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San Francisco by Richard Connema

John Leguizamo in Sexaholix ... A Love Story at the Orpheum

Also see Richard's reviews of and Joyful Noise
and For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again


John Leguizamo opened his high energy, raunchy one man show called Sexaholix ... a Love Story at the big Orpheum Theatre to an audience of adoring fans. The theater was bursting at the seams with a rowdy crowd of Latinos, grungers, frat boys, and sixty-something first-nighters. This is a happening rather than a one man show and Leguizamo keeps up a frantic pace, disco dancing, hip-hopping, making lewd simulated sexual movements while the words tumble out of this motor-mouthed Latino hipster. He packs as many jokes as possible into his two hour act on the stage, and the crowd eats it up.

I have always admired Lequizamo as an actor for such films as Romeo and Juliet, Son of Sam and the recent Moulin Rouge. The first time I saw John was in New York in Spic-O-Rama and it was clear he would be a star of the first order. Leguizamo toured his second show Freak here for its pre-Broadway run in a smaller house. That show was more mellow for general theatergoers than this current all out, no-holds-barred version of his life.

The high energy starts almost immediately as, to the heavy Latin rock music booming from the loudspeakers, John comes boogying out onto the big stage in his trademark tight jeans, white tank top and a leather jacket which he later removes. Leguizamo starts his monologue by saying, "Wassup, San Francisco?" and the yelling and screaming audience answers him back. He says the show will be raunchy and that it is. He shows how various ethnic Latino groups disco, going from Cuban to Dominican to his native Columbia, and even shows how "the white folks" boogie. It's a hilarious opening.

Sexaholix was the name of his high school gang who were always chasing girls, hoping for sex. He goes into great detail about a high school girl he tried to entice into a seduction, but he always struck out. John talks about his present life with his live-in girlfriend, whom the comic says he'll never marry because he loves her too much. His parents divorced and he himself is divorced.

Leguizamo presents his show on a bare stage with a stool. There is a floor to ceiling string of round lights hanging in the background. The lights are sometimes blinding white and other times muted pink and yellow depending on the mood of the artist. He does get serious several times, especially when he talks about his grandfather's death and funeral. However, there's always a funny side to these stories.

At the beginning of the second act, he is in the aisle disco dancing with a member of the audience. John probably can describe himself better then I can. He says he is a, "self-absorbed, insecure, egomaniacal, sexaholic actor who was 'damaged' as a child."

Sexaholix...A Love Story ran through May 19 at the Orpheum Theatre.


Cheers - and be sure to check the lineup of great shows this season in the San Francisco area


- Richard Connema



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