Ventriloquism Lives Again at the Home Ed Sullivan Built; Jay Johnson Does "Late Show"

News   Ventriloquism Lives Again at the Home Ed Sullivan Built; Jay Johnson Does "Late Show" David Letterman will welcome ventriloquist Jay Johnson on "The Late Show" Sept. 19, the same day Johnson begins Broadway performances of The Two and Only!

"The Late Show" appears 11:35 PM on CBS Channel 2 in the New York City area. Check local listings for time and channel in your area.

Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! is the new solo show written by and starring Johnson, who came to international prominence playing Chuck and Bob on TV's "Soap." The Helen Hayes Theatre is the Broadway trunk from which Johnson will bring his story (and his puppet creations) to life. The work is a theatrical memoir exploring the art of ventriloquism, and Johnson's career as it fits into the history of the form. Opening is Sept. 28.

The Letterman appearance is part of "Ventriloquist Week" at "The Late Show." The bookings of ventriloquists on the Letterman program harkens to the old days of "The Ed Sullivan Show," when Edgar Bergen and others made appearances on the variety show and were household names. "The Late Show" tapes on the same stage where Sullivan did — at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, formerly a Broadway house called the Hammerstein.

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According to The Two and Only! production notes, "The ancient craft was discovered thousands of years ago and was used by early chieftains and tribesmen, who acted as mediums between men and supernatural forces. The case has also been made that diviners in many religions, including the Oracle of Delphi, were ventriloquists. With his dummy Bob, Jay Johnson follows in the footsteps of such performers as Jules Vernon, Fred Russell (and Coster Joe), The Great Lester (and Frank Byron, Jr.), Edgar Bergen (and Charlie McCarthy) and Paul Winchell, who have all helped to define ventriloquism as a bonafide modern art form." The Two and Only! is written and performed by Jay Johnson, conceived by Jay Johnson, Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel and directed by Murphy Cross & Paul Kreppel. The creative team also includes Beowulf Boritt (scenery), Clifton Taylor (lighting), David Gotwald (sound) and Michael Andreas (original music). The producers are Roger Alan Gindi, Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley, Dan Whitten, Herbert Goldsmith Productions, Ken Grossman, Bob & Rhonda Silver, Michael A. Jenkins/Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. and WetRock Entertainment.

Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! will play Tuesday-Thursday at 7 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM, Sunday at 1 PM & 5 PM.

Tickets are on sale via Telecharge.com and (212) 239-6200, and at the Helen Hayes Theatre box office on West 44th Street. For more information, visit www.thetwoandonly.com.