Thursday, February 12, 2009

Parker Playhouse: A Bronx Tale (2 reviews)

Chazz Palmenteri wrote a play that became a movie: A Bronx Tale. The movie did fairly well, but now Palmenteri has brought the story back to its roots as a one-man play with many characters. It's running through February 15 at Fort Lauderdale's venerable Parker Playhouse.

Bill Hirschman reviewed the show for the Sun-Sentinel. (BTW, it's nice to see the Sun-Sentinel covering theatre again.) Right off the bat, Hirschman addresses the transition from screen to stage:
Although the story mirrors the 1993 film that he wrote and starred in, this solidly theatrical piece is much funnier and far more challenging as he slips in and out of a dozen characters. While "inspired" by real events and people in his adolescence, this gritty chronicle benefits from a dump truck of dramatic invention and good-natured exaggeration.

The real credit belongs to the performance.... his character (or characters) here is all infectious energy, charm and even a bit of vulnerability.

Famed director Jerry Zaks keeps the show barreling down the mountainside at breakneck speed most of the evening, leaving Palminteri and the audience breathless.

Christin Dolen reviewed the show for the Miami Herald:

...the wonder of his one-man, semi-autobiographical show isn't that he's so comfortable performing the story of a boy torn between his good, hard-working father and the neighborhood's glamorous mob boss. The wonder is that, after countless performances of his career-making show, Palminteri makes it all feel so fresh... is, as the cheering crowd on opening night would affirm, a perfect marriage of the storyteller and his tale.

More reviews to be added as they become available, and as always, feel free to use the comment section to tell us what you think about the play or the reviews.

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