BERKELEY REP TO PRESENT THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
JOHN LEGUIZAMO: LATIN HISTORY FOR DUMMIES
Award-winning performer returns to Berkeley Rep for new one-man show
March 8, 2016—Berkeley Rep announced today it will present the world premiere of John Leguizamo: Latin History for Dummies. Written and performed by Leguizamo and directed by Berkeley Rep’s Michael Leibert Artistic Director Tony Taccone, this limited engagement will run Friday, July 1–Sunday, August 14 in the newly renovated Peet’s Theatre. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 6 to the general public at berkeleyrep.org or by calling 510-647-2949.
John Leguizamo’s up close and personal solo shows about growing up in Queens and climbing to the top of the Hollywood ladder have earned him scores of fans and accolades – and Emmy and Obie Awards. In Latin History for Dummies, the outrageous, multifaceted performer attempts to teach his son (and the rest of us) about the marginalization of Latinos in U.S. history and the vital roles they played in building this country. From a satirical recap of Aztec and Incan history to stories of Latin patriots in the Revolutionary and Civil War and beyond, Leguizamo breaks down 3,000 years into 90 irreverent and uncensored minutes in his trademark comedic style.
Developed at The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work, Latin History for Dummies follows up on Leguizamo’s 2010 hit show, Ghetto Klown, which was workshopped at Berkeley Rep as Klass Klown, and later transferred to great acclaim on Broadway. Leguizamo returns to Berkeley Rep with this fiercely funny, satirical, and often over-looked version of American history. Latin History for Dummies is a co-production with the Public Theater.
This work was inspired by Leguizamo’s observation that Latinos are essentially invisible in the standard American history curriculum. “Just imagine you’re a white kid and all of a sudden everybody’s Latin and everything they’re teaching you is Latin and you don’t hear anything about yourself or about your contributions,” Leguizamo explained. “And it’s really weird and unfair because we had huge contributions.”
“It has been fantastic working with John over the past year to develop Latin History for Dummies,” says Taccone. “John’s work is funny because it is so unflinchingly honest and truthful. For this show especially, John has really done his homework, and the show should enlighten audiences and spark an important conversation, along with the laughs.”
Multifaceted performer and Emmy Award winner John Leguizamo’s notable career defies categorization. Possessing boundless energy and creativity, his work spans the genres of film, theatre, television, literature, and beyond. As writer and performer, Leguizamo created the off-Broadway sensation Mambo Mouth (1991), in which he portrayed seven different characters (Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Vanguardia Awards). His second one-man show, Spic-O-Rama (1993), enjoyed extended sold-out runs in Chicago and New York (Dramatists’ Guild Hull-Warriner Award for Best American Play, Lucille Lortel Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Broadway Performance, Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance). His third solo show, Freak, completed a successful run on Broadway in 1998. A special presentation of Freak, directed by Spike Lee, aired on HBO (Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program and nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special). In 2001 Leguizamo returned to Broadway with Sexaholix…a Love Story, directed by Peter Askin (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance and Tony Award nomination for Best Special Theatrical Performance). Sexaholix aired as an HBO Special in 2002 and toured widely. His most recent one-man show, Ghetto Klown, was performed at Berkeley Rep in 2010 and went on to a Broadway run in 2011.
Presently, Leguizamo delights younger fans as the voice of Sid in Ice Age 1, 2, 3. He has been seen in countless films including Love in the Time of Cholera opposite Javier Bardem and Benjamin Bratt, The Happening opposite Mark Wahlberg, Righteous Kill opposite Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, The Babysitters opposite Cynthia Nixon, and The Take opposite Rosie Perez, as well as Miracle at St. Anna, Land of the Dead, The Groomsmen, Lies & Alibis, Assault on Precinct 13, Sueno, Spin, Moulin Rouge, Summer of Sam, King of the Jungle, Spawn, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Dr. Doolittle, Carlito’s Way, and Casualties of War.
During Tony Taccone’s tenure as artistic director of Berkeley Rep, the Tony Award-winning nonprofit has earned a reputation as an international leader in innovative theatre. In those 18 years, Berkeley Rep has presented more than 70 world, American, and West Coast premieres and sent 23 shows to New York, two to London, and one to Hong Kong. Tony has staged more than 35 plays in Berkeley, including new work from Culture Clash, Rinde Eckert, David Edgar, Danny Hoch, Geoff Hoyle, Quincy Long, Itamar Moses, and Lemony Snicket. He directed the shows that transferred to London, Continental Divide and Tiny Kushner, and two that landed on Broadway as well: Bridge & Tunnel and Wishful Drinking. Prior to working at Berkeley Rep, Tony served as artistic director of Eureka Theatre, which produced the American premieres of plays by Dario Fo, Caryl Churchill, and David Edgar before focusing on a new generation of American writers. While at the Eureka, Tony commissioned Tony Kushner’s legendary Angels in America and co-directed its world premiere. He has collaborated with Kushner on eight plays at Berkeley Rep, including The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. Tony’s regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, Center Theatre Group, the Eureka Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, the Huntington Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Public Theater, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. As a playwright, he debuted Ghost Light, Rita Moreno: Life Without Makeup, and Game On, written with Dan Hoyle. In 2012, Tony received the Margo Jones Award for “demonstrating a significant impact, understanding, and affirmation of playwriting, with a commitment to the living theatre.”
ABOUT BERKELEY REP
Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed nearly 400 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities – which include the 400-seat Peet’s Theatre, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley – are helping revitalize a renowned city. Learn more at berkeleyrep.org
ABOUT THE GROUND FLOOR: BERKELEY REP’S CENTER FOR THE CREATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF NEW WORK
As the umbrella for all new play activity at Berkeley Rep, The Ground Floor is a bold initiative designed to raise the bar on the Tony Award–winning nonprofit’s already successful record of artistic innovation. Think of it as an incubator for theatrical start-ups or a top-notch R&D facility for artists. The Ground Floor is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts; Bank of America; the Kenneth Rainin Foundation; supporters of Berkeley Rep’s Create Campaign; and ArtPlace (artplaceamerica.org), a collaboration of top national foundations; the National Endowment for the Arts; and various federal agencies to accelerate creative place making across the U.S. For more information on each project, and for future announcements or opportunities to interact, visit berkeleyrep.org/groundfloor.
BERKELEY REP PRESENTS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
JOHN LEGUIZAMO: LATIN HISTORY
WHO: Written and performed by John Leguizamo
Directed by Tony Taccone
WHAT: John Leguizamo: Latin History for Dummies
A co-production with the Public Theater
John Leguizamo’s up close and personal solo shows about growing up in Queens and climbing to the top of the Hollywood ladder have earned him scores of fans and accolades – and Emmy and Obie Awards. In Latin History for Dummies, the outrageous, multifaceted performer attempts to teach his son (and the rest of us) about the marginalization of Latinos in U.S. history and the vital roles they played in building this country. From a satirical recap of Aztec and Incan history to stories of Latin patriots in the Revolutionary and Civil War and beyond, Leguizamo breaks down 3,000 years into 90 irreverent and uncensored minutes in his trademark comedic style. History was never so mind-blowing…or hysterical!
WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Peet’s Theatre, 2025 Addison Street @ Shattuck,
Berkeley, CA 94704
WHEN: 46 Performances: Friday, July 1-Sunday, August 14, 2016
HOW MUCH: Regular Tickets: $55–60 · Under 30 Tickets: $35–40
Bring 10, Save $10 through Entourage groups program
All tickets include a drink as part of the purchase price.