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Saturday, February 16, 2008

What's Hot From Spamalot 2/16


Clay Aiken continues to heat up Broadway in the middle of the New York winter.

  • Video of Clay meeting fans outside, from the CB's bigappleforclay:
    video
  • The CB's emerson032 posted her review of the show:
    I haven't slept yet....so I am trying to remember things: Clay, and the entire cast, were amazing last night (as usual). Actually, they were better than two weeks ago, if that is possible. Clay is spot on in every scene and his dancing seems to improved evem more!!!! He never ceases to amaze me. Observations from before, during and after the show: (most good/some good about Clay, but....) At Juniors, before the show, I was in the rest room. Some people who were going to a different show asked what show I was going to. I said Spamalot. ONe person said,. I just saw that a week ago and Clay Aiken is great in it. I said "Are you a Claymate?". "No, she said, but if you want to see the Claymates, go to the ladies room at intermission". Some of them are a bit over the top"....but, Clay Aiken was REALLY good. As I showed my ticket to the guy at the entrance, I said, "Will the show be starting at exactly at 8pm (as that was 5 minutes away). "NO", he said. "When will it be starting?", I said. "Whenever they decide to start it". He was a fairly old guy and seemed annoyed by my question. The play didn't start until a tiny bit after 8...but, he just made me laugh (not a pleasant guy). The theater seemed really full....a fair number of Clay fans...but, many seemed to be there just to see Spamalot. The person called up was from D101...and he was a sweet guy. He seemed genuinely surprised, as did his adorable girlfriend. She was laughing hysterically, almost to the point of tears, throughout. It made me smile and I was glad a guy went up. There was a very young boy in the first row center...maybe about 8-10? He was laughing hysterically....actually falling over laughing. It was so cute. Lots more teenage guys than I imagined and they seemed to be enjoying it, too. In the playbill signing line, there were some fans seeing it for the first time from Montclair College. Also, there was an entire high school class (both guys and girls) from Ontario on a field trip. I asked the guys if they liked Spamalot and they said they loved it. I asked if they liked Clay Aiken in it and they thought he was great. They knew he could sing, but, didn't know he could do all the other stuff. They guys were taking tons of pics of him and shouting out his name. When trying to get a cab, I was with four late teen, early 20 somethings from Liverpool. I asked them if they saw a show and they said no. They were going to Little Mermaid the next night. What did I see, they asked? Spamalot! "That's the one with Clay Aiken?". Yes, I said. You know about Clay Aiken over in Liverpool, England? Of course, they said. I love hearing things like this. In fact several other people I talked to said similiar things. Everytime I mentioned that I was going to Spamalot, the first words out of their mouth (if they didn't say how funny it was) were "Clay Aiken is in that"!!!! I sure loved hearing such great name recognition for Clay....even from a few places in different countries. I haven't slept....so excuse any grammatical errors and I hope this makes sense. p.s. Jerome was in the best mood I have seen him in. He is a cutie-pie.
  • From xxx4clay at CV:
    After the show report from toni7babe and Scarlett - First, from the show. During the bottle dance, Clay was "coming right at" toni and Scarlett. They survived but barely. Though happily. During the part where Clay bangs the coconuts, he was just "moving so sexy." The Knights who say Ni sang about the TV show Celebrity Rehab and called it "bullshit." LOTL sang about Posh Spice not Britney. Much applause and kudos for Clay at the end and throughout. They sat next to a man and his son who loved the show and Clay's performance. Stage Door - It was very crowded at the stage door. Clay was wearing the green sweater from the Chicago book signing which tha-rilled toni and Scarlett! Said his hair looked absolutely perfect! Had on jeans and reddish sneakers. He was soooo cute! He signed Scarlett's t-shirt and one of toni's own pictures that she had blown up. They got right up front (did I predict that or what?) so toni only took a few pics because Clay was standing right in front of her for a long time and she didn't want to flash him. With her camera that is. :biggrin: She did get a few pics when he moved away though and will post them later. BigappleforClay got video of all of it! There were a bunch a young girls there from, I think she said the Charlotte thespian society, and they were so excited and screaming to Clay "You're so cute!" They are all at Junior's now getting much needed food and will try and post their own reports later. ...that wore me out...
  • From the CB's LUVClay26:
    Well, tonight was great as was last night. I just enjoyed the show very very very much. Everyone in the cast is amazing.

    I LOVED the Knights of Ni improv where he talked about "Celebrity Rehab" that is shown on VH1!! That was so hilarious. I was dying of laughter. For those who don't know what that show is, it is this show on VH1 where Dr. Drew Pinsky (formerly of "Loveline" with Adam Carolla) takes in some famous folks (including Chyna, Jessica Sierra of AI season 5, Jeff Conway, Bridget Nielson and others) that are in rehab. Sadly I watch that show, but I do agree with the fact it seems kinda weird that rehab is such a short period of time. I thought that was hilarious.

    During the Lancelot meeting that prince scene there were really long pauses because the audience was laughing so hard. The dude that plays Lancelot is funny as is the other guy. You had to be be there I guess.

    When you see the Camelot scene, do not be shy to sneak glances at Sir Robin. He was just funny tonight.

    When the peasant was taken from the audience tonight, Patsy (the dude with King Author (?) ), he goes "well that's a big boy" or something like that in reference to the dude that was in the seat that "won." I may not have gotten that right. I'm sure someone will post it. There were many fans around me. I was 2nd row both nights and got those seats because when the went on sale in October I jumped at it. So none of this rumor junk I did stuff for them please. Cause I know folks say that about people (not just me). I am just as much a fan as anyone. Would a nonfan (with bad social anxiety to boot!) travel across the country to see Clay make his Broadway debut especially while nursing an ugly cold or flu???

    Anyway, Lady of the Lake referenced Posh Spice in her song tonight. I still think that song in act 2 she does is funny as can be.

    All in all, I am so glad I went. It has been such an amazing time seeing the shows. I was so sad when the curtain call was up. It was just so much fun to not only see a Broadway play but to see a Monty Python show with Clay in it to boot! Now I can scratch "visit NYC" on my things to do list.

    I didn't do the stage door tonight because last night was hard enough for me. The crowd was hard for me yesterday so I figured tonight would be worse. I got my autograph last night so it was all good.

    I am almost gushing, but I am so proud of Clay for doing such an awesome job. If he choses, he could do Broadway and do it well. I am just happy I went. Besides, the Brother Maynard last line and seeing him hula was just awesome in itself.
  • And... some more stage door photos, cause we can never get enough of those!

"That's Clay Aiken's Cousin" - Clay Mention in "Backseat" Trailer


Completely random, but cute Clay mention in the movie trailer for an independent film titled "Backseat". The trailer begins with one of the characters commenting, "See that guy out there? That's Clay Aiken's cousin".

Watch the trailer at Apple.com.

Tidbits 2/16

  • Clay was mentioned on Anthony Bourdain's show on the Travel Channel, reports the CB's fancynails4:
    I came home from work today and hubby was watching a DVR of Anthony Bourdain's show (No Reservations on the Travel Channel.) He travels to countries around the world tasting the local wares-the very strange and the not-so-strange. Hubby rewound a little and told me to just listen to the segment. Anthony was in Scotland or England and he was in a recording studio (just don't know why, though!) and he said: 'I am going to be famous. Clay Aiken famous.' !!! This is at least the 2nd time in a year Anthony has mentioned Clay!
  • Wall Street Journal - American Idols bring in big bucks for Broadway productions -
    Other U.S. reality-TV stars have had better luck lifting ticket sales for Broadway musicals. The arrival of "American Idol" star Clay Aiken in Broadway's "Spamalot" last month immediately raised that week's ticket sales by $137,902 -- one of the largest week-to-week gains seen this year. When another "American Idol" winner, Fantasia Barrino, made her Broadway debut in "The Color Purple" last April, the show brought in an extra $413,292 her first week.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tidbits 2/15

  • Hofstra Chronicle - Clay Aiken joins the cast of Spamalot:
    Now, almost three years since it opened, "Spamalot" is still delighting Broadway audiences with its giddy silliness. While Curry and Azaria have been replaced by less recognizable names (Broadway vets Jonathan Hadary as King Arthur and Rick Holmes as Lancelot, Knight of Ni, etc.), David Hyde Pierce has been replaced by someone just as recognizable, if not more: "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken, making his Broadway debut.

    Aiken follows a multitude of "American Idol" participants into their Broadway debuts-Fantasia Barrino, Diana DeGarmo and Frenchie Davis among them. His part isn't very large (he plays Sir Robin, among other roles), but for him, they've added verses of songs here and there, as well as a number of lines. He sings well (unsurprisingly), is a solid dancer (the "Fiddler on the Roof"-inspired "You Won't Succeed on Broadway if You Don't Have Any Jews" is a show-stopping highlight) and nails almost all of the jokes.
  • She Knows - comments on American Idol -
    And I'm with Simon - the future president kid totally should have stayed. Another Clay Aiken for sure!
  • Earth Times has a very weird press release -
    Which entertainer is most of in need of some balls? Pretty face actors from two generations share this dubious in-need-of 'nads honor, with Tom Cruise and Zac Efron each scoring 21%. Followed by: Clay Aiken (19%), Ryan Seacrest (11%), James Blunt (10%), Celine Dion (9%), John Mayer 3%), Josh Groban, Michael Buble and Adrian Grenier (2% each).
  • ESPN - Clay mention in article about Major League Baseball drug use controversy-
    If your idea of great theater is Clay Aiken in "Spamalot," you loved Wednesday's steroid hearing on Capitol Hill. It had memorable song-and-dance numbers galore, including the show-stopper by Rep. Dan Burton, R.-Ind., who almost seemed to be on the juice himself when he went after Brian McNamee for testifying that he supplied Roger Clemens with 'roids.
CDD Blogwatch
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

What's Hot From Spamalot 2/14

Today, straight from Spamalot, we have some new stage door pictures and a great story centering around The Lady of the Lake - Hannah Waddingham.

