HARTFORD, Conn — This spring, a new musical, co-written by John Leguizamo and Tony Taccone, is making its way to the Hartford Stage called "KISS MY AZTEC!"
Emmy and Tony award-winning actor, performer, and comedy legend John Leguizamo told FOX61 in a sit-down interview that bringing the musical to Connecticut is a full-circle moment.
"I did Ghetto Klown here back in the day before I went to broadway, and I created Latin History for Morons after I was on Broadway, and now I'm bringing my first musical, my first dipping my toes into a musical world," explained Leguizamo.
KISS MY AZTEC! celebrates Hispanic & Latin culture and is based loosely on Latin American History.
"We're a diverse multi-racial people," Leguizamo explained. "That's just our culture, and I feel that needed to be represented in the show."
That's being fulfilled with an all Latin and Afro-American cast. The musical is infused with lots of cultural music and scenes to make you laugh.
"I'm hoping to elevate, I love making people laugh and elevating them as well at the same time, and I smuggle in the intellectual part," jokingly explained Leguizamo.
While it focuses on his culture, he said there's something for everyone to take away.
"Everybody can relate to it," emphasized Leguizamo. "Everyone comes from a culture where they were oppressed and had to fight their way out and succeed."
While Leguizamo is not performing in the play, he stressed that representation is essential. He said between the COVID-19 Pandemic and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement; people began taking note that minorities need to be properly represented.
"We're the largest ethnic group in America," he explained. "We're almost 80 million people, including my undocumented, and that's a huge portion of America that just is excluded in storytelling."
He recounted the times he would pitch to studios and networks.
"They either don't get it. They show enthusiasm, but they don't greenlight it, and they don't have our stories in the pipeline," said Leguizamo.
Leguizamo said people must share their own stories, especially those in the LatinX community. He said that has become more evident with the Disney hit, Encanto.
"Latin culture is really specific about our storytelling, and it blew up around the world; it was Disney's biggest hit," said Leguizamo. "Latin Culture, when you let us do it the way we gotta do it and need it, it blows up."
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