Jay Johnson started performing at eleven years old when he discovered his natural ability to make a cousin’s doll come to life. This began a career using his imagination to entertain. His acute dyslexia disappeared in this world of imagery where he was able to find his self-esteem and notoriety. In high school he produced and starred in his own television show sponsored by a local Dallas, Texas car dealership. This led to summers performing in theme park shows like Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags over Georgia and Astroworld.
After graduating college, Jay moved to Los Angeles to pursue his ideas for television. To date he has hosted three comedy specials, produced and performed in two network television specials, two HBO specials, hundreds of guest appearances on variety shows, done over thirty national commercials and starred in four television series. Most memorable is his role as schizophrenic “Chuck and Bob” on the classic television comedy SOAP, which still runs in syndication all over the world.king his reality a dream.
Jay has dreamed of performing a one-man theatrical show most of his life. He believes the unique art form of ventriloquism is best appreciated when seen live. In “The Two and Only” Jay deconstructs and demonstrates this ancient and mystical art form in his personal journey from apprentice to mentor. Bringing ventriloquism to Broadway is a continuing part of that journey.
In addition to being a well-respected ventriloquist Jay is a writer, comic, cartoonist, poet, puppeteer, and ghost hunter. He is also a family man. He and Sandi Asbury have been married for over 30 years. They met while performing together in a show. Jay describes Sandi as the muse of his artistic life. They have two amazing sons, Brandon and Taylor both in college. Although talented musicians, writers, actors and artists, neither son decided to follow in their Dad’s voice tossing footsteps.
Jay wishes to thank Murphy Cross and Paul Kreppel for making his dream a reality, and Sandi, Brandon and Taylor for making his reality a dream.
Murphy Cross (Director) is a Broadway alumna of A Chorus Line, Pal Joey, Bubbling Brown Sugar and Division Street (with John Lithgow). She has directed Sunday’s Children all Fall Down, Blinders and The Magic Feather (both featured in Samuel French Short Play Festivals), Lysistrata, Spirit Awakening, Sacrafice, Big Tush, Little Tush, Pinocchio, Is this America, or what?! Choreography credits include Annie Get Your Gun (with Donna McKechnie), The Cradle Will Rock, A Good Swift Kick (Variety Arts), Little Shop of Horros, Oh, Coward!, Both Barrels (Goodspeed), Noel & Gertie, Forum, Anything Goes.
Murphy acknowledges her mentors Michael Bennett, Paul Blake, Bobbi Smith, Duncan Noble, Peter Allen and especially her daughters Lily and Fiona Landers.
TV Choreography: HBO’s “Deadwood,” “Carnivale,” “Yes, Dear,” “Roseanne,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” “Coach,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” She has choreographed for such stars as John Travolta, Debbie Reynolds, Rip Taylor, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore. Her short film BLINDERS garnered several festival awards. Murphy has extensive television credits including “Numbers,” “Cheers,” “Night Court,” “Family Law,” and “Taxi,” where she played Louie’s blind blind date. One of her favorite gigs was playing Australia with Peter Allen in his show UP IN ONE. With partner Paul Kreppel, her company WetRock Entertainment produces theatre and film.
Paul Kreppel’s theatre directing credits include Both Barrels in LA and at The Goodspeed Opera House which then moved to off-Broadway under the ill fated title A Good Swift Kick. Other theatre directing credits include Godspell, the West Coast premiere of Ashman and Menken’s Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.”, the world premieres of Quirks, Eli’s Birthday, In The Divine Light of a Walk-off Homerun, the West Coast premiere of “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!” and the World premiere of the award winning Don’t Hug Me – a Minnesota Love Story with singin’ and stuff. He is currently developing and directing Zero Hour a one man show written and starring Jim Brochu about the life of Zero Mostel.
Paul’s on and off-Broadway acting credits include Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!” – the Allan Sherman musical, The Proposition and Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Productions of The Comedy of Errors, Agamemnon and Alice in Concert, as well as starring in the national tour of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. He has appeared at The Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Lennox Art Festival and last summer at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in Tough Titty. Los Angeles appearances include Reprises’ Promises, Promises, the Taper’s Cabaret Verboten, The Big Bang and Both Barrels.
Of his hundreds of television appearances he is best remembered as Sonny Mann, the obnoxious but lovable piano player on the 80’s comedy It’s A Living, other appearances include ER and as Jackie’s Dad on That 70’s Show! Television directing credits include Dave’s World, Brotherly Love, Simon and It’s A Living.
Mr. Kreppel serves on the Board of Directors of Enrichment Works, an arts for education organization creating curriculum-based theatre to inspire learning. He would like to acknowledge his mentors Jack Burton, Al Corona, Elizabeth Swados and Jay Sandrich for their friendship, guidance and inspiration. Paul dedicates his work to his mother Adele, brother Neil, his incredible kids Will & Molly and his father Irv who continues to smile down on us all.
