A BRONX TALE Previews

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A BRONX TALE Previews#1
Posted: 11/1/16 at 12:23am

Previews for the Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks-directed production of A Bronx Tale begin in just a few days (Thursday, November 3, 2016) at the Longacre Theatre, starring the likes of Richard H. Blake, Nick Cordero, and Ariana DeBose. Opening is set for December 1 for an open run.

Who'll be there this week?!

Updated On: 11/1/16 at 12:23 AM
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A BRONX TALE Previews#2
Posted: 11/1/16 at 8:39am

I'm there on the 12th.

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A BRONX TALE Previews#3
Posted: 11/1/16 at 8:57am

I'm going on the 9th. Cautiously optimistic based on what I've heard/seen. 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#4
Posted: 11/1/16 at 10:03am

The show is fabulous! Saw it at Paper Mill and adored it. Will be seeing it again later this month. 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#5
Posted: 11/2/16 at 10:39am

Is anybody going to first preview tomorrow night? I'm not optimistic for the show sales-wise, so it'll have to be absolutely amazing to potentially be a hit...

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A BRONX TALE Previews#6
Posted: 11/2/16 at 10:47am

I haven't seen any advertising for this at all.

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A BRONX TALE Previews#7
Posted: 11/2/16 at 10:54am

neonlightsxo said: "I haven't seen any advertising for this at all."

I've seen the Microsoft commercial with the set designer at least once during nearly every single TV show I've watched in the past month. It's not directly saying "buy tickets," but he talks about the show for the entire spot.

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A BRONX TALE Previews#8
Posted: 11/2/16 at 10:57am

Me neither, neon. I've only seen the Playbill cover, which I maintain looks like people running away frantically from the show's logo.

A BRONX TALE Previews

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A BRONX TALE Previews#9
Posted: 11/2/16 at 11:59am

perfectliar said: "neonlightsxo said: "I haven't seen any advertising for this at all."

I've seen the Microsoft commercial with the set designer at least once during nearly every single TV show I've watched in the past month. It's not directly saying "buy tickets," but he talks about the show for the entire spot."


 

Oh, the Beowulf Boritt ad! I've seen that too, but it didn't even register to me that it was about Bronx Tale, I just remember it as the Microsoft ad.

 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#10
Posted: 11/2/16 at 12:10pm

I've also seen their regular ad a couple times on television the past few days.

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A BRONX TALE Previews#12
Posted: 11/2/16 at 1:21pm

I'm going next week.  If anyone is going either tomorrow night or any time this weekend can you please let me know the running time of the show?  I heard it was 2 hours 10 minutes but wanted to confirm.  Thanks!!

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A BRONX TALE Previews#13
Posted: 11/2/16 at 7:40pm

According to the NYT Times review of Paper Mill, the running time was 2hr and 5min and I saw it and that sounds accurate. I liked it a lot. 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#14
Posted: 11/3/16 at 12:23am

The colors of the logo are all wrong. They say like "bayou" and not Bronx. 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#15
Posted: 11/3/16 at 7:20am

RippedMan said: "The colors of the logo are all wrong. They say like "bayou" and not Bronx. 

 

"

...what colors would you have used to portray the Bronx in 1960...? 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#16
Posted: 11/3/16 at 9:26am

I think the colors and logo look great... the show itself though... I'm worried about. Going to first preview tonight.

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A BRONX TALE Previews#17
Posted: 11/3/16 at 12:25pm

Not a bright, basic green and a bright, basic yellow. Looks like the show should be set in Louisiana. Makes the show feel juvenile. 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#18
Posted: 11/3/16 at 1:44pm

Was anyone at the dress rehersal last night? 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#19
Posted: 11/3/16 at 3:18pm

Gotta say I'm with RippedMan on this one regarding the colors. Even though it certainly looks pretty solid aesthetically, in terms of conveying the show/text, I think it's a horrendous marketing piece.

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A BRONX TALE Previews#20
Posted: 11/3/16 at 3:26pm

As someone from Louisiana, I can't say I understand what is particularly "bayou" about those colors. 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#21
Posted: 11/3/16 at 8:10pm

I'm excited to hear what people have to say. I don't see it until next Thursday. I loved it at Paper Mill, saw it twice, and am interested to see how it's changed since.

If anyone who is going tonight would be able to, would you be willing to post the song list?

Updated On: 11/3/16 at 08:10 PM
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A BRONX TALE Previews#22
Posted: 11/3/16 at 11:31pm

I was there tonight and A Bronx Tale commits one of the worst sins in theater- it's forgettable- so let me get my thoughts down before I, you know, forget them. 

Aside from a few major groaners in the book and it's fair share of clunky lyrics (yes, if she goes for the pepperoni/she's not fit for matrimony is actually a lyric!), A Bronx Tale never makes much of an impression in either the so bad it's good or the awe-inspiring categories. 

