John Leguizamo brings his acclaimed one-man show Latin History For Morons to the Adrienne Arsht Center.
It’s not easy to recap 3,000 years’ worth of history in just under two hours, but if anyone is up for the challenge it’s John Leguizamo. And that’s exactly what he does in his direct-from Broadway hit Latin History for Morons, which the actor and comedian will present in South Florida later this month as part of a cross-country tour.
The show—inspired by Leguizamo’s search for a Latin hero for his son’s school project when he couldn’t find any in his American history books—is a hilarious, uncensored look at the often neglected Latino contributions to the U.S. historical narrative. “Comedy is the best smuggler of information,” recalls Leguizamo when he began to conceptualize the play a few years ago. “I knew I had to make it funny but also give it a little bite.”
Armed with just a blackboard and chalk, the Tony and Emmy Award winner transforms into the history teacher we all wish we’d had in school, covering a wide range of topics with his characteristic style of rapidfire wit and sarcasm—from the rise and fall of the Aztec and Mayan empires to the unsung Cuban patriots who helped finance the American Revolutionary War, with a sprinkling of pop culture mixed in for good measure.
“Latinx people have fought in every single war this country has ever had,” says the Colombian-born performer pointedly, “so how is it not in textbooks?”
His wish is for audiences of the show to be as inspired and moved to action as he was when he began this journey. “I hope the show continues to get people fired up, and keeps triggering them to become active, to do the research and fight to have our history in the history textbooks someday.” July 12 to July 14, Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, arshtcenter.org
Photography by: Photography by Mark Abrahams