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