- Doonesbury Comic Strip - A mention of Clay in this Sunday's comic strip:
- Al.com - Idol blog -
Granted, the confetti-strewn ending of "Idol" is less glitzy than the Oscars, and it doesn't draw Hollywood's A-list en masse. You won't see Steven Spielberg posing with Simon Cowell -- unless one of Spielberg's kids is an "Idol" addict -- and the same goes for Jack Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman.
Still, you'd be surprised how quickly the inner paparazzo emerges when it's your job to get a comment from Harry Hamlin, Courtney Love, Heather Locklear, Roseanne Barr or Clay Aiken.
The #1 Clay Aiken News Website
BurberryAiken's CDD | Home & News
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Well, I skipped a day in "What's Hot From Spamalot". Believe me, its not because there wasn't something hot going on at The Shubert. Its not because the weather is quite frigid in NYC. Its because I fell asleep and didn't get my report in early enough!! That's the problem with the media today, you just can't depend on them!! *grin*
- But today we do have hot news from Spamalot. And we'll start out with a YouTube video for your enjoyment. This is from...where else...the Stage Door!! And this one is from Tuesday, February 19.
- Next up is a review from strollynn63 at The Clayboard:
Hi Everyone, went to the show last night. Rainy night in Georgia...ummm..NYC, but I swear the theater was filled. First of all, I haven't seen the show since the first one. Clay is amazing! His timing is perfect, his facial expressions, his dancing....OMG, his dancing, can slay a dragon.Our next review is from butterflyshine at the OFC via Okclayhoman at The Clayboard. Unfortunately, this one has some "not so hot" news about Clay...he did not come sign autographs because he is not feeling well. Let's hope and pray he begins to feel better and it doesn't turn into anything more serious.
It was an unusual experience because.....I am not used to seeing NJU people. We usually see Claymates, and more Claymates. This time they were theater goers, lots of men. 10 in our aisle. I WAS IN ROW B PEOPLE!!! Close enough to look up Clay's skirt. and what a site he is. I know there were Clay fans there, but, mostly other people. I had to conduct my survey,..... because I'm nosy. "And what made you come to Spamalot?" lol
A lady and her husband next to me loved Clay since AI and hasn't seen him in concert, so this was her first time. She was in heaven, and the husband was hysterical. Next to my friend ClaySeal One was a Greek man, loves Python humor, but he wasn't sure how this guy from AI could fit in.... At the end of the night he was on his feet, and said that Clay was a natural. The bottle dance is lethal up close, the piano look is to die for, the dead scene.....that big 6'2" frame laying out before my eyes blinded me and made me want to charge the stage.....KA-BOOM!!!
He is flawless, throws in his little nuances, his huge eye contacts, laughing with the cast, them appreciating him, and him doing the same. The cast is wonderful. Loads of tweenies in the audience, everyone showing him respect, no calling out, but its hard NOT TO. Standing O at the end, and the confetti......Omg, he rubs it...and rubs it. So funny. So get ye to the theater if you haven't gone yet.
No stage door,.... raining, but I did see Jerome take the two tweenies that were in front of us into the stage door. Lucky them! On kid combed her hair until I thought it was gonna fall out! Omg, pulling it to death...She was sooo excited.
Shakespere said....."The play's the thing"! Hey Clay, can I be your play thing?????
All in all, GREAT SHOW, GREAT TIME, LOVE THE BIG APPLE, AND CLAY AIKEN IS THE BOMB!!!!!!!!
From butterflyshine @ the OFC....From the Clackhouse, and please note this if you are planning to see Spamalot on April 18-20:
I like SRO tickets they give a new perspective and they are cheap
The crowd was mainly nju...lots of families with children...the orchestra was sold out, as were most of the SRO's spots...waves to my new SRO friends from upstate NY....i think the theater was sold out but i couldn't tell from my vantage point
Clay's first scene....the audience roared with laughter...he has that so down pat...the whole swallows and coconuts is classic and just funny as get out...
The crowd also loved the I am not dead scene...again he is so comfortable and has his part so nuanced it is a joy to watch....
When he becomes Sir Robin and sings his idol of the ages line...he got a nice applause and recognition....
his ogling is down to a science as is his mimicking the dancers when they are dancing...he is just spot on...
His hula got a nice laugh...
the crowd loved Hannah and she was spot on as well....they especially loved her Diva song...and her Posh line followed by a bit of the song was great...
The french Taunter once again had people gasping for air b/c they were laughing so much....
Clay got several burst of applause for his solo...he really owns it and his cossock dance has improved soooo much...he no longer has a death grip on his fellow dancers...the grip is much looser and he totally owns the dance...he is such a commanding presence in that scene.
Slightly out of order...but the Knights of Ni sang a song and it was hysterical ...and i can't remember what it was...they ended it with crack is whack.... very funny stuff....
I am still a huge fan of the coconut dance...just love it....
Clay continues to improve in his dancing it really does appear that he has reached that muscle memory point where it has become second nature to him...i cannot believe his cossock dance it is a amazing...
tonight's peasant was a man, totally clueless but really cute....Clay did the fake hand shake thing...it was really cute...
The entire cast got an ovation...applause wise i would say Hannah's was a bit louder, but Clay's was nothing to sneeze at...he seemed very appreciative....
i have to tell you we had a belly laugher in the audience and he thought everything was hysterical...it was sooooo cute...to hear this guy just laughing and laughing away...
We went to stage door and it was misting...i could see Jerome every time the door opened, it looked like he was ready...then it really started to rain and Jerome came out and said that Clay wouldn't be coming out due not feeling well and the rain...it was really damp and cold tonight don't blame him one bit...
the Michigan contingency was there having made it through the storm...
David Hibbard was signing autographs when i left...
this review may travel...
Just saw this at the CH....An important heads up!Here's a partial review posted at The Clayboard by bulldog:
For anyone seeing Spamalot the weekend of April 18-20, The Pope will be in NYC. Interesting because it is Passover as well. I just got off the phone making reservations for our rooms and the city is booking up fast. Just wanted to let you all know if you are attending at that time and haven't finalized your hotel plans.
By corabeth at the CH!!! Another awesome recapI love this next one from Mammat53 at The Clayboard. Looks like Clay lost the battle with a sharpie here!
My February Spamalot recap……or You're just too good to be true, can't take my eyes off of you.....The Shubert is small, in both the lobby and the theater itself. I was surprised at how small it is. Sitting in front row, your knees hit the orchestra pit barrier. We saw lots of people filing in, many families. There were many teen boys including a 15 year old who sat near me and enjoyed Hannah's "costumes" very much. The military group (who we found out at intermission were Navy) filled the balcony. If this performance wasn't sold out, it was pretty damn close. It's hard to look at the audience from front row but when I looked to my left, I saw big grins.
