Josh’s Bar Mitzvah at Garelick & Herb’s Mora Mora Nightclub

(This was Jason's view of the party from behind the DJ booth)

Even though we had to pump our own gas and the local diner told us that they didn’t have Taylor Ham, The Celebrate Life Team still enjoyed taking the show on the road to Norwalk, Connecticut for Josh’s Bar Mitzvah. 🙂

It was a pleasure to serve the Horowitz family yet again! Congrats and best wishes Josh!

Special thanks to Paola and Jason Garelick for their hospitality and professionalism this past weekend.

The dynamic duo, owners of Mora Mora, caters to an upscale clientele at that appreciates culinary mastery and exceptional service.

Thank you for helping us provide Josh and his family with a stellar once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

The MMP Entertainment and Event Production Team helps the world Celebrate Life! MMP is led by Executive Director, 3-Time National DJ Entertainer of the Year and ADJA Leadership Award recipient, Marcello Pedalino.



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Fun for the ladies at the photo booth. -mThe one and only Jason Jani teaching Josh how to bring the fire to the fiesta. -m - MMP Entertainment, Marcello PedalinoThese are pretty cool party favors from our friends at Sherman Party. Little flashlights that shine mustaches on other people. I guess this is what I'd look like if I could actually grow some facial hair. -Marcello Pedalino, MMP EntertainmentI love it when all ages have a great time at our events. -mJosh's good friend (named Josh also) was ready to party as soon as he walked into the club. His tie was around his head within 10 minutes. Rock on Mr. Birkowski! Marcello PedalinoJosh is super smart, talented and quite the ladies man too. Because he's from Jersey originally, he was a pro at the fist pump. The lovely Melissa couldn't resist his charm. -Marcello Pedalino   Kudos to Darryl Jacobsen AGAIN. His award-winning game, Picasso, is still being enjoyed by kids and adults every weekend! -Marcello PedalnoOne of my favorite party animals from Josh's event was his cousin, Sam. He was serious about celebrating with style! -Marcello Pedalino




Young Forever: Marcello Returns to The Park Avenue Club with Eggsotic Events for Evan’s High Roller Bar Mitzvah Celebration

When I asked Evan which song he’d like to choose for the dance with his mom he said, “Forever Young by Bob Dylan.” From that point on at the consultation, I knew his Bar Mitzvah was going to have a retro-cool vibe and a relaxed, yet modern-elegant flair.  And it did.

The Park Avenue Club is an ideal event space because of its posh tent ballroom.  With the right decor and entertainment, 10 year veteran catering director extraordinaire, Jennifer Shin, will help you transform the club into any theme or concept that suits your fancy.  Really.  It’s like a fresh white canvas for a seriously gifted artist.

For Evan and his friends, their extended cocktail hour featured 3 Texas Hold’em tables, a green screen photo booth, the interactive game show, paparazzi and 2 table-top arcade games.  The guest list was heavy on the boy’s side so the idea was to keep them busy, entertained and out of trouble. Mission accomplished.  We added four beautiful female dancers from the MMP team as well to raise the estrogen level a bit.  The boys seemed very appreciative that Tara, Chrissy, Mindy and Kelly were there to keep them company.

After the adults were finished with their cocktails in the club’s ultra-swank loft that boast’s cathedral ceilings, a grand piano and the ability to check on the kids at their leisure; they joined us downstairs for the reception.  (Some of our interactives, like the game show, are so much fun, many of the adults “checked on their kids” for more than a few minutes and played a couple of  rounds.)

Evan’s mom and dad, Amy and Richard, wanted a cool mix of tradition and avaunt-garde for their reception.  This was evident upon entry by the hybrid decor and vogue dress code, and then later by the deliciously-efficient menu.  Guests entered Evan’s VIP Lounge and liked what they saw.

It was filled with L.E.D lightscaping, custom furniture pieces and unique table-top arrangements to tie the total look of the room together.  The artist behind the design and decor was Eglis Matiss, from Eggsotic Events; a consumate professional with a crew to match.  For the Signature Event ambiance, we created personalized visuals and Evan’s monogram which displayed on our dual plasma screens throughout the evening.  Instead of a 3 course sit down, dining consisted of open stations that offered Park Ave’s finest fare.    As always, I worked closely with Jennifer in advance to create a production agenda.  This time-line ensures that the pacing of the event is comfortable, yet practical, and that all of the guests can enjoy the dining and entertainment in a seamless fashionThings couldn’t have run any smoother.

