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A BRONX TALE to Reopen the Axelrod Performing Arts Center

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A Bronx Tale tells the story of an impressionable nine-year-old boy who is torn between the father he loves and the much-admired mob boss he would like to be.

A BRONX TALE to Reopen the Axelrod Performing Arts Center

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center will reopen its doors on Friday, October 29, with the first performance of A Bronx Tale The Musical directed by Broadway veteran Richard H. Blake. Based on Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri's play and subsequent film, A Bronx Tale is set in an Italian American neighborhood in the Bronx of the racially charged 1960s. With a rock and Motown-infused score bursting with high-energy dance numbers and original doo wop numbers by Oscar and Tony winner Alan Menken, A Bronx Tale has been described as the intersection between West Side Story and Jersey Boys. The book was written by Glenn Slater and tells the story of an impressionable nine-year-old boy who is torn between the father he loves and the much-admired mob boss he would like to be. The original production was directed by Robert DeNiro, who starred in the film, and Jerry Zaks.

The Axelrod production stars Sayreville native Mike Ferlita as Calogero, the teenager who falls under the influence of neighborhood don, Sonny, played by Mike Keller, whose film and TV credits include On the Rocks, A New York Story, Blue Bloods, The Good Fight, and many others. The nine-year-old Calogero is played by Hudson Koonce, hailing from Herndon, Va. Calogero's working-class parents, Lorenzo, and Rosina, are played by Mike Backes and Emily Esposito. The role of Jane is played by Nashka Desrosiers, and her brother Tyrone is played by David Holbert, both of whom performed in National Tours of The Color Purple.

Blake, who originated the role of Lorenzo in the Broadway and National Tour of A Bronx Tale, holds the distinction of being the youngest actor to have his name over the title of a Broadway musical: The Prince of Central Park, 1989, when he was fourteen. In the thirty years since then, he has starred in a dozen Broadway musicals, including such shows Wicked, Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde, and Aida.

"I am so excited to continue telling this amazing story at The Axelrod Performing Arts Center. This show has been such an important part of my life and being able to do the show in this new position as director makes my Bronx Tale journey one of the highlights of my career. "- says Director Richard H. Blake.

The Axelrod production team includes choreographer Abbey O'Brien (Associate Choreographer for Broadway's Jagged Little Pill and Waitress The Musical), music supervisor Brian P. Kennedy (National Tours of A Bronx Tale, and Something Rotten!), music director Logan Medland (National Tours of Cats, Chicago, Jersey Boys), fight choreographer Leighton Schlanger (A Bronx Tale, Broadway, National Tour), associate director-choreographer Shannon Mullen, set designer Fred Sorrentino, lighting designer Cameron Filepas, production manager Samantha Frazzetto and production stage manager Larry Copeland. Axelrod Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco and CEO Jess Levy are producing the show.

Also featured in the company are Terrence Berry as Jesse and Sharaé Moultrie as Frieda and ensemble members Matthew Blum, Chris Bober, Gian DiCostanzo, Jenna M. Filippelli, Matthew Henningsen, Louis Jannuzzi III, Mikey LoBalsamo, Clint Maddox Thompson, Aidan Michael Toth, Rutledge Varley, Nathan Wright, and Dan Zimberg.

DETAILS:

OVERVIEW: The Axelrod Performing Arts Center reopens its doors with Chazz Palminteri's hit show 'A Bronx Tale The Musical,' directed by Richard H. Blake, running October 29 through November 14. For the complete schedule, visit axelrIodartscenter.com

WHERE: Vogel Auditorium at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Ave, Deal Park, NJ. DIRECTIONS

WHEN: Preview October 29; show runs October 30 through November 14.

COVID: Proof of vaccination required; masks required. For more information: https://www.axelrodartscenter.com/covid19-updates

RESERVATIONS: Tickets start at $32. Student and group discounts available. Visit axelrodartscenter.com or call 732-531-9106, ext. 14


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