Press Release: The Two & Only


MEDIA ALERT FOR THEATRE EDITORS AND REVIEWERS

AND CALENDAR LISTINGS

THE COLONY THEATRE COMPANY

CELEBRATING ITS 30th ANNIVERSARY YEAR 
ANNOUNCES THE FINAL PRODUCTION OF THEIR 2005-2006 SEASON…

LAST CHANCE IN LOS ANGELES BEFORE HEADED TO BROADWAY!

JAY JOHNSON

THE TWO & ONLY!

Directed by Murphy Cross & Paul Kreppel

Limited Engagement Begins Saturday, April 22 at 8pm
at The Colony Theatre in Burbank!

March 15, 2006…Burbank, CA…The Colony Theatre Company presents the fifth and final production of its celebratory 30th anniversary year, JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO & ONLY!, written and performed by Jay Johnson. Conceived by Jay Johnson, Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel and directed by Murphy Cross & Paul Kreppel.  JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO & ONLY! will preview Wednesday, April 19; Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21 at 8pm.  It will open on Saturday, April 22 at 8pm and continue through Sunday, May 21 at the Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.    

In his 30-year career, Jay Johnson has converted generations of ventriloquist-avoiding Americans with his charm, anarchy and innovative wit.  In JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO & ONLY!, he deconstructs and demonstrates his lifelong obsession.

Best known for playing the schizophrenic role of Chuck and Bob on the classic television comedy “Soap,” Jay Johnson is recognized as one of our foremost ventriloquists, returning the ancient craft to its rightful place as an art form.

Jay Johnson is a writer, philosopher, comic, poet, and artist.  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 befuddled tennis ball.

JAY JOHNSON: THE TWO & ONLY! is directed and co-created by Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel. Their collective credits include Broadway (A Chorus Line, Godspell), New York Shakespeare Festival, film (Annie, Perfect) and TV (Deadwood, Carnivale, ER, It’s a Living, Taxi and Cheers) as directors, performers and choreographers.

Comments Colony Artistic Director Barbara Beckley: “What an absolute joy to close our 30th Anniversary Season with Jay Johnson’s amazing show THE TWO & ONLY!, prior to its Broadway engagement.  I saw it at the Brentwood Theatre and was absolutely spellbound and enthralled by Jay’s brilliant artistry.  I’m thrilled to be able to present this extraordinary talent to our subscribers and give Los Angeles audiences a final chance to see this incredible show at our theatre!”

ABOUT JAY JOHNSON AND “THE TWO AND ONLY!”

From the Oracle of Delphi to "The Tonight Show," ventriloquism has long provided insight as well as entertainment.  Through the illusion of ventriloquism and his diverse array of comic characters, Johnson takes us on a multi-dimensional journey: the surprisingly dark history of ventriloquism; the story of a shy boy in Texas who finds his passion; the tale of a mentor who passes on to the student the knowledge and mystical tradition of an ancient art; and a series of classic routines that leave the audience howling with laughter.

Characters met along the way include Long John La Feat, a lone head in a wicker basket, who helps illustrate how ventriloquists during the Dark Ages would speak through the mouths of the executed, cursing villages and hustling money; and Nethernore, “The Vulture of Death!” acts as Jay’s “familiar,” a common tool of witchcraft.  Spaulding, an innocent tennis ball, is given voice to illustrate different aspects of the craft; and puppets made by Jay’s mentor, Arthur Sieving, a retired master ventriloquist and puppet maker, provide the evening with real emotion and wonder.

The New York Times review exclaimed, "A dozen wildly improbable characters spring to life through his zipped lips, not counting voices rising from the basement, floating in from the wings or muttering startlingly right next to our ears.  This is one of the funniest shows of the year, but it is rich in much more than laughter … his real secret is that he is a gifted storyteller.”

The Wall Street Journal review said, “Mr. Johnson is both extremely funny and a master virtuoso of his mysterious craft.”  Variety wrote, "This gifted showman is so erudite and amusing that when his time is up, you want to fold him into a suitcase and take him home." 

The New York Post stated, "Johnson proves himself a flawlessly undetectable genius at throwing his voice everywhere and into everything… ‘The Two and Only’ is a marvelous illustration of how tradition, madness and love go into the making of an art form."  UPI concluded, "Jay Johnson has restored a form of entertainment that has virtually dropped out of sight to its rightful place as an art form. It’s an awesomely incredible performance to watch."                                                        

Jay started performing at 11 years old when he discovered his natural ability to make a cousin's doll come to life and began a career using his imagination. His acute dyslexia disappeared in this world of imagery where he was able to find his self-esteem and compete.

In high school he produced and starred in his own local television show sponsored by a car dealership. This led to summers performing in theme park shows at Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags over Georgia and Astroworld. The summer Jay graduated from high school he logged 918 performances at the Crystal Pistol Theater at Six Flags Over Georgia. (10 shows daily for thirteen weeks) Jay said, "After a summer like that you're either burned out or fired up -- fortunately I got fired up. "

In the mid-70's Jay moved to Los Angeles to pursue his ideas for television. To date he has done over thirty national commercials, hosted three comedy specials, produced and performed in two network television specials, two HBO specials, hundreds of guest appearances on variety shows and starred in four television series. "Soap" was in production for 4 years and still runs in syndication all over the world.

THE TWO & ONLY! features scenery by Beowulf Boritt; Lighting is by Clifton Taylor; Sound is by David Gotwald and Original Music by Michael Andreas.

THE TWO & ONLY! will preview Wednesday, April 19; Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21 at 8pm open on Saturday, April 22 and perform through Sunday, May 21, 2006.  Performances for THE TWO AND ONLY! will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.  Additionally there will be performances on Saturday, April 29 and Saturday, May 6 at 3:00pm; and also Thursday, May 11 and Thursday, May 18 at 8:00pm.  There will be no performance on Sunday, April 23 at 7:00pm.  Ticket prices range from $30.00 - $40.00 (student, senior and group discounts are available).  Preview tickets are $20.00 and $25.00.  Opening night performance with reception tickets are $50.00 and $55.00.  There will be two Talk-Back performances with Jay Johnson on Friday, April 28 and Thursday, May 11 immediately following the performance.  For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818/558-7000 ext. 15.     

For more information or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at ELZERD@aol.com.

The Colony Theatre Company is a 30-year old organization dedicated to bringing the finest-quality theatrical productions to Los Angeles. The theatre is located at 555 North Third Street, at the corner of Cypress, in the heart of Downtown Burbank. For further information, call (818) 558-7000. Fax: (818) 558-7110. E-mail: colonytheatre@colonytheatre.org. Or visit our website at www.colonytheatre.ORG.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS CONTACT: David Elzer
818/508-1754