BWW Review: BRONX TALE at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts Has Heart!
From the moment you enter the house, the stage has been set. Under a street lamp, a quartet of men sweetly singing doo-wop. You know you're in for a treat. Between wise-cracking jokes, mobster crime, and love stories, it was a fun night of theatre. Though, I had a realization while watching the show my second time. It does not need to be a musical. A Bronx Tale is based on the one-man show that inspired the now-classic film. Its book was strong enough to stand alone. I could have watched it has a play, and it would have been just as exciting to watch. I do not think I have ever felt that way about a musical. There was no song that really stuck to me, but the story was strong. The acting is superb. After watching it again, I stand by my previous statement. This is a perfect musical for someone who loves the movie and an even better choice to bring your family or friends that want an introduction to musicals in general. For those of us theatre maniacs, what is not to love about a musical that has been described as "Jersey Boys meets West Side Story." The story has heart.
Set on the stoops of the Bronx in the socially turbulent 1960s a young man, Calogero, is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he would love to be. As he grows into a teenager on the streets of the Bronx, Calogero "C" gets taken under the wing of neighborhood mobster Sonny. Despite the warning from his straight-arrow bus driver father, Lorenzo, Sonny initiates the boy into the ways of gang life after "C" covers up a murder for Sonny. The story gets kicked up a notch when "C" falls for his African-American classmate, Jane, and the repercussions threaten the entire neighborhood. Featuring an original doo-wop score, this is a tale about respect, loyalty, love, and above all else: family.
Calogero played by Joey Barreiro, a Miami native and an alum of the University of Miami and Coral Reef Senior High, was perfectly cast. He was so charming you wanted to forgive all of his missteps. With his wise guy charisma, Barreiro was the perfect "C." It was easy to see how he played Jack Kelley in the Newsies before this national tour. He had charm by the boatloads.
The show really was perfectly cast. Richard H Blake, who originated the role Lorenzo on Broadway, was the heart of the production. He had a beautiful voice. Blake tugged at your heartstrings as he fought to keep his son from joining the mob. He was easily likable and filled the stage with his presence. Joe Barbara, who was reprising Sonny from the Broadway production, shined with his version of "One of the Great Ones" and garnered some big laughs with the 'Sonny Test'. All three actors anchored the story along with a talented ensemble.
Bronx Tale will play the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on June 11 - 23, 2019.
Tickets for the National Tour of A BRONX TALE will be available at the Broward Center AutoNation Box Office, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33312, browardcenter.org or call 954.462.0222. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling 954.660.6307. Ticket prices start at $40.75*.
For tour dates and more, please visit www.ABronxTaleTheMusical.com. Follow A
Bronx Tale on Twitter: @BXTaleMusical, Facebook, and Instagram.
Photos by Joan Marcus.