Play revived interest in Cuban singer, sez scribe

Talks are under way to bring Off Broadway one-woman show “They Call Me La Lupe,” starring “Dexter’s” Lauren Velez as the titular character, to the bigscreen.

Co-written by “The Sopranos” and “Dexter” scribe James Manos Jr. and thesp-scribe Luis Caballero, play has been running since Jan. 4 at Gotham’s Teatro Latea and wraps Jan. 23.

“I co-wrote this show as a way to jumpstart the process,” Manos said. “I felt the play would help revive interest in ‘La Lupe.’ ”

Judging from sell-out crowds every night, mainly Latino auds, the show about the late queen of Latin soul has sparked considerable interest. An artistic rebel, La Lupe (born Guadalupe Victoria Yoli Raymond) was banished from her native Cuba and later became the lead singer in Tito Puente’s band.

Manos and Caballero have written a screenplay and are in talks with the Puerto Rican Film Commission to shoot on the island; 40% rebates there and La Lupe’s large following make it an ideal location.

Velez, who made her TV debut in Fox’s “New York Undercover,” is of Puerto Rican descent.

“It’s scary how Lauren has inhabited her being,” Manos said. “Not only does she look like La Lupe but she has captured La Lupe’s distinct voice as well.”

“They Call Me La Lupe” is directed by Veronica Caicedo and produced by Lee Hernandez.

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more