Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A BRONX TALE: The Musical
                 The cast of A BRONX TALE: THE MUSICAL


     Shades of Jersey Boys and West Side Story notwithstanding, A BRONX TALE stands on its own with confidence and pride, skillfully walking that line between sentimental nostalgia and the representation of harsh reality.
     Alan Menken’s tunes, from doo-wop to the guy group harmonies of the 60s, are as infectious as Glenn Slater’s lyrics are engaging.      
     “Look to Your Heart” and “One of the Great Ones” are especially memorable numbers. 

     Not having seen the 1993 movie nor having read the promo, this reviewer wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with Chazz Palminteri’s A BRONX TALE,THE MUSICAL. What a pleasant surprise to find that it’s a fantastic new musical that’s firing on all cylinders!
     “A BRONX TALE” is the story of young Calogero (Frankie Leoni), a boy growing up fast into an older, tougher Calogero(Joey Barreiro), on the mean streets of the Bronx. After witnessing a murder, the kid refuses to rat on the killer. As a result he’s taken under the wing of Sonny (Joe Barbara), the neighborhood godfather, who becomes his streetwise mentor. As Young Calogero, Frankie Leone really shines in “Roll Em” and “I Like it.”
   Joey Barreiro, who plays Calogero as a young adult, is a superb actor with solid stage presence and great vocals such as“Out of Your Head” and “A World Like This.”
     The conflicts that ensue between the kid, his father (Richard H. Blake), and Sonny make up the rest of the tale. 
     Mr. Barbara’s stentorian command of the stage as Sonny will be especially well remembered for his speech describing “One of the Great Ones.” No spoilers here. It’s unforgettable! 
     Mr. Blake’s mellifluous voice is ear-pleasing indeed in the role of the boy’s father, Lorenzo.
     A male-driven work, the superb voices of Michelle Aravena, Calogero’s mother, and Briana Marie Bell , his new flame, get short shrift.
    Nevertheless, both these women’s vocals are outstanding! 
     There’s a great orchestra in the pit, that’s conducted with gusto by Brian P. Kennedy, as well as some muscular choreography thanks to Sergio Trujillo.
     It’s a great story and the talent shines at peak performance levels throughout!   
     Teens and adults should love this musical, but leave the wee ones at home.

     It’s not hard to imagine a film version of this exciting musical showing up soon. 
                      Just sayin’.

   In case you missed something… I Loved it! 

For tickets call 303-893-4100 or go online at

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