Only in Jersey: 2/10/12

Happy Friday! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Kevin Smith, center, shares his love of comic books in "Comic Book Men," which is filmed in Red Bank./Photo credit AMC

Red Bank will be front and center beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday when AMC premieres “Comic Book Men.”  The one-hour unscripted series follows employees and customers of film director Kevin Smith’s comic store, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. The network’s description – “as the team buys, sells and discovers the treasures of the comic collecting world, they share all the juicy details with Kevin through their outrageous podcast” – makes it sound like a comics-tailored version of “Pawn Stars.”

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“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” are back!

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What have “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” been up to since the second season began?

A whole lot, that’s for sure! Keep reading for a full account of the faces and places Teresa Giudice, Jacqueline Laurita, Dina and Caroline Manzo, and – oh, yes – Danielle Staub have encountered since the series returned.

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“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” get real

You want it, you got it: Here’s my quick, in-a-nutshell recounting of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” appearance on Saturday at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair. (And look out -this time I was sitting in the front row and have some great pix of the ladies!)

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You can't really tell here, but Dina Manzo's T-shirt reads "Last year's Versace." Copies of the shirt were also for sale in the theater's lobby. "I can't help myself," Dina said. "I'm a wise a**."/All photos by Ava Gacser

While much of the material covered territory similar to last month’s appearance by Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice (along with “Real Housewives of New York City’s” Alex McCord and Jill Zarin) in Englewood, there were a few new tidbits of information.

First of all, although it was never stated outright, I get the distinct impression all five ladies will be back for the second season (slated to premiere on Bravo sometime in 2010 with – get this – about 18 episodes!!!). I know there’s been some question about Dina Manzo’s participation, but based upon things she said – such as “I’m trying to make (Project) Ladybug be part of the show” and “He’s (Dina’s hubby, Tommy) not in Season 2; he won’t be around” – there’s no doubt in my mind she’ll be back.

Dina proved amusing during the approximately two-hour event, joking that seeing herself on television convinced her she needed major plastic surgery.

“I’m getting a nose job, I’m getting lipo,” she laughed.

She also took responsibility for getting the controversial “prostitution whore” herself, Danielle Staub, on the show.

“Ironically, it was my fault,” she admitted.

According to Dina, Danielle had quite the reputation at Chateau, the Franklin Lakes salon several of the women frequent. And because it was the owner of Chateau, Victor, who was the one Bravo originally approached for help in finding women for the series, salon clients were obviously preferred.

“What about that crazy one?” Dina said is how she recalls referring to Danielle. “Why don’t we take her out to dinner and find out if she’s good crazy or bad crazy?”

Dina also set the record straight about her husband, Tommy, who co-owns The Brownstone with Caroline’s hubby, Albert.

“He wants nothing to do with the show,” she said, adding that initially that bothered her but now she’s glad he isn’t involved. “It’s brought us closer” and makes their time together more special. “It’s just the two of us… it’s just like boyfriend/girlfriend time.”

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I couldn't get a clear shot of Caroline because of that ridiculously placed speaker.

Caroline’s popular son, Albie, was in attendance (as was Dina’s daughter Lexi and Jacqueline Laurita’s daughter Ashley), and she revealed Albie now has a girlfriend named – wait for it – Danielle.

“Can you believe the irony?” Caroline added.

And when the subject of “Regis and Kelly’s” recent Halloween episode featuring the pair dressed up as Caroline and Teresa, respectively, Caroline admitted it was funny but said she couldn’t help wondering, “Why do they always pick a man to imitate me?” (*This isn’t the first time: Earlier this summer, another Jersey girl, talk-show host Chelsea Handler, did a spoof on the “Housewives” and a man played Caroline then, too.)

(In case you missed the “Regis and Kelly” spoof, here it is:)
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Unlike last time's form-fitting (and gorgeous) glittery dress, Teresa opted for this flowing shift.

Teresa denied that she carries hundreds of thousands of dollars around in her purse.

“I don’t walk around carrying $120k with me,” she said.

She also confirmed that her upcoming cookbook is called “Skinny Italian” and will feature “great quick Italian recipes.”

One of the funniest moments of the evening came when Teresa started trash-talking “Real Housewife of New York City” Bethenny Frankel. After alleging that Bethenny bad mouths her, Teresa called Bethenny a “b*tch,” “slut” and “big ho.”

“You should’ve gotten married first,” she added, obviously referring to newly engaged Bethenny’s recent announcement that she’s pregnant.

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It was good to see Jacqueline laugh.

Jacqueline gushed about her newborn son, Nicholas, whom she lovingly refers to as “monkey.”

