Richard H. Blake to perform “A Bronx Tale, The Musical” at AxelrodPAC


By Mary Ann Bourbeau

originally published: 10/22/2021

Richard H. Blake was one of the original stars of “A Bronx Tale, the Musical” when it opened on Broadway in 2016. It portrayed Lorenzo, a working-class bus driver in the 1960s with a racist character, trying to keep her 9 years old. old son in the right way while living in an Italian-American neighborhood with a strong Mafia presence.

Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri wrote the script for the next play and film, largely based on his own childhood. Young Calogero (Palminteri’s first name) falls in love with the criminal life, which leads the gangster Sonny to take him under his wing. The 1993 film starred Palminteri as Sonny and Robert DeNiro as Lorenzo.

“Chazz is an amazing man with an amazing life story,” said Blake. “Family is everything to him. I was honored to be entrusted with the role of playing his father.

After appearing in “A Bronx Tale, The Musical” both on Broadway and on the US Tour, Blake now has the opportunity to direct the show, which will premiere at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center in Deal in from October 29. Now that he’s the father of a 10-year-old son, Blake sees the story in a whole new light.

“The character really resonates with me because Lorenzo is a real person, Chazz’s father,” Blake said. “He’s the kind of father I aspire to be.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $ 50 to $ 100 per month, click here for more information

Providence native RI met his wife, Teri DiGianfelice, when they both starred in “Footloose” on Broadway. Once they became parents, they decided to move to South Carolina so as not to raise their son, Greyson, in the city. But Blake couldn’t resist the offer to take the helm of “A Bronx Tale” at Axelrod, drawn to both history and music – a mix of rock, Motown and original numbers. of doo-wop by Tony Award winner Alan. Menken.

“It’s one of my favorite shows I’ve ever worked on,” he said.

Blake starred on Broadway as Tommy DeVito in “Jersey Boys” and has also appeared in “Matilda the Musical”, “Legally Blonde”, “Wicked”, “Hairspray” and “Rent”, among many others. He had a lot of experience up to this point, knowing from a very young age that he wanted to be an actor. When he was 4, he used to say to his parents, “I want to go to Yu Nork and do mackershals.

“My attention-loving personality resonated,” he said.

Her first role was at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut. From there he started auditioning in New York City, where his parents or grandparents would take him by train after school, sometimes up to three times a week. It didn’t take long before he worked in television, movies, and commercials. Blake got his Actor’s Equity card at the age of 8 and a year later he premiered on Broadway alongside Len Cariou in a production of “Teddy and Alice”. At age 14, he had the distinction of being the youngest actor to have his name on the title of a Broadway musical in “The Prince of Central Park” from 1989.

During his high school years, Blake attended Professional Children’s School in New York City and considered studying acting in college, but he was offered so many roles that it made more sense for him to continue playing. work.

“It was such an education to work with the most amazing people in the industry,” he said. “I consider every day of my career a form of education.

Blake is thrilled with the talent of Axelrod’s upcoming production, which features Mike Ferlita (Rent, 20th anniversary tour) as Calogero, Hudson Koonce as young Calogero, and Michael Keller (Blue Bloods, The Blacklist) as Sonny, the neighborhood gift.

“Hudson is a little kid with so much charisma,” said Blake. “He’s so cool. I imagine Chazz was probably a cool kid too.

“A Bronx Tale, The Musical” runs from October 29 to November 14. Tickets start at $ 32 and can be purchased by calling (732) 531-9106 or by visiting

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $ 50 to $ 100 per month, click here for more information

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