What better way to pay tribute to the late, great James Gandolfini than to strip for him, with the theme song of “The Sopranos” playing in the background? After all, the fictional strip club from the series was a key location for many events in the show. Thus, we have this SFW performance from Thursday night, filmed at the real-life Bada Bing, Satin Dolls.
All interior and exterior shots of the Bada Bing club were filmed on location at Satin Dolls, which is an actual go-go bar on Route 17 in Lodi, New Jersey. Notably, New Jersey law prohibits topless or nude dancing in establishments that sell alcohol, which probably explains the SFW-ness of this video. The nudity shown in Bada Bing in the series is where HBO took poetic license.
The clip below features longtime Satin Dolls — and Bada Bing — veteran Diana Lynn, who first appeared on the “The Sopranos” pilot episode back in 1999. She worked as a background dancer in several “Sopranos” episodes after the pilot, and has been dancing at Satin Dolls for 15 years.
Humorously, Lynn said that Gandolfini “often hung around Satin Dolls after filming just to squeeze in some quality stripper time.”
Among the big events shown at Bada Bing during “The Sopranos,” per Wikipedia:
- Tony Soprano and his crew find out Jackie Aprile, Sr. has died from his illness. One of the dancers vows never to forget where she was the day Jackie died.
- Tony Soprano cancels the hit on Don Hauser, his daughter’s soccer coach and an uncovered statutory rapist.
- Tony and Sil agree to have Richie Aprile killed, but are pre-empted by a deadly domestic dispute involving Richie and Janice.
- Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts agree to have Big Pussy whacked if they found out he was wearing a wire for sure.
- Ralph Cifaretto beats his pregnant girlfriend Tracee, a Bing dancer, to death in the parking lot just outside the building.
- Johnny Sack informs Tony that he is prepared to reconcile with Ralph following an insult to Sack’s wife, in turn allowing Tony to cancel a planned hit on him.
- Christopher Moltisanti threatens Tony with a gun for allegedly having an affair with his fiancée, but he has already emptied his gun of bullets by shooting Tony’s old SUV in the parking lot, a burgundy 1999 Chevrolet Suburban, which Tony presumably is back to driving since totaling his black Escalade.
- Tony makes the case for not killing Vito Spatafore over his homosexuality to Silvio and Carlo Gervasi.
- Paulie has a vision of the Virgin Mary hovering over the dance floor and reconciles with his aunt and adoptive mother Marianucci.
- Silvio Dante is shot several times in the parking lot on an ordered hit from Phil Leotardo. Patsy Parisi accompanies Sil, but flees on foot. Silvio is hospitalized in critical condition.
- Matthew Bevilaqua and Sean Gismonte desperately and unsuccessfully try to gain the attention of Tony Soprano, angering him by openly boasting of criminal activities in his presence in the washroom.
- Silvio Dante arrives at the club to open it in the morning and finds Christopher Moltisanti, coming down from a heroin binge vomiting heavily in the toilet, his hair in the toilet water. He later brings this up at Christopher’s rehabilitation intervention.