Actor Chazz Palminteri visits Pittsburgh, promotes ‘A Bronx Tale’
Growing up in Bronx, N.Y., Chazz Palminteri says he once witnessed a murder.
He refused to tell who did the killing at the time.
He told his story in “A Bronx Tale,” a one-man play he released 30 years ago. The play became a movie and a book, as well as a Broadway hit musical, which is traveling with a stop in Pittsburgh.
“I wasn’t traumatized by what I saw,” said Palminteri, an actor, screenwriter, producer and playwright, who was in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to promote the musical, coming to the Benedum Center, Downtown. “I wrote about it, and it became my career.”
The show, which will be on stage Nov. 19-24, tells the story of a young Palminteri, who witnessed the murder while sitting on his front steps. He knew the killer as Sonny, but refused to rat him out. The musical, which features doo-wop music, tells a story about growing up in the 1960s.
— Chazz Palminteri (@chazzpalminteri) October 8, 2019
“I am looking forward to having the play in Pittsburgh,” he said Wednesday as he was kneading bread at Mancini’s in the Strip District. “It was a big hit on Broadway, so come and see it. You won’t be sorry. I know many people know the story. It’s my story.”
He said he chose to do some publicity at Mancini’s because both the bakery and the city embody the people “in this town who work hard.”
“They make the best bread, and I wanted to come to the place that makes the best bread,” he said. “From 30 years ago the story of ‘A Bronx Tale’ is still relevant today, a life lesson. That’s why I am here. It’s a perfect fit.”
Palminteri said he appreciated the craft of baking bread.
“How does he do that?” he said while watching owner Nick Mancini demonstrate how they make their famous twist bread.
Palminteri gave it a whirl.
“He did fantastic,” Mancini said of Palminteri. “Most people can’t do it right on the first try. But he did.”
“There is nothing better than homemade bread with a little olive oil and pepper,” said Palminteri, who owns a restaurant in Manhattan, and is known for roles in “The Usual Suspects” and “Modern Family.” “If you make good bread, people will come back. Just like if you make a good show, people will come back to watch it again.”
Palminteri said he was approached to sell the rights, but said “I couldn’t think of anyone else starring in the show. It’s my story so I did.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .