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John Leguizamo on developing his Broadway show in La Jolla

Through extensive experimentation and audience feedback, Tony Award nominee John Leguizamo developed his Broadway show Latin History for Morons in La Jolla by adding more of a bite to it.

Premieres Friday, November 16 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Streams Saturday, November 17 at and on PBS apps.


My hero is My hero is and I'm already standing up.

I was testing things out and you know, I was testing a lot of different endings.

My hero is... my hero is my mom.

[AUDIENCE APPLAUSE] Thank you, thank you.

When we're in La Jolla we sort of came up with a shape, a general shape that even We mapped out the fact that there would be a storyline with him and his son.

We mapped out the fact that there would be a lecture with the audience and then we mapped out John's personal identity issues.

But it was still at a kind of rudimentary phase.

The beautiful thing about these theater towns like Chicago, Berkeley, La Jolla and New York is that the audiences are trained or have been educated somehow To watch works in progress.

I don't know if you feel the difference from LA, but people really like theater here maybe They're willing to stay extra and they like to comment and they like to feel like they're a part of the contribution of the making of the piece [AUDIENCE MEMBER] It felt like your son choosing his mother as a hero is a really feminist way to answer... But then because it was Latin American History for Morons, it felt like but I wanted the hero or heroine to be Latino or Latinx.

Yeah, yeah. No, I know what you're saying. I mean, I definitely when I heard that I was like, 'Oh, yeah, I forgot I forgot that my wife was white.'

[JOHN AND AUDIENCE LAUGH] We're all making sure that I wasn't selling out Latin people or whitefying Latin history... They were pushing me to put more teeth into it.


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