EXCLUSIVE: Lorraine Velez Dishes On Her New Play, 'The Roberto Clemente Story'

Puerto Rican actress Lorraine Velez, who is best known for dazzling audiences as Mimi in Rent, stopped by Latina this week to tell us about her new play, DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story.

In the play, which is currently playing at Teatro SEA on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Velez plays Vera Clemente, the Puerto Rican wife of the Baseball Hall of Famer. “[She was] an extraordinary woman, still is. She was his right hand, best friend, loyal partner, and a woman who shared a vision with her husband," says the eloquent actress whose twin sister is Dexter star, Lauren Velez

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The musical, Velez says, isn't all about Baseball. "{Clemente} was this black Hispanic who did remarkable things and left this incredible legacy," gushes Velez. "It’s such an extraordinary story that I think can’t be told enough, particularly from a humanitarian point of view." The actress adds that Clemente's story is proof that dreams can come true. "What you can accomplish if you put your mind to it with discipline, with heart and commitment...The best part for me was actually playing something like that and sending out a message like that.”

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But Velez was thrilled to get the role not only because she would be playing the wife of a hall of famer, but also because she would be playing a Puerto Rican, like herself. “I love any show where I get to represent my culture one way or another," she says. 

And despite how far we've come in society, Velez says the racism of Clemente's day still exists. "We still have people dealing with race. It’s all this nonsense that goes on as if it has anything to do with anything," she says. 

Fans who go check out the play should prepare themselves to see a fun show with plenty of Latin flavor. “There’s a different passion I feel Latinos have and I can’t even put it into words. It’s just so rich,” she adds. 

Don’t miss DC-7: The Roberto Clemente Story now through Dec. 4.