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  A Bronx Tale : The Musical at Longacre Theatre

A Bronx Tale : The Musical

Longacre Theatre
220 West 48th Street New York

A Bronx Tale first won over audiences and critics as a one-man show by Academy Award nominee Chazz Palminteri before becoming a film starring and directed by two-time Academy Award winner Robert De Niro. Now, this classic coming-of-age story set in the Bronx in the '60s is a new Broadway musical at Longacre Theatre. Palminteri wrote the book, while De Niro once again directs along with four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks (Sister Act). This much-anticipated show features music by eight-time Tony Award winner Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors), book and lyrics by three-time Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid), and choreography by Tony nominee Sergio Trujillo (Memphis, On Your Feet). When a young boy witnesses a murder and is introduced to the world of organized crime, his loyalty is torn between the father he loves and the mob boss he'd love to be. Don't miss this musical that The New York Times calls, "the kind of a tale that makes you laugh and cry," and Variety hails as "entertaining, authentic and terrific."

Thru - Apr 2, 2017

Price: $77-$147

Longacre Theatre Seating Chart

  A Bronx Tale : The Musical Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

The New York Times - Recommended

"It doesn’t break ground or dazzle with an unusual recipe, but it delivers reliable pleasures with polished professionalism and infectious energy...If there’s a secret ingredient that gives the musical version a zest, it is the wonderful score...Certainly not without its formulaic or sentimental aspects. Few mainstream musicals are. But it captures both the milieu it evokes and the colorful characters who populate it with a buoyancy and humor that ultimately won me over."
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Charles Isherwood

NY Daily News - Somewhat Recommended

"The show’s makers and shapers haven’t squandered their gifts. But they haven’t dug especially deep in the imagination department, either. 'A Bronx Tale' packs some tasty ear candy and fine performances, but it’s as conventional as it gets and could use a surprise or two...While the story unfolds strictly by the numbers, songs by Glenn Slater and Alan Menken lend periodic lifts. Menken is an ace at crafting Zelig-like melodies that evoke a period. Doo-wop and ‘60s pop loom large."
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Joe Dziemianowicz

Hollywood Reporter - Recommended

"Because it resembles an urban fairy tale, Palminteri’s story works even better as a musical than it has in its earlier incarnations where its stereotypical aspects felt more glaring...'A Bronx Tale'—in the second half, packed with a succession of melodramatic incidents—can feel rushed and unconvincing...While the score doesn’t feature any breakout songs, it is tuneful and fun...Though hardly sophisticated entertainment, 'A Bronx Tale' has genuine charms."
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Frank Scheck

Vulture - Somewhat Recommended

"For all the craft and polish applied, this musical winds up right in the middle of the wrong place. It’s an unmoving target...Nothing rings true...The songs are all as professional and tuneful as you would expect from the team of Menken and Slater...They do perfectly well what songs are supposed to do in standard commercial musicals...But in doing so they normalize material that should not be normalized...That’s a shame; the musical is handsome and reasonably well performed."
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Jesse Green

New York Theatre - Somewhat Recommended

"The characters feel borrowed from 'Jersey Boys' and 'Guys and Dolls,' the plot in Act II from 'West Side Story.' And Alan Menken’s score, a pleasing if generic mix of doo-wop and Motown and Broadway ballads, manages to make 'A Bronx Tale' feel like an old jukebox musical...'A Bronx Tale' is unlikely to make anybody’s top 10 list. But the show is also unlikely to disappoint theatergoers nostalgic for the old neighborhood and the old-time Broadway show."
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Jonathan Mandell

NY1 - Somewhat Recommended

"While there's much to enjoy, something feels lost in translation…De Niro's seasoned hand is all over the performances. Best of all: Richard H. Blake's Lorenzo and especially Nick Cordero's Sonny, possessing an irresistible mix of menace, street smarts and charisma!…Menken’s tunes–a terrific pastiche of ‘60’s sounds–are memorable...But you know what they say about too many cooks, and somehow the heart of the story ends up overpowered."
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Roma Torre

