The Public Theater has lined up a cast, including Latin musicians Danny Rivera and Obie Bermudez, for its outdoor concert staging of Paul Simon tuner “The Capeman.”
Also in the ensemble are a handful of thesps, including Natascia Diaz, Luba Mason and Elan Luz Rivera, who appeared in the show during its brief 1998 run on Broadway. Oscar Hernandez, band leader of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, leads a dozen musicians playing the score. The three-perf run of “Capeman” in Central Park recalls a similar 2007 staging of “Hair,” which led to the fully produced revival that ended up on Broadway for a Tony-winning run. “Hair” helmer Diane Paulus directs “Capeman,” with Sergio Trujillo on board as choreographer.
Storyline centers on Salvador Agron, a Puerto Rican gang member who killed two teens in a 1959 street fight in Hell’s Kitchen. Anthony Lee Medina will play the younger version of the character, while the thesp portraying the older version remains to be cast. Ruben Blades played the part in 1998, with Marc Anthony appearing as the younger incarnation.
Bermudez will play a fellow gang member. Rivera has been lined up as a special encore performer for all three nights.
“Capeman,” with a book co-written by Simon and Derek Walcott, flopped on the Main Stem in its original 1998 production. More recently, the tunes were heard in a 2008 revisitation of “Capeman” at Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The Public production is set to play Aug. 14-16.