John Leguizamo in "Ghetto Klown" on Broadway.
John Leguizamo will perform, live on stage, his Broadway smash hit “Ghetto Klown”, directed by Fisher Stevens, on a five-city tour of Texas in February. The show is a fun-filled, high-energy performance that will have have audiences laughing their faces off and holding their sides--Leguizamo holds nothing back.
Leguizamo said, “I love that all my peoples are showing up to witness the latest chapter of my life on stage; I want to keep this show open until I’ve messed up my 10-year-old son enough for him to be my understudy.”
Check out our chat with the funny man himself.
Wast there a specific incident or reason you decided to do another autobiographical show? Was there anything in particularly that spurred you to make this show happen? How you described your show below is hilarious.
“Ghetto Klown" is all the things I say to my therapist and my manager, but would never want the general public to know. It’s cheaper than a lawsuit and I get to take a bow at the end. It’s like Wikileaks but with no international manhunt. Yet.”
Well, what spurred the whole thing to take off was I had an attack of performance anxiety and challenged myself to do college talks--Ohio State, Michigan, Santa Barbara and Athens, Georgia--I took my career and put in on index cards with a few incidents. I would lubricate with some beer, and go on stage and just wing the whole thing, but the kids loved it. So now, I run home and type it before I pass out. And, that was true genesis of "Ghetto Klown."
You are bold--everyone in your life is up for grabs in your shows. Do you give your friends and family a heads up when you know they are going to be in the show?
I can't give my fam or friends a heads up or they will go out of their way to catch the show or read about it online or send spies... so i just say it's not ready. Then, if they make the cut then I have to man up and tell them they're in the show, but it's all good. If it's my wife, then I have to cut her section out when she comes to see it, and put it back after she leaves. We've been happily married now for years.
What is the best part of the whole process when making your show? Do you crack yourself up while you're writing?
I gotta say the most amusing part is doing for yourself, and then almost like a practical joke, it's so much better when you unleash on somebody else. I have a blast at rehearsals with Fisher Stevens. We'd lose it all the time and have to take a break and come back refreshed.
Do you find something out about yourself with each new one-man show you do?
Absolutely! I think each show is a rite of passage. I feel this is my second coming of age. I really was able to let go of a lot of pent up revenge fantasies that I get to act out every night and free myself--the more people view it and the more I do it, the freer we all get from the testifyng and witnessing.
What do you love most about taking the show on tour? What do you dislike?
Well, what I like most is that my big city small mindedness is put the test and I am so blown away by how cultured and evolved all these pockets of Americana are that come to see me. The big picture people, the hard livers of life and the down and out still can revel and have epiphanies together. It's very uplifting and inspiring for both... it shows me that we Americans really can do anything we set our minds to.
There's nothing tough about touring... whoever said that just wants to keep the circuit to themselves.
If I weren't an actor, I would be a _____________.
…therapist. Except that we'd talk and joke throughout the session, and then I would have to go write about it and make a one-man show about how weird my patients were. It would conflict with my vows.
What is your favorite late-night bite?
Chocolate, dark chocolate, salt and chocolate, raw chocolate, cheap chocolate, crumbs of chocolate, anything chocolate.
What is your favorite thing between two buns?
Ah… [clears throat] I thought this was a family show... well, besides what first came to my mind... gotta say nothing beats a good high-end 15-dollar burger in manny-hatty--all grass-fed and free-range. And, a real arrogant piece of steak, wow... with all the fixings and toppings. I feel my heart choking on the fat already... bacon, cheese, cheddar... Shoot, now I'm gonna have to go fake walk the dogs to go get one.
"Ghetto Klown" is on tour now. The venues include Paramount Theatre in Austin, February 9-11; American Bank Center Selena Auditorium in Corpus Christi on February 14; The Majestic Theatre in Dallas February 16-18; The McAllen Civic Auditorium in McAllen on February 21; and the Worthan Center Cullen Theatre in Houston February 23-25.