People call John Leguizamo quirky and versatile, spastic and incisive. But no one ever points out his good looks. Why is that? He's got the cheekbones, the swiveling Latin hips, the penetrating...eyes. Remember that scene in Summer of Sam, in which the camera luxuriated over his dance moves with Mira Sorvino? Rawr! Now that's a man. And yet, in so many of his other films, Leguizamo seems hell-bent on disguising his handsome features with a heavy dose of freak factor. In William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, he gave his hair an oil change and sneered more than Elvis. In Moulin Rouge, he played a lovelorn midget. In Spawn, he was an obese clown. Is there anything less attractive than that? He looked gorgeous in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. Of course, he played a drag queen. The fact is that Leguizamo inhabits other bodies comfortably. That's what makes his one-man shows such masterpieces of performance and invention. In his 1991 off-Broadway debut, Mambo Mouth, he left critics reeling with a series of comic monologues exploring the Latino experience in America. He won an OBIE award for that play and catapulted to the Great White Way, to which he added some much-needed color with Spic-o-Rama, Freakand Sexaholix...A Love Story, more ingenious shows that laid bare his demons and made clear his talent. Onstage, he is a dynamo, dancing, singing, leaping and mimicking the voices of his youth. And though his stories are often funny--even hilarious--they have a poignancy that resonates. Leguizamo doesn't just want to entertain you. He wants you to think. Dammit.
We don't know much about "A Talk With John Leguizamo," the comedian's latest one-man show, coming to NextStage on February 26. We do know, however, that Leguizamo is a performer who hurls everything out there, who leaves pools of sweat on the stage. He's quirky and versatile, spastic and incisive. And you know what? He's pretty cute, too. Tickets are $32 to $43. Call Ticketmaster 214-373-8000. --Sarah Hepola
A Fine Romance
What is it that makes musicians seem so much hotter than, say, accountants? Even without the piano and microphone, Michael Feinstein would still be dark and handsome with a voice like an angel and piercing blue eyes that could set fire to even the coldest hearts. Down, ladies, this fella makes no secret about being gay. Feinstein continues to bring his wonderfully romantic interpretation to songs from greats such as Gershwin, Mercer and Ellington. He started out by playing the piano in bars but was eventually introduced to Ira Gershwin while in Los Angeles. Feinstein served as his assistant for six years and, through the relationship, was granted access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs. Feinstein then moved on to perform Isn't It Romantic?, a one-man Broadway show. The Grammy nominee has performed in venues as small as a smoky jazz club to major concert halls, with a few college campuses in between (and I'm sure the coeds are still swooning). He will perform with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra on Thursday through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall. Concerts begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $23 to $72 and are available at 817-665-6000 or www.fwsymphony.org. Bass Hall is located at 525 Commerce St. in Fort Worth. --Jenice Johnson
The roles of men and women are becoming unrecognizably blurred, are just as stark as ever or they never existed at all. It all depends on whom you ask, their religious and/or political affiliation, where they went to school, their hair color and other important stuff like what they had for breakfast. And while some people may pounce on perceived social inequities to make a grand point about American injustice, Rob Becker turns social debate into a comedic romp with his long-running Broadway show Defending the Caveman. The show, which holds the title of longest-running solo play on Broadway, takes pride in examining gender discrepancies and disparities in American culture, even if it doesn't say it quite like that. Becker will perform Caveman for one week only at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. The play's run, from March 2 to March 7, includes 8 p.m. performances Tuesday through Saturday and shows at 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets run from $20 to $55. Call 817-332-2272 or visit www.casamanana.org. --Mary Monigold
Another funny sitcom actor takes the stage
You wouldn't think that John Henton is an elusive character to write about. After all, he's been a mainstay in the semipopular sitcoms Living Single and The Hughleys for some time now. Straightforward comedy stuff, right? Well, the tough thing to write about is his stand-up show running Wednesday through Sunday at the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, and that's because we can't predict what kind of material he's planning. Once TV personalities are freed of directors, writers and censors, they usually emerge in stand-up form as something wholly different from their sitcom roles. Our mother learned this the hard way when Bob Saget toured his stand-up act in the late '80s. She figured Grandma would love his Full House stylings, but 10 minutes and two anal-sex jokes later, Mom and Grandma were out the door faster than the fall of Dave Coulier's career. Still, we figure Henton can't be thatbad, right? Finding out will cost you $17 and up. Call 972-404-8501. --Sam Machkovech