With a Puerto Rican flag draped across his shoulders and the audience roaring, Paul Simon said goodbye to "The Capeman."
"If this is a failure," Simon said from the Broadway stage as his cast whooped it up behind him, "what do you call a success?"
"The Capeman," the musical based on a 1959 Puerto Rican gang killing, played its final performance at the Marquis Theatre on Saturday night, only two months after its much-heralded debut.
The $11 million production was buffeted by three directors, drastic script revisions and savage reviews. Not even the allure of Simon, who wrote the music, book and lyrics, could generate sufficient box office revenue to satisfy investors.
But on closing night, Simon was in no mood to mourn. He got his first standing ovation even before the first act. Wearing a black jacket and black baseball cap, he took his orchestra seat and waved to the crowd.
At the curtain call, Simon walked on stage and was soon buried by the cast in a group hug that resembled a rugby scrum.