A new play starring Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri.
A new play starring Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri. Read more
About this project
Palminteri backs unknown playwright, much like what Robert DeNiro did for him
Actor Chazz Palminteri has taken unconventional roads to success throughout his career. The man who refused to sell the rights to 'A Bronx Tale' unless he played the lead and write the screenplay, is now using Kickstarter to fund an unknown playwright's new play, 'Unorganized Crime.' Chazz is something of an expert in knowing about unknowns breaking thru.
Chazz talks Unorganized Crime with Huffington Post Live
Unorganized Crime in Variety
GINO SICUSO, the youngest son of a Capo di Capi, and a reluctant killer, is banished from the family for his inability to follow orders. Three years later, his wife, ROSIE, a part-time prostitute, has GINO on the road to redemption by insisting he wait tables to help lessen his regard for the human race. GINO’S letters and calls to his father, the mighty mafia head, CARMELLO SICUSO, fall on deaf ears until his older brother, SAL SICUSO, a brutal mobster who’s ‘next in line’ shows up at his door. What transpires is a gripping, humorous, savage, modern day glimpse at the Cosa Nostra where the code of Omerta is shaken to the core.
Chazz Palminteri (SAL SICUSO) grew up in a tough area of the Bronx and it gave young Calogero (Palminteri’s given first name) the life lessons that would later prove very useful to his career. He started out pursuing his craft in studying at the Actor’s Studio with Lee Strasberg. He appeared off-Broadway in the early 1980’s while paying his dues as a singer in his own band.
Well known for A Bronx Tale, Palminteri originally wrote the script for the stage and performed it as a one-man show in Los Angeles. It became the hottest property in Hollywood since Rocky. Mr. Palminteri was offered over a million dollars to walk away from the project and with $200.00 left in the bank he refused. He wanted to play SONNY and write the screenplay. One night Robert DeNiro walked in to see the show and as they say, “the rest is history.” He then moved the production to New York where it played for four sold-out months and earned him nominations for the New York Outer Critics Circle for both acting and writing. While in New York, he completed the screenplay of A Bronx Tale and soon found himself starring opposite Robert DeNiro who chose the script for his directorial debut.
Chazz has more than 50 movies to his credit including The Usual Suspects, Bullets Over Broadway (Academy Award nomination), Analyze This, Hurlyburly, Mulholland Falls, Faithful (screenplay also by Chazz Palminteri), Poolhall Junkies, The Perez Family, Jade, Diabolique, Down to Earth and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. He recently appeared on the New York stage in the play, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui starring Al Pacino, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and Billy Crudup.
Kenny D’Aquila (Playwright/GINO SICUSO) made his mark as GRANTAIRE in the critically acclaimed production of Les Miserables at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles. Later, D’Aquila was featured as Grantaire in the international cast album of Les Miserables with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared in nearly 30 plays, including Uptown, Mozez and Broadway Scandals of 1928. As a writer, D’Aquila’s first play, Uptown, won 8 Drama-Logue Awards, including Best Play and Best Actor. D’Aquila’s screenplay, Not Before Me (based on his stage play, Uptown) was purchased by Concord Pictures, with D’Aquila attached to star. On the production end, D'Aquila is co-executive producer of the documentary The Hill Chris Climbed: The Gridiron Heroes Story written and directed by Andrew Lauer.
Edward Torres most recently directed The Happiest Song Plays Last at the Goodman Theatre and Fish Men during the Goodman’s 2011/2012 Season, which was nominated for three Jeff awards. He directed the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz’sThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Victory Gardens Theater (produced in association with Teatro Vista) which was named Best Play of 2009 by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Time Out Chicago, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and earned Jeff awards for Best Production and Best Director. He also directed subsequent productions off Broadway at New York’s Second Stage Theatre (2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play and Obie Award for Best Play), and at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to critical acclaim. Mr. Torres has been a producer for 18 years, and is the co-founder and former artistic director of Teatro Vista. His Teatro Vista directing credits include The Show Host, Jamie Pachino’s Aurora’s Motive, Romulus Linney’s Ambrosio, Edwin Sánchez’s Icarus,Reuben Gonzalez’s The Boiler Room and Karen Zacarías’ The Sins of Sor Juana. Other Chicago directing credits include How Long Will I Cry?Voices of Youth Violence at Steppenwolf for Young Adults; Amparo Garcia-Crow’s Cocks Have Claws and Wings to Fly and Migdalia Cruz’s Lolita de Lares.
World Premiere - Los Angeles
Several theaters have invited us to open our play at their venue. We anticipate a budget of $100,000. Advertising expenses, which are extremely costly and vital to the success of any production, could push this number even higher. We have already invested hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in producing two staged readings of the play in California and in Chicago, and will be personally investing in producing the world premiere.
By funding $65,000 via our Kickstarter campaign, every backer is helping us cover a portion of our budget which will help pay for:
- Rehearsal and performance space
- Fees for the stellar designers, phenomenal actors and creative team
- Video Projection
We are targeting November 2013 for our opening.
Why We Are So Hopeful
There have been two public staged readings of Unorganized Crime this past year -- at the Pasadena Playhouse and the Victory Gardens Theatre. Both readings were sold out events and received standing ovations. The overwhelming positive response verifies our belief that this play has a bright and certain future, and gives us great confidence to move this project forward via Kickstarter.
Unorganized Crime is a character-driven drama and will undoubtably attract top level talent for the three remaining roles that have yet to be cast. Be assured, once we are funded, we will be able to reach out to the brightest talent that is available today.
Heartfelt thanks to the following actors who have supported this play with their enormous talent for the staged readings of Unorganized Crime:
Staged Reading Photos
This photo closely resembles the set for Unorganized Crime - a two-story, one-bedroom house located in an impoverished section of Dearborn, Michigan.
Crowd-funding is a great way to engage directly with our audience and allow you to have a vested interest in the development of our production.
Only projects with enough interest move forward. Kickstarter is all or nothing. We need to raise 100% of our target or we receive nothing.
In return for your pledge, we have created original rewards directly related to the play you are helping to fund.
We believe this play has a bright and certain future. We'd like to invite you in on the process starting today. We'll be sharing updates, photos, and inviting you to experience everything that we experience: all of the nitty-gritty details that go into producing a show, from casting to rehearsing to Opening Night.
What People Are Saying
Unorganized Crime Framable Art
Unorganized Crime Creative Support
The success of this campaign would not have been possible without an amazing team of people lending their time and talent to this project.
Janice Collen drew the illustrations of the play.
Jesse Corti executed the Voice-Over of the Kickstarter video.
Nan Harbison designed the Unorganized Crime website.
Ghost Tweeting managed our social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook)
Josh Silver consulted on marketing strategy.
Alonzo Alcaraz photographed the staged reading in Chicago.
Risks and challenges
Our production could not be in better hands. From Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri to our award-winning director, Edward Torres, our team of professionals have a proven track record of success.
The biggest challenge facing us is raising the money needed to produce this wonderful play. Every single one of our Kickstarter backers will be our best and most important network in this campaign.
We appreciate any amount you pledge and we encourage you to share this project on your social media pages and personal networks. We can only be successful with your help and enthusiasm.
Questions? Please e-mail Kenny D'Aquila: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/unorganizedcrime
Visit our website: www.unorganizedcrime.org
Tweet us: @unorganizedcrym
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