Variety - Not Recommended

"Credit director Jerry Zaks (and co-director Robert De Niro) with terrific casting...Let’s face it, this ill-advised musical version, with an anemic score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, isn’t going to send ’em dancing up the aisles. While there are fun things to be found, like those jailbait Doo-Wop Guys singing and snapping a cappella under the streetlight, the music is soggier than overcooked meatballs and the lyrics have absolutely no bite...Sergio Trujillo’s choreography is a snooze."
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Marilyn Stasio

Entertainment Weekly - Somewhat Recommended

"The streets revisited in this new production are paved with a heavy-handed and, in musical-theater terms, restrictive earnestness. There is humor and parental love, and a bit of romance; what’s missing is the even more essential element of joy...Palminteri’s book doesn’t dig into Sonny’s contradictions, and those who did catch the movie will anticipate the most clever and charming lines coming a mile away...Menken’s tunes don’t seduce as nimbly on a first listen as his best have."
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Elysa Gardner

Newsday - Not Recommended

"Chazz Palminteri’s semi-autobiographical theatrical coming-of-age story has been told and retold so many times that it has the ritualized feel of a folk myth—and not in a good way....A by-the-numbers show written by Palminteri with similarities to 'Jersey Boys' and 'West Side Story'—but not in a good way...The cast is fine, but seldom electrifying...The lyrics by Glenn Slater have nursery rhymes you can anticipate before they are sung."
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Linda Winer

amNY - Recommended

"The characters are simple, the storytelling is derivative of better-known musicals and the tone is excessively sentimental and solemn. But 'A Bronx Tale' is nevertheless an entertaining crowd-pleaser and a poignant piece of theater...There is a heartwarming aura to the storytelling and a palpable sense of sadness lurking under the nostalgia...The staging is tight and high-powered. Composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater have built a fresh and flavorful score."
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Matt Windman

Wall Street Journal - Not Recommended

"It takes everything that was good about 'A Bronx Tale' and waters it down until it’s as tasteless as a fast-food milkshake...Not only does Mr. Thornton’s relentlessly tautological first-person narration tell you what you just saw and are about to see, but so do Glenn Slater’s flat lyrics, which start out unpromisingly and get no better. Alan Menken’s music is Disneyfied doo-wop with some ersatz Sinatra thrown in, the stuff TV commercials are made of."
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Terry Teachout

NorthJersey - Somewhat Recommended

"'A Bronx Tale' isn’t a bad musical. It just doesn’t seem a necessary one...Despite an ultimate wimp-out, the conflict over Calogero’s soul is basic and sturdy, and the musical cruises through it in the first act with speed and focus. In the second act, though, the dramatics get messy and overblown...While there are good things in the musical, it comes across as routine and predictable...If the up-tempo numbers are fun, the syrupy, clichéd ballads are a dreary lot."
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Robert Feldberg

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"Good luck getting one of the many zesty, sticky numbers out of your head...It is impossible to experience 'A Bronx Tale without myriad other musicals popping into your head...'A Bronx Tale' is a wildly uneven show—some parts feel just ridiculous in the broadness of their strokes, others entirely charming. The greatest strength of the piece lies in its characterization of Sonny...Sonny, like this show, is a thinly veiled but incurable romantic."
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Chris Jones

Time Out New York - Not Recommended

"There goes the neighborhood. Just when it was getting cool to go to a Broadway musical, along comes the lumbering and hackneyed 'A Bronx Tale'...A musically unmemorable mix of sappiness and contrived melodrama...Aside from Machiavelli-quoting mobster Bobby—played with expertly calibrated swagger by Nick Cordero—none of the characters command interest, and Alan Menken and Glenn Slater’s doo-wop–heavy score is far too lightweight for a plot that features murders."
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Adam Feldman

