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Lights, Camera, Action!

Scenes for an Upcoming Episode of CBS’s The Good Wife are Shot on Covert Avenue

As if an earthquake and a hurricane weren’t enough excitement in one week for the Village of Floral Park, Hollywood stormed into town, as well. On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the strip along Covert Avenue between Beverly and Cisney Avenues morphed into a stage set for the CBS drama The Good Wife. Production crew members sprinkled a little Tinseltown magic to change Marina’s Italian Deli, located at 27 Covert Ave., into Ritefast Market to shoot a few scenes for an episode that will air in mid-October.

The drama is set in Chicago, but production is done throughout New York and the sound stages are located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. So why did producers select Marina’s? They said “it was bright, clean and colorful … the perfect spot to shoot the scene,” said Marina Marotta, whose husband Maurizio owns and manages the deli.

“I thought it was a joke,” Maurizio said, recalling when a crew member visited his deli several weeks ago and told him, “My producer likes your store.”

Flanked by streets that still had downed trees from Hurricane Irene – as well as one, Cisney Avenue, that still had no power — the parking lot in front of Marina’s and the other merchants along that strip, came to life at dawn, as dozens of production crew members wheeled in equipment and props, and set up tents. Before long, Marina’s became “Ritefast Market,” a convenience store.

As crew members called out, “Rolling, rolling, quiet please” and “Still rolling, resetting,” onlookers were unable to see what was being filmed inside the store but could hear the screams from within. And throughout the day, they saw actors — who portrayed a Chicago police officer, a robber and an innocent bystander — and stand-ins milling around the parking lot. For those familiar with the show, the day got even more exciting when cast member Kalinda Sharma, portrayed by actress Archie Panjabi, showed up to shoot her scene. “She was beautiful and gracious … in her knee-high boots,” said Stewart Manor resident Miriam Velsor, who is a fan of the show. “[Panjabi] said she really hopes everyone enjoys season three,” Velsor added.

Aside from Marina’s, most of the stores along the strip were open for business during production, which didn’t wrap up until around 10 p.m. La Bella Bakery and Matty’s Toy Stop were still without power, but Matty’s was able to remain open to customers, albeit without light and air conditioning. La Bella owner Gaspar Passalacqua was dismayed at having lost his third consecutive day of business due to the power outage but graciously treated crew members to cookies throughout the day.

As for Maurizio, after a long day of production at his deli — which came on the heels of a power outage due to Hurricane Irene — his work was just beginning. He had hours of cooking and food preparation ahead of him.

Many Floral Park and Stewart Manor residents remained in front of the set until the last crew member drove off. Some were giddy with the thought of their favorite show being filmed so close to home, and others who were unfamiliar with the drama definitely had their interest piqued. The Good Wife, now in its third season, premieres on Sunday, Sept. 25, at 10 p.m. on CBS.