John Leguizamo Central Park SummerStage 'GhettoKlown' Play: Colombian-Born Queens Native Goes From 'Benny Blanco from the Bronx' to Broadway
Emmy Award and ALMA Award winner John Leguizamo, who was recently nominated for an Imagen Award for Best Primetime Programme: Special or Movie-of-the-Week for "Ghetto Klown," is bringing the laughs to Central Park's SummerStage on July 28.
"Ghetto Klown," which was nominated for "Best Sound Design of a Play" at the 2011 Tony Awards, is a routine which recounts the comedian's childhood in New York City and eventual rise to fame, debuted on Broadway in 2011, after which the show was revamped for a national tour.
It's his fifth one-man play and his third on Broadway, and follows in the "uninhibited tradition" of his "Mambo Mouth," "Spic-O-Rama," "Freak," and "Sexaholix ... a Love Story."
Growing up in a tough New York neighborhood, Leguizamo drew upon his humor and wit to get out of hairy situations on the streets.
"It was an area of Jackson Heights now called Little Colombia, but when I arrived it was like a frontier -- we were the second Latino family there, the other was Mexican," Leguizamo told the Telegraph at the Hay Festival Cartegena. "It was tough. There were lots of fights. I would walk through a park and be attacked, and I had to defend myself all the time. But this helped me to become funny so that I wouldn't get hit."
Leguizamo goes on to explain, "'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 Wiki leaks but with no international manhunt. Yet."
The multi-faceted Colombian-born actor and comedian, who is of Colombian and Puerto Rican descent, has appeared in more than fifty films. His breakthrough performance was "Benny Blanco from the Bronx" in the 1993 film Carlito's Way, followed by notable roles in "Romeo + Juliet" (1996) and "Moulin Rouge!" (2001).
He was also seen on Nickelodeon series "The Brothers Garcia," as well as on "ER" and "Miami Vice," and is an accomplished stage performer.
While he has many awards under his belt, he was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (1995). In 1999, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program for "Freak" (1998) (TV Movie)
For more information visit Central Park SummerStage. Doors open at 7:00 pm ET.
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