The Wrap - Not Recommended

"Why does the adult Calogero have to be as strictly white-bread boring as Tony in 'West Side Story'...While some of the problem is Thornton’s vanilla performance, the book gives its lead character little to do but narrate...He and others are saddled with the music of Alan Menken...Why does everyone sound like they’re still listening to the Four Seasons and the Ronettes despite all the violence and death circling around them?...A score that’s more Disney than the Bronx."
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Robert Hofler

Village Voice - Not Recommended

"Maxwell, Richmond, and their director-choreographer, Rachel Rockwell, feel no need for the show's elements to be weighed down by coherence or sense…Unhappily, the creative team has been so busy gilding each of these numbers with maximum pizzazz that they forgot to give them either any distinction or any grounding in reality...If the authors had put any effort into making you care, for even a few minutes, about their characters, this might have been a good show."
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Michael Feingold

Financial Times - Not Recommended

"Arouses the faint suspicion that its creators may be more interested in reliving past glories rather than scaling new triumphs...Witty tune 'Nicky Machiavelli' hints at how the musical form might have given 'A Bronx Tale' an extra dimension. Alas, the rest of the 19 numbers feel dated and serve only to emphasise the story’s mawkish sentimentality. Under De Niro and Jerry Zaks’s co-direction, the transitions between music, exposition and dialogue also tend to be clumsy."
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Max McGuinness

The Guardian - Somewhat Recommended

"A reasonably enjoyable period piece…But whereas some shows swing for the fences, this is one doesn’t aim much further than second base. This is a premiere that feels more like a revival and comes shrink-wrapped in its own nostalgia…Most of the pop, ballad and doo-wop numbers are satisfying, though forgettable...There’s not much that’s surprising in the show’s look or its dance sequences...It is well served by its leads, particularly the rumble-voiced Cordero."
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Alexis Soloski

Deadline - Not Recommended

"Generously plumped with ingredients from older, better shows, an easy-going familiarity suffuses 'A Bronx Tale,' along with the comforting glaze of nostalgia. They don’t make ’em like they yoozta (try as they might)...Astutely staged by Zaks and, OK, De Niro, 'A Bronx Tale' unfolds briskly...As to the score, like the story itself, it’s instantly forgettable. Every line and every rhyme comes roaring down the straightaway from a mile off."
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Jeremy Gerard

CurtainUp - Somewhat Recommended

"Cordero's sinister yet charismatic gangster-in-chief contributes mightily toward making this singing and dancing 'A Bronx Tale' an enjoyable musical entertainment...While the show has been given a sugary Disney gloss, the score is easy on the ears and the lyrics advance the story and include showstoppers...Slick, colorful and tuneful as it is, the overall feel and those echoes of 'West Side Story' do place this into pleasing but standard Broadway musical territory."
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Elyse Sommer

Talkin Broadway - Somewhat Recommended

"If you know you want a lot of liquidy doo-wop music, non-threatening fights and fake-looking Molotov cocktails, an aww-inducing love story, and two showy, starry central performances from Bobby Conte Thornton and Nick Cordero, then rest assured that's what you'll get, with nothing else getting in the way...Earworm wrangler Menken is in solid form here...But none of it causes your spine to tingle or your eyes to leak...There are far worse ways to burn off a couple of hours."
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Matthew Murray

Lighting and Sound America - Not Recommended

"What might have been a gut-punch melodrama ends up a half-hearted musical bildungsroman...Palminteri's book only roughs it in, and the often tuneful and literate songs don't dig deeply enough under the story's surface to reach the primal emotions underneath...Directors DeNiro and Zaks have delivered a brisk, efficient production, which, nevertheless, lacks the flavor of life...How is it that a show with murders, beatings, family secrets, and shocking betrayals, ultimately seems so weightless?"
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David Barbour - Not Recommended

"For all the work’s flaws, one can’t doubt the well-meaning efforts of co-directors DeNiro and Zaks...Still, you would think such accomplished men might realize that cold-blooded murder, racial unrest and pseudo-Motown mix kind of like gin and Diet Coke...As engaging as a few of the musical numbers are they diminish Palminteri’s core story...It seems to aspire to match 'West Side Story's' achievement–and how far short it falls of that aim. It’s not even half as good as 'Jersey Boys.'"
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Brian Scott Lipton