Broadway:THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE(also San Francisco and Chicago and upcoming National Tour).
Off- Broadway: THE LAST FIVE YEARS; Drama Desk Nomination(NY, Chicago), SAINT LUCY’S EYES; Audelco Award (NY, Atlanta); HANK WILLIAMS:LOST HIGHWAY, WONDERLAND, CLASS MOTHERS ’68, BURNING BLUE, ONCE AROUND THE SUN, SLUT, THE ARK, CYCLING PAST THE MATTERHORN, THE OTHER SIDE (MTC), THE TWO AND ONLY (Atlantic), …SPELLING BEE (2nd Stage); ROAR (New Group), MISS JULIE, IN-BETWEENS (Cherry Lane), I LOVE YOU BECAUSE, Lucille Lortel, Duke, Women’s Project, American Place, Pearl, MCC, New Victory, Julliard, Naked Angels, Belmont Playhouse.
Regional: Alliance, Trinity Rep, Goodspeed, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare, Northlight, George Street, Syracuse Stage, Northshore Music Theatre, Delaware Theatre Co. (Barrymore Nom.), Virginia Stage, Barrington Stage, NYS&F, Hangar.
Broadway:Hot Feet, Frozen.
Off Broadway:The Two and Only, Frozen(Lortel nomination),Scattergood, Endgame, The Streets of New York, Last Easter.
Recent Regional credits include: ACT (Seattle), the American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco), Cleveland Playhouse, Lincoln Center Institute, Asia Society, and Joanne Woodward’s Westport Country Playhouse.
Dance: American Ballet Theatre, the San Francisco Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Houston Ballet, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, the Elisa Monte Company and Armitage Gone! Dance. International: Maggio Danza in Florence, Italy, Sardono Dance Theatre of Indonesia, Ballet do Rio de Janeiro, Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy, France, London’s Rambert Dance, the Scottish National Ballet, Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Jazz de Montreal and the Royal Ballet of Cambodia.
David Gotwald has been the sound engineer for many Broadway shows:Fosse,Chicago, Crazy For You, Passion,Jerome Robbins’Broadway, Dreamgirls, A Chorus Lineand the revivals ofCabaretandSweet Charity. Currently, David can be found mixing ‘The Producers’at the St. James theatre. He has often worked at the York Theatre on such productions as A Little Night Music, The Last Sweet Days and The Musical of Musicals. He has mixed and designed many events: for PBS the ‘Gershwin Celebration’ at BAM, and Anyone Can Whistle at Carnegie Hall. Occasionally he has toured with the likes of Patti LuPone, Tommy Tune and Mandy Patinkin.
Stage credits include Susan Tyrrell’sMy Rotten Life(A Bitter Operetta),Mass Appeal, Christmas Babies, Don’t Hug Me, Speed DatingandJay Johnson – The Two and Only. He received an EMMY nomination for his work on the A&E special Heroes for the Planet – featuring Charlotte Church. Film credits include:Dream for an Insomniacwith Jennifer Aniston & Ione Skye;Call Me Clauswith Whoopi Goldberg; and the award winning Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist. Television credits includeMarried… With Children, Men Are From Mars/Women Are From Venus, Wheel of Fortune, The Celestial Empireand Christopher Lowell’sInterior Motives. When not a prisoner to his studio, he shares life with his wonderfully talented daughter Sara and his wife Julie Fleischer, with whom he has just finished a new musical. Based on Gyspy Rose Lee’s novel The G-String Murders, it (if the gods are smiling & the producers willing) will start production later this year.
Lori Ann Zepp
Production Stage Manager
Lori is thrilled to be working onJay Johnson: The Two And Only! again. New York credits includeDog Sees God(Century Center),Swimming in the Shallows(Second Stage Uptown Series),The American Occupation(The Juilliard School),The Two And Only(Atlantic Theatre Company),Roulette(John Houseman Theatre),The Last Sunday in June(Century Center and the Rattlestick Theatre),Bliss, Faster, Finder’s Fee, My Special Friend, Cologne, Neil’s GardenandDown South(Rattlestick Theatre);I Love America(American Place Theatre);The “A” Word(Greenwich Street Theatre), andBoys Don’t Wear Lipstick(Players Theatre). Regional credits include:Lend Me A Tenor(George St. Playhouse),Sylvia, Things We Do For Love, The Old Settler, Over the Tavern, Italian American Reconciliation, Barefoot in the Park, The Glass Menagerie, King O’ the Moon, Having Our Say, Three Viewings,andSeason’s Greetings(Studio Arena) as well as several productions at Capital Repertory Company in Albany, NY; Penguin Rep in Stony Point, NY; and Old Castle Theatre Company in Bennington, Vermont.