|A Bronx Tale
||[Dec. 1st, 2016|01:55 am]
Opening tomorrow night, A Bronx Tale the Musical. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. Described in today's Post as a "doughnut musical": appeals to the outer boroughs and suburbs, not so much to the Manhattan "hole." I may have long departed Manhattan, but I'm not so much the target audience. It also has a firm spot on the "most heterosexual musicals ever" list (so see above). But we in the hole, long removed from our old neighborhoods or never having had them to begin with (and probably not longing for the heterogenous sort that's the subject of the show), probably aren't totally immune to the feels here. The time and place may have passed, but despite the grit (and downright darkness), the message is be good. (Plus get out before the old neighborhood drags you down...again, not all sunshine here.)
Jerry Zaks (and Robert de Niro) move things along at a good clip. There's an awful lot of ground to cover, so they have to, but they do it without rushing. The first act is pretty textbook: lays everything out and sets up the tensions. The second act winds it up, drama, drama, drama...and then suddenly everything's all right. Not so much worked out, it just goes from the edge of a riot to woop, now it's ok, let's get on to the finale (which lays it on a bit thick, I guess in case anybody wasn't paying attention, or because the message is more like an undercurrent that could be missed for the tale of the title). The alternatives probably bog things down and muddle the path to the finale, but still it seems like an abrupt change. That aside, there's fine music by Alan Menken and a solid performance by the ensemble cast.
With Jersey Boys closing soon, there's probably a void for this show to fill, and it'll do it well. It's a decent night out, but if it's not your cup of tea, just about any other Broadway house can satisfy. Our old neighborhood can handle someone different moving in. (OK, OK, Alan Menken and Jerry Zaks, how much more Broadway could it be...hush up, I'm makin' a point here!)