TheaterMania - Somewhat Recommended

"When a property has been waxed to a commercial Broadway shine as this one has at the Longacre Theatre, it's hard to locate the cracks and crevices that originally gave it character. But when the rhythms and melodies of the story's milieu are fully engaged in painting the picture of this microcosm on Belmont Avenue, 'A Bronx Tale: The Musical' is completely captivating."
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Hayley Levitt - Recommended

“‘A Bronx Tale’ at the Longacre Theatre has its pleasures and delights, particularly if you have never seen Chazz Palminteri's original insightful monologue. Adding songs by Alan Menken (music) and Glenn Slater (lyrics) to Palminteri's book doesn't expand on the original but merely buff the rough diamond that was the original into a glitzier version. The original depended on Palminteri's brilliant acting and the imagination of the listener to picture the Bronx in the sixties.”
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Joel Benjamin

Huffington Post - Somewhat Recommended

"Too many of the songs are inconsequential, which serves to dilute those ingratiating, low-brow, mob-infused charms which won audiences over in the first (and second) place...'A Bronx Tale' is unlikely to work without a strong performance in the central role of the gangster Sonny. Fortunately, Nick Cordero carries the musical with aplomb...'A Bronx Tale' gets a passing grade, and might well prove a crowdpleaser; but 'Jersey Boys,' it’s not."
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Steven Suskin

NY Theatre Guide - Recommended

"The performers can’t possibly be better, but I wish Alan Menken and Glenn Slater had given them something more to deliver on. There are a couple of songs that are standouts, but given the time and the place, they could have mined the rich vein of American music that included doo-wop and Motown…The music tends toward traditional Broadway show tunes...The artistic choices made in this production have almost without exception been the wise ones."
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Jeff Myhre

Theatre Reviews Limited - Highly Recommended

"A stunning new musical that combines realism with just the right amount of moral ambiguity and rich enduring questions to make a delicious theatrical event worth seeing once if not twice...Mr. De Niro and Mr. Zaks provide rich direction to the ensemble cast and keep the action moving forward at an appropriate pace. The realistic conflicts of each character drive a believable plot full of wonderful dramatic surprises that give the story interesting twists and turns."
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David Roberts

Broadway Blog - Somewhat Recommended

"There are plenty of A-listers in the Playbill, which may be what sinks 'A Bronx Tale' like a thug who finds himself wearing cement shoes in the East River...Several performances float above the polluted plot lines. Cordero manages to find the delicate balance between tough guy and heart of gold. Thornton shifts midway from narrator to leading man...'A Bronx Tale' is an adequate evening of theater."
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Matthew Wexler

Stage Buddy - Recommended

"The new musical is sure to please fans of the movie…An unabashed love letter to the eponymous borough…Menken returns to his 'Little Shop of Horrors' roots with a fun doo-wop score...The energetic choreography, by Sergio Trujillo, is some of the best on Broadway right now...The best commendation of 'A Bronx Tale' is its refusal to take a side with either Sonny or Lorenzo and, by that design, it is neither a scathing takedown of organized crime nor a glamorization of it."
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Tami Shaloum

Theater Pizzazz - Recommended

"'A Bronx Tale' does exactly what it sets out to do: paint a loving picture of a bygone era with bittersweet hues...Palminteri’s pastiche of seemingly outsized characters, which anyone who witnessed the era would tell you are, amazingly, completely accurate; and catchy numbers which evolve with the times, combine to make 'A Bronx Tale' an immersive, realistic trip down memory lane."
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JK Clarke

Front Row Center - Somewhat Recommended

"A winningly performed but losing-ly scripted musical…Murders are forgotten about and accusations pivot for no apparent reason...This is a production that attempts to serve many masters, and the outcome is more jarring than it is synchronistic…Fortunately, the cast shines, with Mr. Cordero being the brightest of the stars."
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Stanford Friedman

