Many people are in awe of the Mob with their ways to make quick money, flashy lifestyle and an almost celebrity status (especially locally). However there is the constant danger, the possibility of prison time, and the toll it can take on the families of their members. Given all of these factors, how many people would really do it if they truly had the chance. Actor Chazz Palminteri has actually experienced things like this, which he turned into a one-man show, which was then turned into a film in 1993, and a couple of years ago was turned into a popular Broadway musical, and they are all titled “A Bronx Tale”.
Renown composer Alan Menken handles the music here, and this touring company includes Joey Barreiro and Frankie Leoni or Shane Pry as the two different versions of Calogero (Palminteri’s given first name), Joe Barbara as Sonny, Michelle Aravena as Calogero’s mother Rosina, Richard H. Blake as his father Lorenzo, and Brianna-Marie Bell as Jane. Taking place in The Bronx in the 1960s, “C” (as he becomes known) catches the attention of local gangster Sonny after not ratting him out after an incident in front of his home. As he gets older, he starts to follow in Sonny’s footsteps even though his father completely disagrees. Coupled with a developing romance with the African-American Jane, the tensions rise even further as his friends and hers clash over the social roles of the time.
The set here is mostly a canopy in the back that changes different locations to work with a few props like doors, bars, and stairwells that were rolled in and out. It all works together well, as does the cast with Barreiro carrying the load as he needs to. I had no performances that just blew me away, but the acting and singing was still enjoyable.
This production is a little over two hours not counting the intermission, which is about the right length. The thing I liked most is that even though it was a musical, some of the songs were telling part of the story versus a bunch of songs for song’s sake that are mindless. There are some violent aspects and adult language in this production, so this may not be suitable for the entire family. I did enjoy it overall, and I will recommend this production as back section on the main floor seating.