An actor, a musical performer, a boxer, an author, a teacher, a dancer, and a talk show host walk into a bar. This could be a group gathering for post-Career Day cocktails, or it could simply be Tony Danza. Well-known as an actor with roles on hit shows such as Taxi and Who’s the Boss? and in movies such as Don Jon and Angels in the Outfield, Danza is a Jack-Of-All-Trades as he’s employed all of the aforementioned job roles. “It’s a product of just being around so long,” said Danza in an exclusive interview with The Tidbit. “You’re around a long time and, in order to stay around, you have to reinvent yourself somewhat.”
Danza’s done just that as he’s developed Standards & Stories, a cabaret-style stage show, where he shares personal and professional anecdotes – mainly through song. He describes it as a variety show where he, and the members of his band, are the hosts and guests all in one. Danza, a longtime tap dancer, combined his talents of song and dance to create this stage experience and share his story with the world.
In addition to this live show, Danza will soon be streaming on Netflix in the new comedy, The Good Cop. Filmed in New York City, the show stars Danza and Josh Groban as a father-son duo who are solving the city’s crimes. Danza plays Tony Sr., a retired NYPD officer, who gives Groban, Tony Jr., advice on how to handle the streets of crime. While Danza and Groban both have proved themselves as musical talents, it’s Danza who will be stealing the show with song. “I do a lot of singing on the show. I sing the theme song for the show,” said Danza. “What’s funny is, I’m on a show with Josh Groban – I’m singing, and he’s fighting. So, I love it!”
When he’s not singing, dancing, and acting, Danza’s busy making the relationships between police officers and children in New York more positive than troublesome. He’s on the board of directors for the Police Athletic League in New York City and has developed a program called PAL Acting, where children interact with police officers in acting classes after school. The motivation behind this is to introduce children to police officers before trouble occurs. This creates a setting where the two groups can be friends, rather than enemies down the line. The two groups even performed together at a fundraising event for PAL Acting, which was hosted by Danza this past summer. “Cops and kids singing together! It was unbelievable.” The program started out with just 12 students and has grown to over 200. Danza plans to have this after-school acting program implemented in every precinct in New York City.
Danza explains that the concepts learned in acting class are concepts that youth should know for real life encounters. These include: listening, being present, looking people in the eye when talking to them, and speaking clearly. This is what inspired the program’s slogan of When You Teach a Kid How to Act, You Teach a Kid How to Act! Though each student may not be participatory, they learn how to be more open and communicative. “You have to let your guard down and be part of something bigger than yourself,” explained Danza. “Everything you have to do in life, you have to do on stage.”
While he may be a “Tony-Of-All-Trades”, many will always see him as “the Boss”. However, when reflecting on his role of Tony Micelli on the beloved sitcom Who’s the Boss?, Danza defers to his co-star in deserving the title of “the Boss”. “I will give up the title, and I know Judith [Light] would, and I know the kids [Alyssa Milano and Danny Pintauro] would, to the great Katherine Helmond,” said Danza. “She’s 89 now, by the way. That’s who I think [is the “Boss”]. She’s my soulmate, she really is.”
The Good Cop will premiere September 21 on Netflix, and Standards & Stories will be coming to The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL on September 16. Tickets for that show, and future shows in other cities, can be found here.
For Tony Danza’s full Q&A with The Tidbit, click here.
The Good Cop