Chazz Palminteri is currently touring in his tour de force one man show, A Bronx Tale, which will play tomorrow night at the Lincoln Theatre in DC. The performance begins at 7:00. For information click here.
Chazz started out pursuing his craft in studying at the Actor’s Studio with Lee Strassberg. He appeared off-Broadway in the early 1980s while paying his dues as a singer in his own band.
Palminteri originally wrote A Bronx Tale for the stage and performed it as a one-man show in Los Angeles. It became the hottest property in Hollywood since Rocky. Mr. Palminteri was offered over a million dollars to walk away from the project and with $200.00 left in the bank he refused. He wanted to play Sonny and write the screenplay. One night Robert DeNiro walked in to see the show and as they say ”the rest is history.” He then moved the production to New York, where it played for four sold-out months and earned him nominations for the New York Outer Critics Circle for both acting and writing. While in New York he completed the screenplay of A Bronx Tale and soon found himself starring opposite Robert DeNiro, who chose the script for his directorial debut.
Chazz has more than 50 movies to his credit including The Usual Suspects, Bullets Over Broadway (Academy Award nomination), Analyze This, Hurlyburly, Mulholland Falls, Faithful (also wrote screenplay ), Poolhall Junkies, The Perez Family, Jade, Diabolique, Down to Earth and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. Recent films include Final Recourse, Mighty Fine starring Andie MacDowell, Yonkers Joe, Jolene and The Dukes. He has also directed the HBO series “Oz”. The episode was called “Unnatural Disasters”, Showtime’s “Women vs.Men” and the feature film Noel, starring Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Robin Williams and Paul Walker. He appeared on the New York stage in the play The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui starring with Al Pacino, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Billy Crudup. Chazz is a member of the Actors Studio in NYC.
Chazz received the 1996 Leadership in Entertainment Award from the Coalition of Italo-American Association, Inc. and was honored by President Clinton with a Special Achievement Award for the Performing Arts from the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Here is a solo show that is very much worth the trip. If you only know Chazz Palminteri as a film or TV actor, here is your chance to see him in the show that made him famous.
If you are in Baltimore, you are familiar with his restaurant Chazz: A Bronx Original. Here Chazz Palminteri & Aldo’s Vitale family present Chazz: A Bronx Original, offering “Bronx-style” pizza, homemade Italian American dishes & handcrafted cocktails.
What gave you the idea to originally write A Bronx Tale?
Desperation – I wanted to do something spectacular to showcase my acting and writing.
Can you please tell about what your first meeting with Robert DeNiro was like when the film version of A Bronx Tale started production?
I realized how such a man of his stature could be so collaborative and it was a testament to the true artist he is.
Can you please tell us if any changes have been made to the show from then initial engagement in Los Angeles?
You have a long list of film credits with some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Can you please pick a few favorites and tell us why you chose them?
Bronx Tale – Robert De Niro – Making a movie with him was a dream come true.
Bullets over Broadway – Woody Allen – Woody taught me that the only thing that matters is the story.
Jade – William Friedken – A true master with the camera.
Aside from this current tour of A Bronx Tale, what other projects are you working on?
I have a movie with Teri Polo coming out called Final Recourse. I am also a recurring character this season on Modern Family, Blue Bloods and Rissoli & Isles. I am also working on my Broadway play that I wrote called Human which is being directed by Tony Award winner, Jerry Zaks.