The week began with the launch party for the rebooted Long Island Press print edition and ended with the final performance of the beautifully choreographed Broadway musical, “Bandstand.” Both experiences were unique in different yet powerful ways.
We acquired the Long Island Press from Morey Publishing in May. The publication has great, long roots reaching back more than 196 years. The original Press closed in 1977 after the printers union went on strike, and the Press name went into the public domain.
After several decades, entrepreneur newsman Jed Morey relaunched the Long Island Press as a weekly newspaper. Over the next decade, the Press became a monthly publication, and before long, went strictly to digital media.
Last week, we joyously welcomed our new Long Island Press staff and friends, family and colleagues for a party celebrating the return of the Press to print as a monthly lifestyle newsmagazine. The grand party was held at the stunning, newly expanded Lord & Taylor store in Manhasset.
Georgia Dandolos, a past honoree in our Power Women of Long Island event and the store’s manager, welcomed an overflowing crowd into the store’s new atrium. There was plenty of food and drink to enjoy from vendors including Vito’s Pizzeria, a Bethpage Best of Long Island winner, and The Crispy Pig, Banfi Vintners, Boston Beer Company and Sarabeth Bakery.
So many of our guests had such wonderful memories of the Long Island Press. I love how Geraldo Rivera, with a big grin, recounted his days delivering the press while growing up in Babylon. He recalled that he got a bonus of tickets to a Yankees game for selling enough subscriptions.
“I made it happen!” he exclaimed.
Maria Grasso, chief operating officer at Flushing Bank, smiled when she mentioned “delivering that paper and collecting the subscription money and tips,” adding that that served as her “best lesson in getting into the banking world.”
Union leader John Durso remembered loading up his bicycle with papers at the crack of dawn each day, and I laughed as Peter Meyer, now president of TD Bank in New York City, recalled that he made so much money in tips as a paperboy that he wound up having more money in the bank than his parents!
Dominick Ciampa added that he not only did his paper route, but took on others to make more money, going through several tires on his bicycle while working for the Press.
Neither rain nor snow nor sleet could keep these young paper deliverers from their appointed rounds, and it’s no surprise that they were as ambitious and successful then as they are today!
It truly was a night to remember and a great beginning for our team, led by John Kominicki, the Press’ publisher and executive editor, and Joanna Austin, associate publisher in charge of sales.
Read all about our neighbors and celebrate with us, Long Island!
‘Bandstand’ makes a grand bow
To my great surprise, the tickets I purchased months ago to see the Broadway musical “Bandstand” on Sept. 17 were for what would be the show’s final performance.
Bandstand is a musical set in the years just after after World War II. I feel sad at the show’s closing, especially for the creative talents of the writers, director and choreographer and the remarkably powerful performances of the actors, singers, dancers and musicians.
To me, there is something magical about a live performance, and the best of the best can be seen on Broadway. I wish I could go every week!
The 3 p.m. Sunday performance was a sold-out affair. It must have been filled with family and friends because I never saw so many standing ovations!
“Bandstand” was a poignant salute to veterans with the storyline of returning vets tackling their post-combat demons and pursuing their dreams of being in a band. Their opportunity for fame arrived with a song competition looking for the best new song to welcome home the troops from the war. The winners are guaranteed a great future.
The musical was born in regional theatre of Paper Mill Playhouse and opened on Broadway this past April; sadly, it had a very short run. But its talented performers are certainly names to look for: Laura Osnes, Corey Cott, Beth Leavel and truly remarkable direction and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, who won a Tony Award for “Hamilton” in 2016. I’d go to any play he is involved in, because his work is a guarantee of a superb experience.
It was truly a bittersweet but an enchanting time in the theater watching the final act of “Bandstand.”
Speaking out against hatred
The Long Island Press was the media sponsor of a special panel discussion, “The State of Anti-Semitism: Local and Global” at the Tilles Center at Long Island University’s Post Campus in Westbury on Sept. 13. Former Congressman Steve Israel, who chairs the Global Institute at LIU, led the discussion along with Ambassador Dani Dayan, consul general of Israel in New York; Dr. Deborah Lipstadt of Emory University; Taryn A. Merkl of the U.S. Attorney’s Eastern District of New York office; Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas; and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini.