A Bronx Tale at PaperMill Playhouse

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My son and I recently saw the show “A Bronx Tale” at PaperMill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.  For those of you who don’t know anything about the story, it’s based on the real life of Chazz Palminteri, who then wrote a play about it as well as preformed a one man show.  There is, of course, also a movie with the esteemed Robert De Niro, which did very well. Now preformed with a full cast, music, dancing- the works- A Bronx Tale is a fun musical theater production that you should see before it closes it’s doors.


“Based on the real life story by Chazz Palminteri‚ A Bronx Tale: The Musical is set against the backdrop of racial strife and organized crime in the 1960s. It is the story of an Italian-American teenager finding his path in life as he must choose between the father who raised him and a mob-boss father figure who fascinates him.”

My son and I enjoyed the show.  I had explained the premise to him beforehand, and since he understands what the civil rights movement was, and how things “used to be in the olden days” as he puts it, he was prepared.  I don’t know that all children of all ages would be able to see the show- there is cursing and some violence (gunshots, people are beaten up, there is a car explosion off stage, etc), but it’s not vulgar- you would need to be the judge of what your child is mature enough to handle.  It is in no way a show I found to be explicit or over the top- but your child would need at least a basic understanding of the times, and you would need to be OK with them hearing bad language now and again.  (It’s not “Jersey Boys” bad language- just now and again.)  You are exposing your child to both history and theater, which is a good thing- just make sure they are mature enough for it at the time.

Picture via PaperMill Playhouse

Picture via PaperMill Playhouse

The show is about a young Italian boy from the Bronx, Calogero (who grows into a man) who is torn between the father he loves and the gangster he admires.  His father is a hardworking, honest, middle class man who adores his family, while the racketeer is fun, wealthy, exciting- and takes the young Calogero (“C”) under his wing.  As he gets older, he falls in love with a black girl from his school, which of course brings about problems for both of them and their friends.

The show hopes to make it to Broadway, and it would be great if it does.  The cast is wonderful, the themes of loyalty, family, and a classic “coming of age” story will resonate with most people. Will “C” change with the times, or be stuck in the past?  Whose footsteps will he follow in- his father’s, or his mentor’s?  Will he find his way in such turbulent times?


A Bronx Tale: The Musical will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $32. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680.  College students may order $20 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.

Next up is West Side Story- one of my all time favorites.  Check out all PaperMill has to offer, including children’s shows, shows for special needs families, and more by visiting www.PaperMill.org.


  1. I would love to see this show

  2. i love this movie i cant wait to see it on stage!

  3. Maryann D. says

    A Bronx Tale: The Musical does look like a super show. I enjoy going to stage shows with my family.

  4. This sounds like so much fun! I’f love to see this too!

  5. I love this little playhouse right in our back yard. Sounds like a great show!

  6. That looks awesome and so does the venue. We haven’t been to plays in a while and I hope we can get back to them soon. The kids were just proving to be a little too young at the time to make it all enjoyable.

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