Tuesday, May 13, 2014 | 2:04 p.m.
Actor Chazz Palminteri performs his one-man play, A Bronx Tale, in which he plays 18 characters including himself as a child and the wise guy who was his mentor.
Chazz Palminteri performs A Bronx Tale, the largely accurate tale of his growing up in a rough Italian neighborhood in the 1960s.
In 85 emotional, jam-packed minutes tonight, stage and film actor Chazz Palminteri will play 18 characters nonstop in his one-man show “A Bronx Tale.” It’s a powerful tour de force that’s mesmerized audiences previously in Las Vegas at the Mirage and the Venetian.
Now it’s at the prestigious Reynolds Hall in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts for one night only and just two days before Chazz’s 63rd birthday.
Critics describe “A Bronx Tale” as a classic coming-of-age story about a young boy from a working-class family in one of the New York City boroughs who gets involved in organized crime. His bus-driver father tries to keep him on the straight-and-narrow instead of getting caught up in the supposed glamour of hoodlums and thugs.
Chazz prefers it to be thought of as a family story rather than a tale of the Mafia. But there’s no doubt that the 1993 movie directed by his pal Robert De Niro depicts the 1960s gangster era.
Chazz is thrilled to be back in Las Vegas with his one-man show: “I’m always ecstatic to perform here. I honestly wish that it was more often. I’d be very happy spending 12 weeks a year in Las Vegas. I feel right at home here.”
The Academy Award-nominated actor for “Bullets Over Broadway” first staged his early life story in 1989 off-Broadway, and it became a Broadway hit in 2007.
“It’s a great story like a Shakespearean play, and people can relate to the characters. It worked on Broadway. It worked in the 30 cities I took it on tour to,” he told me. “I just never thought it would work as well as it has in Las Vegas. That’s incredible and amazing.
“It connects with everyone from 14 years of age up to 90 years of age be they male or female. It works even more effectively because the audience is seeing me on the stage. There’s that presence; it’s visceral. They can say, ‘That is the guy. This is his story.’
“I’ve always liked Las Vegas. It’s now becoming my second home. I love the restaurants, the beach clubs and the night action. I’m fanatical about being healthy and staying healthy, but the play is a real physical workout each time, so there can’t be any double shows in one evening.
“I wrote the play and the screenplay for the movie so I know it inside out. I felt do it right and the sophisticated Las Vegas audience would sit still for it and realize that it was a great feast they could bite into and say well done.
“The play is that solid. We’re not competing with acrobatics or comedy shows with impressionists. This was real life, and it packs a solid punch.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Smith Center for the Performing Arts The Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers a blend of performances by resident companies and touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces, which includes a main performance area with more than 2,000 seats. This downtown cultural center of Las Vegas looks to educate, entertain and excite community members.
To provide and preserve a high-quality performing arts center that is embraced by the community and recognized as a vital force by supporting artistic excellence, education and inspiration for all.
To entertain, educate, enrich and inspire the southern Nevada community.
Thanks to the generous support of our dedicated founders, members, donors and community partners, The Smith Center continues to provide a wide variety of services for Southern Nevada residents, including access to world-class performances, inspirational Education and Outreach programs for students and teachers, and a unique space to host events, meetings and special occasions. Celebrating our fifth season, we depend upon public support to fulfill our mission and serve as the Heart of the Arts® for many years to come.
With ticket sales covering just 75 percent of our operating budget for each season, the remaining 25 percent comes from the community we serve. Philanthropic support at all levels helps provide programming that entertains, educates, enriches and inspires. By giving to The Smith Center, you play a vital role in providing an important resource for our community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer and play a direct role with your community’s performing arts complex. Volunteers engage with staff and patrons to enhance experiences at The Smith Center, and can serve in various capacities including tour guide/docent, usher, security team member or community ambassador. As important members of The Smith Center team, volunteers help us remain financially sustainable and provide numerous services for the community. Please show your support for The Smith Center’s mission by gifting your time and unique skills.
Members’ annual support provides crucial resources for The Smith Center’s artistic programming, education opportunities and cultural enrichment each year. There are a variety of giving options and levels, and Members receive exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes opportunities based on their level of support. To learn more, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com/support-us/members.
The Encore Society recognizes those generous donors who have included The Smith Center as a part of their estate plan. Corporate Sponsorship is available to companies to underwrite all, or part, of a program, performance or event.
Fanfare! is The Smith Center’s young progressional networking organization, open to anyone with an interest in the performing arts who is between the ages of 21-40. And our Show Dedication allows for the celebration of an individual or special occasion with unique recognition opportunities during a specific performance.
The Smith Center provides world-class performing arts and outreach and education throughout the Southern Nevada region.
The organization originally formed in 1996 as the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Myron G. Martin President and CEO Donald D. Snyder Chairman Dr. Keith Boman Vice Chairman Mark Tratos Secretary Michael Yackira Treasurer David Dunn Alan M. Feldman Richard Haddrill Fred Hipwell Nancy Houssels Todd-Avery Lenahan Scott MacTaggart Jerry Nadal John Nelson Richard Plaster Rory Reid Kim Sinatra Roger P. Thomas
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