On Sunday night, April 6th, Brooklyn Academy of Music wrapped up a wildly successful 6-night run of “Songs from The Capeman” at the BAM Harvey Theater. The sold-out shows were the first in a three-part tribute to the music of Paul Simon that will continue throughout the month of April at BAM.
The “Songs from The Capeman” concerts were the first live performances in 10 years of the songs Paul Simon originally composed for the 1998 Broadway show The Capeman. The musical was inspired by the true story of Salvador Agrón, a Puerto Rican gang member who made headlines with his arrest for murder in the 1950s.The BAM presentation challenged critics and audiences to revisit this music, away from the controversy that dogged the Broadway show. Based on the response from the critics, the tide has decisively turned. Writes Dan Aquilante in the New York Post: “Simon ultimately finds redemption with this staging, establishing ‘Capeman’ as a work that will certainly take its place alongside American classics such as Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’ and Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story.” The Spanish press in New York was equally supportive, with Heriberto Gonzalez of El Diario La Prensa writing “Each one of the songs of ‘The Capeman’ show made me stick more to my seat…the concert was a lovely and unexpected surprise.”
The BAM presentations of “Songs from The Capeman” featured a cast that included Obie Bermúdez, Frankie Negrón and Jorge Maldonado as The Capeman in various stages of his life, Claudette Sierra as his mother, Ray de la Paz as the santero who predicts his tragic life. The music director was Oscar Hernández, who brought his incomparable Spanish Harlem Orchestra to perform the music, which also featured the SHO singers Willie Torres and Marco Bermudez and legendary Puerto Rican singer Danny Rivera. Other performers included Nicole Lequerica, Steve Conte, Myrna Gomia, Alkebulan, Luba Mason and concert openers Little Anthony and the Imperials.
BAM’s celebration of Paul Simon’s music continues with “Under African Skies” April 9-13 and “American Tunes” April 23-27. For more information go to http://www.bam.org