WNBC - Not Recommended

"Despite the best efforts of its cast and creative team, this once-exciting story comes across stale and banal. It's a shame too, because ‘A Bronx Tale’ has assembled some truly talented folks…Menken and Slater's doo-wop and Motown-style tunes don't do them any favors. As a whole, the score feels far too vanilla and somewhat forgettable…There is one bright spot throughout, and that's actor Nick Cordero...A harsh reminder that some stories don't need reinvention."
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Dave Quinn

Woman Around Town - Somewhat Recommended

"The book holds solid...Most numbers emerge an amalgam of pop and generic Broadway. I’m afraid the talented Alan Menken has been too long with Disney to put much pith into the score, which sounds homogenized...The tale has a big heart and aspects to recommend, but it could have been so much better...To my mind, directors Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks both miss opportunities to show character definition and allow the leading man to get away with being bland."
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Alix Cohen

Theatres Leiter Side - Somewhat Recommended

“Much of it is raucously enjoyable—it received a sincere standing ovation—and the heart of Palminteri's original remains intact, but its soul seems compromised by the window dressing of a big-budget production...Performed with pumped-up gusto for a fast-moving two hours, only occasionally stopping to catch its breath, the show, with its saucy profanity and comical sexual allusions...isn't for audiences seeking Disney-type entertainment.”
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Samuel L. Leiter

Times Square Chronicles - Highly Recommended

"From an outstanding score by Alan Menken, touching and cohesive book by Chazz Palminteri, the effervescent choreography by Sergio Trujillo and an award-winning cast, 'A Bronx Tale' has it all. 'A Bronx Tale' is an old-fashioned musical, done the way musicals used to be with heart, soul and just a little bit of schmaltz. It is exactly what the doctor ordered in these trying times. You will get your money’s worth in entertainment and will leave feeling good about the world."
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Suzanna Bowling

StageZine - Recommended

"The first truly, thoroughly enjoyable show of the 2016 fall season...The music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater capture the mood, feel, and essence of the 1960s doo-wop and rock-and-roll sound to perfection...Sure, the story seems familiar, but it is done in a fresh way, and that fresh thing is sincerity...DeNiro and Zaks have taken the story and directed it without any frills, just fine-tuned it to let the tale unfold in the most simplistic and realistic of ways."
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David NouNou

DC Metro Theater Arts - Highly Recommended

"Clearly Mr. Palminteri’s biographical play has served him well, and now his good fortune is being spread to a marvelous group of featured actors and a gifted ensemble. It’s a dark tale, at first glance seemingly hardly the stuff on which to base a Broadway musical. But every choice in fashioning it into a very good musical has been the right one…The conflicts are the building blocks that make this a solid story, told without compromise, a first-rate drama."
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Richard Seff

Exeunt Magazine - Recommended

"A crowd-pleasing, nostalgic coming-of-age story with a welcome dose of racial tolerance just right for our times...The direction plays it fairly safe but confidently establishes a warm retro approach...The promising a cappella song from the opening is cut short but there’s plenty of other music to enjoy, with early rock 'n’ roll and Motown influences...The Longacre’s stage seems to confine the action. The dance numbers in particular need more space to breathe."
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Juliet Hindell

ZEALnyc - Recommended

"It is serious stuff; but in this musical universe, it’s leavened with humor, music, dance and good fun. Briskly paced, 'A Bronx Tale' is an old-fashioned book musical that takes us along for the ride...Although not wildly imaginative nor groundbreaking, the songs are evocative and enjoyable as sung by the talented performers. The choreography is energetic...All the characters feel three-dimensional, and the performers are all first-rate...'A Bronx Tale' provides a fun night in the theater."
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Sheila Kogan - Not Recommended

"The show takes a gritty, complex story and renders it trite, maudlin, and moralistic...The package is certainly finely tuned for maximum razzle-dazzle: Menken and Glenn Slater's songs are full of big hooks and soaring crescendos...and Sergio Trujillo's lively choreography hums with a steady energy...Great musicals erupt naturally into song as emotion bursts conversational bounds. But here songs are awkwardly shoe-horned into plot points, imposed for the sake of genre."
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Chris J Kelly

