DeNiro nailed the challenge of playing six different parts. Each character had a different personality and
complex lines and required a rapid costume change. DeNiro was brilliant and the press lauded him. To this
day, those who were lucky enough to see Robert DeNiro play six different male parts in one play still talk about
it. He was sensational. Tony remembers turning to a member of the audience during DeNiro’s first performance
and commenting, “Some day this guy is going to be a star.” He was right.
Did DeNiro know that first acting role was performed in a theater owned by a gangster? Or did he realize that
the audience consisted of various made-men, wise guys, and other associates of Tony.
To read more on the Broadway connection see the Off Off Broadway chapter in the book.
|What is the Robert DeNiro Connection?
Bastiano's Cellar Studio on Waverly
During Ron Link's early directorial career he and Gangster Tony
('Ntoni Bastiano aka Sonny Della Universita),were casting for
male parts in Jackie Curtis's play, Glamor, Glory and Gold. The
first time acting job went to none other than Robert DeNiro.
There were six male parts and DeNiro was cast as one of them. As
would happen in the experimental theater days, if an actor was cast
in another play, a movie and/or a commercial and couldn’t attend
rehearsals, his part would have to be recast. Each time the news
reached DeNiro that someone had to drop out of rehearsals for,
Glamour,Glory and Gold,he went to Tony and lobbied to play the
part. As the weeks progressed, all of the other five male parts lost
their original cast member, but DeNiro continued to insist that he
could play them all. Tony had to reconfigure the lighting and the
direction of the play to accommodate the transitions from one part to
the other and still enable DeNiro to make his costume changes. It
was a masterful feat of ingenuity, but Tony managed to pull it off.
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