A Bronx Tale – The Musical

 

 

 

A Bronx Tale The Musical Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President) Produced by Tommy Mottola, The Dodgers, Tribeca Productions, Evamere Entertainment, Neighborhood Films, Jeffrey Sine, Cohen Private Ventures and Grant Johnson; Produced in association with Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director; Todd Schmidt, Managing Director); Associate Producer: Lauren Mitchell World Premiere in Millburn, New Jersey on February 14, 2016 at Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director; Todd Schmidt, Managing Director) Book by Chazz Palminteri; Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater; Based on the play by Chazz Palminteri; Music arranged by Ron Melrose; Music orchestrated by Doug Besterman; Musical Director: Jonathan Smith Directed by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks; Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo; Associate Director: Stephen Edlund; Associate Choreographer: Marc Kimelman Scenic Design by Beowulf Boritt; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Howell Binkley; Sound Design by Gareth Owen; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Makeup Design by Anne Ford-Coates; Associate Scenic Design: Jared Rutherford; Associate Costume Design: Mariah Hale; Associate Lighting Design: Ryan O'Gara; Associate Sound Design: Josh Liebert; Associate Hair and Wig Design: Giovanna Calabretta Executive Producer: Sally Campbell Morse; General Manager: Dodger Management Group; Company Manager: Miguel A. Ortiz; Associate Co. Mgr: Reeve Pierson Technical Supervisor: Hudson Theatrical Associates; Production Stage Manager: Beverly Jenkins; Stage Manager: Michael Rico Cohen Musical Supervisor: Ron Melrose; Musical Coordinator: John Miller; Conducted by Jonathan 'Smitti' Smith; Associate Conductor: John Samorian; Woodwinds: Kristy Norter and John De Simini; Trumpet/Flugel: Jami Dauber; Trombone/Tuba: Clint Sharman; Guitars: Kenny Brescia and Bernd Schoenhart; Drums: Perry Cavari; Percussion: Bill Hayes; Acoustic and Electric Bass: Francisco Centeno; Keys: Jonathan 'Smitti' Smith, John Samorian and Logan Medland Casting: Tara Rubin Casting and Merri Sugarman, CSA; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Advertising/Marketing: AKA; Promotions: Red Rising Marketing; Fight Coordinator: Robert Westley; Period Music Consultant: Johnny Gale; Fight Captain: Wonu Ogunfowora; Dance Captain: Brittany Conigatti; Assistant Dance Captain: Michelle Aravena; Photographer: Joan Marcus Cast Richard H. Blake Lorenzo Nick Cordero Sonny Ariana DeBose Jane Lucia Giannetta Rosina Bradley Gibson Tyrone Bobby Conte Thornton Broadway debut Calogero Hudson Loverro Broadway debut Young Calogero Athan Sporek Young Calogero Alternate Gilbert L. Bailey II Jesse Ensemble Joe Barbara Police Officer Gang Leader Carmine Ensemble Michael Barra Broadway debut JoJo the Whale Ensemble Jonathan Brody Eddie Mush Ensemble Ted Brunetti Frankie Coffeecake Ensemble Brittany Conigatti Ensemble Kaleigh Cronin Ensemble Trista Dollison Frieda Ensemble David Michael Garry Ensemble Rory Max Kaplan Nicky the Mook Doo-Wop Guy Ensemble Dominic Nolfi Crazy Mario Doo-Wop Guy Ensemble Christiani Pitts Broadway debut Denise Ensemble Paul Salvatoriello Broadway debut Tony-Ten-To-Two Ensemble Joey Sorge Rudy the Voice Ensemble Cary Tedder Doo-Wop Guy Ensemble Kirstin Tucker Ensemble Keith White Slick Doo-Wop Guy Ensemble Swings: Michelle Aravena, Gerald Caesar, Charlie Marcus, Wonu Ogunfowora and Joseph J. Simeone Understudies: Michelle Aravena (Rosina), Gilbert L. Bailey II (Tyrone), Joe Barbara (Sonny), Gerald Caesar (Tyrone), Kaleigh Cronin (Rosina), Rory Max Kaplan (Calogero), Charlie Marcus (Lorenzo, Sonny), Wonu Ogunfowora (Jane), Christiani Pitts (Jane), Joseph J. Simeone (Calogero) and Joey Sorge (Lorenzo)

 

 

 

by JK Clarke

 

The timing couldn’t be better for the powers that be to release the musical version of the story of life growing up in the 1960s in New York City’s outer borough. America is presently awash in fetishization of nostalgia, and A Bronx Tale is a trip down memory lane if ever there was one. And like that other great story from the Bronx (the Yankees, for those who aren’t sports fans), this production has a Murderer’s Row of big hitters (and Tony and Academy Award Winners) behind it: direction by Robert DeNiro and Jerry Zaks; Alan Menken does the music, with Glenn Slater’s lyrics; costumes by William Ivey Long; the choreography is Sergio Trujillo’s; set by Beowulf Boritt; and the book is by Chazz Palminteri, who wrote the original play as well as the 1993 film version (which also starred and was directed by DeNiro). With a lineup like that, not to mention a strong set of supporting players and cast, it’s hard to go wrong. And like Joe DiMaggio’s record breaking hitting streak, this Tale keeps on winning.

