Binghamton native Jeff Brooks was back in his home town last week playing the key role of Sonny in Chazz Palminteri’s true life story, “A Bronx Tale.”
“I grew up 20 minutes from the theatre,” he said. “It was great coming back and performing before my parents and friends and former high school teachers.
“I moved to New York City after college [SNU Cortland] and did the usual starving actor thing, auditioned and landed a few roles. One role led to another and I became a contract actor, playing in shows around New England and then getting a chance to see the country.”
From Binghamton, Jeff and the company head to South Dakota, then Omaha, Nebraska, and on to Providence, where Jeff has performed before.
“I love Providence. I think I’ve played here four times. The people are so friendly, and the theatre [PPAC] is so beautiful,” he said.
Many of Jeff’s roles have required the use of a variety of dialects, including Italian in “A Bronx Tale,” Jewish in “Fiddler on the Roof” and French in “Beauty and the Beast.”
“I actually studied dialect in college, and do a bit of self-study for my roles,” he said.
Chazz Palminteri played himself in the original one-man show that we saw in Providence a few years ago. It was made into a movie and then the Broadway musical, which comes to Providence February 21-23.
“A Bronx Tale” is set in the 1960s in Palminteri’s Brooklyn neighborhood, where he grew up caught between the father he loved and the mob boss he would have loved to be.
The musical is only here for three days, so catch it if you can. Call 421-ARTS for reservations.