 7. Special guests for the tour include the bands Rise Against and Of Mice & Men.
WHO IS HE: Allen Edwards began singing in public at age 6 at church, and by the time he was in college at Purdue University was performing regularly in clubs and restaurants throughout northwest Indiana. After graduating, Edwards maintained dual careers as a singer and policemen, eventually moving to Houston, where he scored local hits with the songs “Walk Out Backward” and “Houston Just Ain’t Big Enough.” The success of the song “Could We Please Stay in Love for a While” led to an engagement in Branson, Mo., where Edwards wound up being a hit. He was able to open at the Roy Clark Celebrity Theater and a year later was opening his own breakfast show at a local hotel.
WHO ARE THEY: Savage Men is a male revue that has been featured on “So You Think You Can Dance,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Today Show,” “Mob Wives” and “Jerseylicious.” The show features male model dancers as well as male ensemble dancers.
This will certainly be music to the ears for all you Fleetwood Mac fans out there.
1 Be thankful for The Quarter at the Tropicana. Anthem Nightclub claims to host the biggest Thanksgiving Eve party in A.C. each year, and with four DJs — A Drop, Hooks, Sat One, B Lee — it sure seems like they do. Doors open at 9 p.m. and drink specials include $5 cocktails, $3 Bud Light drafts, $4 Coors Light and Miller Lite bottles and $5 cocktails and Fireball shots. Stoli bottles — Stoli, Stoli O, Blueberry, Vanilla, Citron and Raz — are $150. Cuba Libre will have merengue, salsa and bachata music spun by DJs Cawita, Bebo, Sammy, 7 AM and Party Boy. Included in the night’s festivities is a single release party for Jay Y Cess, while Manny Papeleta acts as host for the evening. Ri-Ra Irish Pub will have a DJ starting at 10 p.m. with drink specials of $3 domestic bottles, $4 drafts — including many craft beers — and $4 well drinks. At Providence, ladies get in free before midnight with an RSVP, and DJ Prime will spin tunes.
It seems like every local bar nowadays is desperately trying to keep up with the “craft beer” trend, and while it’s nice to see some variety in the taps, it also seems that most of these places don’t have a clue when it comes to actual beer knowledge. In truth, beer is a complex topic with as many nuances as fine wine. Your average TGI Friday’s bartender with his collection of unfunny pins forced upon his shirt would be in way over his head. That is why true South Jersey beer geeks head to Goodnight Irene’s when it’s time for a pint.
BALLY’S ATLANTIC CITY
BORGATA HOTEL CASINO & SPA
Taryn Manning, best known for her role as the toothless Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett on the Netflix hit series “Orange is the New Black,” hosted a party at The Pool After Dark at Harrah’s Resort last weekend. The actress, who is also a vocalist and part of the Boomkat electronic duo, performed her solo material.
1 It’s a flashback to the Prohibition era. The guys from Perfectly Innocent Amusement Co. want to create a “cocktail culture.” They, along with The Iron Room, are the only ones in A.C. that focus on craft cocktails outside of a casino. The vibe they are going for at this speakeasy-style bar harkens back to the A.C. of the 1920s. And thanks to “Boardwalk Empire,” places such as this are back en vogue. The name derives from that speakeasy feel, where everything seemed “perfectly innocent” just inside the door, but things got wild behind the walls. Their highly skilled mixologists were carefully selected as the owners consider them ambassadors to the city. They are all very service oriented and aim to please. They also enjoy introducing new items to customers. For instance, if a customer orders a cosmopolitan, they won’t automatically poo-poo it. Instead, they’ll ask the customer what it is about a cosmo that they like: Is it the vodka? The cranberry juice? Whatever it is, they’ll create a concoction for the customer that they never had before, but certainly will order again.
In a world where concepts such as “vintage” and “distressed” are reason to pay top dollar for everything from jeans to furniture, one thing remains clear: Nothing beats the refined comfort that comes with age. That “broken-in” feeling only brought about by time itself is so desirable that folks are willing to shell out big bucks, even for faux versions. But even the most crafty of Disney Imagineers could not recreate the palpable sense of history one feels upon entering The Smithville Inn.
Walk into Harrah’s Resort and prepare to be dazzled by its stunning new lobby bar, which is certainly above and beyond your typical resort lobby bar.
1 Street kid does good. Steve Martorano was raised on the streets of South Philly in a family with mob connections. He was able to avoid that lifestyle when he started DJing at area clubs, as well as diving into the kitchen, where he learned to perfect his famous gravy — don’t dare call it “sauce” — and meatballs which many, including Tony Bennett, Tom Cruise, Joe Montana, Shaquille O’ Neal and Al Pacino — not to mention Gourmet Magazine — consider the best in the world. Martorano claims his food is what’s famous, not him. And he absolutely refuses to sacrifice quality or change the integrity of his food. So if you have a special request, fugheddaboudit.
