January 14, 2008

A Bronx Tale

A Bronx Tale MarquisLast week, I worked at A Bronx Tale which is playing at the Walter Kerr Theater. A Bronx Tale is written and performed by Chazz Palminteri. If I had to describe his show and his performance with two words, those words would be SURPRISINGLY GOOD. I was skeptical going in. How many one person shows have you seen that are actually good?

He tells the story of someone's life - I imagine his own - and it's very entertaining. In 1993 Robert Deniro made his directorial debut with this story. I watched and enjoyed it, never knowing that it was based on the play by Chazz Palminteri. As much as I liked the movie, I never really thought it was GREAT.

That's what was in my head before seeing the play. That's why, no disrespect to Mr. Palminteri, I was so surprised that it was such an amazing work. He doesn't play all the characters as much as he tells stories through their voices. The characters are colorful, scary and interesting. Apparently young Chazz Palminteri lived in a dicey neighborhood with a strong Italian American criminal presence. The strongest of those criminals, Sonny battles with his hardworking busdriving father for the soul of his younger Chazz self. It's an insightful, moving piece.

I recommend you see it before it closes. It's only running into February and it's not selling out, so you should be able to purchase a decent seat.

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