What is Bronx Tale About?

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A Bronx tale narrates the life of a young New Yorker from the working class who is faced with two life choices: to live following his father’s values like hard work and decency or become part of the city’s organized crime.

The story deals with a lot of feelings like strong love for the family, loyalty and respect.

What is this play all about and who is Calogero Anello?

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This musical is based on a play called A Bronx tale. This play is based on a book originally written by Chazz Palmintery. The book’s plot is about the coming of age of Calogero Anello who lives in New York during the 1960s.

The musical is a reflection of the life’s difficulties during these ages that are marked by social turbulences. This young protagonist is torn between choices: to join the city’s organized crime system or live following his hardworking father’s advice on life.

Calogero has a dream of becoming a mob boss but he also loves his father very much and don’t want to hurt his feelings. So that’s why Calogero is faced with two choices and it’s difficult for him to choose one side. He eventually chooses to become part of the Mafia.

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Calogero Anello is a young boy at the age of nine from a family living in Belmont region which is an Italian-American part of Bronx’s region. His family belongs to the working class. He lives there together with his father Lorenzo and mother Rosina.

Calogero’s family is drawn in the lawbreakers’ world. His father Lorenzo Anello works as a bus driver. He attempts to teach his son good values that belong traditionally to the working class. He wants for his son a respectful life and advices him to earn his money through a hard and fair work.

An interesting fact about Calogero is that he becomes a witness of a murder done by the mob boss Sonny in order to defend one of his friends who was assaulted in the neighbourhood. After this event Calogero decides he won’t share any information with NYPD detectives.

Sonny offers Lorenzo better job with a higher payment which is against the law. But Calogero’s father refuses politely to this offer and decides to stay on his lower job position as a MTA bus driver which agrees with the country's laws.

Calogero loves his father and want to make him feel proud with his son. But as Calogero matures the idea of joining the Mafia in search of a better and richer life seems to him more and more attractive.

The idea of joining the organized crime gets even more appealing to Calogero after he meets Sonny LoSpecchio who is the local mob leader. Eventually Sonny becomes something of a father figure for Calogero as Sonny takes the young man under his wing.

Calogero is enticed by the mafia’s charm and the power Sonny’s strong influential personality has on him. He teaches him the ways of the local gang family and how to become part of the organized criminal world.

As Calogero gets older he started to struggle more intensely with the two options in front of him – to follow his father’s advice about leading a decent life devoted to diligent work and love for the family values or become part of the Mafia and become a mob boss afterwards. If he chooses the second option he risks falling into conflict with his father’s beliefs.

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In the end Calogero chooses the mob life. Big contribution for realizing this has the mob boss of the neighbourhood – Sonny.

After a while Calogero falls in love with his classmate Jane who is African-American. This situation creates conflict whose outcome may have great influence upon the lives of the people in the entire neighbourhood.

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The play A Bronx Tale’s original premiere was shown in the 1980s in Los Angeles and after that appeared on Broadway. During its premiere the play reaped great success and it got excellent reviews among the critics. It’s in fact a one-man show that presents the autobiography of the main protagonist. It was performed by Chazz Palmintery.

A film version was made based on the play in 1993 starring Robert De Niro and Palmintery. Small changes were made to the original story plot in the film. Later in 2007 Palmintery did a one-man show on Broadway’s stage and during his tour. The play Bronx tale has also a musical version. It was directed by Robert De Niro and appeared on stage at Longacre Theatre on Broadway until 2018.

A Bronx Tale film didn’t receive much commercial success since its profit was more than 17 million dollars domestically. But the movie enjoyed amazing success among the critics. The leading actors were appraised by the movie critics. After it was released on 29th of September. This fact helped De Niro’s achieve directorial debut, get public acceptance as a director and also helped Palmintery reach success in his acting career.

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About Chazz Palmintery – the creator of the Bronx tale

Chazz Palmintery is a popular American playwright, movie producer, screenwriter and actor. He is famous for Academy Awards nomination Best Supporting Actor for his role in Bullets over Broadway and also in the movie A Bronx Tale in 1993 which is based on his play with the same name.

Chazz Palmintery gained his inspiration for creating the Bronx tale after he was fired up from a club. He worked as a doorman and the thing that lead to losing his job is the fact that he didn’t give club entrance to Swifty Lazar who was a talent agent. Swifty was a famous American dealmaker and booking agent during the 1930s period. His job was to represent movie stars and authors in Bronx.

Palmintery also played the role of Primo Sidione in the movie Analyze This, the role of Special Agent Dave Kujan in the movie Usual Suspects and also a recurring role of Shorty in Modern Family. He even had a role as Sal in the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 zombie map Mob of the dead.