I saw this on another board which came from CV.
Interesting late recap tonight from Stripedshirts via CV:
stripedshirts
Feb 13 2008, 11:33 PM Post #2565

Back from Spamalot tonight.

I am so glad I changed my mind & went - & I want to thank someone for making me do so, & it happened in the most funniest, coincidental way: by bumping into one of the cast members right out in Times Square.

I was heading towards the subway after work tonight around 6:30 to go home; I was tired & cranky. Then who do I see coming out of The Gap at 42nd Street?? No....not Clay. I wish. It was The Lady of the Lake - Hannah Waddingham herself! She was dressed in civilan clothes of course, but was wrapped to the chin virtually - it's cold out. I did a double take when she stepped out of the door - & yelled her name out. She stopped & turned around, then came over to me. She is a GIANT - I knew she was a tall woman, but my god, she is an Amazon in front of me - I had to look way up at her to talk.

I couldn't believe I would bump into her out in the street, & I was delighted when she was able to take time to talk to me. I told her she was missed - the substitutes were okay, both Emily & Jenny held their own - but they just didn't have the finesse Hannah had. Hannah explained that she was downed by bronchitis. She didn't have much time for a brake after coming to Spamalot, NYC - when she did her last show in London a month back, she jumped on an airplane straight to NYC, & headed straight for rehearsals, not having a moment to herself. Then the stress & shock set in, & her body virtually shut down. "My body said, 'no more - you need to rest'" so she was out for the week to recover.

She had no makeup on, but looked terrific - the rest & time off did her good.

I talked about how hysterical & dedicated the cast is. She agrees that this is a terrific cast - everyone is very good, & it was Chris Seiber, Sir Galahad who helped her get this role. She's worked w/ him before, & they are close friends.

I love "The Song that Goes Like This" no. that she performs w/ Chris; & here is one
thing she did that will be burned into my brain forever - as I was saying how well they work together repeating the part that goes "Yes it is, yes it is!" Hannah suddenly turned her nose up, closed her eyes, pursed her upper lip til it as if to create a half pucker, & mocked sang 'eeYesshh it is!' prompting me to crack up. You have to imagine what I'm trying to describe to get an idea what I'm telling you, because she does the exact same thing on stage to Chris while they're singing - it's drop dead funny.

Lastly, I asked why she hasn't been out to greet the fans after the show. She explained that she has to take the time to wipe off her make up. The boys have it easy - it's just mop & go. By the time she comes out, everyone's gone from the stage entrance. I felt bad, & felt even more bad when she said "I didn't think I was making an impact on the audience since most of the crowd here is for Clay". awwwww .......after that statement from her, I'd stick around a little after Clay leaves to show Hannah some love. after all, she & Clay are the new recruits & both deserve equal accolades from all audiences, even if she has to take longer to come out. & the same goes for the rest of the cast, who all deserve appreciation if not more.

She had to meet Chris Seiber for tea & was running late, so I bid her goodbye; then I raced over to the Schubert & bought myself a standing room tkt. It was an hour before showtime, & after meeting Hannah so randomly, I had completely changed my mind about going home. I am so glad I went. Chatting w/ Hannah made for part of my night; Spamalot is laugh therapy to me after a rough couple of days due to personal & work. Tonite I allowed myself a brake & reconnected to the fun side of life again.

Hannah being back on the show tonight made everything feel right again & the show was just fabulous w/ the added Kids on Broadway Night & Clay sharing his 1st Bway experience to the audience. He was taken by surprise when Jonathon Hadary/King Arthur turned the attention about 'first Bway show' to him. Then Clay talked about how he went to a production of Huck Finn w/ his mom back when he was in the 7th grade & how seeing Martin Moran opened his eyes about earning a living as a performer/singer. Clay was SO eloquent & well spoken with this story, that I think many there who weren't fans of his were impressed w/ his demeanor. Lancelot, Bedever, King Arthur, Hannah - everyone who stood around Clay while he shared his story, were smiling & listening & nodding.

Finally.....

I found out Mike Nichols was here tonight. A meeting was set for the cast after the show. Now that Hannah is back on duty, I wouldn't be surprised if there may be some changes/touch ups in tomorrow's show, especially w/ the new revised lyrics removing Britney Spears from the verse. I think it will be an especially fun show tomorrow given it being Valentines Day & I can't wait to see just what this cast may pull

2 more things to muse over...

- after hearing Hannah out, (she was absolutely lovely to talk to) I am all the more grateful Clay is healthy & has not missed a performance to date.

- I'll miss Chris when he leaves Spamalot, I think in March - he'll be starring in Shrek the Musical later on this yr.

So that's it. my long winded report from tonight's show; but it was a fun, almost cathartic report to write.

ETA: I don't want to set the wrong impression that Hannah felt unappreciated - she understands she still needs to time to build her status as a singer/performer here in the city, so in no way is she disrespectful of our support for Clay.
  • Here are some great stage door pictures taken by Nofancyclothes at Clayversity:



  • Spamalot Review Includes Good Clay Comments


    We've been waiting for reviews of Spamalot, and here is one of the first ones, if not the first one.

