It’s been 35 years since Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri first performed A Bronx Tale as a five-minute monologue. Palminteri went on to perform it as a full-length solo show, which has since been adapted into a movie and Broadway musical. In honor of A Bronx Tale‘s annniversary, Palminteri is performing the solo show once again on October 1 and doing a post-show Q&A in New York City. Palminteri sat down with The Broadway Show host Tamsen Fadal at the Rum House to talk about the upcoming performance, the advice that changed his life and more.
Palminteri will perform A Bronx Tale at Town Hall on October 1. “Thirty-five years I wrote a five-minute monologue about this killing I saw when I was nine years old,” he said. “I performed it for my theater workshop. Each week I would write a little more and a little more and then take out some and add some. At the end of almost a year, I had 90 minutes of a one-person show. I got it produced and my life changed. I’m so excited to do it here in New York again.”
After years of working to get agents and jobs, it was advice from Palminteri’s father that inspired him to write his own story: “My dad said the words, ‘the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.’ He told me that. He wrote it on a card and he put it in my room. That was the thing that made me write A Bronx Tale. I had just got fired. I ran out of money from my acting jobs, and I took a job as a doorman. Swifty Lazar, the famous agent, got me fired because I wouldn’t let him into his own party. I went home and I looked at the card and I said, ‘Well, if they won’t give me a great part, I’ll write one myself.’ I always carry one of those cards in my wallet to hand out to others.”
Hear Palminiteri talk about working with Robert De Niro, his favorite places in the Bronx and more by watching the interview below. Head here to check your local listings for The Broadway Show. Hosted by Tamsen Fadal, it is the only nationally syndicated weekly theater news program.