Johnny Smith

Actor (AEA)

"THE IRRESISTIBLE SMITH . . ." - Deb Miller (Phindie)

"JOHNNY SMITH'S DODO AND INIMITABLE MAD HATTER COMPLETE THE CAST OF CHARACTERS." - Kathryn Osenlund (Phindie)

"JOHNNY SMITH IS THE TRULY MAD HATTER." - Howard Shapiro (Newsworks)

" . . . THE INTELLECTUAL IVAN (PLAYED WITH CYBER NERD RELISH BY JOHNNY SMITH)" - Kelly Mintzer (PA Theatre Guide)

"SMITH PLAYS HAL WITH CONVINCING AMBIVALENCE TO THE END . . . SMITH ALSO IMBUES HAL WITH A PLAYFULLY BOYISH FERRIS BUELLER-ESQUE QUALITY . . ." - Autumn Konopka (Philly2Philly)

" . . . JOHNNY SMITH, WHO IS NOTHING SHORT OF BRILLIANT IN HIS HILARIOUS PORTRAYAL OF WELSH CAPTAIN FLUELLEN."  - Shawn M. O'Brien (Shawn and Shakespeare)

"JOHNNY SMITH ALSO FLOATED SUPERB DICTION AS MARCUS . . . AND HE WAS ESPECIALLY GOOD AT THE GALLOWS HUMOR." - Lewis Whittington (Phindie) 

spleen!, solow fest 2015

"The ever-endearing Johnny Smith vents his comic vitriol and humorous ill humor in SPLEEN, a 30-minute workshop performance–first suggested to him by David Blatt and created in collaboration with Sam Sherburne (who also lends technical assistance)–in this year’s SoLow Fest. Revisiting the intimate theme of his 2013 SoLow show (My Last Trip to Nowhere-land: An Autobiographical Dark Comedy), Smith reveals the conflicting aspects of his personality in his outwardly funny but internally anguished reactions to the damage done to his body and psyche by a car crash that left him physically and emotionally scarred, his spleen removed, and his injured spine causing him chronic discomfort.

Employing a clever play on the alternate definitions of the words spleen (rancor) and spine (showing strength and backbone), Smith’s self-exploration is further manifested in his hilarious alter-ego Spleeny–the internal organ he no longer has, portrayed as an angry foul-mouthed spleen-shaped puppet (designed by Mark Segal and worked with spirit by J Hernandez) and in the old man he will become. Despite his compromised immune system and spinal pain, the aged Smith (who, in reality, is just around 30) survives the trauma of decades earlier to reminisce about the old days and the devastating accident, expressing both his regrets and his realization that, contrary to the video games of the past, “there’s no reset button in life.”

Unlike his 2013 piece, which focused on a chronological delivery of his story (interspersed with a few fantasy visits from a fictional Superhero played by Sherburne), this new work is non-linear, with an existentialist tone and an expressionist style. But throughout the passages of wrath, comedy, and absurdity, Smith’s irresistible vulnerability shines through; the audience can’t help but be captivated and touched by his very personal soul-searching." -Deb Miller, Phindie

 

my last trip to nowhere land, solow fest 2013

"Johnny Smith’s MY LAST TRIP TO NOWHERE-LAND: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL DARK COMEDY, performed in his own bedroom, was a funny, intense, and heartbreaking revelation of his troubled youth and personal insecurities. His soul-searching performance brilliantly captured the pain of every lost child who seeks solace in fantasy and self-medicating substance abuse while feeling “utterly alone.” Directed by Sam Sherburne (who appeared briefly and effectively as his imaginary friend The Hulk), Smith drew the audience into his own “pocket universe” of comic-book heroes, self-destructive desperation, and healing scars. It was–and Smith is–absolutely irresistible." -Deb Miller, Stage Magazine