The story begins around 1960 and stays there until a time jump 3/4 of the way through act one brings us to 1968 where the play remains until the end. Bobby Conte Thornton plays Calogero, or C, our hero and narrator. He has a younger self in the 1960 portion, but he narrates the entire show to the audience as a memory play. A little narration can be fine to set the table at the beginning, but this narration is so constant that makes you think the Shuffle Along narration showed some restraint. Why are some authors so obsessed with this device? Instead of saying, Sonny was like a father to me and took me under his wing, why don't they just SHOW us a scene of Sonny acting like a father and taking C under his wing. And if you're going to use narration for god's sake don't tell us Sonny was like a father and took you under his wing and then also show us the same thing you just told us. Redundancy is no one's friend. 

The 1960 section is fairly happy-go-lucky and drama free save for C's father (Richard H Blake) being against his son's growing friendship with the mobster Sonny (Nick Cordero). Blake has a My Nose Ain't Broken sounding song with the younger C called Look to Your Heart. Young C gets I Like It which was very reminiscent of She's In Love and Sonny sings a big Luck Be A Lady Tonight number at a crap game where young C learns how to roll dice. Sonny has a crew of wise guys that all get names, but no personalities beyond some cartoony stereotypes. In fact, everyone is pretty stereotypical with little real depth to play. They feel like xerox versions of the Jersey Boys crossed with Nathan Detroit and his guys. 

Then we jump to 1968 and Thornton steps into the role of high school C and luckily the narration lessens as his character starts to drive the action. Why they ever gave over nearly 45 minutes to the story of the younger self is a baffling mystery. C now has a crew of his own. They're lovable Italian meatheads until they start randomly singing about how they don't want any colorless in the neighbor, because, oh, they're also big racists. 

C falls for a black girl at his school named Jane (Ariana Debose) and the show, which has been largely plotless up to this point, turns into a Romeo and Juliet meets Memphis situation. To keep things consistent with Jane the writers have also saddled her with a cartoony crew of sassy black best friends; Jane's brother and his friend get to sing a song comparing the Italian guys to mozzarella, pizza and limp macaroni. 

The problem with introducing these racial themes late in act one is three fold: it comes out of nowhere, it's a weighty topic that is only superficially explored and once you ring this bell it can't be unrung. It's hard to keep trying to pass off the Italian friends as funny, lovable wise guys when they're calling people nigger and making Molotov cocktails to burn down the black clubs. Look, if you want to write a play or musical about Italian/black relations in the Bronx in the 1960s I think it's a good idea, but it can't just be a light subplot. Jane needs to be introduced much earlier and their romance needs to be far more developed than it is. All the relationships do. 

The cast works hard and they throw themselves into every bit of schtick with zest. Thornton is a great presence and I'd love to see him again on stage; he was terrific in the Mufti Starting Here, Starting Now earlier this year. 

The score has some nice melodies. Lots of 60s pop pastiche. You'll hear some strains of Little Shop for sure. The lyrics as mentioned aren't great, but no one has ever confused Slater with Sondheim. 

I know what I've written sounds pretty negative, and it is, but this is in no way a trainwreck. It's professional, looks nice and all the actors have great voices. It's just completely uninspired and an unnecessary development in the Bronx Tale lineage of adaptations. 

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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A BRONX TALE Previews#23
Posted: 11/3/16 at 11:49pm

Well, seems like nothing has changed from Papermill then! Could have given the exact same review as Whizzer did 8 months ago. However, it sounds like Bobby Conte Thornton is a bit better than Jason Gotay, so at least they change one thing!

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A BRONX TALE Previews#24
Posted: 11/4/16 at 12:09am

I was there tonight and Wizzer is spot on, the show is mediocre. Mediocre plot, mediocre music, mediocre lyrics, less than mediocre book, mediocre set, mediocre choreography, mediocre costumes, less than mediocre lighting, terrible clunky direction and a lot of "stand and sing"... plenty of mediocre performances but also a few really stellar ones too (Nick Cordero)...

Some things that stood out to me were the disconnect between the songs and the action (if you call it action). There isn't much of a plot and the show really doesn't get started until thirty minutes or more in when our hero sees a black girl who he has a crush on. The narrator tells us a lot of things more than once, thinking that we might have forgotten what we just saw, but then jumps ahead and skips over things that might be important like the part where our hero supposedly falls in love with his crush. 

There's not really much to say about this show and I think I've probably already said too much. It wasn't the worst night of theatre, and I enjoyed myself some, but in a year with a dozen or more musicals opening this one will unfortunately be quickly forgotten. 

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A BRONX TALE Previews#25
Posted: 11/4/16 at 12:33am

How long did the show run? I remember it by pretty quick at Paper Mill.

Also can someone post a song list?

Updated On: 11/4/16 at 12:33 AM