Comic and actor John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons is a 90 minute tour-de-force. This one man show gives Leguizamo free reign to be everything and everyone as he tells the story of trying to help his kid deal with some bullies by teaching him about all the heroes in his history.
Here’s the synopsis of the program. “In John Leguizamo: Latin History for Morons, the outrageous, multifaceted performer schools his son – and the rest of us – on 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.”
Leguizamo performed this show around the country as he perfected it and took it all the way to Broadway. The effort shows.
The props are perfect and right to hand – books, drinks, hats. The sounds come in on cue, the lights are flawless. Leguizamo takes on dozens of personas as he makes a fast and often funny run through the history of both North and South America and the islands of the Caribbean.
He tells it all as if he is a teacher, or a father. He makes it personal even while he makes it universal. He touches on whole civilizations, on inventors, on warriors, on writers. He talks about genocide and conquest. He talks about DNA and music. He talks about the poison of invisibility and erasure. He talks about institutional racism and politics. He talks about conquerors and thieves. He talks about Columbus and Pizarro and Cortes and Trump. He talks about Incas and Cherokees and kids in his son’s school. He grabs books and gives title and author, then moves on. He talks fast – he has 3000 years of forgotten history to correct.
It’s an impressive and powerful 90 minutes. I absolutely recommend it. John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons is currently streaming on Netflix.