John Leguizamo

"Kiss My Aztec" is a hit at La Jolla Playhouse!

Thrilled that “Kiss My Aztec” finally opened at La Jolla Playhouse and that the critics and audience seem to be having a blast! Shout out to my peerless collaborators John Leguizamo, Tony Taccone, and David Kamp. We still run until October 13th, so be sure to check it out if you’re going to be in southern California before then!!


Some review highlights:

San Diego Union-Tribune

“A little like “In the Heights” crashing into “The Book of Mormon” somewhere along “Avenue Q.”

“The show has the vibrant musical diversity (and welcome multi-ethnic mix) of that first show; the R-rated impudence and unfettered showiness of the second; and, along with the buoyant spirit, the fuzzy puppets of the third.”

 “Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do” (one of scads of strong tunes by the gifted young composer Benjamin Velez)

Times of San Diego

“cheeky, salty, irreverent, playfully wicked (even a little scandalous)”

 “The most potent musical numbers bookend the piece and provide the most resonance with today”

“You have to be impressed by the palpable energy and ebullience on display”

Broadway World

“fun folklore fantasy that entertains as it touches upon issues that still resonate today.

 “This musical has a feverish energy, and biting commentary”

 “funny, high energy, bold and brash, deliberately challenging”

 “Music by Benjamin Velez, and lyrics by David Kamp, Velez, and Leguizamo have created genre-hopping song infused with salsa, jazz, hip-hop, and more. It's a fitting mix for a show about forced integration of diametrically opposed forces that the show doesn't fit any one musical style.”

Talkin Broadway

“the best part of the show is the songs. Benjamin Velez's music is a rich mix of styles. The melodies please the ear and energize the action”

"Kiss My Aztec" Casting Announced!

I couldn’t be more thrilled to have our world premiere cast in place for “Kiss My Aztec”. This crazy talented group of superstars will be doing both the Berkeley and La Jolla Productions and I’m excited we get to birth this baby together! Come see us this summer and fall if you’re on the west coast!

Check out the write up on Broadway World at this link.

Tickets are available at Berkeley Rep’s site and will hopefully go on sale for La Jolla soon!


"KISS MY AZTEC" World Premiere Announced for Spring 2019!!

I'm so excited that this musical I've been working on for over 4 years with Book writer John Leguizamo and Co-lyricist David Kamp (previously "Pain In The Aztec") is finally making it to the stage! The incredible Tony Taccone is bringing our musical to Berkeley Repertory Theater for his final season and it's going to be lit! Check out the write up in Playbill and stay tuned for more updates. 

"Pain in the Aztec" first reading!

Excited to share that our first reading of "Pain In the Aztec", produced by the Public Theater, was a success! With Book by John Leguizamo, Music by myself, Benjamin Velez, and Lyrics by John, myself, and David Kamp, this draft has been in development since 2014 and it was wonderful to hear it out loud for the first time!

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Thanks to David Gardos, our incomparable Music Director, and our stellar cast: JOEL PEREZ, CARIDAD DE LA CRUZ, CHAD CARSTARPHEN, JESSE J. PEREZ, ELISEO ROMAN, MARIA ELENA RAMIREZ, SOL MARINA CRESPO, JUSTIN GREGORY LOPEZ, and our fabulous Director Tony Taccone! 

Excited for what's next!