I thought in the Bring out Yer Dead scene that he added so many nuances to the scene, beyond what I could tell from the DHP videos. (I personally think DHP is too old for this role.) My vantage point allowed me to keep one eye on him while I watched the cart. His reactions were perfect. He held up his little triangle clanger to his eye with the round part over it during "Keep an eye on Lance". It was cute.
Eric Idle's additions for Clay during All for One were perfect as it was a)funny b) showed Clay's voice and comedy skills and c) set the tone for the evolution of Robin and his relationship with the other (older) knights. He sang this right in front of us and I was very conscious of looking up with a big grin on my face. I know you can see the front row I could see the folks way over in the left orchestra quite clearly under bright lights.....Hannah blocked my view of him for a bit of Knights of the Round Table but what I can tell is that he never stops interacting with the girls dancing around him and to me, you can't help but notice him as his moves are smoother, his jumps higher and his overall dancing eye catching over most of the other people. Lancelot is a good dancer in a different way because he's short and rather slight of build.
The Knights who say Niii sang Anchors Away and the balcony erupted. He said "Hmm, I think we have some navy guys in the house. Beat Army!" Clay's big number is something else. He uses the whole stage. His dance moves are wonderful, even little kicks here and hops there.
People have described his move after the piano as a sexy shimmy. This seemed different. It was more of a powerhouse shake. Nanjeanne described it perfectly in that he seemed to become this big "Tevya" kind of man. There was power in those shoulders. His leg came up high at a 90 degree angle and he stomped like a giant as the other dancers answered his call. His grab of grail and hat was forceful and commanding. His leg lift into the first move was high and long and the look on his face was one of defiance. "I will nto be denied." It gave the impression that he was pulling that entire line. I think we are second or third row center for closing night. I may borrow one of CynicalOne's cigarettes after. That short scene left me feeling like I was spent and wanting more. For me, those few minutes felt like raw sex. I can still see his power, heck I could almost feel it. I want to see this man with his tossled blond hair, shirtless and sweating, in a movie.
The rest of the show was just as great. Another funny moment is when he the minstrels were singing how Sir Robin shat himself. Clay walked out and covered his face with his hands in an "I'm so embarrassed". That was one of those things that Nanjeanne talked about, little things that add to the scene.
The white tux fits him to a tee. The best shows he is neither fat nor skinny, just loooong. The vest hugs him nicely. The white shoes make his foot look like a downhill ski. I loved watching him dance on the right side. At curtain call, the dancing girls got a great Navy reception as did Hannah's tracts of land. Clay got a great hand both after his number and at curtain call. He was flirting with two girls behind him and one girl pretended to rub the other girl's butt. He looked so happy up there and when the curtain went down, he was still jumping and kicking. I'm hoping this joy is a combination of things going well with the show and with the album.
General impressions of the rest....
Patsy: All I could think of was that his back must kill at the end of every show because he spends most of it in a hunched manner. He complements every scene.
Arthur: He's got a great King voice but I find him the weakest link. It may be because he's so short, he doesn't really move that well and he pronounces words funny (neither American or English). He's a fine actor but meh for me.
Herbert, etc: You can pick him out in any scene. The only reason I knew he was a French Tauntor was because of those big round eyes. Fun, fun, fun. He's like a human cartoon as Herbert in the tower.
Lancelot, etc: He's a good dancer and an incredible talent with accents. He's not my type but I was very impressed with him.
Galahad: Chris Seiber has great timing and he and Clay together are comedy gold. At the bar later, we kept saying "DENNIS!!" in an exasperated tone. I think Galahad and Robin's relationship of big brother type reflects them both on and offstage. The rest of my shows are without him, I wonder how that will change the dynamic. MrNan described him as playing it like some sort of Sir Dudley Do-Right and I thought that was perfect.
LOTL: Would you believe that is the name of my Church? Hannah has the kind of stage presence that Clay does. Her voice is wonderful and she plays with it effortlessly. I love her dresses, you can actually hear all those crystals move when she walks. I get a bit of an ego vibe from her but the kind that is more confidence then arrogance and she totally deserves to have it. And I finally saw the crystal lipstick that Invisible926 talks about. I hope she does more work in the US, I'd go to see a play just to see her in a different role.
An overall comment is that the attention to detail in what is a deceptively simple stage design is wonderful. And those wigs are unbelievable. What I loved was how many different personas Clay gave Robin as Robin evolves. The pony that nanjeanne describes for pre-knighted Robin is right on. Then he becomes a refined knight in both speech and mannerisms and he grows from frightened man with false bravado to one of "hey look at me, aren't I something? Pride with an ocassional snarky look.
If I didn't already love him, I would really love him.
I have some very sad news for the North Carolina Hoodie lovers. Tuesday night whilst Clay was signing my Playbill be dropped the sharpie down the front of him. He loudly proclaimed "Oh Crap!", and fumble to retreve the sharpie and my playbill from his chest.. Then said "I won't be able to wear this again" My autograph is unique it shows the slippage. He autographed himself..
Hope there is video.
Friday, February 22, 2008
On February 22, 2007, Clay was on the Mike and Juliet Show as a guest host. He made a decorative box, chatted with the other hosts, and danced with Juliet. But I think one of the things we remember most about the show was Cookie and her Claymobile.
I had the privilege of receiving an email from Cookie where she reminisces about her day with Clay on the Mike and Juliet Show. She tells in the email how it came about and what a surprise it was when she found out Clay would come outside and see the car! Well, read for yourself this great review of Cookie's awesome experience on the show.
When I knew Clay was going to be the co-host I e-mailed the show about 3 weeks before (never expecting to hear anything from them) and thanked them for having Clay on and told them about my passionate support of Clay and about my "Claymobile". Low and behold about 1 week before the show was to air they contacted me and said if I brought my car to NY for the show they would be sure I would have a chance to meet Clay. Up to that point they had no idea what it looked like!! I told them he had never seem the car although I was sure he knew about it and that I had never had a chance to meet him and hoped both would happen one day for me.What an amazing day for Cookie, one she will no doubt never ever forget! Many thanks to her for sharing her story with us.
Well of course with that invitation I looked for my quickest running shoes and off I went. It was certainly an experience I'll never forget..in fact even now when I look at the DVD of the show I can't believe it all happened! They never told me anything about what they had planned for me. Everything was totally an unknown to me.
They told me to have my car at the studio on 47th St by 6:30AM and of course I was there at the crack of dawn!! By the way 6:30 is the crack of dawn for me!! LOL
The director came out and they took some shots and he talked to me and said that when the show started Mike and Juliette would come out and talk to me about the car. I never had a clue that Clay would be coming out. However standing there by the car..when I heard the fans in the outside bleachers start yelling I thought "Oh my gosh...he's coming out". I really did think I would die. He walked up to me looking me right in the eye and it was awesome. I really could not believe he actually bent down so I could peck him on the cheek. Of course the little "oowh" told me it had actually happened! I have become friends with fans from Japan and it is so funny...I'm know over there as the "Kissing Bandet". I think that is a hoot!!
