Tag Archives | Al Capone History

Al Capone Show at Coney Island Attraction

Coney Island, look out! An Al Capone show is coming to town! During the month of November, a limited number of performances will be held at the world famous Sideshows by the Seashore in Brooklyn. The Education of Al Capone (as if told by Jimmy Durante) is billed as an “Interactive Dirty Dinner Theater About Al Capone.” The limited-time performance will feature a Brechtian Cabaret with a live jazz band, “warm beer and lousy pasta.”

Al Capone Show at Coney Island

Dick D. Zigun, founder & artistic director of CIUSA since 1980, is the writer and director of this production. The Al Capone show “samples” Jimmy Durante’s songs and routines. The words, however, have been changed to convey the story of a teenaged Al Capone. The age when he earned his nickname Scarface. The remarkable setting is only 3 blocks from the exact spot where Al Capone had the profile-changing knife fight 100 years ago!

Al Capone Show with Plenty of Audience Interaction

As with our Al Capone show in Kissimmee, this production will have plenty of audience interaction. Performers, portraying fellow gangsters/dames Frankie Yale, Clara Bow, Frank & Lena Gallucio will involve spectators. All while they hang out at the “Harvard Inn,” a dive bar and known gangster hangout in the 1918s. Food fights, fist fights, even a few murders take place in the audience. Guests are welcome to get up and dance. Also to drink beer and eat pasta (an additional $5).

If this Al Capone show sounds like a blast from the past, get tickets and go to Coney Island. The performances will take place at Coney Island USA, Sideshows by the Seashore, 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11224. Tickets are available at www.coneyisland.com.

Sideshows by the Seashore

Coney Island USA is an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization (and a tax-deductible charity) founded in 1980. Their mission is to defend the honor of American popular culture through innovative exhibitions and performances.

If you are unable to go to New York but love the idea of experiencing a Prohibition-era cabaret, visit Al’s gang at Capone’s Dinner & Show right here in the Orlando area. Capone’s is open nearly every night. You will NOT drink warm beer or lousy pasta here. The menu features an extensive selection of fresh food and cold beverages. You WILL be transported back in time when wise guys ruled and dames were delightful.

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A Little History About a Mansion and a Man Named Capone

Central Florida may be home to our very own “Al Capone” and his rowdy gang of mishaps at Capone’s Dinner & Show, however, a little over 60 years ago, Al Capone made his home a little farther south of Orlando. Palm Island, Florida is an area near Miami Beach where Al’s last years were spent. His home still stands as a reminder of a different era.

Photo of Al Capone's home
Historic photo of Capone homeThis beautiful mansion was purchased by Capone for $40,000 cash in 1928 from Clarence Busch of the Anheuser-Busch family. It’s no wonder that these two knew each other. Prohibition dealt a serious blow to the brewery company in the 1930’s. Perhaps Al was just trying to help out an acquaintance after some rough times. More likely, he just wanted to own a piece of paradise! Of course, Anheuser-Busch bounced back quite well and up until 2009, they were the sole owners of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.

Photo of Capone's mansion on a large lotThe property is quite large and spans the waterfront of Biscayne Bay the size of a football field. With the Bay practically at his back door, Al could toss out a line and relax while enjoying the sport of fishing. First, however, he needed to make some improvements including a 30-by-60-foot swimming pool, a two-story cabana pool house for his guards, the addition of another guesthouse, a gated guard house in the front of the mansion, all secured within a tall masonry wall. Capone had everything and the privacy he so desired.

Photo of Capone pool in FloridaRumor has it that this house is where Capone planned the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929. This home is also part of his alibi, since he was here in Florida when the famous incident took place and seven mobsters in Chicago were killed. Capone made sure that many people saw him enjoying the Florida sunshine in South Beach that day. While the FBI knew he was the master mind and ultimately responsible for the crime, they were unable to prove it. It would be tax evasion that put the famous mobster away behind bars for nearly a decade.

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Photo of the gatehouse for Capone's guardsAl held onto the Florida home and return there after being release from Alcatraz in 1939. These were not happy years for the notorious boss, despite the home’s beautiful surroundings. Capone suffered from syphilis and the disease had degraded his mind to that of a paranoid child. It was said that he slept in the front room of the home so that he could watch who was coming and going.

photo of Capone's art deco powder roomAl Capone died in an upstairs bedroom in 1947. The home has only had a few owners since. One of the concerns is that future owners will tear down the home and guesthouses in order to make use of the massive waterfront property, destroying a piece of Americana. Photo of Al Capone's bedroomThe most recent owner (until June of this year), Peter Corsell restored and updated the mansion to it’s original gangster grandeur including a powder room in Art Deco style. Although it is completely renovated, the home still maintains a tropical Havana style. It sold for $7.43 million after being listed originally at $9.95 million (Corsell bought it for $5.56 million).

While the current owners are staying private as Capone did, let’s hope that they give the boss some respect and keep this treasure ‘as is’ for many years to come. Al loved Florida, and it served him well. Let’s hope the home does so for the current owners and those to come. Rest in peace Al, all is well on the home front in Florida. Toss out a line and catch a big one!

Photo of Al Capone fishing.