In case you just got back from an extended trip to the Crab Nebula, "Boardwalk Empire" stars Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, a character based on the real-life Nucky Johnson. As Atlantic County treasurer between the World Wars, Nucky ran all of AyCee's rackets, including booze, gambling and prostitution.
The series, executive-produced by superstar director Martin Scorsese and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg, is based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Atlantic County Judge Nelson Johnson.
In some quarters, "Empire" is being anticipated as a major marketing godsend for Atlantic City, which, of course, has not received much good news the past few years. Unfortunately, because there is barely anything left of the world's first Boardwalk from the 1920s because of casino-era construction, all of the exterior scenes were shot on a replica promenade that was built at a studio in Brooklyn, N.Y.
However, one of the few remaining buildings is now known as the Ritz Condominiums at Boardwalk and Iowa Avenue. Back in the days of raccoon coats and bathtub gin, the Ritz was the hotel that Nucky Johnson called home.
A 'pier'-less vantage point
As it did for the July 2 fireworks display, The Pier Shops at Caesars is offering the public a primo space from which to view Wednesday's Atlantic City Air Show.
The first 500 folks to sign up will receive a free credential allowing access to the complex's third-level Surf Deck, where they will have an unparalleled view of the airborne action that takes place above the beach between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Those interested in watching the show from such a privileged perch can pick up passes beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the West Loading Dock opposite Trump Plaza. Please note that folding chairs and coolers are prohibited. For more info, go to www.thepiershopsatcaesars.
for a good cause
Tomorrow, a group of celebrity hotties will be begging to be dunked in a tank of water at the Trump Plaza Beach Bar.
Cherry Hill's Lauren Harris, a former Miss FHM contest winner, Philly Boy Craig Robinson ("The Bachelorette"), former Eagles star (and current WIP-AM sports gabber) Hugh Douglas, five-time Wing Bowl champ Bill "El Wingador" Simmons WMMR's Matt Cord and Ashley Elmore ("Bachelor Pad") will make like sitting ducks to raise money for the United Way of Atlantic County. The festivities are set for 2 to 5 p.m.
A couple of upcoming bookings of note:
Tickets are on sale for the Oct. 30 presentation of "America's Got Talent Live" at Trump Taj Mahal. Hosted by the competition's former TV emcee, Jerry Springer, the Taj program will be headlined by this season's champion, whose identity will be revealed on the Sept. 15 telecast of the hit NBC-TV series.
The Taj presentation will also feature other Season Five finalists as well as "fan favorites" who didn't make the final round of judging.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $99.50, $59.50, $49.50 and $39.50.
Also on the Taj's fall schedule is the return of the Allman Brothers, who will do their legendary blues-rock-jam thing Nov. 13. Tickets, on sale Sept. 11, are $69.50 and $49.50 and, like those for the "America's Got Talent" show, are available by calling 800-736-1420, or by going to ticketmaster.com.
Chuck Darrow has been covering Atlantic City and casinos for more than 20 years. Read
his blog http://go.philly.com/casinotes. E-mail him at email@example.com. And listen to his Atlantic City reports
Saturdays at 1:45 a.m. with Steve Trevelise on WIP (610-AM) and 4:05 p.m.
on Atlantic City's WOND (1400-AM) with Marc Berman, and 5:35 p.m. on Gloucester County's WNJC (1360-AM) and at 11:05
p.m. Tuesdays on WIFI (1460-AM) in