I really had no idea that I was going to be going back into the studio for that Trivia Game either. That was my biggest worry that they would start asking me questions that any diehard fan would know and I'd look like a fool. I really don't pay to much attention to much of the trivia stuff.
I still consider myself a very lucky fan. The trip was just icing on the cake..just for the opportunity to say hello to OMC and have him see the Mobile was truly awesome enough for me. My Claydawg and I enjoyed our Bahama vacation this past June. Just to prove that Clay and I kinda have the same karma...I lost our passports!! Well I didn't... actually USAIR did..long story.
Anyway the story continues.. this past summer I was invited to bring the Mobile to Cary NC to participate in a fund raiser for UNICEF. This is what it is all about for me..supporting when and where I can, keeping his name out there almost everyday, talking to people everyday about what he is up to including all his charity work and of course encourage them to read his book, buy his CD's and inform them about concert dates. I've even help people acquire tickets..I alway feel especially good when it is tickets for "virgins".
This past Christmas in the Heartland Tour I was again very fortunate to have been invited to read a story in DC for a friend of mine in Maine.
And to bring back even more memories of that fun day when Clay co-hosted the show, here are a few pictures.
Entertainment Weekly can learn a lot about a proper Broadway review from this latest Spamalot review from the Associated Press. The Associated Press was impressed by Clay's performance in Spamalot. Michael Kunchwara, the AP's drama critic writes:
Clay Aiken deftly acts supremely silly
Let's clear things up right away: Clay Aiken can handle supremely silly.
We knew Aiken could sing. "Idol," television's favorite trial-by-fire, proved that. So it was only natural that Broadway, eager for new faces that might sell tickets, would call — just as it did for Fantasia, Frenchie Davis, Constantine Maroulis and others from "Idol."
But don't go expecting a star turn. Aiken is a team player — and that's meant as a compliment. The ingratiating performer fits seamlessly into the extended high jinks of "Spamalot," which has been running at the Shubert Theatre since March 2005.
The guy gets the goofy humor that is the Python trademark and goes with the flow, most prominently when he is portraying the perpetually petrified Sir Robin. It's one of three roles he plays in the musical.
Aiken also exudes the physical buffoonery that underlines the cartoonlike nature of the characters and their quest to find the Holy Grail. He radiates a delightful benign bewilderment. What's more, for someone born and raised in North Carolina, Aiken does a credible British accent.
- Former American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis mentioned Clay in an interview with the Washington Post, the CB's fodderwing reports:
I didn't see that this had already been posted, so here goes. In the Weekend Section of the Washington Post there is an article about Constantine Maroulis and they asked him to play a little word association in reaction to a few names from AI. He commented about Kelly Clarkson, Clay, Sanjaya Malakar, Jordin Sparks, Ruben Studdard and Justin Guarini.
His comments re Clay Aiken were:
"He's got a vulnerability about him. I think that's what draws him to people (I think he meant "that's what draws people to him"?) He's really talented; not my cup of tea but definitely good at what he does."
- Fort Wayne Journal Gazette - Clay Aiken ready to release new CD -
Aiken album out soon
Get ready, Claymates: A new Clay Aiken album is just around the corner, People magazine reports.
The former “American Idol” contestant is in New York recording his fourth album, which he expects to be “out about May 6,” he says.
Aiken is starring in the Broadway run of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” as Sir Robin.
- Clay - The Man always has great stuff... check out their latest offerings.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
- First, a little news from my son, who is in New York on business right now. I reminded him that he should go see Clay in Spamalot. He loved "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"...thought it was absolutely hysterical, especially the Knights that say "Ni"!! He told me that he has driven by the Shubert Theater and there are big signs all over with Clay's picture. I love it!! Now if I can just talk him into going to see the show!
- Here's some good information for those of you who want to try to get up close to the Stage Door, but are afraid to stay for the end of the show because you might not be close enough to get an autograph. I agree with the comments from people who say you should stay for the whole show so as not to disrupt the show by leaving early, plus you will miss some great Clay moments if you do leave early. Read on for some good thoughts on this. These are all from the Clayboard:
- Starfishy2000 - I waited until the final curtain both nights and managed to get right up front. Clay is too fun in the end to miss. You just have to be ready to go, and not stop. And the crowd wasn't so bad. I didn't hear of anyone leaving without something signed. The other actors mainly came out after the crowd dispersed. A few sneak out while the craziness is going on, but if you wait around you ca catch a few others.
- tiggy52winkle - I got right up front and I was in the first row and stayed till the curtain came down! You don't want to miss Clay jumping around and giving us his salute at the end of the show. Just go fast and go up the outside aisle when the show is over. Clay signs just about everything that is held out to him. Last show.....all bets are off. It will be a mob scene. I plan to stand back and just revel in his loveliness one last time at the stage door.....You can't use any exits but the ones in the back of the theater to go outside. We asked the ushers and they said NO, just the exits off the lobby where you came in. Just FYI. You can get out quickly though. Good luck to all of you being right up front at least one time!
- Claymama - If you are in the front row and the crowd is 4 or 5 deep, there is no way you can move anywhere. And once Clay comes by, he does not come back that way again, so you need to reach out with your item to be autographed while he is still there.
- Canuck2010 - I just want to chime in about the Stage door. I have only been to two stage door's but I stayed until after the final curtain went down as I wouldn't have wanted to miss a second of the show nor would I have wanted to disrupt the finale for anyone else. The finale is fantastic and Clay is sooooooooo cute! I was in row 1 and row 10 and didn't even rush out. I ended up about 3 people deep but was able to reach through and get my program and playbill signed plus passed one ahead for someone behind me. I'm short too but seemed to have developed a long right arm for those two occasions. : Clay signs as many as he possibly can. People in front can't move so that won't happen but it wouldn't help anyway because by the time they moved, Clay would have moved on as well.
- Starfishy2000 - I waited until the final curtain both nights and managed to get right up front. Clay is too fun in the end to miss. You just have to be ready to go, and not stop. And the crowd wasn't so bad. I didn't hear of anyone leaving without something signed. The other actors mainly came out after the crowd dispersed. A few sneak out while the craziness is going on, but if you wait around you ca catch a few others.
- Here's some news from Joy2talk2U at The Clayboard -
There are about 100 Marines there tonight in dress uniform. They saw them all go up to the mezzanine. The theater seems to be filling up nicely....According to CV the marines are students from a military prep school in Rhode Island. There are about 75 of them.
- Joy2talk2U also tells us that Linda Loveland from WRAL is at the show tonight:
CV reports that Linda Loveland is there tonight. She interviewed hobbitkitty from CV for a story that will air next Wednesday....dance4me called me from the theater. She said she saw Linda Loveland and a film crew at the theater. She said they interviewed a fan and were filming the merchandise T-shirts with Clay's picture on them.
- ClayandKimfan from The Clayboard then gives us even more news about the fan who was interviewed by Linda Loveland:
My best friend Lindsey aka Hobbitkitty from CV called me and said she was interviewed by Linda Loveland!!! She said the interview should be shown tomorrow I think. Im so excited for her like it was me hehehe!!
