Thumbing A Hispanic Nose

TITLE: SPIC-O-RAMA

AUTHOR: JOHN LEGUIZAMO

WHERE: OFF-BROADWAY

THE BOTTOM LINE: This oddball gallery of a dysfunctional family is an actor's tour de force and a writer's triumph.

When John Leguizamo burst into prominence last year with his performance medley, Mambo Mouth, reviewers hailed his resourcefulness in creating characters ranging from a punch-drunk prizefighter to a transvestite hooker named Manny the Fanny. But some fellow Hispanics were appalled that so talented a young man should focus on the dark netherworld of ethnic life. "They obviously felt I should be doing Bill Cosby-type things," Leguizamo recalls. "But that's not me and not where...

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