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THE OTHER NIGHT, the curtain rose on "A Bronx Tale" at Playhouse 91 on East 91st Street, and there on stage was a corner of the Bronx - 187th Street and Belmont Avenue, to be exact. There was a brownstone with a stoop and next to it a bar called Chez Joey. There was a fence, and the fence had a small cross on it. "This is my building," said Chazz Palminteri.
Chazz describes his play as a Bronx "Catcher in the Rye." It has been a hit since it opened a few weeks ago. Chazz has written a screenplay, and Robert DeNiro is interested in directing it and playing the father. This would be DeNiro's debut as a film director. Chazz would play Little Johnny, the thug with a heart, and Harvey Keitel would play another part. "We read the play the other day at his [DeNiro's! new offices in TriBeCa," says Chazz. Chazz says his father and mother, who now live in Sarasota, Fla., have seen the play and loved it. So did [Dion], and the night I was there I sat alongside Ed Begley Jr., who roared and thumped throughout the play. Roy Scheider was also there that night, as were many who had already seen the play several times.