Chazz Palminteri Returns to 'A Bronx Tale' in Atlantic City

Chazz Palminteri returns to A.C. with 'A Bronx Tale' - AtlanticCity.com: Inside Story: "'A Bronx Tale' is a one-man show about a young man's dealings with two father figures - Sonny, a charismatic local mob boss, and Lorenzo, the narrator's own staid father. It takes place in the Bronx in the 1960s.Starring Chazz Palminteri, 'A Bronx Tale' runs through July 29 at Caesars Atlantic City's Circus Maximus Theater.

Chazz Palminteri plays 18 roles -- and is the only actor in this show. He also wrote the play, which is directed by Jerry Zaks.

"A Bronx Tale" premiered in Los Angeles about 20 years ago. It moved to New York City a few years later and ran off-Broadway for four months. Robert De Niro attended a show and expressed interest in purchasing film rights. Palminteri had conditions.

"I had to play Sonny and I had to write the screenplay. Those were my two conditions," Palminteri says. "No one would give me that. They wanted to put a star in the role and get an A-list writer from Hollywood to write it."

De Niro agreed to Palminteri's conditions, and "A Bronx Tale" was released in 1993. De Niro directed the film and starred as Lorenzo, while Palminteri played Sonny. A bevy of young Bronx natives filled out the supporting cast.

In 2007, Palminteri revived the show on Broadway, and after a four-month run at Walter Kerr Theater, took it on the road. Since then, he's hit casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, focusing on "the Harrah's properties," he says.

The play should have been a once-in-a-lifetime break for Lillo Brancato, Jr. (born March 30, 1976), a Colombian-born American actor, who got the part of Calogero Anello in Robert De Niro's 1993 directorial debut, A Bronx Tale.

Brancato also played Matthew Bevilaqua, a young mobster on The Sopranos. Somewhere along the line he developed and started nursing a strong heroin addiction that dashed any chances he had of obtaining any kind of "breakout" film role. That and a murder he was party to.

In December 2005, Brancato was charged with second-degree murder for his role in a burglary in the Bronx, New York. An off-duty police officer, Daniel Enchautegui, confronted two burglars and was killed in a shootout. Brancato was subsequently acquitted of murder, but he was convicted of first-degree attempted burglary and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Co-defendant Steven Armento was convicted of firing the fatal shot. The two had broken into the apartment of a deceased acquaintance under the assumption there were narcotics stashed in the rental unit.

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