John Leguizamo Up Close and Personal in “Tales From a Ghetto Klown”

On PBS, Friday, July 13th at 9:00PM

Get ready for an insightful look at the comedic genius of award-winning actor and playwright John Leguizamo this Friday as Ben de Jesus’ documentary Tales From a Ghetto Klown which premieres Friday, July 13 at 9:00 p.m. EST on PBS (check local listings) as part of the PBS Arts Summer Festival.  This groundbreaking documentary profiles Leguizamo’s unorthodox rise to success and takes you on along for the ride as struggles to mount his latest one-man show on Broadway and travels with him to Colombia to make the reverse cross-over and perform his show in Spanish.

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 DeJesus, 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).

Tales From a Ghetto Klown is a co-production of Diamante Pictures, David Chitel, Fisher Stevens, director Ben DeJesus and Latino Public Broadcasting, with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Funding for the launch of PBS Arts has been provided by Anne Ray Charitable Trust, public television viewers and PBS.

Diamante Pictures wasfounded by director Ben DeJesus, Diamante Pictures is a production and branded entertainment company, based in New York City and Miami Beach, that has produced over 75 hours of programming for broadcast, 100+ commercials, 100+ webisodes, 35 music videos and 25 DVD titles.

The remaining PBS ARTS SUMMER FESTIVAL schedule follows. Details at pbs.org/pressroom.

·      John Leguizamo’s Tales From a Ghetto Klown, July 13, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET.
·      Homecoming: The Kansas City Symphony Presents Joyce DiDonato, July 20, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET.
·      Havana, Havana!, July 27, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET.
·      The Barnes Collection, August 3, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET.
·      Great Performances: Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Celebration, August 10, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET.