A few months ago I was lounging around polishing one of my many Scumbag of the Year awards, when the song “Streets of the Bronx” suddenly began playing in the infinite and uncontrollable jukebox of my mind. After punching it up on YouTube and basking in the audio glow of it’s effortless excellence for a few minutes, it dawned on me as it does once or twice every year since practically 1993, “Damn I really wish I could see ‘A Bronx Tale’ live.” I lazily looked it up as usual on ol’ Chazz Palmintieri’s site and holy muthafuckin shitstains! The fuckin guy was coming to Providence in less than a week! Could this really be happening?
I double, triple, and even quadruple-checked the information because it just seemed so utterly implausible, even too good to be true, but sure enough, Chazz was gonna be in town dropping big steaming piles of wisdom everywhere. Fuckin unbelievable. This had the undeniable potential to be the greatest show since the magical night I became best friends with Mike Tyson…
…And it was.
Let me tell you, if you ever have the chance to see it, do yourself a favor and run to the theaters immediately before you get put in the bathroom. Although seeing it is likely gonna be a giant pain in the ass for you as much as it was for me because, A) Instead of skywriting the tour dates daily in massive letters like it deserves, it received practically zero promotion, and B) The show comes around with the frequency of Haley’s Comet, except even more breathtaking to see in person.
On the big night, I arrived early to the theater in my eagerness, and went around the way to grab some grub where I proceeded to pay about nine hundred dollars for a thimble of chili with some goddamn Lunchable cheese sprinkled on top. Not a promising start to the evening. Shortly thereafter I found my seat, and the thoughts of overpriced chili drifted away like the endless gas that continued pouring from my anus throughout the rest of the evening, much to the unabashed delight of those seated around me.
My putrid one-man air pollution spree aside, as to the performance itself, I mean I know the guy wrote the thing and has been performing it for over twenty years, but it still awed me how absolutely flawless and captivating the storytelling was. Not that there were any surprises, and there shouldn’t have been. You can’t improve on perfection, and even though everyone in attendance was undoubtedly devoted fans of the film and knew the scenes by heart, they still seemed somehow fresh when watching it live. Chazz played every part himself, either directly or by his descriptions or reactions to unseen characters that made the stage continually seem more crowded than it actually was.
When C gave his closing monologue and the stage lights dimmed, I was in such a delightful trance that I lumbered out of the theater without even remembering to give Chazz a thrill by saying hello. Damn. Maybe next time.
Anyway, besides wasted talent, and being a Jets fan, the true saddest thing in life would be wasting the chance to see “A Bronx Tale” live.