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BWW Review: A BRONX TALE at Broadway Palm

Find out what we thought of the show!

BWW Review: A BRONX TALE at Broadway Palm

Broadway Palm is blurbing A Bronx Tale as a combination of Jersey Boys and West Side Story. Huh? I wasn't quite sure what I was about to see.

The show begins innocently enough with four dudes singing doo-wop around a lamp post. But first impressions can be deceiving. This coming of age tale goes beyond nostalgia for the happy-go-lucky early '60s into deeper themes we continue to grapple with.

In a scene reminiscent of Guys and Dolls, Young Calogero, or "C" as he comes to be known, becomes the protégé of Sonny, the local mob boss, much to the dismay of his bus driver dad. Caisson Dobson's portrayal as "C" is wide-eyed and winning while Daniel Rosenbaum as Sonny gives off a Frank Sinatra-esque vibe.

As he grows up, "C" (Sage Spiker) finds the perks of power are irresistible. Although his dad (Andrew Fehrenbacher) is more respectable, he's less respected than Sonny. Is it better to be feared or loved?

And speaking of love, in this jarringly non-PC time, a lot more than two blocks divide "C"'s Belmont Avenue neighborhood from that of the Black girl he falls for. Charis Michelle Gullage as Jane brings an impressive vocal range to the part. The West Side Story reference becomes clear.

In the program, director Victor Legarreta relates LOVE is the overwhelming message he wanted to convey. It's a valuable takeaway.

A Bronx Tale runs through May 22. For tickets, call 239.278.4422.

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From This Author Fran Thomas