Greatest Fictional New Yorkers #20: Tony Manero
Born and raised in predominately Italian and working-class Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Tony grew up in a close-knit though tumultuous family held together by his parents, Flo and Frank. Frank Jr., Tony’s older brother, was the star of the family, having made his parents proud by joining the priesthood. Nothing Tony, a mere clerk at a local paint store, ever did seemed to please his family–even when he got promoted and received a raise.
One area in which the young man excelled was dance–he was the undisputed king of disco at the 2001 Odyssey nightclub: all heads turned when he arrived with his friends and the crowd parted like Red Sea when he hit the dance floor. A dance contest seemed Tony’s big chance to get the girl he’d had his eye on, Stephanie. Tony wooed her through dance, while dreaming of crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and into a better life. This contest was no contest–once the crowd got a load of Tony Manero in his white suit, shimmying and spinning for all he was worth, the money, trophy, and women piled into his hands.
Unfortunately, this victory was short-lived. Tony’s friends were a bunch of hot-heads and involved him in all manner of disreputable behavior; rumbling with black and Puerto Rican gangs they felt encroached on their turf and tormenting a girl he used to date, Annette. It took the accidental death of his friend Bobby C. and his brother’s scandalous rejection of the preisthood to spur Tony into action, however misguided.
Tony eventually did escape Bay Ridge and six years later became a big time Broadway star in the show “Satan’s Alley”. He retained his magnificent hairdo and bridge-and-tunnel accent throughout his life.