Cuban Drama Queen Lives Again at Viernes Culturales

La Lupe, the patron saint of Cuba's Latin soul movement is being immortalized in film.


Mala is a Spanish drama based on the life of Guadalupe Yoli Raymond and

named after one of La Lupe's most famous songs. In it, Miami's own Lena Burke puts on a hell of a performance trying to imitate La Lupe's theatrical, sometimes manic, stage presence. In La Mala, Lena plays Yolanda, an extrovert literally writhing to break free from an unremarkable existence.

"¡Yo quiero ser grande!" she calls out to the ocean in one scene.


by the likes of Hemingway and Picasso, consorted by the likes of Hector

Lavoe and Tito Puente, La Lupe got her wish. Now the woman who's been

described as owning a "pleasantly menacing quality" -- and whose

penchant for ripping off shoes and clothes mid-act only grew with age -- has one more performance to add to her repertoire.

On Friday, Lena will perform songs from La Mala Soundtrack, a combination of La Lupe covers and original songs, at Viernes Culturales in Little Havana (on the corner of Eight Street and 15 Avenue in Miami).

--Bryan Falla

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