Off Script with Dan Dwyer - Somewhat Recommended

"Sometimes even the most stellar combination of exceptional creative talent doesn’t add up to exceptional theatre. That’s the case with the musical version of 'A Bronx Tale'...The book, reduced to Broadway musical formula, doesn’t get too deep, so the melodrama seldom rises above the sentimental. The themes of family, loyalty and morality are obvious...Cordero’s performance is the highlight...All the parts fall into place methodically and precisely but without much originality or inspiration."
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Dan Dwyer

Out Magazine - Recommended

"The kid’s coming of age—and ongoing crisis deciding between love and fear—is well told in this appealing musical, which is expertly cast, slickly staged and dramatically involving. The boy’s Act Two romance with a black girl bogs down a bit in too many misunderstandings, and there may be too many songs about following one’s heart, but still, the creative team did a sturdy job in making this project sing."
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Michael Musto

Wolf Entertainment Guide - Recommended

"A terrific cast brings the show alive...It is an extremely vibrant introduction, and the musical proceeds from there, following the source from which the show has been adapted...As with many musicals, working out the plot and the issues involved intrudes upon the show’s most entertaining elements...Despite a few heavy-handed plot moments, the staging, acting and Palminteri’s take on the character assortment make 'A Bronx Tale' delightful in its new incarnation."
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William Wolf

Broadway and Me - Somewhat Recommended

"A well-crafted traditional musical with an easy-listening score, peppy dance numbers, entertaining performances and an accessible plot with a comfortable can-we-all-get-along message...'A Bronx Tale' isn't the most innovative show I've ever seen but it offers a good time...Slater's lyrics aren't as clever as they're pretending to be but they get the job done. And Trujillo's dances make all the right moves...The show's MVP is Nick Cordero who plays the charismatic mobster Sonny."
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Janice C. Simpson

Front Mezz Junkies - Recommended

"All these actors are great, singing and dancing up a storm, and giving us a totally solid show. This solidness is maybe the only complaint I have with this show. It is so well done, a total professional piece of musical theatre, but somewhere along the way it fails to be something special. I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy myself at any given moment, but I was never swept away...There doesn’t seem to be any stand out numbers."
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Steven Ross

The Stage - Somewhat Recommended

"This latest incarnation feels derivative and threatens to drown a resonant personal story in musical theatre cliche...Alan Menken's jaunty pastiche-laden score provides some diversion, but this is not, as one of the songs is titled, 'One of the Great Ones.' There's neither much in the way of dramatic or musical lift-off, though choreographer Sergio Trujillo does what he can to propel the songs forward."
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Mark Shenton

The Observer - Recommended

"Some shows open on Broadway with nothing on their minds but a joyous desire to send the audience out humming, smiling and feeling just plain terrific. Such a show is the polished, familiar but freshly refurbished chestnut 'A Bronx Tale'…In its present incarnation, with take-home tunes, a first-rate cast and lively choreography, it clicks like a new Rolex…On the whole, 'A Bronx Tale' is a pleasant surprise guaranteed to send you through the exit doors smiling."
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Rex Reed

Reflections in the Light - Somewhat Recommended

"The lyrics and book seem a bit weak and unnecessarily telegraph action. The women are mostly window dressing…Still, there's something moving about the relationship between Calogero and his father and that, plus a pleasing score by Menken and a run time of just over two hours, keep us interested."
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Lauren Yarger

Paste Magazine - Somewhat Recommended

"Although this musical isn’t particularly groundbreaking, it’s fun...'A Bronx Tale' hits on classical Broadway tropes to mostly positive results...'A Bronx Tale' is best during its ensemble numbers...It’s at its worst when Menken and Slater ply on the sentimentality. Certain songs are way too cheesy and seem old-fashioned in a bad way, but the fun characters and unexpected plot twists, which go against the conventions of many mob movies, show why this tale continues to take on new forms."
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Alicia Kort