Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Report: HOLA After The Curtain/HOLA Después Del Telón event on DC-7: THE ROBERTO CLEMENTE STORY

On Sunday, March 18, 2012, the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) hosted another installment of its HOLA After The Curtain/HOLA Después Del Telón series of post-performance discussions in conjunction with the Teatro SEA/Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre/The RMM Group production of the musical DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story. The event, moderated by National Correspondent of NBCTelemundo's New York Bureau Isolda Peguero, was held immediately after the final public New York performance of the musical.

Participants included librettist-lyricist-composer-director Luis Caballero; musical director-composer Harold Gutiérrez; and cast members Modesto Lacén*, Lorraine Vélez, Manuel A. Morán* (also producer and lighting designer), Josean Ortiz*, Fidel Vicioso, Xiomara Rodríguez, Omar Pérez*, Johanna Rodríguez, Anthony Cotto and María Del Mar González.

Several revelations came to light during the discussion. Star Modesto Lacén expressed how he studied video footage of Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente and even modified his own hairline to better look like the famed baseball legend. In addition, Josean Ortiz noted that his family grew up in the same town as Clemente's family and that he personally knew Matino Clemente Walker (Roberto's brother), the role he was playing. Lorraine Vélez mentioned how she spends a lot of the show fighting back tears as she progresses through the show and how, above all, telling the story is what is most important. Manuel Morán also delighted the crowd in telling how a cast member originally didn't make the first cut only to book the role after accidentally showing up for the callback. After speaking to the company, moderator Peguero opened the floor up to the audience who lauded the performers and the writers for presenting such a rousing, moving performance. In addition, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre founder and producer Miriam Colón-Valle addressed the company and the audience, thanking all for being there and helping make the show such a success. Afterwards, wine was served to those in attendance.

The production DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story may have closed its off-Broadway run in New York, but it is planning to tour across the country, making stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; and Houston, Texas; among other stops. For more information about future presentations, click here.

Special thanks to all the participants, the staffs of Teatro SEA and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Javier Ethan Gómez*, Daniel D'Ambrosi, Haydée Díaz*, Johanna Ramírez* and HOLA volunteers Basil Rojas and Bobby Baker for helping make this event a successful one.

To see more photos of the event, click here.

Photo credits: A.B. Lugo*.
* An asterisk indicates an HOLA member.

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