Kudos to Evan’s older brother Matthew and his younger brother Josh, they added a lot of positive energy to the celebration.  Judging by the amount of time Josh spent on the dance floor and how much he enjoyed being up in the chair during the hora, his Bar Mitzvah will be an exceptional event as well.

Special thanks to Wendy Robinson for sharing some of her photography for this article.  Wendy and I are both recommended at some of NJ’s finest venue’s like the Orange Lawn Tennis Club.  She and her partner David were a pleasure to work with and they were always in the right place at the right time.

Per usual, my sincere gratitude goes out to Jennifer Shin and the entire Park Ave team for their professionalism and hospitality.  It’s an honor to be referred by such an impressive location.  I’m looking forward to our next collaboration.

Below are some of the candid shots that we took during the event that displayed on the plasmas when the stations were opened and later when dessert was served.  This is still one of the most sought-after services we offer; people love to see great photos of themselves on the big screens! It also makes everyone feel included in the celebration and always sparks some up-beat table conversation.  In addition, we give the host family a copy of all the pictures so they can add them to their event memorabilia.  Between Wendy’s professional shots and our paparazzi-style candids, you’ll never miss a moment of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

After the event, Amy and Richard also took a quick moment to let us know if we succeeded in keeping Evan and his friends entertained.   🙂

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5 Years, 3 Events, 1 Love: Arissa’s Triple Play Bat Mitzvah

April 16, 2005- Arissa giving a toast to her big sister Ilana. "Thank you for hiring Marcello to be the DJ.... I want him at my Bat Mitzvah too."

It felt a little like working at the Make A Wish Foundation.  Not only did Arissa thank her parents for “hiring Marcello” during her toast to her sister back in 2005,  she also said, “I want Marcello to be the DJ at my Bat Mitzvah!”; which you can see from the photo, filled the room with laughter.

As we all  know, life moves pretty fast.   Three years later it was her brother Ethan’s turn.  And then finally, last Saturday night- 5 years later- it was Arissa’s night to shine.

From the interactive cocktail hour to the grand entrance to the last dance; the Gazda’s and their family and friends partied like rock stars. I truly believe that some people were put on this earth to celebrate life and to teach the world to sing.  Nancy, Ken, Ilana, Ethan and Arissa definitely make the list…  The Landmark was over-flowing with positive energy.

March 27, 2010.  Arissa, Marcello, Ilana and Ethan

March 27, 2010. Arissa, Marcello, Ilana and Ethan

At one point in the opening dance set, we played the remix of One Love, by my friend, Nick DitriHe’s part of the platinum selling duo of uber-producers known as The Disco Fries. We had Arissa and a dance-floor full of guests doing the Jersey Shore fist pump and jumping up and down like it was a New Years Eve celebration in Times Square.  What a moment!

I was little concerned about having such a festive-frenzy so early in the event.  Really, it’s like.. where do you go from here?   Thankfully, it was a typical Gazda fiesta with limitless enthusiasm and joyful fervor. We experienced several similar peaks throughout the night; whether it was dancing to a Blend Brother’s remix of Don’t Stop Believing, playing Face the Cookie from the hit show Minute to Win It or singing along to the new friendship circle anthem, ‘Lean On Me’ from the Glee soundtrack… we were in perfect harmony from start to finish.

Nancy, Arissa and Ken

If you’ve got a minute, check out the video testimonial (below) that MMP Entertainment‘s production manager, Frank Di Giacomo,  captured at the end of the event on the “Frankie D Cam.” (Our future clients really enjoy seeing and hearing candid thoughts and opinions directly from other families who were once in their position; having to consider a significant investment in the entertainment for their event and wanting the peace of mind of knowing that they’re making the right choice.) Look out for more 21st century word-of-mouth video clips in our future articles.  I think you’ll agree that we made Arissa’s Bat Mitzvah dreams come true. She wasn’t shy with her feedback.  🙂

Special thanks to Dee from the Landmark for her hospitality and professionalism.  Hugs and kisses to Nancy and Ken for their friendship, patronage and generosity.

