John Leguizama is finalizing his new musical “Kiss My Aztec!”

Hartford, Cannes (AP) – During an afternoon rehearsal for John Leguizam’s “Kiss My Aztec!”, Actor Joel Perez laughed during an obscene scene with fellow filmmaker Christina Alabad. They’ve probably done it hundreds of times. They know it by heart. But the scene is still so funny that Perez loses it for a moment, making all the actors and crew laugh.

“Keep going,” says Tony Tuccone from his seat. And after a couple of deep breaths everything goes on.

With the book Leguizama and Tackone “Kiss my Aztec!” begins previewing Wednesday on the Hartford Stage stage before opening June 10th. This is his third stop after previous performances at the Berkeley Repertory Theater and La Jolla Playhouse in California, and Broadway veteran Leguizama hopes he will soon take the “B-Way” and return home to New York.

“I think it’s so funny,” Leguizama told the Associated Press just before the rehearsal. “You will laugh and at the same time get an education.”

The show goes back to the 16th century, when a group of Aztecs led the resistance to the Spanish invaders. With a brutal female warrior at the helm and a not-too-fierce clown on a tug, they make a nasty attack and are confused with royalty, colonizers, pop stars and even puppets.

Music and lyrics – Benjamin Veles and David Camp – combine for Spaniards salsa, gospel, hip-hop, funk and meringue, as well as flamenco and pasadoble. Choreographed by Maya Garcia.

Like “Latin Story for Morons,” Leguizam’s latest solo performance on Broadway, “Kiss My Aztec!” it is a merry celebration of Spanish and Latin culture. But unlike the others, this is his first full-length musical, and this time the comedian stays behind the scenes.

“I can’t sing and dance like that,” said the Tony Award winner, noting that he managed to do some musical work, including the Disney animated film Encanto, where he voiced Bruno with great help, patience and auto tuning. “I mean, for example, for“ Encanto ”poor (songwriter) Lynn-Manuel (Miranda) spent hours trying to shove me into that pocket. However, he took me into his pocket, ”he adds with a laugh.

In addition to Perez and Alabad, starring Chad Carstarfen, Eddie Cooper, Richard Ruiz Henry, C Infante, Jesus E. Martinez, Maria Cristina Oliveras, Desiree Rodriguez, Matt Saldivar and Brittany Williams. Angelica Belliard, C.S. Della Cruz, Nicolas Caiceda and Gina Quintas.

“These actors are ridiculously talented,” Leguizama says, calling them a “quadruple threat” who can play, sing, dance and be funny.

The Colombian American actor and playwright, whose Broadway credits include the films “Freak” and “Ghetto Clown”, says he started working on the musical a few years ago while researching for “Latin History for Morons”.

“It’s interesting because, obviously, Latin History for Morons has opened up a world of our great, incredible contribution to the world – there would be no industrial revolution without our corn, without our potatoes,” Leguizama said. “Our gold stolen from us created the Enlightenment era, and the Renaissance was helped by the wealth that was stolen from us. So I learned so much and I wanted to go back and start telling our story. This musical is the birth of a Latin American man who is a conquest. “

The transition from monologues to a full-fledged musical was a “big challenge,” Leguizama admits. “All I had to do was check in on myself, ‘What’s your schedule?’ “Oh, I’m available.” ‘Oh, great. Let’s start tomorrow! ” He laughs. “It’s different, it’s a lot of moving parts.”

With his obscene humor, adult themes and some salty vocabulary, the show may not be suitable for all viewers. But Leguizama hopes it will be the next big event in musical comedies.

“I want it to be like the Book of Mormon, like Spammer,” he says. “I want it to be one of the funniest shows ever written.”

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Seagal Ratner-Arias is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner.

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