Actor Chazz Palminteris father always told him: The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and even wrote it down for his baby boy to hold onto. Later, when Palminteri got fired from his job as a club doorman and was down to his last $187, he went to his apartment, saw the note, bought about five yellow legal-size pads, and started writing. The story began close to his heart, with an early life experience wherein he witnessed a murder from his stoop in the Bronx. Palminteri wrote and practiced scenes at an actors workshop, and by the end of the year, he had an hour and a half of material and a tightly honed one-man show. The show became a hit, De Niro bought the film rights, and Palminteri hit the big screen as a New York gangster named Sonny.
See Palminteri reprise that role, along with 17 others, in his critically acclaimed, nationally touring Broadway hit A Bronx Tale. Ironically, Lillo Brancato Jr., who played the part of Calagero in the film, was recently sentenced to ten years in prison for his role in a botched robbery that ended in the murder of a cop. What a waste of talent.
Tue., Feb. 10, 8 p.m., 2009