‘A Bronx Tale’ is in Palminteri’s blood in show at Smith Center

How ingrained is “A Bronx Tale” in Chazz Palminteri’s DNA?

The actor takes a side trip to Las Vegas to perform his autobiographical tour de force Tuesday, smack in the middle of the Los Angeles run of a new play, “Unorganized Crime.”

But Palminteri should be able to remember all the lines. He not only crafted the tale from his past, but has performed it a lot in the past few years, including its Las Vegas debut at The Venetian in 2009 and an encore at The Mirage.

Palminteri stands under a street lamp to play a host of characters, from his 9-year-old self to a neighborhood crime boss who becomes his surrogate father. Matters are complicated by his real father being very much in the picture, not thrilled with his son being pulled into the web.

“It’s a family story, not a gangster story,” said the actor, who turns 63 on May 15.

“A Bronx Tale” debuted in 1989, and was often described as a one-man movie. “I do the whole movie onstage by myself. That’s why they went crazy,” he noted in 2009. But there’s one caveat: The stage version, he says, is “actually a lot funnier than the movie” which Robert DeNiro eventually made.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.


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