Review “Latin History for Morons” (Broadway in Chicago): A Clever Tutorial

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 Permalink 0

Broadway in Chicago presents LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS.     

John Leguizamo is a comedian, stage/movie/television actor and writer. From a “Foo Wong” drag queen to a diminutive “Moulin Rouge” artist to an “Ice Age” sloth, Leguizamo’s talents have been showcased in his broad and diverse portfolio. Currently, Leguizamo is performing in his Tony Award nominated one man show at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre.

 

LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS is a clever schooling on the history of and for Latin Americans. Less playful and more earnest than any of his other roles, Leguizamo presents his findings from his personal research. He regales the history of the Incas and other tribes. He builds the case that Latinos have had a much more prominent role in establishing civilization than they are given credit for. Leguizamo even effectively redefines ‘Native American’ when he reveals his own DNA results.

Leguizamo explains he was inspired to write and perform the show for his son. He wanted his son to understand and be proud of his heritage. Director Tony Taccone leans hard into the father-son connection. Leguizamo easily and regularly transitions into his young son.  He even closes the show playing his son giving an oral report. The moment is touching and powerful.     

I had two logistics issues with this show. First, Taccone decides to project Leguizamo on a screen above his head. Knowing that a version of this show is available on Netflix, I still wanted to experience the live performance. Yet for the entire show, I have double vision. I feel like I’m seeing the live and Netflix shows simultaneously. It was distracting. The other issue were my seat mates to my left. They acted like they were watching a Netflix special in their living room. Despite me giving them the side-eye, the group talked and made jokes for the show duration. It was distracting.

Also, the word ‘Morons’ in the title is a bit misleading. The show has a scholarly bent. John Leguizamo has done his homework. And he is ready to give a tutorial on LATIN HISTORY.   

Running Time: One hour and fifty minutes with no intermission

At Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph

Written and performed by John Leguizamo

Directed by Tony Taccone

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays at 7:30pm

Saturdays at 8pm 

Sundays at 2pm 

Thru November 3rd 

Buy Tickets

For more Chicago theatre information and reviews, please visit Theatre in Chicago

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