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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA grad brings Tale to Tucson

    The Tucson Music Hall is starting off 2009 with a bang.

    A gunshot bang, that is.

    As a stop on the national tour of Chazz Palminteri’s one-man Broadway show “”A Bronx Tale,”” theatergoers are treated to a classic coming-of-age story.

    Set in the Bronx in the 1960s, the play tells the story of Calogero Anello, the 9-year-old son of Lorenzo, a hardworking bus driver, who is befriended by Sonny, the neighborhood mob boss. Watching Calogero navigate two worlds, one knows that eventually he will have to decide his path: a life of honest, hard work with long hours and little pay or a bevy of illegal activities that offer plenty of money and something that a young boy sees as respect.

    “”The irony is that both of the men (Lorenzo and Sonny) have good and bad qualities that you see throughout the show,”” said producer Trent Othick, who graduated from the UA. “”It is a battle between good and evil.””

    Palminteri wrote this inspiring story during a low point in his life. He had been fired from a doorman job and was left with only a few hundred dollars in his bank account. He walked into a Walgreen’s, bought some notepads and wrote “”A Bronx Tale,”” said Othick, who has become a close friend of Palminteri.

    The play debuted in a tiny Los Angeles theater in 1989 as an off-Broadway show. Not long after, Palminteri had movie offers from many directors, all of which he turned down. Although desperate for the money, he would not accept unless he could star in the film.

    Fortunately, Robert DeNiro saw the show and offered to direct a film version, allowing Palminteri to write the screenplay and star alongside him. DeNiro kept his word, and the film debuted in 1993.

    Fourteen years later, Palminteri, director Jerry Zaks, and producing duo, brothers Trent and Matt Othick took “”A Bronx Tale”” to Broadway for the 2007-2008 season. After receiving positive reviews from The New York Times and The Associated Press, the group decided on a nationwide tour.

    Trent Othick knows that “”A Bronx Tale”” is a show Tucson wouldn’t normally see, but he says they are all excited about being here. In addition to being a UA alumnus, his brother and co-producer Matt is also a Wildcat who played on the basketball team from 1988 to 1992. And if that isn’t enough, Palminteri’s agent, Brad Slater, also graduated from the UA.

    “”This is going to be a big homecoming for us,”” Othick said.

    One he said he is confident will be a success. Unlike the film, the play has more of a comedic tone – at least throughout the beginning; later on things get more dramatic.

    “”It’s a rollercoaster ride,”” Othick said, adding that it’s not just the story that is fascinating. “”Chazz is amazing because you can actually grasp all 18 characters with his acting – you have to see it to believe it.””

    Trent Othick
    BA in Political Science
    from UA in 1994
    President of GO Productions
    Produced films ‘Yonkers Joe,’ ‘Standing Still’ and ‘Vegas Baby’
    Co-creator and executive producer of Fox’s ‘The Casino’
    ‘A Bronx Tale’ is his Broadway producing debut

    A bronx tale starring Chazz Palminteri

    Tucson Music Hall
    Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
    Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
    Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
    Friday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.
    Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2 & 8 p.m.
    Sunday, Feb. 1 at 1 & 6:30 p.m.

    Tickets range from $25-$65

    (520) 321-1000
    Tucson Convention Center Box Office 260 S. Church Avenue

    Half-price student tickets are available for every performance, as well as $5 off for seniors 65+
    and members of the military.

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