EN­JOY THE EVENING

Hon­orees can sit back and re­lax on the big night

Variety - - Tony Awards - By GOR­DON COX

Some of the at­ten­dees at this year’s Tony Awards won’t have to stress about hear­ing their names called. We take a look at the evening’s spe­cial hon­orees.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO

Leguizamo has been a reg­u­lar fix­ture on Broad­way since his first show on the Great White Way: “Freak” earned him Tony nom­i­na­tions for play and per­for­mance in 1998. He’s made a spe­cialty out of au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cally in­spired, comic mono­logues that have touched on ev­ery­thing from his dys­func­tional child­hood in Queens (“Freak”) to the women who helped him on the road to ma­tu­rity (“Sex­a­holix”) to how he forged a Hol­ly­wood ca­reer (“Ghetto Klown”). He was nom­i­nated this year as the cre­ator of best play nom­i­nee “Latin His­tory for Mo­rons,” an overview of oft-over­looked Latin peo­ple who have played ma­jor roles in Amer­i­can his­tory, all framed by the con­tem­po­rary story of his fraught re­la­tion­ship with his own son.

Win or lose, Leguizamo al­ready knows he’s walk­ing away with a Tony. That’s be­cause he’s also the re­cip­i­ent of one of the evening’s spe­cial awards, hon­or­ing him for his body of work and, in the words of the Tony ad­min­is­tra­tors, for “bring­ing di­verse stories and au­di­ences to Broad­way for three decades.

“I just feel re­ally val­i­dated for all my con­tri­bu­tions,” Leguizamo says. “Not just for bring­ing a Latin voice to main­stream, but also be­cause I helped change the one-man-show game. I helped cre­ate and pi­o­neer

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