5 Reasons You Need to See ‘A Bronx Tale’ on Tour
In 1993, Chazz Palminteri’s semi-autobiographical story became a phenomenon when it hit the big screen. Twenty-five years later, after 700 performances on Broadway, “A Bronx Tale” is currently doo-wopping its way across the country in its first national tour. The story follows Calogero, as he navigates adolescence torn between the father he loves and the mob boss he aspires to be. Dubbed as “a combination of ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Jersey Boys’” by the critics, “A Bronx Tale” combines the forces of industry giants such as Alan Menken and Jerry Zaks and screen icons Palminteri and Robert De Niro to bring a story about toxic masculinity, racial tension, forbidden romance, and reaching one’s full potential to life. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t miss a trip to the neighborhood.
Eleven members of the Broadway cast have hit the road.
Broadway veteran Richard H. Blake reprises his role as Calogero’s tough, but weary father Lorenzo. Audiences may recognize him from Broadway hits such as “Jersey Boys” and “Legally Blonde,” or the touring productions of “Wicked” or “Saturday Night Fever.” With show-stopping vocals in the Act 1 finale and palpable chemistry with newcomer Joey Barreiro as Calogero, Blake’s performance is one that will tug on the heartstrings.
Sergio Trujillo’s choreography will have you grooving in your seat.
Trujillo is no stranger to fancy footwork — he choreographed “Memphis” and “Jersey Boys,” and landed a Tony nomination for his choreography for “On Your Feet!” His energetic choreography for “A Bronx Tale” includes an exuberant stepping number led by Brianna-Marie Bell (Jane). With remarkable dexterity, the ensemble invites audiences to the stoops of Webster Avenue with ease.
You’ll hum along to the infectious doo-wop score by Disney icon Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.
Menken and Slater prove to be a power duo yet again with catchy songs like “Roll ‘Em” and Frank Sinatra-inspired ballads like “One of the Great Ones.” As Calogero narrates in Act 1, his doo-wop singing crew are never far behind, providing smooth melodies and setting the tone of the next scene. The score will transport you to the 1950s and ’60s with a hint of nostalgia and finger-snapping tunes.
The set features storefronts of real Bronx hotspots.
The vibrant set design by Beowulf Boritt includes strong splashes of red and black, towering fire escapes, and the storefronts of real Italian staples from the Bronx including Madonia Bakery, Mike’s Deli, and the iconic Gino’s Pastry Shop. The Italian bakery still stands at 580 E 187th Street in the Bronx, and visitors from all over the world claim it’s home to the best cannoli in they’ve ever had. Talk about authenticity, huh? You may not be from the Bronx, but you will feel like you are as you’re welcomed to the bustling corner of 187th and Belmont Avenue.
You’ll fall in love with Calogero and Jane.
Despite being aware of the complications that would arise by dating someone outside of his Italian community, Calogero falls head over heels for Jane and what follows is incredible chemistry between Joey Barreiro and Brianna-Marie Bell (and a cute pop song expressing mutual crushes on one another). The actors’ performances stay true to the anxious and intense desire seen in the film, but have a subtle hint of shy high school romance that is irresistible to watch. These two will have you rooting for their love from start to finish because after all, Jane is Calogero’s “great one.”