Paul Simon's musical, The Capeman, continues its approach to Broadway. Asked about rumors that Priscilla Lopez, of A Chorus Line fame, would no longer be playing the Capeman's mother, producer Dan Klores declined to comment but did not mention her among the cast members still appearing in the show.
Ruben Blades, is still playing the protagonist at age 38, while 26-year-old Hispanic salsa star Marc Anthony will play the Capeman at 16. Blades, an actor (The Milagro Beanfield War), is best known for his work with the musical group Seis de Solar.
Mark Morris, choreographer for the show, was moved up to director in late January, replacing Eric Simonson, who had replaced Susana Tubert in summer 1996. Morris, who was choreographer for the show, got the job after finding a December workshop of the musical "undisciplined," according to the New York Times. Simonson's directorial credits included The Song Of Jacob Zulu on Broadway (that show featured Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who collaborated with Simon on his landmark album, "Graceland").
Producer Dan Klores told Playbill On-Line March 12 that The Capeman will begin building its scenery in early June, start band rehearsals in late July, and run full-cast rehearsals Aug. 15-Oct. 13. Klores expects casting of the 35-40 person show (nearly all of Hispanic origin) to be completed by mid-May.
In late October, the show will play out of town at one of two cities currently under consideration. Klores hopes to begin Broadway previews in early December. Choice of theatre is still under discussion. Simon, formerly half of the Simon & Garfunkel singing duo, has been working for several years on this musical, based on a real life Manhattan murder case. The Times also reported that practitioners of the Caribbean religion Santeria have been hired to drum and sing genuine Santero prayers in the musical.
Klores told Playbill On-Line that Simon has recently written three new songs for the show, but would not give details on those compositions. Simon is collaborating on the piece with librettist Derek Walcott.
"It's a New York Puerto Rican story," Simon told Playbill earlier this year, "based on events that happened in 1959--events that I remembered."
The musical tells the story of real-life Puerto Rican youth Salvador Agron, who wore a cape while committing two murders in 1959 New York, and who went on to become a poet in prison.
Simon achieved fame in the 1960s as half of the singing team Simon & Garfunkel. He composed songs including "Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," "Kodachrome," "America," "The Sounds of Silence" and "Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover."