BAM to Present Concert Version of Simon's The Capeman

News   BAM to Present Concert Version of Simon's The Capeman
 
Paul Simon's short-lived Broadway musical The Capeman will make a New York return April 1-6 when the Brooklyn Academy of Music presents Songs from The Capeman at the Harvey Theatre.
Paul Simon
Paul Simon Photo by Robert Clark

Songs from the Capeman is set to kick off Simon's month-long residency with the Brooklyn arts institution, Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon, which will allow the Grammy winner the chance to collaborate with a range of musicians throughout April.

Songs from the Capeman will feature Simon as well as The Capeman's Broadway arranger and conductor Oscar Hernández joined by original cast members Claudette Sierra, Ray De La Paz and Latin singer Obie Bermudez. The performers will be backed by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. The evenings will also include guest performances from Little Anthony and The Imperials, with additional artists to be announced.

Simon penned 36 new songs for the doo-wop, gospel and Latin-flaired score of the 1998 musical, described by Clive Barnes of the New York Post as "the most bewitching and bewitched Broadway score in years." With a libretto by Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, The Capeman tells the true life story of Salvador Agron, a Puerto Rican gang member who murdered two teen-agers in the late 1950s, then underwent a conversion as a poet while in prison.

Opening to mostly negative reviews, The Capeman ran only 68 performances on Broadway, earning Tony Award nominations for Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations and Best Scenic Design.

A complete cast album was recorded but never released; however, it is currently available for download via i-tunes. Simon did release the album "Songs from The Capeman" featuring the Grammy winner performing songs from his musical. Simon's residency at BAM also includes Under African Skies, showcasing his African and Brazilian influences that he explored in the albums "Graceland" and "The Rhythm of the Saints." Simon performs alongside Hugh Masekela, Milton Nascimento, Kaïssa, David Byrne and Luciana Souza. Under African Skies plays the Gilman Opera House April 9-13.

And, Simon revisits "railway stations, urban rhythms, and immigrant dreams" in American Tunes – featuring Simon, Olu Dara, Grizzly Bear and The Roches — April 23-27 at the Gilman.

Tickets will go on sale Feb. 11 to the general public. Friends of BAM and Visa Signature cardholders may begin purchasing tickets Feb. 4 by calling (718) 636-4100 or by visiting www.BAM.org.

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