When done right, a comfy local bar with great food and reasonably priced drinks is nearly impossible to beat, regardless of how many gimmicks a place may throw at you. Simplicity is divine — and that is precisely what makes Doyle’s Pour House in Barnegat Township such a home run.
1 You’ll find unique concoctions. Guy Fieri and his people must have had a lot of fun coming up with their list of 10 signature cocktails. You’ll find tasty and amusing drinks such as “Not Your 8th Grade Punch,” which is a twist on an island-style rum runner with Captain Morgan and Kraken rums and peach tea for $11, or $7 more gets you the “go big” version, as they like to say. Then there’s the “Cadillac Margarita” with El Jimador tequila, Cointreau and Grand Marnier ($12). Or try the “Oriental Expression” that’s comprised of Hendrick’s gin, yuzu syrup and sparkling sake ($14).
With 40 years of history behind it, Egg Harbor Township’s Library III is the type of place that oozes welcoming charm. Eschewing trendiness in favor of friendliness, this South Jersey institution attracts everyone from locals to those willing to drive far and wide for a top-notch steak and beer. Both can be found right here.
If you are gay, or want to celebrate the LGBT community, there will be no better place to be on Sunday, Oct. 26, than Boogie Nights as it hosts The Big Gay Ball, the first of a monthly event that will occur the last Sunday of each month.
1 Ducktown did Happy Hour before anyone. According to Ducktown Tavern's owner John Exadaktilos, no other entity in A.C. had happy hour until Ducktown announced in 2005 they were having it.
When it comes to local watering holes, simplicity beats flashiness every time. Few things provide a more deeply satisfying experience than the combination of a reasonably priced beer in one hand, a 35-cent chicken wing in the other and a nail-biter of a football game on the TV. Caffrey’s Tavern in Forked River nails this classic American tradition from top to bottom.
Henny Youngman once claimed that he tried to be an atheist, but gave it up because they have no holidays.
Every year, Longport Media hosts a multi-day live broadcast marathon and donation drive at Chickie’s & Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township, and this year the drive will be as important as ever.
Once again, Atlantic City is gearing up to kick it country.
Tuckers Tavern is a Long Beach Island institution, a place where locals have gathered for about 30 years to share fresh seafood, drink beers and wish that summer never ends. In fact, if you count its previous incarnations, the space Tuckers occupies has been a restaurant and gathering place for more than 50 years.
The best sushi in Atlantic City is back! Armiyanto “Harry” Setiyaki wowed sushi lovers for years with his creative yet traditional sushi skills at Oshi Sushi & Sake and then Scarduzio’s Steak, Sushi & Lounge at the former Showboat Casino-Hotel.
Marie Nicole’s Grill always raises the bar for fine, yet casual, dining in Wildwood Crest. And now that the tourists are gone, there is no better time to check out the intimate, classy space, particularly since it recently rolled out a very creative fall menu.
Gaspare Campisi grew up in the restaurant business, either helping in his father’s Brooklyn pizza shop or working in his uncle’s restaurant. So when the opportunity came about for him to move to South Jersey to open a place of his own, he took the chance.
When sales at her Mays Landing frozen yogurt shop Chillaxin started to wane, former casino cocktail waitress Rosita Nguyen decided to completely revamp her business plan and open an eatery that was closer to her heart. So Nguyen, of Vietnamese descent, opened Pho Life Vietnamese Noodle House in the same exact space in June.
Cuba Libre, Atlantic City’s only destination for Cuban cuisine, celebrates 10 years inside The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort with a new menu and specials that you won’t want to miss.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to enjoy breakfast in Atlantic City, consider The Pool at Harrah’s Resort, which just began serving breakfast in its tropical paradise under a dome 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Bob and Sharon Essl have big plans to celebrate their 43 years together in the restaurant business. And why not? There are not many restaurants that can lay claim to lasting that long and in the very same spot on the Black Horse Pike.
About six years ago, Michael Conway went through an “early midlife crisis.” His mom, dad and best friend died, so he decided to pack his stuff and head to another country.
The business card for The Nizam’s Indian Restaurant in Egg Harbor Township makes this bold statement: “Owned and operated by the most experienced and qualified professional in Indian cuisine in South New Jersey.”
Make your picks each week and be eligible to win great prizes!
Share your best cookie recipe! The 12 best recipes will be featured in The Press on Sunday, December 14.
Win 2 tickets to see Tom Arnold at Harrah's and Seth Myers at Caesar's.
The 20th Annual Bailey Award recognizes a for-profit business that has gone above and beyond in our community this year.
Enter to win to see Tiesto perform at Borgata!