 

If you’ve seen the movie you know the story: narrated by a grown up Calogero (Bobby Conte Thornton)—it’s the loosely autobiographical story of Palminteri’s (Calogero is, in fact, his given name) life growing up in the Italian enclave of Belmont Avenue. At nine years old, Calogero witnesses the local mafia boss, Sonny (charming and suave Nick Cordero) murder a man in a beef over a parking space. When the police ask the young boy to identify the killer, he chooses not to snitch and is taken on, in appreciation, as a young mascot by Sonny, much to his father Lorenzo’s (Richard H. Blake) consternation. The first act, set in 1960, is hallmarked by delightful performances by a young Calogero (who’s supposed to be, and looks, nine years old), played with energetic spunkiness by Hudson Rovero who has strong young pipes (shown off in “I Like It”) and capable dance moves. He, along with his older self (Thornton), introduce us to a neighborhood awash in stereotypes, from the very amusing, pompadour-sporting barman, Rudy the Voice (Joey Sorge) who sings his every word, much to Sonny’s consternation; to the corpulent JoJo the Whale (Michael Barra) who’s never without a snack. The establishment of these comfortable neighborhood norms, no matter how dysfunctional, is a setup for the schism to come.

 

A Bronx Tale The Musical Pre-opening information; subject to change A Bronx Tale The Musical View More Images Longacre Theatre, (12/01/2016 - ) First Preview: Nov 03, 2016 Total Previews: Opening Date: Dec 01, 2016 Closing Date: Total Performances: Category: Musical, Drama, Original, Broadway A Bronx Tale The Musical tickets Official Website Opening Night Credits Production Staff Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President) Produced by Tommy Mottola, The Dodgers and Tribeca Productions Book by Chazz Palminteri; Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater; Musical Director: Jonathan Smith; Music arranged by Ron Melrose; Music orchestrated by Doug Besterman Directed by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks; Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo Scenic Design by Beowulf Boritt; Costume Design by William Ivey Long; Lighting Design by Howell Binkley; Sound Design by Gareth Owen; Hair and Wig Design by Paul Huntley; Make-Up Design by Anne Ford-Coates Musical Supervisor: Ron Melrose Casting: Tara Rubin Casting; Press Representative: Boneau / Bryan-Brown; Fight Coordinator: Robert Westley Cast Richard H. Blake Lorenzo Nick Cordero Sonny Ariana DeBose Jane Lucia Giannetta Rosina Bradley Gibson Tyrone Bobby Conte Thornton Broadway debut Calogero Hudson Loverro Broadway debut Young Calogero Athan Sporek Young Calogero Alternate Gilbert L. Bailey II Joe Barbara Michael Barra Broadway debut Jonathan Brody Ted Brunetti Brittany Conigatti Kaleigh Cronin Trista Dollison David Michael Garry Rory Max Kaplan Dominic Nolfi Christiani Pitts Broadway debut Paul Salvatoriello Broadway debut Joseph J. Simeone Joey Sorge Cary Tedder Kirstin Tucker Swings: Michelle Aravena, Gerald Caesar, Charlie Marcus, Wonu Ogunfowora and Keith White © 2001- 2016, The Broadway League, All Rights Reserved. Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms of

 

The disruption arrives in the second act when a high school-aged Calogero (“C”), now a respected neighborhood boy, flush with cash earned through working with Sonny, falls in love with a black girl from another stereotype-anchored neighborhood, Webster Avenue. Jane (the talented Ariana DeBose) is even more aware than C of the danger their romance presents, but neither can resist. What’s more, this is now 1968 and racial tensions are at an all time high. It’s only a matter of time before C’s world both implodes and explodes. Even so, he can only look back on the era in fondness.

 

A Bronx Tale does exactly what it sets out to do: paint a loving picture of a bygone era with bittersweet hues, despite the sturm und drang of the times. Boritt’s landscape of fire escape-latticed brick buildings (that shift smoothly and artfully through different neighborhood changes); Palminteri’s pastiche of seemingly outsized characters, which anyone who witnessed the era would tell you are, amazingly, completely accurate; and catchy numbers which evolve with the times (like the pretty R&B Jade/Calogero duet “In a World Like This”), combine to make A Bronx Tale an immersive, realistic trip down memory lane. It’s a perfect way for those who were there to relive the past and, at the same time, introduce it to younger generations who weren’t.

 

 

A Bronx Tale. Now playing at the Longacre Theatre (220 West 48th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue). www.ABronxTaletheMusical.com

 

 

Photos: Joan Marcus

 

 

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