John Leguizamo brings “Ghetto Klown” one-man show to Austin


(Photo courtesy of Jon Leguizamo)

Chris Nguyen

Known for his fast-talking, wisecracking roles, John Leguizamo has been able to make a wide and eclectic mark on Hollywood. He made his first break as Luigi in “Super Mario Bros.” before going on to meatier roles, whether it was as Tybalt in Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet” or the voice of Sid in the “Ice Age” movies.

Although known for his television and film work, Leguizamo has built a strong list of stage performances since 1993, including roles on Broadway. Now, bringing in years of experience, he is set to take the stage at Paramount Theatre as a part of his international tour for “Ghetto Klown,” a one-man show that offers a glimpse at Leguizamo’s high-energy and high-strung dealings with his childhood and even his time with Steven Seagal.

During his tour stop in Bogotá, Columbia, The Daily Texan spoke with Leguizamo about his new show and being in Austin.

The Daily Texan: How are things down in Bogotá?
John Leguizamo: It’s been great. I finished up my show, and the crowd was great.

DT: In doing a show in Bogotá, where you translate your show into Spanish, do you change things up a lot?
Leguizamo: I do, but it has to do more with understanding the audience and the crowd reaction. People here are going to be laughing at different things than other audiences because of culture and the way of life. So I definitely try to see how the audience will react.

DT: How do you feel about coming down to Austin?
Leguizamo: I love Austin. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world.

DT: What’s your favorite thing to do down here?
Leguizamo: I love the food. I love the life. I love the temperature. I love everything.

DT: Going back to your show, “Ghetto Klown,” this isn’t your first stage show by any means, so tell me why you decided to do it at this point in your life.
Leguizamo: I wanted to share things about life, personal and professional, that have happened. It’s really just about my life. I speak about what I know about Hollywood, which is very much about being a business. I talk about my time working with people like Patrick Swayze, Al Pacino and Steven Seagal.

DT: The show was on Broadway last year. What made you decide to bring this show on tour, and an international one at that?
Leguizamo: This was a good time, I think, to be able to travel and get to be in all these places and be with so many different audiences around the world to bring this show to. I enjoy being on stage and getting the energy from the crowd.

DT: What can we expect from you in the future?
Leguizamo: I’ll be doing the voice of Sid again in the next “Ice Age” movie, but I’ll also be showing a movie at South By Southwest later this year. I’m excited and really looking forward to that.

Printed on Thursday, February 9, 2012 as: John Leguizamo touring, switching styles in countries