NIGHTBLUE PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY PRESENTS CHICAGO PREMIERE OF “CLEMENTE: THE LEGEND OF 21”
NightBlue Performing Arts Company, in partnership with ArtoCarpus, proudly presents the Chicago Premiere of “Clemente: The Legend of 21” opening Friday, August 22 at Stage773, 1225 W. Belmont. This musical, written and directed by the renowned Luis Caballero, tells the tale of struggle and triumph for one of baseball’s greatest players, Roberto Clemente. Beginning on the day of his death, this musical chronicles Clemente’s life from enduring poverty and racism to becoming an inspiration for generations to come. “Clemente: The Legend of 21” runs Aug. 22 through Sept. 14. Press night is Thursday, Aug 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. For tickets visit www.Stage773.com or call the box office at 773-327-5252. For additional information visit www.NightBlueTheater.com.
“Clemente is a monumental figure for everyone,” said David Walters, Artistic Director of NightBlue Performing Arts Company. “You don’t have to be a baseball fan – or even a sports fan to appreciate the impact he made in the world. His story goes well beyond sports to overcoming adversity and hatred. His composure and dedication to helping others less fortunate is an inspiration to this day.”
Clemente was a Puerto Rican professional baseball player who played 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was the first Latino player to win a World Series as a starter and received numerous awards during his career including National League and World Series MVP, being named All-Star 12 times and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame posthumously. His passion, aside from baseball, was charity work in Puerto Rico and Latin American countries where he delivered food and baseball equipment to those in need. He perished in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 while in route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
“Clemente is a historical figure who is a part of me,” said Caballero. “I have felt compelled to create a musical about his life with as much integrity as the man himself. This was truly written from the heart.”
Caballero is an acclaimed writer, actor and theater and film director who has directed extensively in his native Puerto Rico as well as in New York, LA and San Francisco. His latest Off-Broadway hit-plays include: “Don Quijote en Nueva York”, “Lorca”, “Federico” and “They call me La Lupe” at the LAB Theater in the Public Theater. His credits as a film director includes ‘’La Gringa: A Tale of a Town” and ‘”El Color de la Guayaba”, which won the Rincon Film Festival and was selected for the Chicago International Film Festival, among others. Caballero is currently working in his next film “El Monaguillo.” His latest show is the Off-Broadway production “DC-7 The Roberto Clemente Story”, now titled “Clemente: The Legend of 21”. He has won six awards for Best Director and Best Script.
The cast of “Clemente” include company members from ArtoCarpus including Modesto Lacen (Roberto Clemente), Lorraine Velez (Vera Cristina), Ricardo Puente (Ramiro Martinez), Carlos Miranda (Matino Clemente), Willie Denton (Melchor Clemente), Xiomara Rodriguez (Luisa Walker), Jonathan Amaro (young Roberto Clemente) and Elvin Ramos (young Matino Clemente).
In addition, “Clemente” features Aaron Benham (music direction), Max Maxim (set design) and, Jeff Wozniak (lighting).
NightBlue Performing Arts Company has presented “Rent”, “Avenue Q” and Monty Python’s “Spamalot!”. NightBlue encourages innovation and creativity in a safe and educational environment. It seeks Truth and honesty in performance through self-exploration. NightBlue strives to present performances that are as deep and complex as the night but as truthful as the blue sky.
NightBlue Performing Arts Company, in partnership with ArtoCarpus, presents the Chicago Premiere of “Clemente: The Legend of 21” opening Friday, August 22 at Stage773, 1225 W. Belmont. Special press night is Thursday, August 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35. For tickets and information visit www.NightBluetheater.com
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“Clemente: The Legend of 21”
Presented by NightBlue Performing Arts Company in association with New York’s ArtoCarpus
Written and Directed by Luis Caballero
August 22 – September 14, 2014
Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Tickets are $35
For more information visit www.NightBlueTheater.com
For tickets visit www.Stage773.com or call 773.327.5252
PRESS EVENING: THURSDAY AUGUST 21, 2014 at 8 p.m.
August 22 – September 14
Friday at 8 p.m.
Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m
Sunday at 3 p.m
Thursday, September 4 and 11 at 8 p.m.