    The Hofstra Chronicle, an online publication of New York's Hofstra University, has a great review of both Spamalot and Clay's performance. The article, entitled Clay Aiken Joins Spamalot Cast, by David Gordon, says concerning Spamalot:

    Unlike so many "big name" projects that end up floundering, "Spamalot" not only lived up to expectations, it managed to exceed them...Now, almost three years since it opened, "Spamalot" is still delighting Broadway audiences with its giddy silliness.
    Gordon has good comments about Clay as well:
    Aiken follows a multitude of "American Idol" participants into their Broadway debuts-Fantasia Barrino, Diana DeGarmo and Frenchie Davis among them. His part isn't very large (he plays Sir Robin, among other roles), but for him, they've added verses of songs here and there, as well as a number of lines. He sings well (unsurprisingly), is a solid dancer (the "Fiddler on the Roof"-inspired "You Won't Succeed on Broadway if You Don't Have Any Jews" is a show-stopping highlight) and nails almost all of the jokes.
    Gordon even manages to include a Claymate mention:
    Rick Holmes is a fine Lancelot, and fills Azaria's other part, the Knight of Ni, very well. He even manages to deliver a Clay Aiken joke-he's the Knight who says "Ni, Ni, if I was invisible, I would just...," which, of course, sends the Claymates in the audience into raucous cheers.
    We'll be watching for more reviews in the coming weeks. Hopefully they will all be as good, even better, than this first review.

    "Lonely No More" Used During News Segment

    Clay's "Lonely No More" was used on a news report on some unknown station. The CV's clurker reports:

    Just had an unbelievable Clay moment. Turned on the 10 o'clock news. They do a periodic segment where they introduce a child (usually a harder to place child) who needs an adoptive home, and do a nice little informative piece about them, their interests and personallity. Started to notice there was music playing softly in the background. Then it started to connect with my brain..."I don't want to be lonely no more...I don't want to be empty no more....only you can unbreak this heartache...well, you know the rest... Still can't believe it. And what a lovely song choice for that purpose.

    Tidbits 2/14

    • Lycos50 PR - Clay Aiken has strong #3 finish on this week's Lycos50-
      American "Idle":

      Clay Aiken (#3) sees his search interest nearly double this week, due in part to his Broadway debut playing the Eric Idle role in Monty Python's "Spamalot." Aiken has taken over the role of Sir Robin, originally portrayed by David Hyde Pierce when the musical first debuted on Broadway in 2005.
    • New York Magazine - Clay's accomodation in New York? Report via liQcity.
      Long Island City: Rumors swirl that celebs like Clay Aiken, Plácido Domingo, and big-name d.j. Danny Tenaglia have bought into the swank new Arris Lofts. Then again, this blog seems devoted to swankifying LIC as quickly as possible.
    • Raleigh News & Observer - North Carolina shut out from AI7 top 24 -
      Historically, North Carolina has had much "Idol" success -- with Fantasia, a High Point native, winning in season three, and Raleigh's Clay Aiken coming in second in season two. Season five featured three North Carolinians -- Chris Daughtry,
    • Newsday interviews Lakisa Jones, the AI6 finalist now playing on The Color Purple on Broadway -
      Fantasia was in "The Color Purple" and now you are. Clay Aiken is in "Spamalot." Tamyra Gray did "Rent." It seems like "American Idol" has taken over Broadway. Is this the direction you saw yourself heading in?
    • Philly Burbs - American Idol picks top 24 -
      It’s down to the final two boys, Colton “The New Anthony Federov” Berry and Kyle “The New Clay Aiken” Ensley, who always looks like he auditioning for his fraternity’s glee club.
    • More American Idol -
      • Sarasota Herald Tribune - "Past winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have both gone on to sell millions of records and win numerous Grammy awards, while such finalists as Chris Daughtry and Clay Aiken have had major success."
      • Chicago Sun Times -
        5. Danny Noriega and Joanne Borgella. The pair are this season's Clay Aiken and Jennifer Hudson.
      • Huffington Post -
        Colton Berry and Kyle Ensley -- another big surprise as Clay Aiken 2.0 Kyle is sent home over the strong objections of Simon.
      • Variety -
        So we see a bunch of good singers, then a bunch of bad singers, then some singers who rock while playing instruments then some who should never be allowed near a keyboard or drum kit again. And then a terrifying promo to the local news station’s interview with Clay Aiken, who is starting to look like an old woman.
    • Contra Costa Times - random mention ...
      So when this guy approached me recently, I was, as usual, skeptical. Then he laid it on me. And, after 30 seconds, I was giggling like Clay Aiken at a slumber party.
    CDD Blogwatch
    Image courtesy Clay - The Man
    • The Clay nation celebrates Valentine's Day:
      • Clay - The Man
      • All That Is Clay Aiken -
        Today is very special day for some. Many gift cards, flowers, jewelry or candy.
        I read part of one blog that a gift of love songs would be a wonderful gift for today.
        That would truely be a "gift that keeps on giving".

