A Bronx Tale
By Adam Kluger and Melissa Clark | Photos by Matt Licari | Design by Heidi North
Chazz Palminteri walked right into the restaurant like he owned the joint. That’s because he does.
Chazz Palminteri Italian Restaurant. Old School elegance. Fine dining (30 West 46th St.). Right in the heart of Broadway’s theater district.
Metropolitan magazine boss/publisher Chase Backer and his crew were summoned for a quick sit-down between Palminteri’s matinee and evening performances of A Bronx Tale: The Musical.
Q: How excited are you to see A Bronx Tale presented as a Broadway musical?
Chazz: “It’s very exciting. This is a story that’s been going on now for 30 years. There was the one-man show I wrote in 1988. I performed it in 1989 in L.A. and then in New York. And then I brought it back to Broadway in 2008 and I performed it again. Now, I brought it back as a musical. It’s been an incredible gift, and it’s always exciting to see a brand new incarnation.”
Q: How important has your friendship with the musical’s director, Robert De Niro, a two-time Oscar winner, been in helping you bring new life to A Bronx Tale, first in Hollywood and now Broadway?
Chazz: “I also wrote the film in 1988 and showcased it in 1989, it was the hottest property at the time. Everybody wanted it — but buyers wanted to put a star in the role. I was very fortunate to meet Robert De Niro, he saw the show, loved it, and he wanted to direct it.
“He suggested I play Sonny and write it; Bob made the movie happen … we’re just good friends. He’s a great artist, and he’s really the one who made A Bronx Tale the movie happen. If it wasn’t for Bob, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Q: Tell us about Chazz Palminteri Italian Restaurant?
Chazz: “It’s one of the best restaurants in Manhattan. The food is great. The service is incredible. The ambiance is great. It’s a great place to eat. The food is really good. I would rather make a little less but serve the highest quality because the way people come back to a restaurant is if it’s really good. There’s too many great restaurants. If the food isn’t great or the service isn’t great, I mean it’s my name. It’s my restaurant. People come once for me. And if it’s not good they’re not coming back.”
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