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Review: A Bronx Tale, starring Adam Kaplan

Fittingly dubbed "a combination of Jersey Boys and West Story" by amNY, A Bronx Tale has become a quite hit at the Longacre Theatre in the past year and a half. Based on Chazz Palminteri's one man play which inspired the movie, A Bronx Tale takes the audience to the streets of the Bronx in the 1960s, and shows the story of Calogero, who is caught between his father whom he loves, and the mobster he wants to be like.

Currently starring Adam Kaplan as Calogero, Richard H. Blake as Lorenzo, Christiani Pitts as Jane, and Chazz Palminteri as Sonny (with Nick Cordero playing the part on Saturdays on Sundays); the cast draws the audience into the story they're telling. Combined with the wonderful score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, the show is absolutely marvelous.

While A Bronx Tale had always been on my radar, I never really went out of my way to see it. However, eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I purchased a ticket. I went in knowing none of the music and having no prior knowledge of the story or how the show came to Broadway. By intermission, I was absolutely blown away. The quick paced book, combined with the catchy songs, and talented actors, make A Bronx Tale one of the best shows in the city.

I have a soft spot for the work of Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. Menken has composed for Disney quite a bit (including my personal favorite Newsies), and Slater co-wrote the book and wrote the lyrics for Love Never Dies. They have collaborated on other projects before but I think this is the best. The songs fit seamlessly into the story, and you will leave with the score stuck in your head. My personal favorites are "Belmont Avenue" and "In a World Like This".

Anyone will enjoy this show. You don't have to know the movie, and you don't have to know the play in order to do so. So head to the Longacre Theatre for an enjoyable night of theater that you won't soon forget.

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