“I hold him all the time,” she said. “He looks nothing like me. He’s my husband all the way.”

Speaking of which, Jacqueline also hinted that fans will see more of her husband (and Dina and Caroline’s brother), Chris, in 2010.

“Next season you might see him a lot more,” she revealed.

Jacqueline also said that she wished last season had shown her family’s relationships in a more positive light.

“It seemed to highlight all of the negative moments with my daughter (Ashley),” she said.

The evening was once again moderated by comedian Geno Bisconte.

“We all have our a**hole moments, and we all have our endearing moments,” summed up Caroline. “…If we ever forget where we came from, kick our a**.”

Here are a few more photos I took that evening:

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This was the best shot I could get of all of the ladies standing but it gives you an idea of how tiny they all are. Moderator Geno Bisconte is in the center.

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Teresa and Caroline.

Sisters-in-law Jacqueline and Dina were peppered with plenty of questions during the event.

Sisters-in-law Jacqueline and Dina were peppered with questions.

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Dina whipped out her leopard-covered Blackberry for some impromptu Twitpics, but for some reason they didn't wind up on her Twitter page (www.twitter.com/dinamanzo).

All of the ladies are on Twitter and/or Facebook. If you need any of those addresses, feel free to drop me a line. Hopefully everyone saw the In Touch Weekly photo spread of Jacqueline, Teresa and the babies. It was really cute! In case you didn’t, the photo below is from the article.

IN-TOUCH-HOUSEBABIES

Proud mothers Teresa and Jacqueline show off their newest additions, Audriana and Nicholas. I love the facial expressions on both babies!/Credit In Touch Weekly

The REAL “Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “New York City”

Just how real are “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “New York City”? Pretty darn real, judging an appearance last night by four of the ladies – Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo from the Garden State, and Jill Zarin and Alex McCord from the Big Apple – in Englewood, N.J.

Jill Zarin, from left, Alex McCord, host Gino Bisconte, Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo. Sorry for the crappy picture, but it's the best I could do with my cell phone. If anyone has better images, please email me at ava@avagacser.com. I will gladly give you credit for them.

Jill Zarin, from left, Alex McCord, host Geno Bisconte, Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo. Sorry for the crappy picture, but it's the best I could do with my cell phone. If anyone has better images, please email me at ava@avagacser.com. I will gladly give you credit for them.

Teresa appeared self-conscious, although I thought she looked gorgeous in a crystal (Swarovski?) sleeveless dress that shimmered like crazy under Bergen PAC’s lights.

“I don’t think I look good,” she admitted at one point. “I still have a stomach.”

Considering Teresa just had her fourth daughter, Audriana, barely five weeks ago, I thought she looked – dare I say it? – FABULOUS!!!

Clearly, the woman has a skewed vision of reality – and Caroline thought so, too, because this is what she said:

“(Teresa) was complaining she put on a size 6 jeans the day after the baby was born.”

“I’m a size 4,” Teresa explained.

Not surprisingly, Teresa referred to her husband Joe – the owner of  G&G Stucco and Stone in Clifton – as “delicious and juicy,” though a little on the plump side.

“I told him he could lose a few pounds,” she added. “(I said) ‘Hon, we were pregnant together.'”

In additional baby Audriana news, Teresa said her older girls – Gia, 8, Gabriella, 5, and Milania, 3 – love the new addition.

“(Milania) squeezes her so hard and kisses her so much all over,” she said. “They’re being like little mommies.”

Unlike her parents, baby Audriana has blue eyes, and “everybody’s saying she looks just like Gabriella,” said Teresa.

One attendee asked Teresa if Star Magazine was correct in reporting that she paid $25,000 for a 5th birthday party for (I’m guessing) daughter Gabriella. She didn’t answer the question directly and said fans would have to wait until the next season to find out.

     Teresa, far right, revealed that the purple (amethyst?) necklace she wore above at the reunion actually belongs to Caroline, who bought it at Neiman Marcus. "Teresa is a jewelry whore," Caroline added./Credit Bravo

Teresa, far right, revealed that the purple (amethyst?) necklace she wore above at the reunion actually belongs to Caroline, who bought it at Neiman Marcus. "Teresa is a jewelry whore," Caroline added./Credit Bravo

Additional tidbits I learned last night:

*Jill, Alex and Teresa all have books coming out. Jill, who is a spokeswoman for Kodak, has a book called “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” that she co-wrote with her mother and sister; Amazon.com lists it as releasing April 15. Alex’s book, “Little Kids, Big City,” is scheduled for release on March 31. While Teresa offered no details on her book, Amazon lists it as “Skinny Jeans and Spaghetti,” with a release date of May 4.