- And speaking of Hobbitkitty and Linda Loveland, here's an interesting tidbit from Eleid at The Clayboard:
from CV: Hobbitkitty just called after finally making it to the train station after getting herded out of the theater like cattle as she put it....she told me something that Linda told her today that she forgot to tell me earlier to post... Linda Loveland said she was in the recording studio with Clay today!!!!!!!!!!Can't wait to see this video from WRAL and Linda Loveland!
- Now here's an interesting development near the Shubert Theater tonight. Apparently there is a crime scene taped off which will keep Clay from coming out the Stage Door:
again from GBB at the Clackhouse...
Talked to Corabeth at intermission. She said Clay is great! And that her seat is absolutely perfect for the slo-mo scene.
Apparently some time this afternoon a piece of furniture was lobbed out of a 37th floor window directly across from the stage door. Broken glass is everwhere and the area is taped off with crime scene tape. So probably no stage door tonight.
Just saw this over at CV
QUOTE(smittenwithclay @ Feb 21 2008, 10:27 PM) codmag report: no stagedoor (kind of figured after the last report) and the whole street is closed off, they are being herded out like cattle and the police are saying "closer, closer"
- And finally, a review of Spamalot from gailkent at The Clayboard:
I went to see Clay in Spamalot on Tuesday, February 19 and this is the first time I had a chance to post since I was attending a job fair in New York so I had to organize my thoughts. It was a very cold and breezy evening Tuesday night and the line was very long waiting for the doors to open at 7:30. The place I would say was totally packed and standing room only. I of course was waiting for my first sighting of Clay and when he appeared in the tower alot of people in the audience gave a little shout out but nothing very disruptive. I have to say even though I read all the reviews posted here I was still blown away by how fabulous Clay was. He spoke in an excellent British accent and he never slipped once in keeping with that accent. He really did have alot of dialogue to learn besides all the dance moves. This show doesn't really highlight his singing ability but he sure proves Clay has great acting chops! The rest of the cast is excellent as well and received a standing ovation and I felt the audience was very responsive and laughed at all the jokes as well. I was a bit worried that perhaps Clay wouldn't come out since it was very cold and windy but I was so thrilled when he did. I did have a handshake during the bus line at Asheville but seeing Clay close up like this was thrilling as well and he did sign the book Our Friend, Mikayla published by his foundation and I think he spend about 10 minutes going all the way down the line signing things. Jerome did not seem very happy at all maybe he disapproved of Clay being out in the cold but I can tell you I was sure happy. I had a smile on my face for the longest time I definitely was on a Clay high! The girl next to me said" I have waited five years to get an autograph from Clay" and I said me too and we both had to give each other a hug because we finally have our prized possession an autograph from Clay! Did I mention he also looked adorable! I have a ticket for our spring break in March which I wasn't sure I could afford to go to NYC again but I have to since its a second row seat and I would love to see Clay do his acting gig again plus seeing him so close at the stage door is such a treat! What a memorable night!
- Here is one final review from tonight's show from d4kkkks at the Clayboard:
It's Marine night. There are lots of Marines tonight. They are not in the Orchestra. Orchestra is sold out. Only 2 SRO spot not occupied. The audiences are from 6 years to Grandparents. What another great show and another great outstanding performance of Clay. He is in good spirit, good mood. I thought he is better and better every time I watch him. He is very animated. Every scene you can really watch him acting in every words he said. You can see his interaction with every one of them. If he is not acting he is dancing, and singing if not dancing. You'll never see him doing nothing. I did not leave until I saw his farewell salute.
No backstage door. I saw Jerome earlier getting out from one of the exit door. As we are rushing through the side exit door, Jerome instructed us to use the front door because the alley is close. We were surprised when we get out and the Schubert Theater alley was cordoned of yellow sign. We come across Sean and he himself was also wondering what was going on. Sean asked me if how good is Clay. I excitingly seconded what he said. We overheard from the officer that there're falling glass in the building.
At 6pm Linda Loveland of WRAL did an interview in the Schubert lobby. They interview a pretty younger fan Lindsay from Long Island and Eve a Professor from one of Philippines prestigious University. They were interviewed and asked to comment about Clay. They said the interview would be shown on Wednesday.
- Parade Magazine - the Bubel Aiken Foundation will receive $1000 for its participation in the recent America's Giving Challenge.
- More Clay mentions in American Idol commentary:
- OC Register -
And it's not just the winners. Diana DeGarmo was a veteran TV actress and performer. Clay Aiken recorded three demo albums. Katharine McPhee was a successful stage actress and singer. Ace Young opened for Brian McKnight and New Edition.
- Rolling Stone ... "4. Alexandréa Lushington needs to adjust her sassy meter to somewhere between Danny Noriega and Clay Aiken." One commenter notes,
Clay AIken would Kill this group, He knew how to play the game and played it to perfection. In 5 years this group will be forgotten, as quickly as Season 6,
- Bradenton Herald -
More than 28 million viewers watch "American Idol" each week, according to Nielsen ratings. In the past, the show has churned out stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken and Carrie Underwood.
- Smyrna Clayton Sun Times -
Archuleta made the top 24, as did fellow 17-year-old Colton Berry, while Leming, and Baines were sent home. Baines, however, is one of 10 alternates; if any of the top 24 has to bow out of the competition, he could be invited back to Hollywood. Clay Aiken, runner-up from Season 2, was an alternate.
- Access Atlanta / Atlanta Journal Constitution - Idol sales report ... tiny Clay mention for ATDW.... sitting at 523k.
- North Texas Daily -
I don't know if I can stomach any more awful singing from this show. While I've enjoyed the musical styles of Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry and Carrie Underwood, I think this season might produce the likes of Clay Aiken, Fantasia or Taylor Hicks.
- Newsday interviews David Morse, who played in "Disturbia" and "The Green Mile", and is now on Broadway -
For crying out loud, Clay Aiken's over here in "Spamalot," and when he , that alley is filled with screaming people. Y'know, we've got plenty of people outside our stage door each night who are excited and want autographs, but that kind of mob mentality ... there are people who live with that every single day, that kind of crush wherever you go. That's not a way I want to live a life.
- Boston College - BC Heights - random mention ...
The Somerville Theatre is not your typical alternative concert venue. But then, the Magnetic Fields are anything but typical. I took my seat (at an altitude that makes the stage swirl) in the cramped balcony and awkwardly positioned myself for a long wait. The seats filled up with hipsters, and I was seated next to a 30-something couple that seemed out of place. I knew I was in for a fun evening when the gentleman explained to his wife and I, "See, all the cheap seats fill up with cool people. I bet all of these 'kids' despise Clay Aiken and his lot." An odd choice, but right you are, sir.
