Actor/writer/comedian John Leguizamo likes to get lost. Onstage, that is. “I want to be lost and just be on pure instinct,” he tells us. “I like to be all in.” Leguizamo’s newest one-man show, Ghetto Klown, is something he calls “a mix of media, slides, dance, hip-hop, salsa, up-rock and hustle — and music, mime…characters, vignettes and stand-up.” It’s basically the latest chapter in the story of his life, with some music and dance thrown in. It’s a formula that has served Leguizamo well: He’s earned an Emmy, along with Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his previous efforts (Freak, Mambo Mouth and Spic-o-Rama among them).
Ghetto Klown grew out of a series of college talks by Leguizamo. “I put my résumé on index cards, got drunk…and just riffed, and the kids laughed and hooted and stood up. I said to myself, ‘Damn, John, you got yourself your best show here.’ And I ran home and wrote it all down before I passed out.”
Leguizamo’s favorite subjects are all covered in Ghetto Klown: family (at an awards ceremony, his father congratulates him on being the first-place loser when Leguizamo doesn’t win), relationships (his fights with his wife are featured verbatim) and his famous co-workers (he came to blows with Patrick Swayze while filming To Woo Fong, Thanks for Everything, in which both played drag queens, but claims they kissed and made up).
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Leguizamo performs Ghetto Klown at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-222-5400 or visit www.ghettoklown.com. $34.50 to $54.50.
Feb. 23-25, 8 p.m., 2012