        Clay's last CDwas a wonderful CD of love songs. Amazing.
    • Chexxxy's Pearls posts some cool YouTube videos detailing the background and history of Spamalot.
    • There Was A Man - Broadway.com interviews tells it "like it is"
      There been a second wave of promotion this week for Spamalot. First up was a fantastic interview for Broadway.com which you can find at this Link. The writer/interviewer Kathy Henderson could give that snooty Ariel Levy a lesson or two in getting a good interview out of her subject and treating them with respect.
    • Carolina On My Mind - an interview you should definitely read -
      The buzz around Clay Aiken message boards is not so much about Valentine's Day, but an extraordinary interview on Broadway.com: Clay's the Thing! Spamalot's New Star Speaks Out.

      In only two days, some fans can quote lengthy passages from memory. All who have read it have favorite paragraphs, lines, replies. One of the best Aiken interviews ever - and, for sure, the best since the singer-actor stepped onto the Broadway stage Jan. 18 as Sir Robin in 'Spamalot' - Kathy Henderson's article has the Clay Nation grinning.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2008

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

    No Clay and Jimmy this year around - Clay's busy starring in Spamalot - so let's whip out this classic from last year's "Climmel Valentine's Day" on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

    What's Hot From Spamalot 2/13



    What's hot from Spamalot? Well, definitely not the weather. Flights have been delayed or canceled. But the show must go on. And we have a few hot items from the show to melt the worst snow storm!

    • As most of you know, several Fox stations showed clips of Clay in Spamalot, along with a small bit of an interview. Now a montage of the Fox station clips in Atlanta, L.A., and Seattle has been put together and is available at YouTube (see video below). Separate videos are available for download at Clack Unlimited as follows:


    • Here is a review from Ultratwinmom at The Clayboard:
      Hi everyone. I really don't know where to start except to say WOW! I had the most AMAZING experience on Friday, February 8. Not only did I have the opportunity to see Spamalot, but I also got to meet a fellow Clay fan from Seol, Korea. You all know her as pepita89 here on the MB. As you might have read the post from my friend usingmyvoice, I was really on the fence about going to see Spamalot. I am a tried and true fan of Clay and have been to every concert except for the AI2 tour and have traveled with my friend to NYC to see him at Regis and Kelly and GMA summer concert series. But I really wasn't sure that this musical was something I might like even before Clay was ever to appear in it. I love NYC and musicals no doubt about that, not to mention I love Clay, however my funds were low and my mother just had surgery and I have been helping with her long recovery.

      On Friday morning I got a call from my exceptionally good friend, usingmyvoice telling me that a very generous girl pepita89, had an extra ticket that she was offering free of charge to anyone who might be interested. Talk about someone being extremely excited! I made arrangements for a sitter, packed my bag and headed off to NYC to meet her and see Spamalot. I don't know which was more exciting, meeting a new friend through OMC or getting to see Spamalot with OMC performing. I must say it was a tie! Not only did I get the chance to meet this wonderful person, our seats were directly behind my friend and her dh! Talk about something that was meant to be. Now I had no idea about the show except that it was a Monty Python production and that it was going to be silly with dancing and singing. I have to say that I was laughing throughout all of the show and was quite impressed with Clay's performance. He was hilarious and really into his character or shall I say characters. He seemed to really be enjoying himself and never once did he falter or break out into laughter and I have no idea how he managed that! During the scene where he plays one of the drunken guards for prince Herbert, the other guard could not contain his laughter of Clay's antics. Clay received a lot of laughs throughout the show along with his other castmates. It was great to see people of all ages and even men, enjoying Clay's many talents which we have all known and experience all of these years. The entire cast was wonderful and Clay seemed to fit right in. I loved his enthusiasm and there was a sparkle in his eyes like this was something he meant to do. The best surprise of the night was that my friend usingmyvoice, was chosen as Best Peasent and got to go on stage with the cast!!! I was so glad I got to have the chance to see this for I had no idea that this happened in the show. What a wonderful night and experience I will always treasure !

      After the show, we went to the stage door and I could hardly contain my excitement, for I have never had the chance to receive anything autographed by him in person. A lot of the cast members came out of the door before Clay and everyone was cheering for each on of them. When Clay came outside he was all smiles and was kind to everyone and joking was with some of the fans. I got my playbill autographed by him and Sir Lancelot (aka Rick Holmes). I also got some great pictures that I would like to share with all of you but I have never done this before so I will probably send them a little later.

      Thanks for reading this and thanks to Clay for bringing wonderful new friends from all around the country and the world together. What a great thing to be a part of!
    • Here's another review from Claymd4evr, also at The Clayboard. Both these reviews are fairly long, but they are quite interesting, so I think you will enjoy reading them.
      Saturday afternoon I had one of the highest seats in the balcony (J101) and could see Clay's every expression on stage with my binoculars. Since no one could be behind me, I was standing up for a better view, and the usherette offered me a booster so I would not have to get out of my chair. The theater was packed! Although I could not see much of the orchestra or mezzanine, there was only a vacant seat here or there in the balcony. There were folks of all ages with a goodly number of men, as well as teenage boys. Earlier, in the line in front of me, waiting to go in, were two young teen males with their dad who assured them he had seen the show twice and they would love it.