- Lycos press release about the Lycos50 -
The Lycos 50(TM) Top 10 Search Terms for the Week Ending Feb. 16, 2008: 1) Valentine 6) Britney Spears 2) Poker 7) Paris Hilton 3) Clay Aiken 8) Pamela Anderson 4) YouTube 9) Pokemon 5) Naruto 10) Disney
Okay, now some people may disagree with me. But I found Entertainment Weekly's review of Clay's performance in Spamalot to be a very weak attempt at criticizing him. After all, that seems to be all they know about reviewing Clay, that is, to be critical of him.
In their review they start out with negative words for Clay, but then they do something that we are not used to. They actually kind of, sort of, hesitantly, say some nice things about him:
The American Idol runner-up — appearing until May 4 as the cowardly Sir Robin — is too tentative, withdrawn, and, well, un-silly for a gloriously berserk retelling of Arthurian legend that features vicious hand puppets, absurdly rude Frenchmen, and fourth-wall-demolishing riffs about the Great White Way. To be fair, Aiken handles Robin's big ''You Won't Succeed on Broadway'' number well enough that it doesn't become a self-fulfilling prophecy. He also has a good deal of fun in two smaller comic parts, the idiotic Guard 1 and Brother Maynard, keeper of the ''Holy Hand Grenade.''Is this their attempt to remain true to their past negative reviews of Clay; however, even they have a hard time finding anything to be ultra-critical about? Here's my own review of their review. Agree with it or not, I think its interesting to consider:
EW is like an elementary school child. You know, when their mom tells them to say something nice about their sister or brother, and they just can't seem to make themselves say anything nice. They'd rather eat nails then do so. EW is just like that. They just........can't........quite........get........the........ words........out.......of........their........mouths. They know there was nothing worthy of a negative review, so they have to use words like "tentative, withdrawn, and unsilly" that are the worst they can come up with for Clay's performance. They leave a negative connotation, but not nearly as negative as they have in the past. But then, low and behold, if they don't kinda give him a backhanded compliment!
"One of the Monty Python team's favored ways to end a sketch was to have Graham Chapman don military garb and declare that matters had become too ''silly.'' Alas, Chapman might have approved of Clay Aiken's stint in Spamalot, the hilarious, Tony-winning musical version of the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail." - You mean to say, EW, that Graham Chapman would approve of Clay's silliness, the same silliness you called "unsilly"? So maybe "unsilly" doesn't fit the bill after all, right?
"To be fair, Aiken handles Robin's big ''You Won't Succeed on Broadway'' number well enough that it doesn't become a self-fulfilling prophecy." - Oh my!! So his big number was done "well enough"?? Well, "well enough" isn't awful, is it? So, can you force yourself to say the words, "Hey, his performance was done well enough after all! In fact, we kinda liked it!"
"He also has a good deal of fun in two smaller comic parts, the idiotic Guard 1 and Brother Maynard, keeper of the ''Holy Hand Grenade.''" - Uh, wait a minute, Mr. "Unsilly and Tentative" Clay Aiken had a "good deal of fun" in his other two parts? "Good deal of fun" and "unsilly" don't seem to be synonyms of each other. Sounds like you were at least somewhat amused by his hysterical performance here.
B+ - You gave Clay a B+??? After that half-hearted attempt at criticizing his great performance, you gave him a B+ after all? Now, EW, you have really given yourself away. You really did like his performance after all didn't you. I can read between the lines!
EW, if you would just break down, just once, and admit that Clay did a knock 'em dead, high spirited, fantastic performance in Spamalot, maybe the next time it won't be so hard to say it. Try practicing it in front of the mirror 10 times a day, and maybe by the time his CD comes out in May, you might even be able to have a favorable review of it. Maybe you will be able to say the words, actually form them with your mouths, "His......CD......is......quite......good!" Time will tell.
Yesterday at Clay's Daily Double, we told you that People.com had announced that Clay's new CD would be released around May 6. Now the news has flown to several other websites. Here are a few of those:
- The CB's angelcat4jc reports some FOX affiliates are picking up the story as well:
They showed him at his CD signing for ATDW. They picked up on the article from People magazine. I think they said something about Clay's fans have something to look forward to. They talked about what was in the article, about his new album coming out and that he was starring in Spamalot. They mentioned the part where he said he learned alot in his 20's and that's what he wants his music to be about. (paraphrasing)
I hope someone caps it if it is on someone else's local Fox station. It was the 9 o'clock news here central time after Don't Forget the Lyrics. (and my vcr just went off right before that! Darn!)
- AllHeadlineNews.com - "His fans, who call themselves Claymates, will be happy to know Aiken is in New York now recording his fourth album."
- Fox28.com - "Another Idol star is set to release a new album. Clay Aiken's new CD should hit stores in May."
- TVGuide.com This article, in the Great American Idol Blog, is entitled "Claymates Won't Be Achin' for New Album Much Longer", and check out the great picture that they used!
- RealityTVMagazine.com - In part, this article says:
Clay Aiken has been a busy boy. While in New York City, appearing in the broadway production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, Clay has had a new album on his mind.Bolding in this article is mine. I just love this statement!
Okay, more than just on his mind. He’s actually been busy laying tracks for his new album when not on the Broadway stage.
The album, which is Aiken’s fourth, will not be, “going down any path that’s crazy,” he told People in a recent interview. “I’m not trying to be cool. I’m not trying to be hip. I’m not trying to do anything other than sing stuff that I’m good at,” he adds.
Aiken has tried to theme the album around the self-awareness and learning that tends to happen to people as they grow through their young adulthood.
Though he jokes that he could use his red Spamalot wig for a new image to go along with the album release, Aiken warns that this musical go-round of his will come with no new crazy styles, such as the dark and messy style he’s been known to sport in the past. This time, it seems, it’s all about Clay staying true to Clay.
- SeattlePI.com - "Season 2 American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is eyeing a May 6 release for a fourth album that should appeal to his core fans."
- ETOnline - "CLAY AIKEN isn't letting a little thing like being on Broadway stand in the way of his next studio effort -- in fact his new album will likely be in stores in a matter of months!"
