BWW Review: A BRONX TALE at The Overture Center
I had the pleasure of seeing A Bronx Tale with my friend Cassy, who had NEVER seen a musical before! (I know, right?!) I invited Cassy because the 1993 movie, off which the musical is based, is her favorite. Seriously, her cat is named Calogero, after the lead character in both the movie and the play. I was excited to see this show, and especially excited to see it through the eyes of a neophyte theater goer. I was not disappointed!
A Bronx Tale is the coming of age story about Calogero (The younger played by Brigg Liberman, the elder played by Joey Barreiro). Early on he witnesses neighborhood tough Sonny (Richard H. Blake) shoot a man on the street in front of his stoop. When Calogero doesn't rat Sonny out, Sonny takes him under his wing, much to the dismay of Calogero' s father Lorenzo (Joe Barbara).
Things get especially tense when Calogero fall for a girl of color from a different neighborhood. Both Calogero and Jane (Brianna-Marie Bell) have to work through the prejudice of their individual neighborhood to just go to a movie, leaving Calogero with a couple of very important life lessons.
The show was well done. I especially enjoyed the introduction of Sonny's crew, done through use of lighting to suggest mug shots photos being taken. The staging of the show, sometimes using only one curtain to suggest a split screen, was brilliant. The acting choreography, and vocals were what you would expect from a Broadway Touring show.
While the cast did a great job, the score itself was immemorable. The two best numbers, that really stuck with me were, "Hurt Someone" by the company and "Look at Your Heart" (Reprise) by Rosina, Calogero' s Mother (Michelle Aravena). The latter telling the story of Lorenzo and what a good man he is, to repair the strained relationship between father and son.
Cassy and I left the theater quite thoroughly entertained by a great performance. All in all a fantastic night of entertainment, especially for a show with such a bland musical score.
A BRONX TALE
Broadway's Hit Musical
Will Play Overture May 14-19
Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo
Madison, Wis. - Producers Tommy Mottola, the Dodgers, Tribeca Productions and Evamere Entertainment are pleased to announce that the North American Tour of A BRONX TALE, the new musical featuring a book by Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri, music by Oscar, Grammy and Tony Award winner Alan Menken, and lyrics by Grammy Award winner and Oscar and Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater, directed by two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo, will play Overture Tuesday, May 14-Sunday, May 19, 2019.
A BRONX TALE premiered at the Tony Award-winning Paper Mill Playhouse to critical and popular acclaim in Spring 2016. A BRONX TALE opened on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre on Dec. 1, 2016, following previews from Nov.3. The show ended its Broadway run on Aug. 5, 2018, having played 700 performances and as the second longest running show in the history of the Longacre Theatre. Based on the one-man show that inspired the now classic film, this streetwise musical takes audiences to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s - where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he'd love to be. Featuring an original doo-wop score, this is a tale about respect, loyalty, love and above all else: family.
The design team for A BRONX TALE includes Beowulf Boritt, Scenic Design; William Ivey Long, Costume Design; Howell Binkley, Lighting Design; Gareth Owen, Sound Design; Paul Huntley, Hair & Wig Design; Anne Ford-Coates, Makeup Design; Tara Rubin Casting, Casting; and Robert Westley, Fight Coordinator. Music Supervision and Arrangements are by Ron Melrose and Orchestrations are by Doug Besterman. A BRONX TALE evolved from the one-man Off-Broadway play, A Bronx Tale, written and performed by Chazz Palminteri in 1989. During the original Off Broadway and subsequent Los Angeles engagements, Robert De Niro came to see the show, and brought the story and star Palminteri to the screen in 1993, making his film directorial debut in the process. Following the success of the film, Palminteri performed the one-man show A Bronx Tale on Broadway in the 2007/08 Season. A BRONX TALE's Original Broadway Cast Album is now available on Ghostlight Records in digital formats, with CDs in stores and online.
Tuesday, May 14-Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m.
• Thursday performance features special interactive pre-show event and a post-show talkback with cast/crew
Friday, May 16 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 18 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 19 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
A BRONX TALE is presented by Overture Center and Broadway Across America as part of the 2018/19 Broadway at Overture Series. Tickets start at $35+ and are available at the Overture Center Ticket Office (201 State Street), by phone (608.258.4141) or online (overture.org). Groups of 10+ may be eligible for discounted tickets; for information, please call 608.258.4159. This show is appropriate for age 12 and older due to strong language and gunshot effects. Please advised this performance uses strobe lights, fog, haze & open flames.
Who Brought A Bronx Tale To the Stage:
Chazz Palminteri (Book) wrote and performed his one-man show A Bronx Tale for the first time in 1989 before moving it off-Broadway. Mr. Palminteri went on to write the screenplay and co-star in the screen adaptation of A Bronx Tale alongside Robert De Niro. Mr. Palminteri has more than 55 movies to his credit as an actor, writer and director, including The Usual Suspects, Bullets Over Broadway (Academy Award nomination), Analyze This, Hurlyburly, Mullholland Falls, Faithful (also written by Mr. Palminteri), A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Yonkers Joe, Jolene and most recently Legend starring Tom Hardy. Mr. Palminteri had a recurring role on the hit showModern Family and has starred in Blue Bloods. Mr. Palminteri directed the HBO series Oz (episode "Unnatural Disasters"), Showtime's Women vs Men and the feature film Noel starring Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker and Robin Williams.