      At intermission, I tested the right balcony exit and found it opened right onto Shubert Alley so it was easy to speed down the stairs and get near the front of the line by the stage door just after the curtain call. Since I had seen the show just the night before (at that time the balcony was maybe half full - center section pretty full but lots of vacancies on the sides), I was thrilled to see the SRO crowd on Saturday. And they were so ENTHUSIASTIC - laughed at everything, caught every nuance. Must have been gratifying to the actors.

      Friday I was somewhat distracted trying to spot Clay in his various disguises but by Saturday I knew when to expect him and I really listened to the dialogue and the lyrics of the songs and caught lots of the humor I had previously missed. I strongly recommend that if you see the show, you see it more than once because you really have to listen to some of the bits because of the accents - though a lot of it is really raucous and easy to understand. Tom Deckman was Not Dead Fred & Prince Herbert on Saturday - and he was hilarious! I was so glad I got to see almost all of the regular cast, except for Hannah Waddingham, but Emily Hsu was fine, I thought.

      It was so exciting to get 2 Playbills signed on 2 successive days (there was not a big crowd at the stage door on Friday) and to see Clay up close and personal and so gorgeous! So sorry for the folks who came on Sunday & did not get to see him at the stage door, though they must have enjoyed an amazing show.

      Small bonus for being frugal: after the show, we stopped at the McDonald's on 8th Avenue just around the corner from the theater and who should I spot outside but Jerome with a McDonald's order, talking with someone and maybe WAITING for someone (?) Clay still had another show to do, so likely he was starved because HE WORKS VERY HARD on stage!

      Jerome very graciously allowed me to take his picture & I was able to leave a small gift for Clay with him before I joined my husband inside Micky D's for a post theater snack, So, even though the legendary Sardi's is directly across the street from the theater, and Junior's right next door, SOME FOLKS' tastes remain simple!
    • NYCITYCLAYFAN adds the following about how the decision is made as to whether Clay and the other actors will come outside to sign autographs:
      Just wanted to add that when I spoke with Jerome last night after the show, he said it was the decision of the theater NOT to do the stage door and that NONE of the actors was coming out due to the icy conditions and concern for the safety of the fans as well as the people connected to the show. As a matter of fact, while we were standing there talking, we saw two people slip and fall while walking toward Juniors, so I'd say they made the right call. (BTW, both were ok, just a little wet and embarassed!)

      It wasn't Jerome's call last night and he said it was the same for Sunday. The theater has the final say. Just wanted to say that in case anyone was wondering who makes these decisions.

    FOX Affiliates Broadcast Clay's Spamalot Clips


    We've been barred from recording any part of Spamalot, so it is exciting to see the first videos from one of Clay's Spamalot performances to emerge. Several FOX affiliates - in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle - broadcast a "legit" video clip of Clay in Spamalot.

    The YouTube version is posted above, and you can also download the clips:

    Tidbits 2/13

    • Idolator - Clay invites Cowell to, uh....
      Clay Aiken invites Simon Cowell to kiss his butt the next time the salty Brit dismisses a hopeful as being "too Broadway," since so many former American Idol finalists have gone on to Great White Way careers that have been much more challenging--and rewarding--than serving as cogs in the Clive Davis/Simon Fuller machine. Which is, y'know, kind of a valid point. Also: Please note that Aiken actually said "butt," and not "ass," so as not to offend the Claymates' oh-so-delicate ears.
    • American Idol mentions:
      • Variety -
        So we see a bunch of good singers, then a bunch of bad singers, then some singers who rock while playing instruments then some who should never be allowed near a keyboard or drum kit again. And then a terrifying promo to the local news station’s interview with Clay Aiken, who is starting to look like an old woman.
      • Huffington Post -
        Kyle Ensley -- the geeky guy playing the Clay Aiken card. No idea why he got to Hollywood (though he seems like an amiable guy). He's dreadful the first time and then sings Josh Groban the second time and to me sounded like the male equivalent of a beauty contestant (gets through the song and hits some notes).
      • Canada.com / CanWest News Service -
        There was a striking moment on American Idol last week. A Clay Aiken lookalike -- but without Aiken's talent and ability -- recalled that he had auditioned two years earlier alongside an unknown called Carrie Underwood, "my audition buddy."
      • Chicago Sun Times -
        Several singers pulled ahead from the pack. Sixteen-year-old David Archuleta was the best of the night. Former "Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken may have his "Claymates," and we're guessing Archuleta's fans will embrace "Arch Angels."
    • CBS Showbuzz - Spamalot changes "Britney Spears" song lyrics -
      Britney Spears is out, Posh Spice is in - as a lyric for the Lady in the Lake in the Broadway musical "Monty Python's Spamalot," currently starring "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken.
    CDD Blogwatch
    • Something That Really Happened highlights that great Broadway.com article/interview -
      Wow! Imagine that. An interview where someone actually asks intelligent questions, listens for complete answers and actually reports it respectfully! Kathy Henderson from Broadway.com conducted a very informative interview with Clay Aiken covering how he joined SPAMALOT; and his thoughts about being part of the cast and performing on Broadway. I am posting some of my favorite bits, but you will want to read the entire article here.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2008

    What's Hot From Spamalot 2/12


    • Our first hot Spamalot news of the night is a Fox News clip of Clay performing in Spamalot along with a short interview. They actually show several clips of him performing. You can download the clip at Clack Unlimited. Its a keeper for sure!

