Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Between the gypsy run through, the Letterman show, a quick video piece for the local CBS news and back to the theater for our first preview, it was a very long and exciting day. It ended with a quite drink at Angus Mc Ido’s sitting with my wife, the directors Paul and Murphy, the musical director Michael Andreas, director of fan relations Bill Brunell and David Gotwald our sound designer. Martin Short, who was relaxing at the bar with some of his cast, was the first one to raise a glass in congratulation of our opening preview. However, it was David Gotwald who summed it all up. He said, “No matter what happens from here, this is a day we will never forget.” Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the ride, David.

All I can say personally about the day is this. The Letterman Stage is much smaller than it seems, and very cold. I don’t mean unfriendly, I mean they keep it at 58 degrees. The only contact I had with David Letterman was when he walked over to me at the end of my set. I spent the most time with Paul Shaffer rehearsing the song with the band.

For a Letterman stunt they dropped a safe off the roof of the Ed Sullivan building onto a car. As circumstance would have it the green room window was directly behind the targeted car. We watched them heave the safe off the building on the television monitor and watched it hit the car from about four feet away. A surreal experience, and that was before I did my set. The set on the Ed Sullivan stage, for ventiloquist week of Late Night on the day of the first performance of my Broadway show, was an out of body experience.

The Helen Hayes is a magical theatre. There is some energy the location itself generates. All I have to do is ride that energy through my show. Performing on that stage is an experience like no other I have ever had. I cannot wait to get back there tonight and take the ride again.
As you were,


John Ivy said...

Congrats on your opening!
I will be there as soon as I get some time!!!

Bob Baker said...

This blog is just delightful. It just increases my excitement about seeing the show (10/13), and it's a ton of fun to get the backstage dope.

Terrific Letterman appearance, BTW.


BoZ said...

Letterman show was GREAT!
Saw your show Off-Bway... Loved it and enjoyed meeting you after performance... Hoping to make it to current show soon...

The Wizard BoZ...
A Wizard If Ever There Woz!

Fritz Lyon said...

Jay and Family,

We hope "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!" will run on Broadway at the Helen Hayes forever.

But then we invite you and yours to perform at our somewhat smaller theater, The Playhouse, in Belfast, Maine, about halfway up the coast.

Yes, you bring a huge and varied cast to the stage, but two at a time would fit perfectly here. Three rows of a dozen seats each, and special occasions like this we can crowd in a total of 50 for a big show such as yours. At $5 a ticket, split 50-50, you would make 125 bucks a night! Friday and Saturday evening performances and a Sunday matinee, and you could walk out of here with $375.00!!!

It takes incredibly powerful humor to coax even a few smirks on the faces of an audience in Midcoast Maine. But after watching you and Darwin, I know that "The Two and Only" would make our audience roar as loud as an audience a dozen times that size in a Broadway house.

We could use the laugh, Jay. And if you want to make the big bucks beyond Broadway, we're here...and already laughing like crazy.

Say hello to Bob for us,

-- Fritz Lyon
Belfast, Maine

Kevin said...

Fantastic appearance on Letterman! I was 11 years old in 1978 when I first saw "Chuck and Bob" on "Soap". You introduced me to ventriloquism and will always be the master of the art to me.

Sumra said...

OK Jay! I've caught your act(s) for 40 years; ever since Leon and I bagged groceries at Safeway back in Richardson. That '64 Fairlane was awesome! I'm in Philly these day but coming to your show in early October. Time to see you in person! all the best, Sumra