A Bronx Tale (play)

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A Bronx Tale is an autobiographical one-man show written and performed by Chazz Palminteri. It tells the coming-of-age story of Calogero Anello, a young New Yorker torn between the temptations of organised crime and the values of his hardworking father. It originally premiered in Los Angeles in the 1980s, before moving Off-Broadway. After a film version involving Palminteri and Robert DeNiro was released in 1993, in 2007 Palminteri performed his one-man show on Broadway and on tour.

A musical version, A Bronx Tale directed by Robert DeNiro remained onstage into 2018,[1] at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway.[2]


A Bronx Tale tells the story of Calogero Anello, a young boy from a working class family who gets involved in the world of organized crime. Calogero's father is a bus driver who tries to instill working-class family values in his son. As Calogero gets older, the aura and mystique of the Mafia, and the charms of Sonny, the local mob boss who befriends Calogero (and ends up becoming a father figure to him), become difficult to resist. As Calogero comes of age, he must struggle with the choice of following his beloved father's values or submitting to the temptations of the life of organized crime.

Background and productions[edit]

Palminteri states that he began writing the play after being fired from a club when, as a doorman, he refused entry to super agent Swifty Lazar.[3] [4]

A Bronx Tale premiered in Los Angeles, achieving great critical success. Palminteri relates that "After some polishing, the show opened to positive reviews and soon attracted Hollywood interest. 'Every director, every studio head wanted to make the movie,' Palminteri said. 'They offered, $250,000, $500,000.'"[4] Palminteri then appeared in the play Off-Broadway at Playhouse 91, from October 10, 1989, to December 24, 1989, directed by Mark X. Travis.[5] The play had a sold-out run and Palminteri received a 1989–1990 Special Award from the Outer Critics Circle.[6][7][8]

Academy Award winning actor Robert De Niro attended a performance of A Bronx Tale and offered to buy the film rights to the show. Palminteri agreed to sell the film rights on the conditions that he would be able to write the screenplay and that he be cast as the role of Sonny. The film version of A Bronx Tale premiered in 1993. The film version marked the directorial debut of De Niro and helped catapult Palminteri's film acting career.

2007 Broadway[edit]

In 2007, Palminteri performed his one-man show on Broadway. The Broadway production began previews on October 4, 2007, and premiered on October 25, 2007, at the Walter Kerr Theatre. The show closed on February 24, 2008, after 108 performances and nineteen previews.[7] It was directed by Jerry Zaks and Produced by Go Productions with Trent Othick being the lead producer, [9] with the set designed by Jim Noone, and the lighting designed by Paul Gallo.[9] It recouped its capitalization and was followed by a national tour.[10][11] The play was nominated for the 2007–2008 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.[12]

Musical adaptation[edit]

After a ten-year development process, the original one man show was adapted into a new musical with a book by Chazz Palminteri, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Glenn Slater, and premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse (Milburn, New Jersey) on February 4, 2016, before opening on Broadway December 1 later that year.

The musical is co-directed by Robert De Niro, who directed the original film, and Jerry Zaks, who directed the one man show on Broadway in 2007. The show also features choreography by Sergio Trujillo. Tommy Mottola serves as the production's leading producer.

The production includes sets by Beowulf Boritt, costumes by William Ivey Long, lighting by Howell Binkley, and sound by Gareth Owen. The cast features Bobby Conte Thornton as Calogero, Nick Cordero as Sonny, Hudson Loverro as Young Calogero with Athan Sporek as his alternate, Richard H. Blake as Lorenzo, Ariana DeBose as Jane, and Lucia Giannetta as Rosina.[13]

The musical began previews on Broadway on November 3, 2016, VM before officially opening on December 1, 2016, at the Longacre Theatre where it continues to run today.[14][15]



  1. ^ Kort, Alicia (January 2, 2017), Review: A Bronx Tale: A New Musical, Paste Magazine, retrieved September 20, 2017
  2. ^ Tickets, abronxtalethemusicial.com, 2017, retrieved September 20, 2017
  3. ^ "Broadway Names with Julie James," On Broadway, SiriusXM, 11 Oct 2012.
  4. ^ a b Winn, Steven. "Palminteri revisits 'A Bronx Tale'" sfgate.com, September 23, 2008
  5. ^ A Bronx Tale lortel.org, accessed January 26, 2016
  6. ^ "1989–1990 Awards" outercritics.org, accessed January 26, 2016
  7. ^ a b "Chazz Palminteri Broadway" playbillvault.com, accessed January 26, 2016
  8. ^ "Press Release-Chazz Palmienteri In 'A Bronx Tale'" Archived February 2, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. northshorecenter.org, accessed January 26, 2016
  9. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles. "An Innocent Mentored by the Mob" New York Times, October 26, 2007
  10. ^ Press Release talkinbroadway.com
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew."Palminteri's A Bronx Tale to Launch National Tour in September" playbill.com, June 10, 2008
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Nominees for Outer Critics Circle Awards Announced in April; Winners Revealed in May" playbill.com, February 18, 2009
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew; Hetrick, Adam. "Nick Cordero Will Star in Broadway’s 'A Bronx Tale' Musical" Playbill, August 31, 2016
  14. ^ Hetrick, Adam. " A Bronx Tale Musical Sets Sights on Broadway" Playbill, May 18, 2016
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew, Hetrick, Adam. " 'A Bronx Tale' Musical Will Play Broadway's Longacre" Playbill, June 13, 2016

External links[edit]