*There is a feud going on between Teresa and “Real Housewife of New York City” Bethenny Frankel. “I know Bethenny hates me, and I don’t care,” said Teresa. Turning to Alex and Jill, she added, “You guys can relay the message.”

*Teresa purchases her children’s clothing at Stage Left in Franklin Lakes.

*Caroline loves living in New Jersey because “everything is just a blink away.” Jill loves the fact that “there’s no sales tax on clothes” in the Garden State.

*Caroline’s daughter Lauren is a freelance makeup artist. “I went to beauty school, and I wax backs,” Lauren revealed. She still will not go anywhere near chuckies, though. (Lauren’s brother, Albie, was also in attendance and received a lot of female attention.)

*After flipping over the table at Lu Nello in Cedar Grove, Teresa said to Joe, “Hon, leave some money. I broke dishes.”

*Caroline acknowledged that she doesn’t take her wealth for granted. “You never forget where you come from,” she said, explaining that she wore her husband’s shirts when she was pregnant because they couldn’t afford maternity clothes. “Tomorrow it could be all gone; it’s just stuff,” she added.

*While Jill and Alex couldn’t talk specifics about the new season, Jill said “I am so excited to have new blood” on the show.

*Jill spoke briefly about her encounter this summer with “Jon & Kate Plus 8” dad Jon Gosselin. “He was quite charming,” she admitted. She said she had no idea that Jon – who she described as being from “that crazy show with that crazy wife” – was also an invited guest to the same dinner party until she arrived and saw him and Michael Lohan.

*Caroline said she had a gut feeling that she should keep fellow “Housewife” Danielle Staub at a distance, even though she admitted that it was her own sister, Dina Manzo, who came up with the idea of getting Danielle on the show. “Why don’t we get the crazy girl from the salon (to be on the show)?” Teresa recalled Dina saying she told Jacqueline Laurita. “Let’s see how crazy she is.”

*Bravo has not announced when either the third season of “New York City” or the second season of “New Jersey” will return, although both are in production.

*The event was hosted/moderated by comedian Geno Bisconte.

You can get an idea of what last night was like from this video. In the meantime, you have another opportunity to see four of the five New Jersey housewives – Dina, Caroline, Jacqueline and Teresa (no Danielle!) – at The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair on Saturday, Nov. 7. Tickets are still available.

A “Real Housewives of New Jersey” kind of summer

Wondering what “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” are up to? Wonder no more!

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As you can see by the above video, comedian and “Chelsea Lately” star Chelsea Handler (herself a New Jersey native) loves her some “RHNJ” and Dina Manzo is more than happy to oblige. I certainly have to give Dina credit; judging by “RHNJ,” I didn’t realize she had this good of a sense of humor about herself.

But a California talk-show studio isn’t the only place Dina is hanging around these days. Along with her sister, Caroline Manzo, Dina will make a special on-stage cameo at next Saturday’s performance of “My Big Gay Italian Wedding” at St. George Theater in Staten Island, N.Y.

"Real Housewife of New Jersey" Dina Manzo, center, helps "One Life to Live" star Scott Evans, left, and Anthony Wilkinson, right, celebrate the launch of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" on Sunday, July 26, in Staten Island, N.Y./Photo courtesy of Vijay Uttam

"Real Housewife of New Jersey" Dina Manzo, center, helps "One Life to Live" star Scott Evans, left, and Anthony Wilkinson, right, celebrate the launch of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" on Sunday, July 26, in Staten Island, N.Y./Photo courtesy of Vijay Uttam

The comedic play, which premieres at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, stars Anthony Wilkinson and “One Life to Live’s” Scott Evans. Tickets, $19.50 to $75, are available through Ticketmaster. The red carpet begins at 6:30 p.m. Dina and Caroline’s “RHNJ” co-star, a very pregnant Teresa Giudice, is also expected to be in attendance.

Teresa – who is due any day now – joined “Real Housewives of New York City’s” Alex McCord for a “FABULOUS!”  Us Weekly back-to-school photo shoot starring their children. Check it out:

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And finally, the New York Post recently reported that Danielle Staub, aka Beverly Merrill, is not only working on her memoir but is actively seeking a photographer to snap the cover shot…for free.

“Danielle is trying to talk photographers into snapping her picture for free, claiming the book is going to be a big hit and that people will start clamoring to give them work,” the Post quotes a publishing insider as saying. “It’s so embarrassing and tacky!”

Embarrassing? Tacky? Danielle? Perish the thought!

The book is reportedly set to publish in the spring by Simon Spotlight Entertainment.

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