Saturday, September 29, 2007

Last night was the one year anniversary of our Broadway opening. I couldn't let the day go by without a blog mention.

I spent the evening alone with my memories in the middle of the ocean on board RCCL's Enchantment of the Seas. Granted there are 1500 others on board as well, but none I felt was worthy of this special occasion. It was, for that reason, an unremarkable event.( Bob and Darwin even had other plans that did not include me.)

It seems longer than a year ago for all the things that have happened since. But it was such a wonderful experience and still fresh on my mind.

I wanted to run

The Two and Only for a year on Broadway but that wasn't to be. However, a Tony Award is a great emotional equalizer.

Paul Kreppel, one of my directors, is still running off-Broadway in a show that opened about the time we did. His performance is the best thing about the show, which will probably continue to run through Christmas. Odd how things work out.

I am looking forward to Dallas almost as much as Broadway. I spend a lot of time wondering why the powers in charge can't convert a Tony Award winning show with Valentine reviews into a great tour?

London is the next big thing. I think the show will have a much greater appeal there than even New York. There will be new producing blood with an entirely new idea about marketing the show. It is in the works and very exciting.

So thanks to all who made that Broadway experience possible. I still run into people who are in love with the show. The cruise director on this ship saw the show off-Broadway and raved about it to the shipboard audience.

I can't wait to be performing it again.

Happy anniversary.

As you were,


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Here is the deal with a blog. Sometimes you have the time to write something and sometimes you spend that time creating something else. So here is how I spent way to much of my time in the last week.

More Video. This is a viral commercial for our run in Dallas. The music is Juno Reactor a favorite group of my youngest son who turns 21 on Sunday.

As you were,

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Embedding a video into the blog is an experiment. So is the film. (If this video causes the page to load too slowly please let me know. In the future I will try to post films in a different way)

This is a video scrapbook of the pictures I took in New York while doing “The Two and Only” at the Atlantic Theatre, now known as the “off Broadway run”. There are stage photos of the show, the family and even shots from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The resolution is blurry, and it is to jerkie, I think it happened in the transfer. It looks and sounds much better in real life.

The song is Steely Dan doing “Centruy’s End”. I am not ashamed to admit that I like the music of Walter Becker and Donald Faggen. They have some great tunes to edit film and pictures to. I think it’s in the jazz root of the beat.

I hope you enjoy it.
As you were,

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Here is a shout out to Bob Oliphant whom I would write personally if he would send me his email. Thanks for the comment, Bobby. I doubt you could have sneaked up on me in Dallas without me catching you. I can’t wait to see you again. Mike Christian still owes me a couple of dollars from a poker dice game back stage at the Crystal Palace.

Another friend and ex-roommate David Wylie tried to sneak into the audience for my Broadway Opening night. He even called me on the phone a couple of days before to say how sorry he was that he wouldn’t be able to make it. I knew he was there long before he knew that I knew.

A film crew followed me around backstage when we did the show in Los Angeles. At one point they caught me sneaking a look at the audience before the show. It is an old ritual that I have observed since my Six Flags days. My first request to Beowolf Borit, my Broadway set designer, was “give me a place behind the set to see the audience without them being able to see me.”

I like to watch the audience come into the theater. I like to watch them sit down, are they talking to each other? Are they reading the program? I like to get to know them before I take over their lives for a couple of hours. I think of it like a wolf stalking sheep. (Comedy is always expressed in aggressive metaphors Like, “I Killed them” “The show was a knock out”.. etc.)

Most of the time the stage lights create a dark wall between the performer and the audience. By studying the audience with the house lights on, I have a better sense of who they are. Body language is really telling when people don’t know they are being studied. I used to be able to find potential hecklers in a comedy club audience before their first drink. The system is not perfect, but I have been right more times than wrong.

I remember a comic who “went after” an audience member who was hurling heckling noises at the stage during his performance. He was merciless toward the poor guy, and it would have been funny if he had really been heckling. It was a multiple sclerosis patient in a wheelchair who was enjoying the show in the only way he knew how to express himself. The comic barely got out of the club alive when the audience turned on him. He should have noticed the wheel chair before the show started.

So, sneak, hide, ambush or wear a disguise but please come and see my show in Dallas. I will be seeing you before you see me.
As you were,

Friday, September 07, 2007

“Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!” website should be posting some of the dates for the tour soon. If you have followed this blog for the last year, you know that I am generally the last to know. However, here is a partial schedule:

Ithica, New York - October 27, 2007

Indianapolis, Indiana - November 10, 2007

Dallas Majestic Theater – November 27 – December 2, 2007

Some of the finest minds in show business are working on next year, and there are several other surprises TBA.

I am really looking forward to Dallas, no offense to the other cities and theaters. Playing Dallas has been my goal for this show almost as much as playing Broadway. “Bringing my Tony Award winning show to my home town”, sounds great to me.

The weekend after we close the show at the Majestic I am “conducting” the Dallas Symphony Christmas Concert thanks to my friend and conductor of the Symphony, Richard Kaufman. Bob and I will do “The Night Before Christmas” set to music. The next weekend we will reprise the performance with the Pacific Coast Symphony here in Southern California.

I was in Las Vegas the first part of the week. I was there for an event attended by my ex-manager Greg Janese and my current agent Chris Burke from William Morris. Greg is now an agent and a major competitor to Chris and the William Morris Agency. We have all been friends for too many years to count. To be honest the major reason for attending was the chance to get together again.

I met Chris and Greg for dinner in the hotel. Before I could even greet Greg (who I haven’t seen in several years) Chris pulls out a contract from his pocket. It is a release that states, “The undersigned, Greg Janese, will not attempt to steal my Tony Award winning client Jay Johnson away from William Morris or Chris Burke.”

Great agents also have a great sense of humor. Here is a shout out to Chris and Greg. They are the guys who make it all work for me in more ways than just friendship.

As you were,