A Conversation with Breanna Marie Bell – Lead Actress in the National Touring Company of A BRONX TALE

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Breanna, for my readers who may not have a clue about A Bronx Tale, would you give us a synopsis of what the play is about?

Breanna Marie:  Yeah, the story is based in the Bronx in like the 1960s, 1950s.  It’s about a young man, Italian boy; he’s in high school.  Basically, maneuvering between the father that he loves and an Italian gangster and trying to maneuver around racism and being in love with a black woman; a black girl, and trying to basically figure out what’s good and what’s right and what’s wrong basically.  Yeah, that’s really it. h-jane-and-calogero

From Jane’s point of view, what is their relationship and how does she perceive being in this relationship?

Breanna Marie:  Jane basically is a high school student about to graduate.  She’s very smart, she’s very confident.  She meets this guy who, in that time, was forbidden.  Being in an interracial relationship was frowned upon.  She’s just trying to maneuver around how to deal with that situation in that time.

Breanna what is your history.  Where are you from and when did the theatrical bug bite you?

Breanna Marie:  I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio.  I’ve been singing since I was maybe in like fourth grade.  I tried to sing in the church when I was younger, but my aunt was like, oh you can’t sing; don’t embarrass me type of thing.  I was like no, I can, I can, I can.  So, then I did this musical in my friend’s living room and I sang, and my mom came, and she was like, oh my god, Breanna you can sing.  After that, she started putting me in show choir and pageants, the talent portion just to build my confidence.  I’ve had the bug since.  I went to college in New York City to study my craft and been working ever since I graduated.

Having a lead role in a major Broadway show and not national touring company, what was it like the first night you stepped on the Broadway stage?

Breanna Marie:  It was like a dream come true.  It’s what I’ve always wanted; what my parents paid umpteen dollars to college for me to do, and took me to every rehearsal, every practice, every show, so it was just kind of like coming full circle, and super blessed and grateful.

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 Have you performed in Chicago before?

Breanna Marie:  Never, never been to Chicago.  I’m very excited.  It’s my birthday. I’m turning 25!

Are you kidding? Chicago is a great city to celebrate your birthday.  There are so many things that you’re going to have to partake in in the short time that you’re going to be here, like Garrett's Popcorn, which happens to be next to the Nederlander Theater, deep dish pizza and of course a Chicago hot dog.

Breanna Marie:  All my favorite things.  I literally had pizza last night.  I’m so excited to be there and see how the community is.  I’ve heard a lot of stories, and I know my friend is doing HAMILTON there.  I know there’s a lot of history there, so I’m very, very excited.

Thank you Breanna for taking time away from rehearsal to speak with me. We can’t wait to see you in A Bronx Tale at the James Nederlander Theater from March 12th to the 24th.

Breanna Marie:  Absolutely and thank you.

For more information visit www.broadwayinchicago.com

Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!

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