By Joan Alperin-Schwartz
Once upon a time, a not so well known actor wrote and starred in a one man show. It was called...'A Bronx Tale'...The actor was...Chazz Palminteri....
The press notes report that he was offered over a million dollars for the script...All he had to do was walk away...But with $200 in the bank, Palminteri refused to sell it. He wanted to play Sonny and write the screenplay. One night DeNiro came to see the show and the rest is history.
And now, Mr. Palminteri has returned to where it all began...the Theatre...
The Elephant Stages to be exact. A small theatre in Hollywood...which is the perfect vehicle for his new labor of love...'Unorganized Crime' written by the lead actor, Kenny D'Aquila. Palminteri actually has a smaller part, but there's nothing small about his performance. You can't take your eyes off of him.
But be assured, this doesn't take away anything from the rest of the cast. Everyone in this play is excellent.
Kenny D'Quila plays Gino Sicuso, the Fredo of the Sicuso clan. Seems years ago, Gino couldn't carry out a 'hit' and was banished and sent far, far away by his Mob-boss daddy, Carmelo (Carmen Argenziano).
Gino works as a waiter and takes out the abuse he receives from his ungrateful customers on two life size dummies that sit in his kitchen...Apparently this is a stress reliving technique he learned from his part time hooker wife, Rosie (Tony nominee,Elizabeth Rodriguez)
It's obvious that Gino and Rosie are struggling to get by, but are trying to make the best of it. They're confident something will come along to change their luck.
And it does. Out of the blue, Gino's estranged brother, made man, Sal (Chazz Palminteri) drops by and makes Gino an offer he can't refuse...
To say anymore would spoil the fun, and 'Unorganized Crime' is just that...a lot of fun. The dialogue is sharp and as I already said, the acting, including a performance by Jack Topalian, as the Sicuso's landlord, Haakim) who's kind enough to have sex with Rosie, whenever the couple don't have money for the rent, is pitch perfect.
This funny, gripping one act, black comedy about family, brotherly love and loyalty is beautifully directed by David Fofi, the Artistic Director of The Elephant Theatre Company.
'Unorganized Crime' is as entertaining as it gets. Don't miss it.
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
Sundays at 7:00 p.m.
The play runs through Saturday, May 31st.
The Elephant Theatre is located at 1076 N. Lillian Way (at Santa Monica Blvd; one block west of Vine in Hollywood.
Ticket Prices are $34.00 for all performances.
To purchase tickets go to...www.tix.com or call 1-800-595-4849