If you come to Las Vegas looking for the mob - or if you live here and want to enhance your visit to the new Mob Museum (which visitors and tourists alike should make a point of visiting) - you should stop by the Terry Fator Theatre in the Mirage between now and next Tuesday to see Chazz Palminteri is performing his solo play A Bronx Tale.
This is pure theater of the best quality. The semi-autobiographical story is filled with characters - Cologio Palminteri who tells us his story from the time he was nine, his father Lorenzo, Sonny the neighborhood mob boss and Sonny's crew. The latter group includes the descriptively named Eddie Mush - who was such a loser, the race track "teller would give him his tickets already ripped up;" Jojo the Whale - whose name was bestowed by his fellows for obvious reasons - and Frankie Coffee Cake who acne was so bad he looked like…a coffee cake.
Cologio lives with his family near the corner of Belmont Avenue - home turf of Dion and the Belmonts - and 187th Street. There Sonny rules, strutting around in "Tom Jones shirts" and inspiring fear in many of the denizens of the neighborhood.
Sonny is the height of cool to the boy who watches the goings-on from the stoop of his building. When he's nine years old Colegio witnesses Sonny defending a friend who'd been beaten with a baseball bat. His defense is a gun. Ultimately, the boy grows up as Sonny's protégé, even given a cool nickname - "C."
Palminteri is every character in the play, moving seamlessly from one to another, playing himself at nine and at 17 as he watches and interacts with them.
A Bronx Tale is, more than anything, a wonderful, engrossing story acted for the audience by a master storyteller. It is, thus, the essence of theater and here in Las Vegas, where we get lots of terrific musicals that are the essence of that genre of Broadway entertainment, this is the other genre, too often neglected in this city. It is very, very welcome.
Tickets are priced at $39.99, $49.99 and $59.99 plus 10 percent tax. Call 702-792-7777 or 1-800-963-9634 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (PDT) daily or visit https://reservations.mgmmirage.com/bookingengine.aspx?pid=160&host=ticketing&code=MHCHAZZP