Tuesday, Sep 17th

Last updateMon, 16 Sep 2019 5pm

You are here: Home Content On Our Radar A Bronx Tale and A Dinner Tale
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Swastika Found at SHS Evokes Strong Reaction from School Principal and Local Rabbi

Swastika Found at SHS Evokes Strong Reaction from School Principal and Local Rabbi

Rabbi Jonathan Blake The discovery of a swastika in a bathroom at Scarsdale High ...

Jerusalem Visits Scarsdale: Cast of Shtisel Comes to Westchester Reform Temple

Jerusalem Visits Scarsdale: Cast of Shtisel Comes to Westchester Reform Temple

Neta Riskin, Doval'e Glickman, Ayelet Zurer and Ori Elon Until Monday September 1...

Seniors Chalk It Up

Seniors Chalk It Up

Each year, the SHS senior class holds an annual chalking event early in the scho...

Authors of

Authors of "Grown and Flown" to Discuss Their New Book at the Scarsdale Adult School

Authors Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington will discuss their new book, "Gr...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

A Bronx Tale and A Dinner Tale

bronxtaleIt's not often that you get to eat a themed dinner at a restaurant owned by a Broadway writer and then see his play, all in one night. I was lucky enough to enjoy A Bronx Tale themed meal at Chazz Palminteri's Ristorante Italiano followed by great theater at his musical on Broadway.

A Bronx Tale, the unexpectedly adaptable musical that is based on a play of the same name by Chazz Palminteri (now a Westchester resident) and later the critically acclaimed film. The film starred Chazz as Sonny, the mob boss, and was directed by Robert De Niro. I can only attribute much of the perfection of A Bronx Tale, the New Musical to the book by Chazz and the superb co-direction by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks. I was pleasantly surprised by the heartfelt music and lyrics and then learned that Alan Menken and Glenn Slater were the pair behind them. That's right, the Disney duo famous for box office smashes "Tangled," "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin" (Menken) as well as Broadway's School of Rock (Slater) wrote the music and lyrics for A Bronx Tale- and it does not disappoint. Choreography by Sergio Trujillo rounds out the famous (and fabulous) creative team. The set (Beowulf Boritt) was impressive and the lighting and variance of angles allows the audience to feel like they are seeing Belmont Avenue from different vantage points. Lest one forget the sound; I was able to hear and understand every character so caps off to Gareth Owen, Sound Designer.

Beyond the upbeat music and choreography is a story that will stick with you long after leaving the Longacre Theatre. It is relevant today even though it opens in the 1960's. Beginning with the song (that I'm still humming) "Belmont Avenue," the story tells of a boy's coming of age in the Bronx when race relations between the Italian and African-American communities were strained. Young Calogero, (played by Athan Sporek in this performance) is an only child being raised by loving, working-class parents Lorenzo (Richard H. Blake) and Rosina (Lucia Giannetta). Young Calogero accidentally witnesses a murder by mob boss Sonny (Nick Cordero) then flat out denies Sonny's involvement when questioned by the NYPD. Sonny takes a liking to Calogero, nicknames the boy "C" and then Athan Sporek/Young Calogero takes over the stage and crushes his solo, "I like it." Sonny introduces "C" to dice- throwing and the mob scene. He wins a large sum of money during the song "Roll 'em" but his father finds out how he won it and forces him to return it to Sonny. We then see Calogero (Bobby Conte Thornton) as a young adult in 1968 who looks remarkably like his younger version. Against his father's wishes, he has secretly kept a strong relationship going with Sonny. He joins a gang and develops a crush on an African American girl named Jane (the talented Ariana DeBose) and their story is explored while Calogero's relationship changes and develops with both Sonny and his father until tragedy strikes.

I had a chance to talk to the exceptionally talented and gotta-pinch-him cute Athan SporekSporek after his performance as Young Calogero. (Athan shares the role of Young Calogero with Hudson Loverro). At age 9, you'd expect this to be Athan's debut on the Great White Way but he was also the youngest Gavroche on Broadway in Les Miserables history (during his younger years). I asked him how the two shows compare from his point of view. "I guess you could say this show is a bit jazzier than Les Mis," he said. "I love both styles but what's cool about A Bronx Tale is that I get to sing, dance and act- I can do all the things I love in one role." According to Athan, why should people come see A Bronx Tale? "Just like Jane says in the show," he remarked, "it's a story that'll make you laugh and cry. As far as co-directing goes, it doesn't get better than this!" I had a chance to meet Athan's mom and asked her for one quick highlight of the whole experience so far. "It was when Athan asked, 'Now that I know Chazz, when do I get to meet the real Mafia?'"

