From Detective Nina Moreno on New York Undercover to Lieutenant Maria Laguerta on Dexter star Lauren Vélez has brought the late Cuban singer La Lupe, Guadalupe Victoria Yoli Raymond, back to life in her one-woman show, “They Call Me La Lupe,” being performed at Teatro LATEA on the lower East Side. La Lupe was a theatre icon known for her outrageous stage antics that involved her kicking off her shoes, tearing at the clothes she wore, and slapping herself including other musicians through alleged demoniac possession (possessions meaning drug-fuelled).
Two years after her death, La Lupe is returning to the stage through Brooklyn-born Vélez who attributes her fascination for the star due to her living “so passionately and so freely. Have you ever seen anybody like that?” Running through January 23, Vélez hor-long monologue follows La Lupe’s life from her winning a singing contest in Cuba, exile to New York, and rise as a salsa singer in the 60s and 70s. The monologue also deals with La Lupe recording hit albums with Latin music legends like Tito Puente, a look into her lovers, and what led her to her fall and into a homeless shelter with her two children.
Although the one-woman show is telling the story of La Lupe, Vélez believes her pieces is an “homage to every woman who just insists on being themselves.”