Give him two slices – and an award.
Forty-one years after “Saturday Night Fever” changed the game for southern Brooklyn, its leading man will be returning to the borough he helped make famous.
On Tuesday, June 12, John Travolta will stop by Lenny’s Pizza, 1969 86th St., to receive a special achievement award from State Sen. Marty Golden, and be celebrated by his family, friends, peers and fans. However, the humbled actor has said the celebration goes both ways.
“When I asked John about this, I told him how much he means to the people of Brooklyn,” said Gravesend native and actor Will DeMeo, who is hosting Travolta’s appearance. “His response was, ‘Well, they mean a lot to me.’”
DeMeo, a Brooklyn boy through and through, stars as Sammy “The Bull” Gravano alongside Travolta’s title role in “Gotti,” a film about John Gotti’s rise to the top of the New York underworld to become the boss of the Gambino crime family, hitting theaters nationwide Friday, June 15.
Travolta’s appearance at Lenny’s comes just three days before the film’s release.
Lenny’s – a Bensonhurst staple since 1953 – had itself a starring role in the 1977 classic “Saturday Night Fever.” In the film’s opening credits, Travolta’s on-screen character, Tony Manero, gets himself a pair of slices at the now-famous Lenny’s window before strutting his stuff down 86th Street.
“The staff at Lenny’s will tell you, people still come up to the window and mimic John Travolta’s line at least 10 times a day,” DeMeo said.
The event will be emceed by “Brooklyn’s own” Joe Causi and feature music by local DJ Chazz.
Travolta’s award, DeMeo explained, will serve as a thank you from the borough for all he’s done and as a commemoration of the “iconic roles” he’s continued to play.
“This is all about John Travolta, and it’s a great thing for Brooklyn,” the actor told this paper. “Not to mention it’s so Brooklyn. Where else can you, in the middle of a speech, maybe hear a train rumble nearby?
“It’s so Brooklyn, it’s so New York, and it’s so much better than doing a ceremony in an auditorium,” DeMeo went on, lending his thanks to Lenny’s Pizza as well as to Dennis Rice, founder of Visio Entertainment, who helped put it all together. “I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to have our original Brooklyn boy back.”
The event will take place at 1 p.m.