Tour offers peek at 'Soprano's' turf

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n Location Tours is making an offer few fans of "The Sopranos" could refuse. Each week, the company takes fans on a three-hour tour to check out the haunts of Tony Soprano and his crew.

With its water-cooler buzz and critical acclaim, the HBO show has made stars of the cast and creator and put the Garden State's working-class neighborhoods and affluent suburbs in the spotlight.

This is where On Location Tours comes in.

The New York-based tour operator was created in June 1999 by Georgette Blau after discovering she lived near that "deluxe apartment in the sky" (the building seen in the opening credits of "The Jeffersons").

The company started out by offering the Manhattan TV Tour, which showcases the sites of popular series that were, or still are, set in New York, including "The Jeffersons," "Mad About You" and "Friends."

Blau started the Sopranos tour on March 4, and she said it has been quite successful.

Stories about the tour have popped up in local travel sections and magazines such as Entertainment Weekly.

The Sopranos tour hits about 15 sites in New Jersey, including Satin Dolls (the strip club known in the series as Bada Bing), Satriales Pork Store, the cemetery where Livia Soprano is buried and the Skyway Diner, where Christopher Moltisani was shot.

The cost is $30 per person and includes cannolis at Sorrento's in Lodi, which is located around the corner from Satin Dolls.

The tour departs every Sunday at 2 p.m. from New York's Bryant Park, with a second pickup at Houlihan's restaurant in Secaucus, N.J.

Blau said additional sites and a weekday departure will be added this summer.

Transportation is via air-conditioned buses that can accommodate up to 57 passengers.

Blau said group tours can be arranged.

The company pays 10% commission and is a member of the National Tour Association and the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Blau said the tour has attracted a wide range of fans, including ones from Texas, California, New York and New Jersey as well as international visitors from Sweden, the U.K., Australia and France.

The company also offers a tour tied to another popular HBO series, "Sex and the City."

For additional details, contact On Location Tours at (212) 702-0848.

The e-mail address is [email protected]; the Web site address is www.sceneontv.com.

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