- TheInsiderOnline.com - More of what we've already read from other sites, but being on The Insider and ET Online is big!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
In today's "What's Hot", we have some smokin' hot closeups of Clay at the Stage Door. These were taken by Clayphan76 from The Clayboard, who has been to 17 Spamalot shows! Now that's one lucky lady. Lucky for us too, since she is sharing these gorgeous photos with us:
Here's some more great closeups from ClaytonAikenFan86, also from The Clayboard:
Here's a review from WhoseLineBabygirl2006 at the CB:
ok heres my recap....now i'm gonna try (keyword: try) to remember everything to the best of my recolection!! it went by so fast it was hard to keep up!Bubbles1904 at the CB gives us some really great information concerning a chat they had with an employee of the Shubert Theater...a chat where he told them how impressed he was with both Clay and Jerome:
I have to say the cast did an amazing job, they are excellant. I had 10th row and it was the closest 10th row i've ever had the theatre is small!! Clay seems to be in his element up there, he looked very comfortable up there, if he was nervous he didnt show it! I dunno what hes talking about when he says he cant dance he is full of it because from what i saw last night hes got everything down pact!!! When he was doing the bottle dance omg the look of determination on his face was priceless i honestly i felt like crying i was so proud of him. The tower scene it actually took me a few seconds to realize it was him up there since his face was a little smudged up, but it was cute that whole bit was just hysterical. Off stage he yells "bring out your deeeeaaaaaaaaaaaddddddd....bring out your deaaaaaaaddddd!" he yells it a certain way that you have to go see in order to fully understand i found that to be really cute. Not Dead Yet Fred was hysterical the look on his face when the other guy drags him onstage is funny, its like a catonic stare in his eyes he doesnt blink he just stares off into space saying "but i'm not dead.....i feel fine....i'm getting better" Loved the song Not Dead Yet because when all the "dead" people start singing the look on Clays face is like "what the heck??" The part where the guys are singing about him being mutilated his facial expressions go from cocky brave to what the h___?? as soon as that guard enters the scene Clay lets out a little yelp and goes "Oh no....." and walks out like hes soiled himself moaning and groaning as he does so. The Knights of Ni did the Borak Obama thing something about being 15 points ahead or something like that. during the drunken guard scene he was so good at acting drunk and stupid i really dont know how he keeps a straight face throughout that part but he did an excellant job with acting drunk, and then when he was run through with the sword he fell down "dead" must have missed his mark a little bit because he lifted his head up for a few seconds then "died" lol, yes i found it mesmorizing to see him lying there and seeing his stomach rise and fall softly, i just wanted to go up there and cuddle with him! and you all know how much i love his laugh during the killer bunny with the fangs(that thing is serously weird and freaky lol) the guards start telling the knights that the bunny was dangerous and the knights start laughing and you can hear Clay giggling and then he goes "whats he gonna do??? nibble your bum?" then lets out a loud giggle and says "its not like your bunny made me soil my pants or anything....." then he gives a look like yeah i just did, looks down and looks at the King who tells him to go change. During the winning grail thing some guy was picked(not sure if he was a Claymate or not) but when he went up there Clay extended his hand and when the guy didnt shake his hand Clay gave a look like "oh...whatever...." during the end of the finale curtain call i got up and went to go to the backstage doors, i was right up front!!! i think we waited at least 10 minutes not even before he came out, he got to me and he says "i didnt sign yours yet??" i'm like nope! he takes mine signs it and says "there you go!" cant remember if i said thank you out loud or not but it was cool. the whole night was just amazing!! i had a blast and i would love to go see him again!! and those pictures dont do him justice!! omg hes so much hotter in person!
I'm still working on getting some pictures up but thought of some other things about our weekend in NY. We arrived Friday early afternoon and headed to the Shubert to check it out. Took pictures of the area and all the Spamalot signs, especially with Clay's name on it. The lobby of the theater was open so we went in to look around. One man was sitting in the ticket area so people could come in and buy tickets, which they did while we were there. When the person buying tickets left, we went over and talked to him and another man that was there. Not sure what his position was but he seemed to be more than a ticket seller. They had new pamphlets about Spamalot with Clay on the front so we asked if we could have one. He said sure. Then we talked to him about Clay. He had a Clay button on. He was very friendly and very, very complementary about Clay and how impressed he was. Not only how well he does in the play but the man himself (as if we didn't know already). It was great to hear from someone who works in that business day in, day out, about how wonderful Clay was to everyone. He mentioned he is doing so well he has no doubt he will be on Broadway again. That sure made the start of our Clay weekend wonderful. He even mentioned how impressed he was with Jerome. He said he's seen other bodyguards around but they just sit in corners and play with their cell phones. When Jerome is not with Clay, he sits back and reads books. The man talked to him about the books and offered to get him some of his own because it was stuff he himself read. This all says a lot about Clay and who he has around him.
If you get the chance, go to the theater at off hours and talk to the people that work there. It is very insightful to what goes on at Broadway theaters. There was a display of the items they were selling in that lobby and we asked if we could take pictures and they said sure. Wouldn't have done it during show times, but was great to get inside lobby pictures. While I took a couple pictures, someone came in and we heard Clay's name so once she was done with her purchase or picking up of tickets, we asked her if she was a Clay fan. She definitely was and had come to NYC from Germany. Sounded very American but was here to see Clay and other shows. That was fun and exciting too. We hadn't even seen the show yet but were definitely enjoying ourselves.
We've known for a while now that Clay's album would most likely be coming sometime in the summer, but Clay has now officially told People.com that "We're hoping the next album will be out about May 6." Though "hoping" does not mean the date is definite, it is the first time that Clay has announced a date for its release.
Clay said that most of the songs have been picked for his newest album, which will be his fourth. In addition, he told People:
"Sonically, I don't know that we're going down any path that's crazy. I'm not trying to be cool, I'm not trying to be hip. I'm not trying to do anything other than sing stuff that I'm good at."In other words, Clay is being true to himself and his own singing style. I like the sound of that! And the sound of his voice singing all new songs will be even better!!
Concerning the album, Clay also said:
- The theme of his songs will have to do with the things he has learned over the last five years.
- There will be no duets on the album.
- He will not intentionally go with a different or new look for the album, although there is always Sir Robin!!
Quiana Parler attended the Sunday screening of Spamalot in New York, and accompanied Clay out to the stage door to greet fans.
Clay returned the favor on Monday night when he attended "Just Move On", a tribute concert for the late Tammy Faye, put together by Sean McDaniel (member of Clay's band), Ben Cohen and Jeffrey Self. Quiana's performance at the show drew a standing ovation. A YouTube cap of Quiana's performance is posted below:
The official fanclub has a new contest up, giving the chance to win some cool Spamalot related prizes. First 4 people who answer the questions asked correctly wins, so get cracking everyone!
Details are available on the OFC contest page.
02/20/08 18 Comments
In honor of Clay’s role in Monty Python’s Spamalot, the Clay Aiken Official Fan Club is running a Spamalot Goodie Bag Contest! The OFC has drafted 7 trivia questions about Spamalot and the first 4 members to answer all 7 questions correctly will receive a Spamalot goodie bag packed with tons of cool Spamalot merchandise! Visit the Fan HQ page for contest details, trivia questions and official rules. Happy Spama-guessing!
- A few articles about the first American Idol 7 top 24 performance show last night:
- Denver YourHub -
Third, Garrett: Very nice, he's got a lock on the "tween" vote. He has the same pre-maturity Clay Aiken had. You gotta wonder what he'll be like after a few weeks of molding. I hope we get to see.
- Point-Spreads.com -
The cream de la cream in my opinion was 17 year old Murray, Utah native David Archuleta . This kid looks like a kid but brings a singing voice that would make even Idol alum Clay Aiken green with envy. After dazzling the judges and viewers with his rendition of Shop Around, an amazed Simon Cowell said, “When you got it, you got it. That was by a mile the best performance of the night.”
