Category Archives: entertainment

U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade 2017

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (
December 31, 2016

Yesterday, I read the exciting news that Long Island’s own Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums will participate in the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017.

Originally known as “Fir Na Tine” (Gaelic: Men of Fire), it’s America’s first Volunteer Firefighter Pipe Band, and has performed widely, including at St. Patrick’s Day parades, at halftime shows for NY Jets, and band members were the 11 Pipers Piping in a Christmas commercial.

[NOTE: background tent digitally altered blue]

East Meadow, NY, USA. March 31, 2012. [NOTE: background tent digitally altered blue ]Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums band performs at firefighter Ray Pfeifer Benefit. (© 2012 Ann Parry/

Also, Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums has been an inspiring, stirring part of many memorials and benefits. In spring 2012, I covered the band when it played at the Ray Pfeifer Benefit at the East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall. Retired FDNY firefighter and Hicksville resident Ray Pfeifer is a true profile in courage, perseverance, and brotherhood.

FYI From Long Island: After the 9/11/2001 Twin Towers terrorist attacks, Ray Pfeifer helped recovery efforts at Ground Zero, and by 2008 was battling cancer. Pfeifer – along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Representatives Peter King and Carolyn Maloney, and others – helped make sure the 2010 James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act was eventually extended to 2090, establishing the “World Trade Center Health Program.”

Fund raiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performed. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry,

East Meadow, New York, USA. March 31, 2012. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performing at Ray Pfeifer Benefit. (© 2012 Ann Parry/

When the Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums Band participates in the Inauguration Parade in a few weeks, it will be continuing its mission of proudly representing the Nassau County Fire Service.

To help the band reach its $10,000 goal to cover transportation & lodging costs for its 40+ members, the band manager created and runs a gofundme fundraiser: “Presidential Inauguration Parade” for the Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums.

  • Photo Video of Ray Pfeifer Fundraiser, with Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums music:

And I send sincere thanks to Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums, esp. Band Manager Alan Jacoby, for permission to use their music in above photo video of 2012 Firefighter Ray Pfeifer Benefit.

  • UPDATE 1/18/2107:  $17K+ of revised $20K goal has been raised by band’s gofundme campaign.  [NOTE: This post’s link to band’s gofundme page removed after end of 2017.]

Band’s official site: Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums


Actor KEVIN JAMES autographs copies of front cover of script after taping of first episode of Kevin Can Wait, at Gold Coast Studios, Long Uskand, New York, 2016.

‘Kevin Can Wait’ Here on Long Island

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (
August 20, 2016

Last night my daughter Sue and I saw Episode 1 of Kevin Can Wait being filmed at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage. This new CBS sitcom, starring actor KEVIN JAMES, is the first prime-time network series originating from a Long Island studio – hello, Hollywood East!

Bethpage, New York, USA. August 19, 2016. Actor KEVIN JAMES (middle of low railing) the star of the CBS new comedy series

Bethpage, NY, USA. August 19, 2016. After filming’s done, actor KEVIN JAMES (low center by railing), star of CBS sitcom “Kevin Can Wait” set to premiere Sept. 19, 2016, autographs copies of 1st episode script cover. (© 2016 Ann Parry/


First we saw the pilot, which gave background to the episode being filmed that night. It introduced us to the Gable family: father Kevin, a newly retired police officer; mother Donna, a school nurse; and their children Kendra, Sara, and Jack.

We also met Kevin’s brother Kyle (played by James’s real life brother GARY VALENTINE), Kendra’s fiancé Chale (who looks like… no, I’ll leave that as a surprise), and Kevin’s three friends who are fellow retired police officers.

BTW from LI:   The Gable family lives in the south shore town of Massapequa, so they’d have to move just a few miles west to be the Gables of Merrick Gables, a 1920s development of Spanish stucco houses near my home.


