With ticket sales brisk and getting brisker, the Broadway transfer of John Leguizamo's solo show, Freak, subtitled "A Semi-Demi-Quasi-Pseudo Autobiography (His Most Dangerous Work Yet)," has already extended its run past an announced March 29 close to (at least) the end of April. Freak began previews at the Cort Theatre Jan. 20 and opened Feb. 12.
Those wishing to see Leguizamo on their small screens can catch the actor discussing Freak on NY local TV. Feb. 28 he's on "New York Non-Stop," ABC-TV channel 7, 7:30 PM (EST). Then, March 1, he's on Manhattan Cable's "Barry Z Show" (channel 35, 9 PM). That airing will be repeated March 8 (channel 56, 2 AM EST) and March 9 (channel 35, 1 PM).
The Off-Off-Broadway space P.S. 122 had previously workshopped Freak for seven performances (through Aug. 27). An earlier version was workshopped there in April. Gregory Mosher, who produced a recent workshop of Freak (Sept. 16-Oct. 19) at the Atlantic Theatre Off Broadway, is joined as producer by Arielle Tepper and Bill Haber. Mosher has praised Leguizamo as one of the few performers who bounce regularly between high-paying film work and live theatre.
Leguizamo dazzled theatre and film audiences with his portrayals of Latin men and women, including Latin men dressed as women, in such works as Spic-O-Rama and Mambo Mouth.
In traditional Leguizamo style, Freak, co-created and directed by David Bar Katz, reveals a slew of ethnic characters, including Italians, Irish, Germans, Koreans, Jews, Latinos, and West Coast "white dudes." All are in the service of Leguizamo's autobiography, since he was raised in poor Queens neighborhoods by his drunken, abusive father and (at least temporarily) victimized mother. Theatre buffs will especially appreciate the scene when Leguizamo discovers the joy of theatre: he saw A Chorus Line on Broadway, and was thrilled that the Hispanic character, Morales, wasn't portrayed as a junkie, drug addict or thief. Film audiences may recognize Leguizamo for his Golden Globe Award nominated performance in Too Wong Foo, With Love, Julie Newmar. He most recently appeared in Romeo and Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, and in his film The Pest, which he co created with David Bar Katz, who directs Freak. Leguizamo also appears in the films Spawn and Body Count.
According to Variety, his next project will be a film bio of Mexican bandleader Juan Garcia Esquivel for Fox Searchlight and Leguizamo's own East Side Films. Esquivel's unique "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music" was a musical touchstone of the swingin' '60s and was used most recently in "Ren & Stimpy" cartoons.