Lopez promises an edgy show

By Jeanne Jakle – Express-News
Original story taken from

PASADENA, Calif. — When George Lopez performs Saturday in the AT&T Center, people around the country will be watching the show live on HBO.

Lopez said the concert/special will be “very adult, very edgy, very politically on the line,” and, most important, “memorable.”

“It might be one of those times we catch lightning in a bottle,” the actor/comedian said after a media session in California for “Lopez Tonight,” his upcoming late-night TBS show.

The HBO special, “George Lopez: Tall, Dark & Chicano,” airs at 9 p.m. Saturday. It’s his second solo special for the premium cable channel. He said it also could be his last — at least for a while — because he’ll be preoccupied with his new five-night-a-week talk show, which debuts in the fall.

He chose San Antonio as the special’s site because he loves the city and the city loves him. When he performed last year at the AT&T Center, it was awesome “to have 13,000 people who completely love you and love what you say and love what you do. It’s a great town. It’s a military town.”

Lopez, 48, said the show will be “pro-American and dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces.” It also will touch on issues that everyone can relate to: “There will be stuff about kids, sexuality, getting older.”

Lopez said he’s training for the concert/special like a boxer preparing for a title fight. “I’m simplifying my life,” he said, “traveling and resting.”

He’ll also be getting support from one of the best in the business: renowned producer/director Marty Callner. He directed Lopez’s first HBO special, “George Lopez: America’s Mexican,” and has worked his magic for artists Chris Rock, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Jerry Seinfeld and Robin Williams.

Callner is a veteran Emmy nominee and is up for several awards again this year, one of which is a best-directing nod for HBO’s critically acclaimed “Will Ferrell on Broadway Live,” Ferrell’s performance as George W. Bush.

Despite his decades of experience, Callner doesn’t take his latest challenge lightly. Like Lopez, he is in heavy preparation mode. He said he’s studying Lopez at stops along the way to get a better feel for what he’ll do in San Antonio.

“We haven’t even done a rehearsal,” he said in a phone chat. “This show is as live and dangerous as it gets.”

Anything could happen, Callner said. “It could be a great success or something could go very wrong.”
He said he loves working with Lopez because he’s “always himself and really knows what he’s doing up there.” All Lopez’s material for the special will be 100 percent new, he added.

Callner is particularly excited about shooting in San Antonio. Considering how the city connects with Lopez, “this audience could push him to another level,” he said.

Callner’s challenge technically? To make this big, splashy special “an intimate experience for the people at home,” he said. “I want to give everyone the best seat in the house.”