      And thanks to Joy2talk2U at The Clayboard for these wonderful caps from the video:



    • Here's a story from WRAL.com. A reference to Britney Spears has been taken out of the song, "Diva Lament" by Eric Idle. The article says:
      Britney Spears is out, Posh Spice is in - as a lyric for the Lady in the Lake in the Broadway musical "Monty Python's Spamalot." Asked why the lyric was changed in the song "Diva's Lament," "Spamalot" author Eric Idle said Tuesday in an e-mail:

      "Because we don't laugh at sad people. Mike Nichols (the show's director) requested it and he's right. We changed the lyrics in London, on tour, on Broadway and in Las Vegas. We think that it's now too sad. Britney Spears is being tortured to death and we don't want to be on that side."

      The changes went into the various companies last week.

      What the Lady in the Lake (currently played on Broadway by Hannah Waddingham) once sang:

      "I am sick of my career
      Always stuck in second gear
      Up to here with frustration and with fears
      I've no Grammy no rewards
      I've no Tony Awards
      I'm constantly replaced by Britney Spears
      Britney Spears!"

      It's been replaced by:

      "My love life is a mess
      I've got constant PMS
      My career is about as hot as ice
      They hate me there backstage
      They say I'm too old for my age
      They're trying to replace me with Posh Spice
      With Posh Spice!!"
    • We've got a cute review for you today from Claybug71 at The Clayboard:
      Hubby and I were walking by the area right at the time the show was to get out on Saturday afternoon. I had wanted to go by there if I had a chance and at least get some pictures. I knew I was going to the show on Sunday so I was going to get him to sign my playbill then. Now I'm so glad I went by there on Saturday since he did not come out on Sunday. I'm glad he didn't, by the way, because it was frigid cold. I don't think I've ever felt air and wind that cold in my life. I live in NC and I'm not used that weather like that. The wind was terrible.

      Just some quick comments on the show. We sat on the 2nd row center and I was very pleased with the view. I could see everything and had a good view of him in his first scene. It was my first time seeing the show and was so happy for him. He looked so comfortable in his role and on the stage. He was so funny. There were times I wondered how he kept a straight face. But I knew he was pretty good at doing that from his concerts. I had watched part of the movie a few months ago and wondered then if I'd really enjoy the play. But, just as I had hoped, the play is much better and way funnier than the movie. The cast does such a great job at entertaining. I loved his facial expressions. I also loved being right there and being able to see him that close up. I was laughing at the way he was running after those women. That was too cute!! I really enjoyed it and so did hubby. He was laughing quite a bit. I will tell a funny story real quick. I heard heard a woman tell the guy she was with that Clay Aiken the country singer was in this play. Then I heard the guy say no that's not him. She said, yes it was him. He kept arguing that it wasn't Clay Aiken the country singer. Finally the woman beside me turned around and said, "yes, Clay Aiken is in this play but he's not a country singer. He's from American Idol." He said oh I've never watched that. The woman beside me (sorry I don't know her name), turned around again and said, well, it's definitely him because many people in the audience came to see him. I thought that was funny that he didn't know who it was. I wish I knew what he thought after the play. Maybe someone may have been near by when this happened. My husband was chuckling over that.
      Here are some pictures taken by Claybug71 at the stage door:

    Tidbits 2/12

    • The Daily Reflector - Idol ....
      Other "Idol" participants from the Tar Heel State who gained exposure on the televised singing competition and now have recording contracts are Grammy-nominated rocker Chris Daughtry of McLeansville, country cutie Kellie Pickler of Albemarle, Broadway-bound Clay Aiken of Raleigh and country singer Bucky Covington of Rockingham.
    • 2Snaps.tv - Chris Daughtry comments on American Idol 7 - "Unlike Clay Aiken, who no longer watches the show, Chris sees potential in a few of this season's contestants."
    • AZ Central - lousy love songs?
      Clay Aiken, Invisible
      The lyrics of this tune are creepy enough - "If I was invisible/Then I could just watch you in your room." But then imagine them performed by the strangely sexless Clay Aiken, and the whole thing becomes rather icky.
    • The Hook - Chris Daughtry brings his own writing to his music -
      Daughtry has writing credits on almost every track, a feat unprecedented in the meticulously manufactured world of post-Idol pop. If the names Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Bo Bice, and Kelly Clarkson ring any bells, these artists can thank American Idol, this generation's version of Star Search. Yet Daughtry is unique among them.
    CDD Blogwatch
    • The ConCLAYve - Clay talks Spamalot, and much more with Broadway.com -
      Finally - a nice long interview with Clay Aiken about Spamalot that's more than sound bites. Here's some tidbits to give you a feeling for this nice, long piece - but read it in full on Broadway.com.

