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THE GREATEST—Modesto Lacen as the legendary Roberto Clemente, who most consider the greatest Pirate of all time.

Forty-two years after his death, Roberto Clemente’s passion for baseball and humanity still resonates with audiences.

To commemorate his legacy, the Night Blue Performing Arts Company premiered “Clemente The Legend of 21” at the Byham Theater for a three-night run.

“It was one of my dreams as an actor to play Roberto Clemente because he set an example. He was human and he represented the good part of being Black and Puerto Rican,” explained Puerto Rican-born Modesto Lacen who portrayed Roberto Clemente as an adult in the show. “This is a very heartfelt show and we’re paying homage to Roberto.”


LOVING FAMILY MAN—Even though Roberto Clemente loved baseball, he loved his wife and children just as much. Above is a scene in the play by Modesto Lacen as Roberto, and Lorraine Velez plays his wife Vera Cristina Clemente.

The production, which included singing, dancing and English subtitles in a lot of it, told the journey of the Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder beginning with his death during an aviation accident while traveling to Nicaragua to help earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972 at the age of 38. It highlighted his love for his family and his country.  It also addressed sensitive topics like racism and civil rights in a smart way.

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