Modesto Lacén (Roberto Clemente) – has appeared in numerous New York productions including the Off-Broadway shows of “Celia: The life and music of Celia Cruz”, “La Barbería” (HOLA Award), and “DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story” (HOLA, ATI Award). Off-Off Broadway/ Regional productions include “Medea”, “Godspell”, “Hamlet”, “The Boys in the Band”, “Infinito enquanto dure”, “Ser o no cer…vantes” (HOLA Award), and “Réquiem por Yarini” (HOLA Award). Film credits include “The Clemente Effect”, “Animal”, “Kidnapped in Paradise”, “Second Honeymoon”, “Back in the Day” and the upcoming features “3,000”, “Millie and the Lords” and “Angélica”. He recently was named as the honoree of the first edition of the Puerto Rico Film Fest & Convention 2013.
Lorraine Velez (Vera Cristina) – originated the role of ‘Vera Cristina’ in Off-Broadway’s “DC7- The Roberto Clemente Story” (ACE and ATI Awards). She has toured both nationally and internationally: “Blues in the Night”, “Maria De Buenos Aires”, “West Side Story” and “Dreamgirls”. London’s West credits include “Miss Saigon”, “Out of the Blue”, “Mama I want to Sing”, “Fame”, “Rent” (Broadway) “Porgy and Bess” and “Gone with the Wind” (w Trevor Nunn) TV /Film credits indluc “Piñero”, “Chorus Line”, “HBO Latino” and “Law and Order”, “Doctor Who”, “Casualty”, and “Frightmares”.
Ricardo Puente (Ramiro Martinez) has appeared in the regional/Off- Broadway productions including “Frida Kahlo”, “Temple of the Souls”, “Puerto Rico Fua” and “DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story”. Puente is the former Director of the Raul Julia Training Unit Performing Arts After School Program for the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in NYC. Puente’s singing credits includes, “Opera Of Puerto Rico” and “Teatro Lirico” for the Department of Cultural Affairs of Puerto Rico, and is the winner of the Ibero-American singing festival in Argentina. He is an original cast member of the Off-Broadway production of “4 guys named José and una Mujer named Maria”.
Carlos Miranda (Matino Clemente) – has more than 30 of experience performing as a Puerto Rican actor and mime (student of the late Marcel Marceau). He is also a dramaturge, screenwriter and theater producer. His academic preparation includes a BFA in Theater from the University of Puerto Rico, a bachelors degree on Business Administration, a Masters in Psychology at Phoenix University, Arizona, and recently completed a Psy.D. Counselling Psicology from Turabo University in Puerto Rico. He is currently specializing as a Psychodramatist in New York.
Willie Denton (Melchor Clemente) – is an actor and mime, who for two decades has been portraying the most diverse and intriguing characters in all sort of theatrical genres: Drama, Comedy, Classicals and Musicals. Trained on mime and movement thru Marcel Marceau’s technique; Denton had performed on stages of United States, Venezuela, Italy, Portugal and Japan. His movie debut was under direction of Stephen Hopkins on the film “Under Suspicion”, starring Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman.
Xiomara Rodriguez (Luisa Walker) – originated the role of ‘Luisa Walker’ on the Off-Broadway production of “DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story”, directed by Luis Caballero (ACE and ATI Award). Rodriguez has worked in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States, France, Monaco, Chile and Argentina. Her latest film was “Por amor en el Caserio” among other credits. Currently, she is working in the plays “Busco al Hombre de mi vida, marido ya tuve” and “Mujer en Negro Tenaz”.
Jonathan Amaro Ramos (young Roberto Clemente) – holds a B. F. A. in Theater Education from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. He belonged to the University Traveling Theater where he worked in various classical and contemporary productions. He was recognized with the Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in the KFACT in Washington, DC for his work in the play “Platero and I”; presented also at the Fringe Festival in Scotland. Currently he’s working as a makeup artist, stage manager, assistant director and actor in Puerto Rico.
Elvin Ramos (young Matino Clemente) – recently graduated from José Julián Acosta School of Performing Arts in San Juan, PR getting the highest honor, the Leopoldo Santiago Lavandero Award for Excellence in Academics and Arts. His first professional experience was last June portraying the lead ‘Matt’ in the musical “The Fantastiks” at the Center of Performing Arts in San Juan, PR. Currently he’s training at Ballets de San Juan (Full Scholarship) and the University of Puerto Rico pursuing a BFA in Theater.