Category: American Theater Magazine

  • John Leguizamo

    LATIN HISTORY is for morons & not for dummies

    LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS Written and performed by John Leguizamo On Broadway at Studio 54 254 West 54 Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue) New York NY 10019 For tickets, visit Telecharge. By Randy Gener NEW YORK CITY |   In the Broadway solo play, LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS, the popular film actor John Leguizamo schools audiences on the need and the search for notable Latinos overlooked in American history. Inspired by the near-total absence of Latinos in his son’s American history class, Leguizamo frenziedly scours around for the right U.S. Latin hero for his son’s school project.  From a mad recap of the Aztec empire to stories of unknown Latin patriots of the Revolutionary War and beyond, Leguizamo breaks down the 3,000 years between the Mayans and Ricky Ricardo into 95 irreverent and uncensored minutes in his trademark style. The Tony nominee’s new solo comedy has been extended by three weeks, through February 25, 2018.   The show was originally slated for an engagement through February 4 at Studio 54. It began previews on October 19 and officially opened on November 15. Tony Taccone, the stage director who put Leguizamo to his acting paces (and phases), remembers that the two men used …

  • Black to the Future

    You can’t call yourself a bonafide Black believer (or a Black supporter) if you’ve never heard of the National Black Theatre.Created by Dr. Barbara Ann Teer and dubbing itself an “Institute for Action Arts,” National Black Theatre has been an essential fixture — not just in the Harlem neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan.  It is a lodestone in the Black Arts phenomenon.

  • How to dare to rewrite a magic realist novel into a brand new play

    By Randy Gener NEW YORK CITY |  Did you know?  The first staged reading of Pulitzer Prize–winner Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first successful Broadway musical was at the Repertorio Español in New York. And did you know?  Spanish-speaking New Yorkers can actually see and hear Spanish–speaking plays — without the onus of being identifies with any specific Latin-American community.  Where?  Where else? At Repertorio Español. What’s important for this New York troupe is the mark that it serves all of New York’s Spanish-speaking groups.  Not just Puerto Ricans or only Dominicans or Chicanos. Take the plays currently running there.  At the company’s space — located at 138 East 27th Street in Manhattan between Lexington and Third Avenues — you will be able to see Gabriel Garcia Marquez‘s CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD, Isabel Allende’s THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS and Julia Álvarez‘s IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES. If you go, you will be handed programs that read EL CORONEL NO TIENE QUIEN LE ESCRIBA, LA CASA DE LOS ESPIRITUS and EN EL TIEMPO DE LAS MARIPOSAS. According to Robert Weber Federico, the company’s leader, serving audiences of many nationalities and interests marks its mission and unique repertory method of producing. Once a common …

  • Harlem Rep’s OZ eases down the road (of success)

    By Randy Gener NEW YORK CITY |   Harlem Repertory Theatre comes out swinging — and shimmying — with a bonafide winner.  In cahoots with Yip Harburg Foundation, the ambitious company has twice or three times now extended the Off-Broadway run of its popular THE WIZARD OF OZ musical. To boost the show’s enchantment for wider audiences, Harlem Rep has asked its multiracial cast to stay put and continue following the yellow- brick road through September 9, 2017 at Tato Laviera Theatre, 240 East 123rd Street (near 2nd Ave.) in Manhattan. And why not? The show’s underscore is jazzy and the authoritative dramaturgy has been blessed by the representatives of the Yip Harburg Foundation. Director/choreographer is Keith Lee Grant, artistic director of Harlem Rep, who is in the midst of a four-year project of presenting four classic musicals that have lyrics by E.Y. “Yip” Harburg. In short, Harlem Rep has gotten the all-important official imprimatur.  Word on the street adds that Harlem Rep expects to continue the production into 2018. THE WIZARD OF OZ clicks its musical heels with a timeless score and eternal allegories — a magical experience for young audiences and older aficionadoes.  Based on MGM’s classic motion picture, the …