- HHE - Hip Hop Elements via MTV -
Nikki Blonsky "I watch it because I'm a singer and I like to see what else is out there. I like to see my competition! I was a big Bo Bice fan, voted for Bo. I was a Clay Aiken fan. I loved 'em all. Jordin Sparks, I was a big fan of hers. So everybody who I voted for did pretty good.
- Asheville Citizen Times -
The season comes into full swing tonight as we finally get a serious listen to the 12 men who made it through auditions and Hollywood week to be here tonight. So far, the talent I have seen this season is the best since Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard battled it out in Season 2, with Studdard coming out the victor.
- TV Squad -
David Archuleta (17, Murray, UT) - "Shop Around," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
David sounds like his voice hasn't even dropped yet when he's talking but man does he have a powerful singing voice. [...] This is a kid that grandmothers and little girls alike will fall in love with. The same older appeal that Clay Aiken had with the cutes to lure in the chiclets, too.
- Carolina On My Mind - Clay & Quiana in New York to support each other -
Quiana attended Sunday's show and accompanied Clay for the stage door gathering in Shubert Alley following the final curtain. Clay's fans are hers, too; so there was a "homecoming" atmosphere as she greeted old friends from the concert trail.
On Monday, Clay was in the audience as Quiana was featured on the song "Just Move On" in the one-night musical Big Tent, the Tammy Faye Bakker story, at the Metropolitan Room.
Big Tent was co-written by Ben Cohen, Sean McDaniel, and Jeffrey Self. Quiana received a standing ovation for her song, which you can view at YouTube: Just Move On.
UNICEF will release Clay Aiken's 2007 Christmas photo album soon, according to a post at UNICEF FieldNotes. In December, Clay traveled to Mexico to visit kids participating in UNICEF programs in the Central American country, as part of his duties as UNICEF ambassador.
It's been awhile in the making, but we've just put the final touches on Clay's album of photos from his holiday visit with kids at UNICEF programs in Mexico.
Everyone who donated $50 or more to Clay's appeal for Mexico will be getting a link to a PDF of the album this week via e-mail -- and signed copies for folks who were able to give $1,000 or more will be going out by postal mail shortly.
Keep your eyes open for yours, and let us know what you think!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
- First, a new Clay Aiken's Blog question for you:
2.18.08: Are you a Monty Python fan?If you've missed the first six questions asked of Clay, you can also find them at this site.
Until about three months ago, I thought Monty Python was a person. No Lie. It wasn’t until I first saw Spamalot that I was even exposed to Monty Python. But, in learning more about it and being exposed to the Python humor, I can totally see why people have been captivated by it for so many years. It really is a special sort of comedy all its own, but it really has stood the test of time. I know that people who laughed at Monty Python in the seventies are still laughing at it today. And, more importantly, a whole new generation has been able to experience it through this show, and they laugh just as hard!
- Broadway Grosses - Spamalot Spamalot gross sales increased 12.4% from the week of 2/10 to 2/17. Total gross sales for February 10 were $623,348 and for February 17, $826,303. The following graph shows the sales since the beginning of the year:
- I'm growing to love the fan reviews more and more, and here's a great one from hippoga at the Clayboard:
I feel like I was in touch with The Clayboard through intermission reports this past weekend but I still wanted to share a brief (will try to be brief!) recap of a wonderful, long weekend in NYC! We arrived on Thursday Feb 14th and spent our Valentine Day evening at the stage door. It was fun to start our trip seeing "streetclothes Clay" with fans and friends just the same way I saw him the last time I was in NYC at the CBS Early Show in Decemer 2005. He was even wearing the same puffy, black coat! I had him sign my homemade Sir Robin bear!
Our first show was Friday night Feb 15th. We spent the first part of the day on a bus tour of NYC and we wondered when we passed by the UN if that was where Clay went for UNICEF meetings. Then off to left side Row D seats directly under Clay in the tower! I just read a report that talked about "besotted Claymates" and I am not ashamed to say that's what I was throughout this first show! I've seen Spamalot on tour so I had a point of reference and knew when I would see Clay. He was "spot on" as the British say! A hilarious guard with lots of scientifc knowledge and then a confused "dead collector" who didn't have quite the right idea of what a knight was! I found that I could not use my binoculars because I needed to see his whole body. Every movement and gesture was perfect for whatever character he was portraying. I laughed and laughed at the whole play and enjoyed it completely. Clay's dancing was so much fun-whether in a group number with the ensemble or doing the hula or quick steps in his show-stopping number by himself. Of course we know Clay is a comedian from his concerts but I loved the laughs from the audience and after how well he "soils his pants", I may never think of the "pants of perfection" quite the same again! LOL!! How could it be over so soon? I was just grinning and so delighted in how much I loved him...and the show! Somehow we made it to the stage door in time and I was able to get my Playbill signed and get an Aiken wink! He was being snarky to the girl beside me because someone had said you could see him breathing in his "death scene" and he winked at me....and I swear I have no memory of this but in the video I winked back!! I also asked him if the UNICEF offices were at the UN and he said not anymore and gave their new address.
I arrived in NYC with tickets to three shows and our second show was the Saturday matinee. We were now right side row B and I was on the aisle. A wonderful seat! And now I really appreciated how much "in character" Clay is throughout the show. He and Lance sing "we'll have girlfriends by the score" when they go off to be knights and I loved watching Clay around the lovely ladies at Camelot. I think he even leered at a nun! And at his dancing Jewish ladies! So funny! This was the show when he lost one of his coconuts in the second half. It came off the string and went into the orchestra pit! Clay still rode his horse just fine! How could it be OVER so soon!!?? I had some photos of all the cast members and got quite a few autographs after the show.
OK-now we have decisions to make. To enjoy other sites and plays while in the big Apple....or see Clay again? Well, that took about one second and I was online buying a blocked view seat right side on row A for Saturday night! I could see everything I wanted to see except for Clay on the piano in his solo. I thought about asking King Arthur to move a bit but thought better of it! Now in this seat, I could really see but couldn't quite "lip read" the little comments Clay makes throughout the play to his fellow knights and Patsy while in character. I loved how he petted his "horse" when he dismounted at the French castle. Yep, besotted Claymate who loved everything he did checking in! He was right in front of me in his top hat and tails in the finale and that was a mighty fine sight to behold, too! One of my friends wanted me to get her Playbill signed this night while she took pictures so I did get him to sign it but I wasn't quick enough reaching back for it and he threw it in the crowd!!! The little turkey!!! I grabbed one of the photos I had in my purse and reached out as far as I could and yelled "I lost her Playbill, she will kill me!" and he reached back, took the photo and signed it! She was happy with the signed picture (or I would have given her my Playbill!) and I am still alive and writing this "brief" report!
