NightBlue Performing Arts Company Opens CLEMENTE: THE LEGEND OF 21 Tonight

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NightBlue Performing Arts Company Opens CLEMENTE: THE LEGEND OF 21 Tonight

NightBlue Performing Arts Company, in partnership with ArtoCarpus, proudly presents the Chicago Premiere of "Clemente: The Legend of 21" opening tonight, 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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