John Leguizamo Klass Klown is a must see performance at the Just for Laugh festival. This is more a one man play than a stand up comedy show per se. We do laugh a lot because his writing is funny, but it is not your typical collection of one liners.
John Leguizamo takes us on a tour of his life, from his childhood, his first marriage, his bit parts in movies, right through to present day. A troubled life that could have been déjà-vu but that ends up being fresh and memorable. The characters he inhabits throughout his show from his father to Al Pacino are fascinating. We relish in the insider's account of movie stars and directors that we know from the big screen.
His act is supported by slides that accompany the text. Although I missed some of those slides as I was sitting on the side of the theatre, I saw enough of them to follow the show and most of them are quite funny and full of originality. There is one joke that keeps popping up and far from being redundant, it gives us the state of mind of John at that moment of his life and it paces the show. He really lets us into his world with real emotion. We can feel his joy and his pain.
Some of the characters are mostly played in Spanish and it did, at times, break the rhythm for me. I do get that John is of Latin descent and this is part of him but I was ocasionally looking for subtitles and I did feel I was missing some of the jokes.
This aside, it is a great show. A real tour de force that makes 21/2 hours including intermission go by quickly. The longest part of the night was the intermission.
John Leguizamo Klass Klown until July 17 at the Gesu.