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This article was prepared for the January 23, 2002 edition of U.S.

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Broadway Review: `Sexaholix’

Notwithstanding the popularity of John Leguizamo’s

previous shows — "Mambo Mouth," "Spic-O-Rama,"

and "Freak" — the latest entry in this performance


growing anthology extolling the local Latino culture,


is not only his most successful (recently extended its virtually


run), but his most intimately revealed and most personal. His


propelled by constantly gyrating hips and a pelvis that moves in


it hasn’t been designed for, Leguizamo spins, twists and contorts

his elastic body through more variations on one single theme than

Mozart ever thought of. There is something to be said for letting

it all hang out in a cascade of words and movements and a few tracks

of very loud music. At least, one’s eyes are as busy following this

dizzying haze of trimness in black leather pants and a sleeveless

shirt as one’s ears are glued to his scatological biographical tale.

While it won’t come as any surprise to learn that growing up Latino

has its virtues – "music and dance" — and its pitfalls

— growing up in Queens (?) – the crux of the ever horny


turbulent testimony is his on-going pursuit to find true love by



This aggressively neurotic and episodic odyssey begins with his


as a member of a sex-obsessed street gang and as a victim of a


and poor family. He takes aim once again (as he has previously) at

his long-standing estrangement (that he claims is now healed) with

his abusive father. It continues with anecdotes that detail with more

detail than you might care to hear about various pickups and steamy,

sometimes funny, affairs. It ends happily with a long-term


with a nice Jewish girl (so what else is new?) and a baby to prove


Not wanting any female to be left out, Leguizamo leaps from the stage

to engage a willing female in a torrid Salsa in the aisle. Much of

Leguizamo’s bawdy babble is drenched in street jargon that may go

over the heads of some. But as he says, "If you don’t understand

something, ask the person next to you."

Leguizamo appears to be in charge of everything he says and does on

stage. So I’m not sure exactly what it is that director Peter Askin

should be credited with. What Askin, who directed both "Mambo

Mouth" and "Spic-O-Rama," needed to do was eliminate the

intermission and help shorten a text that eventually becomes


For all Leguizamo’s undeniable ability to activate his dynamic libido,

there comes a point when giving power to a cultural identity mostly

through 10-letter expletives ceases to amuse or enlighten. The result

is that one leaves the theater aching for a stiff dose of Masterpiece

Theater. Two stars. Maybe you should have stayed


— Simon Saltzman

Sexaholix, Royale Theater, 242 West 45th Street, New York.

Tele-Charge at 800-432-7250 or 212-239-6200. $30 to $70. Through

February 10.

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