Sunday morning at breakfast with my new Canadian friend, she mentioned that she was going to that matinee, too. In about two seconds this time, I was off with her to the box office and got a standing room ticket for the Sunday matinee. I was dead center and could use my binoculars! Clay from head to toe was a perfect fit in the view! I really enjoyed seeing the whole play from the center. I could see Clay when he was moving and dancing in the ensemble numbers all the time. I also saw Clay break character for the ONLY time of the whole weekend including the lost coconut! The knight who said "Ni" added Kosovo independence to his speech and the audience roared and he ad-libbed some more. King Arthur totally lost his composure and Clay NEVER grinned big enough to show teeth but he was really struggling to stay in character and a couple of BIG smiles played over his face! SO CUTE! I think this was the performance when he was told to "skip a bit" that he actually turned a page in the "Book of Armaments" but I 'm not sure but he did turn it one time! SRO is also a great "seat" for getting to the stage door! So I got my program signed!
Can it possibly be Sunday night already!!?? Back on the left side, row E. Met new Clayboard friends and was sitting directly across the aisle from Quiana and Roger W. New friends had met friends and family of Christopher Siebert (Sir Galahad) and they said he said after two weeks "Clay owned the role". This made us grin from ear to ear! I tried to memorize every movement at this show. "Migratory" and "regulations" were two of my favorite pronunciations Clay did with his "Geiko lizard inspired" accent! Clay is Sir Robin. That's all you can say. He IS that timid fellow who loves singing and dancing and chasing the ladies! I could listen to him exclaim "Oh yes" all day when he learns they are to put on a musical! And his speech about the special people who are on Broadway had the audience rolling in the aisles! This Sunday night crowd just loved him....can we call them "besotted" too, perhaps?
I am so glad Sir Robin found his Grail at the end! YIKES, I just realized I never mentioned his dimwitted comments about the Holy Grail/vessel being a boat/dinner cruise!! OH, so funny, especially when the cymbal clangs and he looks in the orchestra pit. I could lipread him saying "that makes no sense" (I think) from my close seat! It was very nice of Clay to sign autographs that night since it was raining. I have never enjoyed a walk in the rain back to the hotel until that night! I was grinning and looking on the "bright side of life" and trying to figure out a way to get back closing weekend!
Sorry for this long story! I have enjoyed reading recaps of folks who have seen the show several times and how they say he has grown into the role and how his dancing is so effortless. I can add that he was a great ensemble member when he was part of the ensemble and he was a show-stopping soloist when he was on his own! I bet learning the bottle dance did make him sore! LOL! But he also crouches down very far when riding his slow motion horse (a nice view from the front row!!!) and that was probably tough on the muscles, too! Here is my only "original" contribution! I don't think we've seen what lies BEHIND the Shubert Theater stage door....
- This is a great review by Bubbles1904 at The Clayboard. Of special interest is her comments about Christopher Sieber (Sir Galahad) and the great things he had to say about Clay.
I sat next to a good friend of Christopher's at Saturday's evening show. He was very friendly and I asked if he had seen the show before. That's when he mentioned they (he and wife I assume) were good friends of Christopher's from way back and were here to see it again. We talked a bit and then the show started. He was loving it, all parts. At intermission, the wife stayed behind when he went out and we talked a bit. I mentioned my sister and I were here because we were big fans of Clay. It was then that she started talking about what a great guy Clay was. They had met him back stage before that day. She had so many wonderful things to say about Clay but I couldn't write them all down to remember them. The one word I keep remembering is that Clay is so "humble". And she mentioned how great he is with the families and people around there. They had a friend with kids that they were taking backstage and I think that was the kind of thing she was talking about, how good Clay is with kids (as we all know very well.) She talked about Christopher and how he came over from the London show with Hannah because Hannah was nervous coming over here by herself. He'll only be in the show for 6 weeks and then on to do Shrek but I think he and Clay have connected and will stay friends. She mentioned that Christopher came over expecting to not really like Clay because of how Clay got on the show, not being on Broadway ever before and he figured Clay would have an attitude. That's where the humble kept coming in. He was so impressed with Clay from the very start and told her that within the first 2 weeks of the show, Clay owned the part of Sir Robin. And that's coming from someone who has been in Spamalot for a long time and knows what the part entails. I was so excited to hear this. They have really connected and have a blast now. Clay is so unassuming and not affected by all that he has accomplished in the past 5 years. I'm sure Christopher had expected it would have all gone to Clay's head. He was impressed by what a great guy Clay is. (All he would have had to do is just ask us, right?) I was just so excited to have talked to her and learned all about the expectations they had about Clay.After reading this, I have to say that I have been so impressed with how the people on Broadway have opened their arms to Clay. They treat him so kindly, and it is especially noticable when you compare it to how some people in the music industry have treated him. In Christopher's case, any preconceived ideas disappeared immediately when he got to know Clay and saw what a great guy he is. Even those in the Broadway audience are so open to accepting Clay for the great talent that he is! And its about time!!! This has to make Clay feel so good and so welcomed. And it gives me such a warm feeling inside. Thank you Broadway!!
I also mentioned we had come to town because it was my birthday and we wanted a Clay weekend for my birthday. She said, Oh we should see if we can get her backstage. I about flipped. They were going backstage with their friend and her kids and must have someone working backstage. A younger man came out at half time looking for them. She asked him if could see if we(my sister and I) could come backstage with them. He did check it out but said there was already a lot of people going backstage so they couldn't do it. It really would have been amazing but I was really just thrilled that she even thought of it. I was happy with all the good words she had about Clay. My sister was to the left of me and sort of heard what the lady was saying and was getting butterflies just thinking about it. Does make for an exciting evening. I still had half a show to watch which of course was wonderful. Everyone has recapped things so well I won't go into thatbut I really loved watching Guard Clay being so serious while the other Guard was cracking up. I can still hear things in my head. Just wish they'd make a DVD so I can watch it over and over.
A couple other things about our weekend. My sister had never been in NYC so we did the double decker bus tour and looked around a bit. We were watching for Spamalot signs on the busses but figured they had been changed by now. Then she caught one bus with the sign. It was exciting to see. Took a few pictures but they ones here already are better than mine. The last day we went to Grand Central Station before heading to the airport. Our hotel was The Roosevelt on 45th at Madison and only a block and a half from Grand Central. Was great to look around. I was taking pictures just cause I'd never been there before. Haven't taken the subway either so went in where the subway was and suddenly stopped. There were huge Spamalot poster with the "What a Difference a Clay Makes!" on them. When people get off the subway, they see Clay. How exciting. There was one along one side with 2 other posters and in another spot, 2 Spamalots along with other posters.
I did get my Playbill signed by Clay and took a few pictures after the shows. Not sure how to get them on here but others are soooo very good, not sure mine are that exciting. Just exciting for me to know I was close enough to get pictures.
Hope this wasn't too long. It was a great weekend. Only saw 2 shows but would love to get to others. Wish I lived closer. Enjoy the show. Hope everyone gets to see it at least once. After seeing it, all the recaps bring visuals to my mind and smiles to my face. Thanks for listening.