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Special guest comes onstage at A Bronx Tale’s opening night, shocking cast and audience

People by: Chrissy Ruggeri, March 28, 2022

Chazz Palminteri onstage at the Engeman Theater. Photo courtesy Engeman Theater.

The Saturday, March 26 performance of A Bronx Tale: The Musical, which debuted at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport Village this weekend, was followed by a five-minute standing ovation with a very special guest.

The “streetwise musical” is based on Chazz Palminteri’s classic movie, which takes viewers to the stoops of the Bronx in the 1960s, where a young man is caught between the father he loves and the mob boss he’d love to be. The doo-wop score tells a story about respect, loyalty, love and above all else, family.

At the end of Saturday’s show, Chazz Palminteri, who played Sonny in the 1993 movie and wrote the book that the play is based on, surprised the cast and audience when he walked onto the stage. “It’s really amazing what this theater did here…my hat goes off to an incredible cast and all of the people here at this incredible theater,” he said.

Chazz said the performance, which he watched with his wife Gianna, made him emotional, but then he thought, “What are you doing, you wrote this thing, stop it!” The moment was incredibly heartfelt and encouraging, as Palminteri shook hands with and blew kisses to cast members, who were noticeably shocked and excited to have him join them after the show.

“We are truly honored that Chazz and Gianna Palminteri were able to attend the opening night of A Bronx Tale," said Richard Dolce, co-owner of the Engeman Theater. “To be able to celebrate our production with the man who created this brilliant story was a moment that none of us will ever forget.”

A Bronx Tale: The Musical runs through May 8, with performances on Thursdays at 8pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Some Wednesday and Sunday evenings are available as well. Tickets are $80 for matinees and Saturday evenings, and $75 for all other performances. They can be purchased online, at the box office at 250 Main Street in Northport, or by calling (631) 261-2900.

A Bronx Tale: The Musical, from left: Tyler Dema (Crazy Mario), Mike Cefalo (Calogero), Frankie Rocco (Handsome Nick), Steven Gagliano (Sally Slick). Photo courtesy Engeman Theater.

A Bronx Tale: The Musical, from left: Bryson Jacobi Jackson (Jesse), Mackenzie Meadows (Jane), Yasir Muhammad (Tyrone), Jasmine Lawrence (Denise), Nia Lee Nelson-Williams (Frieda). Photo courtesy Engeman Theater.

A Bronx Tale: The Musical, from left: Tyler Dema (Crazy Mario), Mike Backes (Rudy the Voice), Michael Barra (JoJo The Whale), Mike Keller (Sonny), Michael Deaner (Young Calogero), Jesse Sharp (Eddie Mush), Martin Bonventre (Frankie Coffeecake), Christopher DeProphetis (Tony Ten to Two), John Zamborsky (Swing), Frankie Rocco (Handsome Nick), Steven Gagliano (Sally Slick). Photo courtesy Engeman Theater.

The cast of A Bronx Tale: The Musical with special guest Chazz Palminteri after Saturday’s show. Photo courtesy Engeman Theater.