BWW Review: A BRONX TALE at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater

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BWW Review: A BRONX TALE at The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
The company of A Bronx Tale. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Now performing at the Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater as part of the Famous Artists Broadway Theater Series: Broadway in Syracuse is the touring production of A Bronx Tale the Musical. The musical features a book by Chazz Palminteri, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Glenn Slater. This touring production features a dynamite cast with stellar vocals that mesmerized the audience.

The musical is based on a play of the same name. Both tell the story of Chazz Palminteri's life as he grew up in the Bronx in the 1960s. The one-man show also inspired the Robert De Niro 1993 film. The musical features original direction by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks. The touring production is under the thoughtful direction of Stephen Edlund.

A young boy witnesses a shooting from the front step of his house in the Bronx. From that point on he saw a man he admires and would love to be. However, the young boy seems to be caught between the father he loves and the mob boss that becomes like a father to him.

The musical opens with a group of young men doo-wopping under a street lamp on Belmont Avenue (audiences will most likely be reminded of that little hit musical Jersey Boys). With Alen Menken's music involved there are some similarities in the opening number to Little Shop of Horrors. The sound and the look may be incredibly familiar but, this musical does what it is supposed to do. It tells a captivating story, shows off incredibly powerful vocals, and brings down the house with its impressive choreography (original choreography by Sergio Trujillo and recreated by Brittany Conigatti).

The cast is flawless, the set is brilliant (set design Beowulf Boritt), and the music is memorable as conductor David Aaron Brown leads the live orchestra to bring the doo-wop and Motown inspired music to life.

Taking on the role of Yong Calogero is spotlight stealing Trey Murphy. The vocal power, charm, comedic skills, and chemistry are beyond his years. All I can say is BRAVO! The musical number "I Like It" has to be the favorite of the night as the young actor upstaged every other actor on that stage.

Alec Nevin as Calogero charms throughout as he delivers a consistent, memorable, and mesmerizing performance. Nevin also serves as the narrator as he remembers growing up on Belmont Avenue in the Bronx and the men that influenced him. His number "One of the Great Ones" (Reprise) charms.

Jeff Brooks as Sonny brings a delightful and consistent performance. His accent, his attitude, and his stage presence are all top-notch, capturing the role of inspiring mob boss. Brooks comedic skills and vocals take center stage as he shows off in numbers such as "Roll 'Em" and his standout number "One of the Great Ones."

Nick Fradiani as Lorenzo, Calogero's father, shows off his impressive, passionate, and expressive vocals in numbers such as "Look to Your Heart" and "These Streets." Fradiani performance is a highlight.

Kayla Jenerson beautiful vocals as Jane soar and fill the theater with such breathtaking emotion and power. Jenerson lights up the stage the minute she steps on it from "Out of Your Head" to "In a World Like This." Her stage presence and vocal power is magic on the stage.

Other memorable performances include Joey Trombino as Rudy the Voice, Martin Bonventre as Eddie Mush, Nathan Wright as JoJo the Whale, Mark Sippel as Frankie Coffecake, and Daniel Rosenbaum as Tony 10 to 2. Stefanie Londino as Rosina brings a powerful and passionate performance. Darius Vines as Jesse and George Vickers V as Tyrone showcase incredible vocals and energy in numbers such as "Webster Avenue" and "Ain't it the Truth" (Reprise).

The touring production of A Bronx Tale the Musical is not to be missed as the stellar cast brings the house down with every line and musical number. The show is pure joy from start to finish as the intriguing story takes center stage.

Running time: Approximately two hours with one twenty-minute intermission.

A Bronx Tale the Musical runs through February 20, 2020 at the Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater as part of The Famous Artists Broadway Theater Series: Broadway in Syracuse. For tickets and information on the tour of A Bronx Tale the Musical click here. For information on The Famous Artist Broadway Theater Series: Broadway in Syracuse click here.

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From This Author Natasha Ashley