Suffolk County News – Hollywood star gives thumbs-up for CMPAC’s ‘A Bronx Tale’


Hollywood star gives thumbs-up for CMPAC’s ‘A Bronx Tale’

Writer/actor Chazz Palminteri visits Oakdale cast


Rob Schindlar (Sonny)
“As a father of two boys and part of a largely Italian family, having the honor to portray the roll of Sonny and to tell Chazz Palminteri’s story, one with so many great messages and life lessons, alongside such an incredible and talented group of people, has been an amazing experience. The fact that Chazz took the time to not only support our hard work by viewing the performance was exciting and surprising enough for all of us […] He had such genuine appreciation for all the talent surrounding the production, and the fact that so many of us just do this for fun and have lives and day jobs outside the theater. […] It was a pleasure to shake Chazz’s hand and thank him for joining us, but for me the highlight was hearing him speak in his own voice: ‘The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices you make will shape your life forever.'”

Jon Rivera (Lorenzo the Father)
“Stepping offstage and seeing Mr. Palminteri standing in the wings was absolutely surreal. Speaking with him in person, and realizing how engaging, kind and generous he was, was even more amazing. His presence meant the world to the cast and theater […] For me, this is a story of fathers and sons, and how no matter how much that relationship evolves, its core never changes. It is a ‘bond that nothing’s going to sever.'”

Louis Bianco (Calogero)
“Having the opportunity to meet Chazz after performing his iconic story, ‘A Bronx Tale,’ is definitely one of the biggest moments of my career. Mr. Palminteri was not only generous, but amazed by what we did together as a cast and a family. He complimented everyone for their hard work and dedication to making this story come to life onstage. One piece of information he gave to us that I will always live by is, ‘If you have talent, you are kind and easy to work with, success will come your way.'”

Laila Canelo (Jane)
“It was intimidating knowing that Chazz was coming to see our show because “A Bronx Tale” is his story. It was an honor to talk to him after the show and for him [to] tell me that I have a career ahead of me. It was such a surreal moment for me and one that I will forever be thankful. Every person [in this production] has been so kind and supportive of each other, and really highlights the show’s theme of family. It is also such an impactful show to be able to tell the story of […] Being able to portray Jane in this story has been such a privilege. It is so impactful for audiences to see what people of color went through in the 1960s and the struggles they faced with loving someone who was ‘not their own.'”

Jaysen Pommels (Tyrone)
“One thing that Chazz’s show made me realize is that I’ve done many shows in my life so far, and this is the first one, by far, where my ethnicity was able to be highlighted and celebrated. Being Black or colored in general in theater, you sometimes feel like you’re boxed to certain things you can do. Something Laila (who portrays Jane), Lorenzo (who portrays Jesse) and I have talked about during the rehearsal process is that being biracial, we sometimes feel like we’re not Black enough for some parts or white enough for other parts in theater. So, to be a part of a production that highlights all different colors and shades of Black is really beautiful. The love, and hate, and confusion so many characters feel towards the Black community in this show is so relevant and executed so tastefully by our directors and performers.”,93226