- PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
- JOHNSON AND JOHNSON:
Johnson has since “converted generations of ‘ventriloquist avoiders,’” as press materials put it, creating such sidekicks as snarky, back-talking monkey Darwin. Johnson’s 2007 Broadway show Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! garnered him the American Theatre Wing Tony Award for “Best Special Theatrical Event.” By special limited touring engagement, the acclaimed one-man show (or two-man show, his dummy would interject) comes to the Central Coast. See The Two and Only! on Oct. 23, at 8 p.m., in the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre.
The Two and Only! intertwines the “dark history of ventriloquism” with tales from Johnson’s own past as a shy Texas boy who found a weird obsession and turned it into a lifelong artistic pursuit.
What does Johnson hope will bring “ventriloquist avoiders” to his show? “Well, the fact that a ventriloquist artist has made it to Broadway; I’d be curious to see why,” Johnson said on NBC’s Today Show, flanked by well-dressed, outspoken dummy Bob.
“When you see the show, you’ll understand. It’s more than [ventriloquism]. It’s about art, and it’s about finding your passion, finding your voice, and the story of how we found ours.” At this piece of poignancy, Bob nodded vigorously, eyes wide, a maddening perma-smile splitting his plastic little face.
General and student tickets cost $38 and $29, respectively. Visit the PAC ticket office (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays), call 756-2787 with phone orders, or go to calpolyarts.org.