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Air Brush Tatoos

Mock Rock

Game Show

Jesse and the Persily’s Return to B’nai Tikvah

Jesse and his friendsThe Persily family came back to Congregation B’nai Tikvah to celebrate Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah.  Evan, Rob and the staff of Classical Caterers made sure that the encore was as exceptional as the premier when Jacob celebrated his special event.

There are a lot of  families over the years who you never forget.  The Persily’s are one of them.  Robyn and Mark definitely have a special place in my heart.  They are gracious hosts, awesome parents and just solid people.

Robyn and MarkJesse and the Persily crew brought all their family, friends and positive energy back for another fun and memorable evening.  Everybody from 92-year-old uncle George to Jesse’s little sister, Chloe, who looked like a princess, danced the  night away.

marcello-picture1As always , the Monday before the Bar Mitzvah, I went to the guest of honor’s house for the VIP party.  It’s a great opportunity to get to know everyone, find out what the kids have seen at other bar and bat mitzvahs recently, and to review some of the interactive dances that we’ll be doing at the event. Jesse invited 11 of his friends over: Daniel, Seth, Noah, Sydney, Sammy, Taylor, Aneesa, Julianna, Jen, Andrew and Corey.  We created a list of their favorite songs, went over dances like the Apache and practiced singing Don’t Stop Believing. We had a blast!

Taylor sings the Mother Son Dance- The Climb.  Speaking of singing, one of the evening’s highlights was the mother-son dance.  During the VIP party, I found out that Jesse’s good friend, Taylor, was a very talented singer.  I already knew from previewing the Persily’s photo montage that Robyn liked the song, The Climb by Miley Cyrus. After some discussion on how to make Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah even more fun, unique and memorable, everyone agreed and we found a great instrumental version for Taylor to practice to for the rest of the week.  When it came time for Robyn and Jesse to dance, Taylor took the mic, sang her heart out and nailed it. Simon and the Amercian Idol judges would have agreed.

Marcello and Jacob

It was like deja vu all over again. The guests enjoyed both the current and retro music programming, the custom visuals and instant candid photos on the plasmas and our live percussionist.  Evan and Rob from Classical helped us provide another seamless evening of premier  hospitality and entertainment with elegance.

Special thanks to Jacob, who was a huge help to everyone.  You could tell he was an experienced Bar Mitzvah guest of honor by the way he assisted me before, during and after the event.  I wish he was 18 already so he could join our production team.  🙂

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Oh Canada! Sam’s Bar Mitzvah at the Maplewood Country Club

Sam getting a little help from his friends...The Gersho family (and what felt like half of Canada) celebrated Sam’s Bar Mitzvah at the Maplewood Country Club this past Saturday.  Twenty-two of  Sam’s aunts, uncles and cousins made the trip down from Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal for his special day.  I’m sure glad they got invited because the folks from the Great White North know how to party!

In addition to being a world-class chess player and an  accomplished pianist, Sam can also hold his own on the dance floor when the DJ is  playing songs like the Cupid Shuffle, Apache and the Cotton Eyed Joe.

Ice Cream!!!!His brother, Michael, (third to the right) who is also a great dancer, is shown here chilling out with his friends at the sundae bar.  He said that he’s “already looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah” in a few years.

I always say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Sam’s parents, Leslie and Marvin, were wonderful hosts and a pleasure to work with.  They knew how to plan an exceptional event beforehand and enjoy it to the fullest the day of.

Two of the highlights were Marvin’s toast to Sam before the montage and Leslie’s acknowledgments of her friends during the candlelighting ceremony.  Marvin recalled some of his favorite anecdotes of Sam growing up and spoke from the heart, and Leslie recognized the friends from her table individually who helped her with the formidable preparations  for the big day. Very classy.

Sam with Tara and ChrissySpecial thanks to Ken Alswang from At Home Studios who shared his photos for this entry.  I’ve worked with Ken many times over the years and we always make a great team.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, accessibility and personality are two key components to selecting the right photographer. Ken was always ready to capture the moment and was excellent at making people feel comfortable.

I’d also like to recognize Mike & Mike from the Maplewood Country Club who were total professionals and a pleasure to work with.  The timing of the hospitality and the entertainment were seamless.

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Grand entrance ken_08983ken_0693Ariel Wins the dance party.

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