Where one Broadway Bronx story ends, hopefully another will begin – with a bit of luck and a lot of fund-raising. A Bronx Tale will close, as Dion DiMucci seeks investors to launch The Wanderer, the story of his rise to stardom and redemption from addiction.
A Bronx Tale closes
Chazz Palminteri’s autobiographical play-turned-film-turned-Broadway-musical has announced its final performance will take place on August 5, 2018. The show has logged 700 performances at the Longacre Theatre (not including previews). While the movie was punctuated by original recordings by the Moonglows and the Flamingos, among others, the musical relied on a doo-wopp-influenced song list of original material. (Planotone Johnny Gale served as consultant to ensure the sonics rang true.) A Bronx Tale
Chazz Palminteri originally wrote and performed A Bronx Tale as a one-man show in the eighties, eventually landing an at Playhouse 91 (off-Broadway) in 1989. He later revived it on Broadway in 2007 and toured the show shortly after. Chazz played Sonny in the film, alongside Robert DeNiro (co-director of the musical). His return to Broadway made him the first actor to have played the same role in a play, film and stage musical. The show will tour nationally starting in the fall of 2018.
Dion’s redemption musical gains traction
Meanwhile, Broadway provided the backdrop for readings of The Wanderer, the musical production that hopes to find funding and follow in the musical footsteps of Great White Way darlings like Jersey Boys. Followers of Dion on social media were made aware of his Broadway hopes and dreams since he connected with writer Charles Messina in 2011. Following a few previews on Long Island, a May 2018 reading in Manhattan attracted potential investors, as well as visits from Palminteri, Paul Shaffer and Danny Aiello.
The musical opens with the autobiographical “King of the New York Streets” (from the album Yo Frankie!) “King” sets the tone for the story of Dion’s life beginning with his formative years in the Bronx. It tackles the issues with which Dion struggled, including his relationship with his father, wrestling creative control from his producers, his addiction to heroin and, of course, his recovery.
The reading previews what could be break-out performances from actors including Michael Wartella (Dion), Morgan Weed (Dion’s wife, Susan) as well as Paul Salvatoriello and Joey Calveri. If The Wanderer follows traditional trajectory, after funding is secured, it will have to find a playhouse home elsewhere to gain acclaim and momentum before it makes its way into a Manhattan venue it can call its own.