BWW Interview: NICK FRADIANI of A BRONX TALE at Times Union Performing Arts Center

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BWW Interview: NICK FRADIANI of A BRONX TALE at Times Union Performing Arts Center

  1. How did your American Idol experience prepare you for A Bronx Tale?

"It really has nothing to do with musical theater. I think just the nerves of getting out there in front of people and doing something that may be a little outside your wheelhouse gives you the confidence to do that. I took a lot of that in preparing for the role. I was much more nervous getting ready for the role. Once I was up there, I felt pretty good about it. I think it gave me the confidence to be on stage and deal with live crowds."

2. This show is based on the movie with Robert DeNiro. Did you watch that to prepare?

"I actually knew that move inside and out before I even got asked to do this. It is one of mine and my dad's favorite movies. I knew the movie really well. When my agent contacted me, he told me that they wanted me to come in and read for the role. Me thinking I am younger than I am said "Oh they want me to read for Calogero?" He told me "No, they want you to be the dad." I thought "Oh yeah. I'm an old guy." I ended up reading for the DeNiro character. I am not a father myself, so I used the DeNiro character, as well as a lot from my own dad. That helped me a lot to prepare for that role."

3. So, how long have you all been touring?

"This is about our 15th show. We have only been to 5 or 6 cities. This is still kind of in the beginning stages. We will be on the road until the middle of May. It is still pretty fresh for everybody. We are still kind of figuring things out, but at the same time it is very tight. The cast Is great. The musicians are great. The music was written by Alan Menken who wrote the music for Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin and the music everyone knows. The music is memorable, and the band plays it so well. It is a really fun show and it has been going great!"

4. We are really excited for it to come to Jacksonville. I know a few years ago I was watching the Tony's and hadn't really heard of it. I saw their number and I was impressed and wondering why it wasn't getting as much coverage as it had been.

"Yeah, I agree. I didn't see it on Broadway, but I went and saw the first national tour. I was hooked from that. We are excited to come to Jacksonville. The actor, Trey Murphy, who is from Jacksonville plays my son. I am sure a lot of people are excited to see him. I have a lot of family there that are coming. We are all really looking forward to be coming down there."

5. Yeah, I have actually seen Trey at a theater here called Alhambra Theatre and Dining. Currently, his dad is performing there in Jekyll and Hyde.

"Yeah. Trey was really bummed out because he wasn't able to see him. He really wanted to go and see him in that show, but he was on the road with this show. He is a busy 11-year-old!"

6. What would you like audiences in Jacksonville to take away from A Bronx Tale when you come November 13?

"I hope that for people who know the movie, it will stand up to what the movie is. People who are familiar with the story, I think they will be happy with it. We keep the musical true to the movie and the one-man act that Chazz Palminteri does. I think for those people, I think they will take away that it was just like the movie, but they got to hear awesome music, singing, and dancing around it. For those that don't know the story, it is really a story about choosing love over fear. It is also a story about family, and fathers especially. I think a lot of people will see it and think of their dads and their childhoods growing up. How we sometimes drive our parents crazy, but at the end of the day they only want what is best for us. There are a lot of good morals to the story and I think a lot of people will be happy they saw it."

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From This Author Jordan Higginbotham