    Clay Moves Up To #3 On Lycos Top 50


    Exciting News!! Clay has moved up from last week's position of #6 at the Lycos Top 50 to #3! And by his name is the caption "Broadway Star"! It seems that with jump of 3 places, maybe there are other people besides the fans, who have seen Clay perform in Spamalot, that are now doing searches of Clay's name.

    Clay has been in the Top 50 for 239 weeks, which equals over 4-1/2 years!

    Monday, February 11, 2008

    What's Hot From Spamalot 2/11


    All things are rather quiet on the Spamalot front today, but we still managed to find a few hot items for you.

    • Per the Ticket Tracking Thread at The Clayboard, attendance for Spamalot went up 17.9% this past week. Here's a chart showing the attendance figures starting with the first week in January 2008:

    Here's a couple of reviews for you from the last few Spamalot shows:
    • From LKM44 at The Clayboard:
      ...we decided to take AMTAK. Taking the train was wonderful, the only problem was I didn't have a ticket to the play. I didn't think it would be a problem - but it almost was. When we got to NY we went to TKTKS to get same day, 1/2 price tickets (they only take cash). The agent told me that the Shubert only sent over a few partial view tickets - an indication that things were pretty well sold out. I decided to go to the ticket booth at the Shubert which opens at noon to try to get something better. Good tickets were scarce but I landed front row - way way at the end of the right side - but first row - which was a first time for me. The theatre was packed. So now for the play. Clay is as good of an actor as he is a singer. As many people have commented before but his comedic timing is great. The play was very funny and the whole cast was fabulous. My favorite Clay moments was the song he sang with the bottle dance, also his performance near the end of the play and near the beginning the dead body scene. Actually I loved the whole play and I wish I could press play and get a Rewind...
    • Here is a partial review from Using My Voice at The Clayboard. If you want to read the whole review, click on the link here: The Clayboard:
      ACT 11 (me) (Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert!) When they revealed the number I was pretty sure I was going to end up on stage. I got really nervous but I tried to play it cool. I wanted to be respectful of Clay and the entire cast. I didn't plan to do anything but follow their directions. My husband and my friend ultratwinmom had NO idea that this was coming. But pepita89 had the aisle seat behind me and had seen the show before, so I was afraid she might let the possibility leak, but I had warned her not to tell them anything about the show, and she didn't. So they both knew nothing of the play. That made my Broadway debut more exciting for me and for them. After the reveal, sweet Patsy came down the steps into the audience and asked me to stand (as he dropped the Grail into my seat). He spoke with me a little and then led me back to my seat. I sat there as Sir Robin suggested that they award this special person (peasant?) so Patsy came back, grabbed my hand, and led me up on the stage to greet King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table (hmm...or was it perhaps oval shaped?) The King spoke to me so seriously. He asked my name and then said it will be forever remembered in NY with the likes of Rudy Gullianni and Joey Buttafuco! Then Patsy, who was to my left, says, "It's over here" to get my attention. I turn to see the little bronze statue and the certificate being awarded to me. I accepted them and stood there as they all started to sing in honor of me. I tried to look all around to take it all in. After all, this is the first time I have appeared on a Broadway stage! I saw my DH seated there in the audience to my left. Sir Robin was kneeling to my right. I just happened to look down at him as he formed the words that make up my name, which had become a part of the lyrics for the evening. It was a strange sensation seeing those words come out of his mouth! You know how he enunciates! It suddenly hit me that they were all singing my name. Later I was thinking about the fact that Clay was singing my name!

      At one point in the song, a cast member jumped out and snapped a polaroid of me with the cast. He hands the pic to Sir Robin who shook it quite a bit (which looked like he was just waving it all about) before handing it to me. I later figured out that he was trying to dry the picture, but at that moment he had me confused as to why he wouldn't just hand it to me. I now wonder what kind of expression I had on my face then. Patsy came back to lead me off stage. He didn't want me to fall, so he said, " Go down 5 steps. 1-2-3-4-5. Now wave to the people!" and I did! As we left the theater a few people congratulated me. One lady said, "Congratulations! I voted for you!". I thought that was funny. My DH enjoyed the experience of watching me go up there, but he later told me that he was a little afraid I might try to say something funny. I'm glad I didn't embarrass him.
    • Last, here are some great stage door pictures from Zippy888 at The Clayboard. Please do not post these at the OFC or crop without permission from Zippy888:

    Tidbits 2/11

    • Quiet day here at CDD. There's a nice mention of Clay's 2005 Joyful Noise Tour at Eugene, OR's Hult Center's website, celebrating 25 years of stars:
    CDD Blogwatch
    • Nothing here today


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