Alan Menken (Music) composed the stage and film musicals Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Newsies, Aladdin and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Mr. Menken's other stage musicals include God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz; A Christmas Carol; Sister Act and Leap of Faith. Mr. Menken's film musicals also include Life With Mikey, Pocahontas, Hercules, The Shaggy Dog, Enchanted, Tangled and Mirror, Mirror. Some of Mr. Menken's television credits include Galavant, The Neighbors, Lincoln, Sesame Street and more. Mr. Menken won eight Oscar Awards, 11 Grammy Awards (including Song of the Year), seven Golden Globe Awards, a Tony Award, an Olivier Award, a New York Drama Critics Award, a London Evening Standard Theatre Award, induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Some of Mr. Menken's other awards and honors include Billboard's #1 single and album, Disney Legend, and honorary doctorates from NYU and the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Glenn Slater (Lyrics) co-created Disney's worldwide smash Tangled (Grammy Winner, Oscar and Golden Globe nominations), and is a three-time Tony nominee for the international hit musicals The Little Mermaid, Sister Actand current Broadway sensation School of Rock. With longtime collaborator Alan Menken, he wrote all the songs for two seasons of the cult-favorite Medieval musical TV series Galavant (Emmy nominee), and a song for the recent animated hit Sausage Party, as well as Disney's Home On The Range and Broadway's Leap of Faith. In the West End, Slater provided book and lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies. His newest musical, A Bronx Tale, opened on Broadway in 2016. Slater lives in New York City with his wife, composer Wendy Leigh Wilf and their sons Benjamin and Daniel.
Robert De Niro (Director), considered one of the greatest American actors of all time, produced, directed and starred in many iconic films. Mr. De Niro won the 1974 Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in The Godfather: Part II and the 1980 Academy Award for best actor for his role in Raging Bull. Mr. De Niro received Academy Award nominations for Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, Awakenings, Cape Fear and Silver Linings Playbook.Mr. De Niro is a four-time New York Film Critics Circle Award winner for his work on Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Awakenings. In addition to winning the 1981 Golden Globe award for his work on Raging Bull and winning the 2011 Cecil B. DeMille Award, Mr. De Niro was nominated for a total of seven Golden Globe Awards. Mr. De Niro was nominated for six British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards. Mr. De Niro starred in many other films including Mean Streets, Bang the Drum, Analyze That, Meet the Fockers and more. Mr. De Niro made his Broadway debut in the 1986 play Cuba & His Teddy Bear. Mr. De Niro founded his own production company, Tribeca Film Center, and made his film directorial debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale.
Jerry Zaks (Director) won four Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, two Outer Critics Circle Awards and an Obie Award. Mr. Zaks directed many Broadway shows including Hello, Dolly!, Meteor Shower, Sister Act, The Addams Family, Guys and Dolls, Six Degrees of Separation, Lend Me a Tenor, House of Blue Leaves, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Anything Goes, La Cage aux Folles, Little Shop of Horrors and more. Mr. Zaks received SDC's Mr. Abbott Award for lifetime achievement and an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from his alma mater, Dartmouth College. Mr. Zaks is a 2013 inductee to the Theater Hall of Fame.
Sergio Trujillo (Choreographer) is the recipient of an Olivier Award for Memphis and a Tony Award nominee for choreography for On Your Feet! Mr. Trujillo had the honor of having four shows simultaneously running on Broadway: Tony Award Winning Best Musical Memphis (Olivier Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations), Tony/Olivier Award winning Best Musical Jersey Boys (Greenroom Award, Olivier, Drama Desk, Dora, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), The Addams Family and Next to Normal (2010 Pulitzer Prize). Other Broadway credits: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Hands on a Hardbody (Drama Desk nomination), Leap of Faith, Guys and Dolls (Astaire Award nomination) and All Shook Up. TV/Film credits include;Jersey Boys (directed by Clint Eastwood), "So You Think You Can Dance," "Triple Sensation," "The 14th American Comedy Awards" and "Broadway: The American Musical" for PBS. In December 2012, Mr. Trujillo was distinguished as one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world by President Juan Manuel Santos.
OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Madison, Wis., features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring artists, ten resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage people in nearly 600,000 educational and artistic experiences each year. With the vision to provide "Extraordinary Experiences for All", Overture's mission is to "Support and elevate our community's creative culture, economy and quality of life through the arts." Overture.org
BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com, The Broadway Channel, BroadwayBox.com and Group Sales Box Office. Led by 13-time Tony-winning theater producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 45 markets with over 480,000 subscribers. Presentations include Disney's The Lion King, Wicked, The Book of Mormon, The Phantom of the Opera and Hamilton. Current and past productions include The Band's Visit, Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Hairspray, Mean Girls, The Producers and Waitress.