February 24, 2016

The tug of war for the soul of a young man on the mean streets of the Bronx may not sound like a subject that sings. But Chazz Palminteri’s “A Bronx Tale,” originally a solo show, later a movie, and after that a solo show once again on Broadway, has proved to be comfortably malleable material. Now it has been given a hefty infusion of music and dance and — presto! — the familiar-as-red-sauce story, with most of its rough edges intact, can be found finger-snapping and doo-wopping its way across the stage of the Paper Mill Playhouse here, with plans, no doubt, for a quick trip through the Lincoln Tunnel to the big time. The creative team is packed with veteran talent, resulting in an exceptionally slick and skillfully assembled musical. Alan Menken, composer of songs for too many Disney musicals to count, has provided the music, and Glenn Slater, who supplied the lyrics for this season’s hit “School of Rock,” does the same here.