The best lawyers are storytellers, individuals who can compellingly spin anecdotes that draw jurors into the pictures they are creating.
The best actors are artists who become the part they create, drawing the audience into the person they play.
Chazz Palminteri does that in ‘A Bronx Tale,’ which is playing at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale for a week, sponsored in part by the law firm of Rosenfeldt, Rothstein and Adler. For those of us who grew up in New York in the 1950’s, it is a trip home, this time to the Bronx, 187th and Belmont. Yankee Stadium and Mickey Mantle's run at the Triple Crown was a stone's throw away.
If you have not sent the show before, it is a riveting one man performance, an authentic coming of age story, marvelously rendered by Palminteri, who created the role, wrote the play, and starred in the film version with Robert DeNiro.
A simple set, bare backdrop, and focused lighting all lend drama to the compelling performance, which revolves around a ‘good fella’ taking a young boy as his apprentice, over the objections of his hard working father. Nevertheless, the themes of challenging racism, resisting mindless hoodlums, and honoring commitments are authentically generated.
From a lawyer’s standpoint, the lessons of industriousness, standing by your family and not ratting out your friends all have their moments on stage. But overall, Palminteri’s command of acting techniques, of timing, of physical exhibitions with his hands, eyes, feet, and many movements and motions are all reminders of how much better we can all be in the courtrooms we take for granted.
A ninety minute show without commercial interruption, it would be well worth your time to see the show again.
-- Norm Kent