If you enjoyed Jersey Boys then get ready for another perfect urban musical tailored just for you – ladies and gentlemen, the Pantages Theatre is pleased to present A Bronx Tale, a coming-of -age tale about a boy torn between the hardworking sensibilities of his father and the allure of a dangerous life on the streets. Tickets on sale now – choose your show from the list below and book early for your chance of the best seats!!
“Delivers reliable pleasures with polished professionalism and infectious energy” – New York Times
Based on Chazz Palminteri’s play of the same name, A Bronx Tale tells the story of Calogero Anello, an Italian-American boy who, as he grows up, is taken under the wing of a local mafia leader, against the wishes of his hard-working and honest father. As the story progresses, he is forced to choose between the two lifestyles of the most important men in his life; one of crime and one of order. The play was originally a semi-autobiographical one-man act, in which Chazz Palminteri unusually played all of the characters, reflecting his teenage confusion with an authenticity that was all too real. It’s no surprise this heartfelt and honest narrative hit so many so hard – Palminteri then turned the story turned into a book, and later was approached by Robert De Niro, who, entirely enthralled by the play, was determined to make it his dictatorial debut. With the production overseen by Palminteri himself, the film adaption of A Bronx Tale grossed over $17 million and was lauded by critics and loved by audiences, launching Palmineri’s career as an actor and establishing De Niro as a director.
The musical’s addition to the production is, well, the music, and it’s an impressive addition. Working on the score for A Bronx Tale is none other than lyricist Glenn Slater and composer Alan Menken, known for his work on Disney animated classics such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty And The Beast,” and “Aladdin” – all of which saw new life as Broadway productions! In A Bronx Tale, he draws on less oft-used genres in addition to traditional Broadway fare. Notes of blues and rock n’ roll permeate the score, adding a sense of authentic rawness and energy to the show. The sound is reminiscent of Little Shop Of Horrors, Menken’s first successful musical – if you liked that you’ll love this!!
“Palminteri’s story works even better as a musical… his skillful adaptation thankfully retains the gritty language and violence as well as its often raucous humor” – Hollywood Reporter
The story is a nuanced and well-thought out look at the complex nature of morality. Calogero’s relationship with Sonny, the leader of the neighbourhood mafia gang, begins when Calogero is nine years old and witnesses a shooting by Sonny in the neighbourhood. Under the guidance of his parents, who are fearful of retribution, Calogero does not identify Sonny to the police under questioning, causing the gangster to take a shine to him. As Calogero grows, Sonny becomes more of an influence in his life, giving him the nickname “C” and getting him to run profitable, but increasingly more risky errands. As the tussle between his father and Sonny for Calogero’s loyalty becomes ever more intense, his own personal growth is further confused by his affections for Jane, a black girl in his high school, at a time when Italian and black populations were quite strictly divided.
“…finely tuned for maximum razzle-dazzle: Menken and Glenn Slater’s songs are full of big hooks and soaring crescendos… Sergio Trujillo’s lively choreography hums with a steady energy” – NJ.Com
The choreography, by Sergio Trujillo, really helps to stitch the narrative together, with seamless dance routines performed with effortless grace, in addition to a few startlingly brutal and well-enacted scenes of violence. The actor’s enthusiasm for the characters is spot on. Whether it’s Sonny, oozing charisma over his ruthlessness, the older Calogero, fearing for his son’s safety, or Calogero himself at constant conflict with his teenage desires, each persona is equally believable and true.
If you liked West Side Story or Jersey Boys, you’ll love A Bronx Tale. Don’t miss out – book your tickets now while they last!