Tales From a Ghetto Kown profiles award-winning actor and playwright John Leguizamo’s unorthodox rise to success and his struggles to mount his latest one-man show on Broadway and beyond. The program premieres Friday, July 13 at 9:00 p.m. EST on PBS (check local listings) as part of the PBS Arts Summer Festival, a multi-platform event anchored by seven films that highlight artists and performances from around the world.
Starting with a survey of his Colombian and “NuyoRican” roots and building to his high-profile career in Hollywood, Leguizamo bares his soul (as do his colleagues, family members and celebrity friends) in this behind-the-scenes glimpse of one of the industry’s most versatile actors. After the Broadway success of his latest show, Ghetto Klown, Leguizamo goes on the road to his native Colombia and performs it in Spanish. The film, directed by Ben DeJesus (Diamante Pictures), documents the entire journey, including such bumps along the way as his struggles to translate the show and his insecurities over his rusty language skills.
The PBS Arts Summer Festival showcases diverse productions from top independent filmmakers in an exploration of culture and art from around the globe, offering an in-depth look at music, theater, art, architecture and cultural history from some of the world’s unique locations. Award-winning television, film and stage actress Anna Deavere Smith (“Nurse Jackie,” “The West Wing”) serves as weekly host for the Summer Festival, which begins Friday, June 29, 2012 at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings).