Leguizamo back on Broadway with `American Buffalo"

November 7, 2008 5:57:06 PM PST
Five years after appearing with his one-man show "Sexaholix," John Leguizamo is back on Broadway - this time in the role he watched Al Pacino perform in the '80s. The 44-year-old actor Leguizamo recalled seeing Pacino in the 1983-84 revival of David Mamet's "American Buffalo."

"He spits a lot when he speaks," said Leguizamo, who's now playing the character called Teacher. "He spit all over my face! I felt I was being baptized!"

Leguizamo spoke to reporters after a preview performance of the Mamet play Thursday.

Directed by Robert Falls, the play opens Nov. 17.

"American Buffalo" debuted in 1977 with Robert Duvall, Kenneth McMillan and John Savage. Its first revival featured Pacino, James Hayden and J.J. Johnston in 1983-84.

The new revival co-stars Haley Joel Osment and Cedric the Entertainer, both making their Broadway debut. For the first time the play features a multiracial cast, with a Latino, a Caucasian and an African American.

"We think this play becomes even more relevant. The play seems so current because of the casting ... it feels like America is today," said Cedric.

Leguizamo won an Emmy for his monologue "Freak" - which originally appeared on Broadway in 1998 - and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his supporting role in 1995's "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar."

His next film role comes in the soon-to-be-released "Nothing Like the Holidays" starring Debra Messing.


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