Another You

On a lark, I bought tickets to see Another You this weekend as the Public Theater finished up its Under the Radar Festival. When you're seeing a one-man show, you don't necessarily know what you're getting into... and it didn't help that we didn't read anything about any of the shows before we decided we wanted to see something on Sunday evening and just clicked "buy."
Tickets to Another You was one of my better impulse purchases recently. Written and performed by Allen Johnson, the show is approximately an hour's worth of insight and honesty from what might seem an unlikely source. Alternately touching and funny, but always quite powerful, I was more than a little surprised when the lights went up and I had to return to the real world after living for a while inside Mr. Johnson's memories. My favorite moment (mentioned in the article I link below) comes during a story that he tells about a girl he knew in kindergarten. They were always aware of the other person; during naptime, they would lie down and stare at each other, filled with the mutual sense that someone else was happy that they were there. Finishing the story, Johnson drew a heart with a wet finger on the black stage floor, the image of the heart lingering with an incredible amount of emotional draw to it that hardly seems capable of a saliva-created doodle. It was real and beautiful, though, as was his story of his connection to the little girl. The entire performance felt as though you were being told a story by a friend who might not have been dear at the start of the conversation, but certainly would be by virtue of this shared intimacy by the end of it.
Read a good review of the show from nytheater.com and keep a look out for anything that Mr. Johnson might be working on in the future -- particularly if he had any part in the writing.

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