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July 02, 2014

John Leguizamo: Ghetto Klown



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Actor and comedian John Leguizamo will make his Long Island debut with a performance at Guild Hall in East Hampton tomorrow night at 8.

"It's my first time performing on Long Island," the Emmy award winner said in an interview Monday afternoon. "I've performed on Broadway, off Broadway, but never this 'off' Broadway," he joked.

Ghetto Klown, his aptly named, semi-autobiographical show, is one of many to be featured in the Guild Ha!! comedy series happening throughout this summer.

"I got a place out here," he said when asked why he chose to perform at the East End locale. "People here really like theatre. They're really cultured."

Originally born in Bogota, the comic moved to Jackson Heights when he was about three. Leguizamo was a self-proclaimed class clown during adolescence, crediting a failed school system and colorful neighborhood as reasons for his comedic chops.

"I kept a captive audience every day," he said.

Ghetto Klown is what Leguizamo calls a cautionary tale, offering the audience an example of "what not to do." Because of what the comedian deemed originally humble situations and surroundings, "it's an underdog story."

In a career that's spanned more than 50 films including Romeo + Juliet, Carlito's Way, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Ice Age, and Moulin Rouge!, countless television credits, Ghetto Klown is Leguizamo's fifth one-man play and his third to reach Broadway.

Ghetto Klown, directed by Fisher Stevens, paints a vivid picture of the funnyman's adolescent memories of Queens and his early days as an actor.

Praising the director, Leguizamo noted the "incredibly smart" Stevens really helped in providing a depth to the show. "We are both trying to get that deep laugh," he said. "I really want to take everybody way, way back."

Tickets are available at $45/$43 for members for balcony seats, $65/$64 for members for orchestra seats, $100/$95 for members for prime orchestra seats. Visit www.guildhall.org to purchase tickets or call the box office at 631-324-4050.

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