Fringe Up HFF14: Boss – The Untold Tony Danza Story

Boss: The Untold Tony Danza Story Hollywood Fringe Festival

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

He’s a lover, an action hero, a boy scout, a healer, and he’s got a heart of gold.  He’s the most likable, most generous man in the world — He’s Tony Danza!

“How much for that paper kid?  Here’s your tip.”
“Wow!  A hundred bucks!”

Funny right off the top, actor Damien Luvara makes a larger-than-life, whirlwind entrance, flashing the famous Tony smile that could rival the sunshine itself, forever optimistic and always somewhere to go with something to do.

But suddenly, Tony’s show has been cancelled, and he can’t get a job.

For an ex-boxer who made good in a television hit series, being on the down-low for the first time takes the spirit out of the ‘most happy fella.’

Auditioning sucks! He’s getting hit on by non-female casting directors, ignored by up & comers who have never even heard of Taxi, shunned then dropped from his talent agency and realizing that he’s been pigeon-holed into the one character he knows how to play albeit brilliantly — himself.

Failing miserably brings Tony back to the beginning, aka, nowhere, until the mysterious Luca shows up at a local bar and makes Tony “an offer he can’t refuse” — a starring role in a new hit television series, guaranteed to last and last…”if ya know what I mean.”

It’s a dream come true until one day he accidentally walks in on co-star and star of the Broadway stage (as she singularly points out) Judith Light, trying to break off her secret affair with Luca. Luca threatens to black-ball her from the business forever, our hero gets mad and he takes action.

What ensues is a ridiculous good guys/bad guys, Keystone cops menage that embroils the entire cast including little Danny Pintauro and of course, Miss Hotness herself, Alyssa Milano, until we arrive at a silly, happy, psuedo-moralistic ending.

Boss is lighthearted and very much a sitcom for stage, the best part.  Unfortunately, it is also uneven.  It starts off with a bang but drops in energy due in no small part to some of the supporting cast who just cannot match the wallop delivered by Mr. Luvara (Tony) and the insatiable character-brilliant Meghan Parks (Judith).  Boss: The Untold Tony Danza Story at the Complex Theater is entertaining, is well directed and hilarious, if you are familiar with the zaniness of the 80’s show, Who’s The Boss from which this script is derived.  Otherwise, younger audiences are finding this comedy a bit out of context.

Running time is 45 minutes.

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