The intimate play that mixes the actor-ventriloquist's personal story with the history of ventriloquism was seen in an Off-Broadway engagement at the Atlantic Theater Company's Chelsea home in 2004. The moving, funny, theatrical solo show (with puppets and voice-throwing as part of he experience) had some theatregoers in tears as Johnson (widely known as creating Chuck & Bob on TV's "Soap") told the story of his relationship with his mentor, a vaudeville veteran.
The new commercial staging opens on Broadway March 19. Latinologues is the current resident of the Hayes, on West 44th Street.
"In his 30-year career, Jay Johnson has converted generations of ventriloquist-avoiding Americans with his charm, anarchy and innovative wit," according to the producers of the new staging. "In Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! he deconstructs and demonstrates his lifelong obsession."
Johnson is recognized as one of America's foremost ventriloquists, and his new stage memoir seeks to return "the ancient craft to its rightful place as an art form. In the show, he takes us on a multi-dimensional journey that combines his skills with a parade of characters that range from a subversive monkey to a withering tennis ball."
The show is directed and co-created by Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel. Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! is produced by Roger Alan Gindi, Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley, Dan Whitten, Herbert Goldsmith Productions, and WetRock Entertainment.
The creative team for Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! is Beowulf Boritt (scenery), Clifton Taylor (lighting), David Gotwald (sound) and Michael Andreas (original music).
Tickets will be available at www.telecharge.com and at TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200.
Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! play Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday-Saturday at 8 PM, Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, Sunday at 3 PM. All tickets are $75 except the rear mezzanine, at $50. The front row orchestra is reserved for Student Rush (with I.D.) at $25.