Long Island’s JOEY KOLA was the warm up comedian. Over the course of the night, Joey identified dozens of cast and crew … had us sing along to songs the DJ played … shared anecdotes that were probably at least partly true… did fast and furious impressions (mostly of Long Islanders, of course)… and introduced countless audience members who were fellow comedians, notable Long Islanders, media personalities, and relatives of cast and crew.


The first scene filmed was the first scene of the episode, and there were several partial and whole retakes (that I found riveting) – of this scene and scenes in general – in order to tweak dialogue and action, and film from different viewpoints. As Director ANDY FICKMAN – who made some genuinely funny comments when cameras weren’t filming – explained to the audience, the sitcom studio filming is done in chronological order – except that night the last two scenes were reversed so Mary-Charles Jones, a minor, would finish her last scene before 11 PM.

I especially liked how Kevin Gable – the eponymous character played by star Kevin James, a gifted everyman physical comedian – didn’t always have to be the one getting the Big Laugh, so his character had the chance to convey emotion, doubt, conflicted feelings – you know, things real people feel while living life without a laugh track, let alone a live studio audience.

And I hope to see more of Chale, who stood out as a unique, engaging character.

BTW from LI:  “Chale” has a range of meanings throughout the world: Perhaps the village Chale in the Isle of Wight, England, is relevant. Also, “Chale” means “strong” and “manly” in Spanish, which might be something to think about.

Bethpage, New York, USA. August 19, 2016. Ann holds printed sheet with PRIORITY TICKETS to be in audience during taping of CBS new comedy series

Bethpage, NY, USA. August 19, 2016. Ann holds tickets to filming of CBS sitcom ‘Kevin Can Wait’ at Gold Coast Studios. (© 2016 Sue M)

When Executive Producer ROCK REUBEN took questions from the audience, he stated that KCW will be free of references to a certain infamous Massapequa resident from the early 1990s.

BTW from LI:  Wouldn’t it be fun if Kevin Can Wait has Kevin bumping into, or even hanging with, Long Island natives Alec Baldwin, Ray Romano,  Jerry Seinfeld – say, at All American Hamburger?

UPDATE Ray Romano guest-starred on KCW Oct. 23, 2016


Cameras weren’t allowed, but cell phones were, though they couldn’t be on/out during filming.

Media, including People magazine and Newsday, were there to cover the night, and though I wished now and then I were covering it with my Nikon D4, it was a nice change to be sitting there with my daughter and fellow audience members, simply enjoying the show – you know, things people do while living life without a pro DSLR and Press badge.


The long evening of filming was so much fun it sped by. If you’re in the Long Island area and interested in free tickets to a future filming of Kevin Can Wait at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, visit And don’t forget to eat dinner before you go to the studio.

So, okay, maybe it’s partly because I’m from Long Island, plus there’s a retired police officer in our family, but I enjoyed watching the pilot and filming of the first episode of Kevin Can Wait, and can’t wait to see its premiere on Monday, September 19, 8:30 PM (EST) on CBS.


Cast includes:

  • Kevin James as Kevin Gable
  • Erinn Hayes as wife Donna
  • Taylor Spreitler as daughter Kendra
  • Ryan Cartwright as Kendra’s fiancé Chale
  • Mary-Charles Jones as younger daughter Sara
  • James DiGiacomo as son Jack
  • Gary Valentine as Kevin’s brother Kyle
  • Christopher Brian Roach as Mott
  • Leonard Earl Howze as Goody
  • Lenny Venito as Duffy

Episode 1 “Kevin and Donna’s Book Club”

  • Writer: Heather Flanders
  • Director: Andy Fickman

Executive Producers: Kevin James, Bruce Helford, Rock Reuben,  Jess Sussman

UPDATE   9/2016: During Z100’s Elvis Duran Morning Show, Sue spoke with Kevin James about how much she enjoyed being in audience for taping of “Kevin Can Wait” at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage, NY

UPDATE    5/12/2018: CBS confirms cancellation of “Kevin Can Wait” after two seasons

“Kevin Can Wait”:  GALLERY