Acclaimed actor and writer Chazz Palminteri's one-man play, “A Bronx Tale,” will be onstage at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre from Tuesday to Oct. 19. He also will appear following a screening of “Bullets Over Broadway” at the Castro Theatre today.
You first did this show in 1989, and then it became a big movie. How has it changed throughout the years? The main thing is, it’s a lot richer and a lot deeper. The play is even better than it was.
Are you tired of it? No! There’s a whole new generation of kids who have never seen it; I get to go out to the people who didn’t get to see it the first time.
How much of what happens in it — your involvement with the mob — is true? A lot. It’s semi-autobiographical. I sat on the stoop; my father was a bus driver who would try to keep me away from those guys. He told me, “You did a good thing for a bad man.”
How did the movie come about? Robert De Niro saw the play and loved it. It became the hottest property in Los Angeles since “Rocky.” It was a pretty amazing experience, being an unknown starring in a movie about my own life. I was on a rocket ship.
Is the car door test in “A Bronx Tale” — the notion to dump a girl if she doesn’t lean over and unlock the door — true? Oh, yeah. I don’t know exactly where it came from, but yes, I put it in.
How would you compare your show to other one-man shows? Mine’s not typical … I do the whole movie onstage by myself. The play is very visual.