Not exactly close to the theater but highly convenient to Grand Central Station is Chazz Palminteri's Ristorante Italiano so naturally I had to try it before the show. Beyond the intelligently thought out menu and perfectly cooked and presented cuisine, there's Chazz himself who frequents the restaurant.

ristoranteIn honor of the opening of A Bronx Tale on Broadway, the restaurant has a set "Bronx Tale" dinner menu as an option. It's an impressive offering for a fabulous price. The wine menu was varied and extensive without being over-the-top. The service was top notch from start to finish and the ambiance was lovely. We began with the grilled calamari which was drizzled with olive oil and balsamic and was a notable introduction to our meal. We also had the salmon tartare over avocado topped with arugula and capers; fresh, simple stacked ingredients that were heavenly for the tastebuds. The Secondi came out piping hot and we split the Osso Buco (only served when the chef decides to cook it) and pistachio crusted halibut over homemade gnocchi in a white wine and porcini mushroom sauce. The Osso Buco was absolutely delectable if a bit fatty for my personal palate. The halibut/gnocchi dish was expertly prepared, well-seasoned and filling. (As if I could skip dessert.)

While consuming about 3,000 calories worth of Tiramisu that waschazzandstacie so good you could have convinced me I was in Rome, I looked up and Chazz himself. He was excited that we were going to see A Bronx Tale after our meal and mentioned that it was Athan Sporek's (young Calogero's) debut performance. "Those kids are great, both of them. Ya better get goin'," he said as we frantically hailed a cab. But first, I couldn't resist a photo. I just wish I had practiced my Bronx mobster face beforehand because, well, Chazz had.

A Bronx Tale is playing at the Longacre Theatre and has a running time of 2 hours. Rush tickets are available when the box office opens. Note: There are several very loud gunshot sounds, a couple of curse words, sexual innuendo and a word quickly spoken by a character making it possibly inappropriate for young children.

Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano is located at 890 Second Avenue between 47th and 48th and is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Good Work

SETTING

A Great Way to Get Involved in Scarsdale ... Run for the CNC!

A Great Way to Get Involved in Scarsdale ... Run for the CNC!

The Procedure Committee is actively seeking Scarsdale Residents to run for the Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC). This time CNC members are responsi...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Scarsdale Rocks Out at Village's First Music Festival

Scarsdale Rocks Out at Village's First Music Festival

Event organizers ML Perlman and Marcy Berman-Goldstein Scarsdale Village was transformed into our own little Woodstock on Saturday September 14 when hu...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

DeCicco & Sons to Replace Acme Supermarket in Eastchester

DeCicco & Sons to Replace Acme Supermarket in Eastchester

The competition is heating up for supermarket shoppers in our area. Just as the DeCicco’s in Scarsdale Village is undergoing a much-needed renovation ...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Seniors Chalk It Up

Seniors Chalk It Up

Each year, the SHS senior class holds an annual chalking event early in the school year. This year at Scarsdale High School, the seniors were as enthu...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Authors of "Grown and Flown" to Discuss Their New Book at the Scarsdale Adult School

Authors of

Authors Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington will discuss their new book, "Grown and Flown," at the Scarsdale Adult School on November 13. First you...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Back to School Guide 2019: For Kids and Grown-ups Too

Back to School Guide 2019: For Kids and Grown-ups Too

Though the streets of the village are quiet and empty this week, in just a few days families will start returning from vacation, sports practices will...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

Shout it Out

SETTING

National Merit Corporation Announces 2020 Semifinalists

National Merit Corporation Announces 2020 Semifinalists

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholars...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Sports News from the Court and the Field

Sports News from the Court and the Field

Zoe Tucker and Natalie Hu Good news from both the tennis court and the football field this week for the Raiders:

Girls Varsity Tennis

Coach Jennifer Roan...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Swastika Found at SHS Evokes Strong Reaction from School Principal and Local Rabbi

Swastika Found at SHS Evokes Strong Reaction from School Principal and Local Rabbi

Rabbi Jonathan Blake The discovery of a swastika in a bathroom at Scarsdale High School on Thursday September 12, has evoked strong condemnation from S...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

Real Estate: A Court of Your Own -- Attention Tennis Enthusiasts

Real Estate: A Court of Your Own -- Attention Tennis Enthusiasts

7 Shaw Road, Scarsdale Though the prime selling season is over for this year, so many beautiful homes remain on the market. This week we took a look at...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Police: Report of Erratic Driving Leads to Arrest for DWI

Police: Report of Erratic Driving Leads to Arrest for DWI

Arrest: After a caller reported an erratic driver with front-end car damage on Mamaroneck Road at 10 p.m., Sept. 8., police canvassed the area and con...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

Culinary Poetry Awaits at Haiku Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar in Scarsdale

Culinary Poetry Awaits at Haiku Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar in Scarsdale

Lava Roll For years, the word Haiku brought to mind a type of Japanese poetry of three lines and seventeen syllables which leaves the reader with stron...

Read More

People

SETTING

Jerusalem Visits Scarsdale: Cast of Shtisel Comes to Westchester Reform Temple

Jerusalem Visits Scarsdale: Cast of Shtisel Comes to Westchester Reform Temple

Neta Riskin, Doval'e Glickman, Ayelet Zurer and Ori Elon Until Monday September 10, only the high holidays could draw an audience of almost 900 to West...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids