In 1988, before it became a hit Broadway musical or a feature film co-starring Robert DeNiro, Chazz Palminteri wrote and performed in A Bronx Tale— bringing 18 characters to vivid life in a gripping tale of his rough childhood on the Bronx streets.
The powerful play depicts his bruising youthful experiences in great detail — including witnessing gangland slayings – and was first showcased in both Los Angeles and New York. An unknown film actor at the time, Palminteri had stubbornly refused to sell “A Bronx Tale” unless he was part of the package as both actor and screenwriter.
It finally sparked the interest of Palminteri’s idol Robert De Niro, who was looking to make his directorial film debut. De Niro, who saw the potential of “A Bronx Tale,” became Palminteri’s mentor, backing him all the way.
The film of “A Bronx Tale” (1993) earned strong reviews, with Palminteri as its screenwriter and actor, playing the role of Sonny, the gangster, and featuring his actress/producer/wife Gianna Palminteri. Since then, Palminteri has accrued more than fifty film credits, prominently “The Usual Suspects,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” and “Analyze This.
‘A Bronx Tale’ with Chazz Palminteri | Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall | April 2