Murry Bergtraum High School, Grade 12
When I heard that A Bronx Tale was going to be a one-person play, my thoughts quickly returned to the thoughts I had before I went to see Nilaja Sun's No Child : "OMG, are you serious? A one-person play? Can she really pull this off? Is it possible for one person to play everyone? Will there even be more than one character?"
That show turned out to be fabulous, so my expectations were set high for any one-person play that I will ever see. Approaching A Bronx Tale, I wondered if Chazz Palminteri could have the same magic and energy as Nilija Sun had, and if the play would be just like the movie or if it would have some modifications for the stage.
As I walked into the theatre I noticed the energy was different, because it was a room full of adults. Some people were even twice my age. (More teenagers need to go to theatre!) I sat down and waited to be awed. To my surprise, the play didn't have a serious atmosphere throughout. Yes, there were serious moments, but I felt that Palmenteri was able to convey his message through humor at times, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not.
From beginning to the end, Chazz did a great job of staying in character and also being the right character at the right time. The most challenging character was little Calogero, for the simple fact that a 55-year-old man had to become a nine-year-old child again. He had the right facial expressions and gestures to convince me that he was nine.
Since I'd seen the movie of A Bronx Tale, I noticed that I was whispering to myself, "Oh, snap-I remember that. Yeah, yeah, I know that scene." There was even one point I actually knew a line he was going to say.
I'd call this a must-see show for teenagers, whether or not they've seen the film, because the strong overall message is one that we need to hear: "There is nothing sadder in the world than wasted talent." We need to hear this, because a lot of times we have talent but don't want to work harder to make something out of it, or we give up when things start to get tough or there's nobody there to help and care for them.
There's no question that Chazz has worked hard to make the most of his talent. A Bronx Tale has kept my personal standard for one-person shows high.
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