Danny Rivera in Simon/Walcott’s The Capeman

The Public Theater has announced initial casting for the concert version of Paul Simon’s The Capeman, running 14 -16 Aug 2010 at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park., including Latin musicians Danny Rivera and Obie Bermudez, for its outdoor concert staging of Paul Simon tuner “The Capeman.” Free tickets will be distributed the day of the performance.

Originally on Broadway in 1998, Simon’s musical The Capeman tells the story of Salvador Agrón, a Puerto Rican gang member who killed two teens in a 1959 street fight in Hell’s Kitchen and  whose story exploded on to the front pages of the tabloids in 1959, ultimately revealing the cultural and racial tensions beneath the surface of New York in that era. Anthony Lee Medina will play the younger version of the character, while the actor portraying the older version remains to be cast. Ruben Blades played the part in 1998, with Marc Anthony appearing as the younger incarnation.

The Capeman, featuring music by Paul Simon and book and lyrics by Paul Simon and Derek Walcott, will be directed by Tony Award nominee Diane Paulus, who directed the concert version of ‘Hair’ at the Delacorte in 2007. Sergio Trujillo will provide choreography and the Grammy-winning Oscar Hernández and a 12-piece orchestra will play Simon’s score. Every night after the show, Puerto Rican singer Danny Rivera will perform a special encore.

The cast will include Obie Bermudez (Umbrella Man), Natascia Diaz (Esmerelda Agron), Nicole Lequerica (Aurea Agron), Jorge Maldonado (Reverend Gonzalez), Luba Mason (Mrs. Krzesinski), Anthony Lee Medina (Young Sal), Elan Luz Rivera (Bernadette), Abraham Rodriguez (Santero), Bryan Anthony, Xavier Cano, Myrna Lee Gomila, Nina LaFarga, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Cornell McKnight, Frankie Negron, Luis Salgado and Tanairi Vasquez. Diaz, Mason, Gomila, Negron and Rivera appeared in the original production of The Capeman on Broadway, Mason and Gomila are reprising their roles from that production.

There is a hope that the concert will allow for a new version of the musical on Broadway.

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