Once again its time to give you the lowdown concerning the goings-ons at Spamalot.
All of our reports come from The Clayboard.
- First, here is a note from the OFC concerning a new "stage door" procedure:
From OFC:CDD will let you know how this continues to go.
Originally Posted by CanadianGal35 bfs just called and wanted me to post that from this performance onward, there will be a special area for ticket holders to go to so that they can see Clay by the stage door...this is due to the amount of people who are by the stage door after the show so I guess they are doing it so people who have actually gone to the show get a chance to see him.
She said that she got the info from the Security guy at the Shubert... Just wanted to let everyone know.. She also said this post may travel..
- One reason for this change could possibly be the number of people coming to the stage door. Note this comment from claysirishlass:
claysirishlass reports that the crowd is 15 deep. Says there must be at least 1,000
people there. A special barricade has been set up. Jerome is there too.
- Clay did not do the stage door Saturday, and we now know why. heartsaiken4ca tells us:
I've got the scoop. He had to leave to go sing at a wedding. I'm talking to a friend who got to go up on stage and meet him. More after I get off the phone.
My friend Ginny from California was in the bathroom line downstairs and started carrying on a conversation with the lady behind her. This woman couldn't believe a 70ish year old woman would come to New York. The woman asked where she was sitting and when she told her, she said, oh, she was sitting a couple of rows behind her. Before intermission was over, the woman tapped her on the should and asked if she would like to meet Clay. She couldn't believe her ears! Apparently this woman's husband is a cousin of the man who plays Sir Galahad's mother (they were the people who ended up outside and then were taken inside to meet Clay onstage). He said he only had a couple of minutes because he had to sing at someone's wedding and he was running late. He was very gracious and signed a couple of pictures she brought. I'm so happy for her. She thought last summer's tour might be her last time traveling.
- Joy2talk2U tells us this great news:
andee1960 from CV wrote... Quote: One thing I wanted to mention: When I entered the theatre, the Spam store had a mock up of the album cover advertising the May 6 drop date.What great advertising to be seen by hundreds, even thousands, of people!!
- Here is a review, including her report about being the peasant, from SimplyLuvHim:
So, the short story is that I was the "Best Peasant" in New York's Spamalot on the night of March 25, 2008-a day that, luckily, shall not go down in infamy! I had known that my seat, D101, could be the peasant seat for a long time. It was, of course, just a fluke that I pulled it up, and when I did, I had no idea that Spamalot included a small bit of audience participation. When I learned about the possibility, I was excited, but not overly much, given my track record with getting anywhere within arm's reach of Clay. Just.not.good. So I went to the theatre with hope in my heart and realism in my mind. It was Tuesday, and that is the day that, generally speaking, the good folks at the theatre choose the seat for the week. I knew that the peasant seat had been D101 the previous week, and several people told me that the chosen seat was the hot seat for two weeks running, but of course there is no guarantee that the Spamalot team will do things the way we expect.
So when the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch did its explosive job of revealing the final clue to the location of the Holy Grail, I sat at attention and whispered to my theatre companion (a member of the NJU), "That's my seat!" I don't think I heard another word of that play until Patsy came down into the audience and with adept sleight of hand found the Holy Grail right under my tush! Who knew?
My biggest fear was not getting up in front of a packed theatre. I'm used to getting up in front of audiences; in fact, last year, I was the grand marshal at our college graduation, so I had to stand up in front of 10,000 people to open and close the ceremony. So, the Shubert Theatre was really small in comparison. Nevertheless, I was worried that I would trip up those stairs leading to the stage. Falling flat on my face in front of Clay would go down in history as the most embarrassing moment of my life. Luckily, dear Patsy must know that given the depth of the stairs and the lack of anything to hold on to, balance might be a problem. So, he adeptly held me under the elbow and I got up there with ease.
Knowing about the possibility of being the peasant, I had long thought about what I might do if I were fortunate enough to be called up onto that stage. I had considered giving a quip when asked for my name, such as answering "Morgan Le Fay," but then thought twice about that. Did I really want to disrupt the flow of the show? If I were recognized as a Clay fan, did I really want to embarrass him for being OTT? Did I want Clay to remember me for being a loony? Well, the short answer to all that is NO. Then, of course, I thought about the prospect of hearing that gorgeous man sing my own name to me. In the end, it was a no-brainer. I was going to give my real name, and that is just what I did.
Arthur and Patsy play a little game with the peasant. Arthur tells the peasant that he/she has been nominated for an award and Patsy holds it out. When I reached for it, I was gently reprimanded, Arthur reminding me that I had been nominated only and had not yet won. Of course, the next sentence was that I had indeed won! Surprise! They all sang my name to me.
I expect you all want to know how I reacted to Clay, right? The truth is that I knew he was over to my right, just beyond King Arthur, who was talking to me. Patsy was to my left, reading my nomination and my win. But I did not focus on Clay. The only way for me to orient to Clay exclusively would have been to pay no attention to what was happening around me, for me to be out of the moment entirely. Since the actors were conversing with me, I automatically became part of the process without even making a choice. IMO, one has to make a conscious decision to attend to Clay alone. In the flow of things, it is simply not possible. Moreover, as a person up on that stage for the first time, I was literally blinded by the lights, which are very bright indeed. The audience was totally black from where I stood. I could see no one at all. Therefore, being up on stage was somewhat disorienting; one false move and I'd have been on Sean's lap in the orchestra pit!
Right after they sang my name, someone grabbed my shoulders and turned me quite suddenly. A camera click later, I had my Polaroid-handed to me by Sir Robin himself. Now that was divine!Patsy led me back to my seat, and I got there without tripping, thank goodness! I hoped I hadn't appeared too foolish on that stage. Some people congratulated me afterwards. One person complimented me on being poised. Whew! I thought. I pulled it off!
On the way out of the theatre, a very attractive young woman asked me if I had enjoyed the show. "Very much," I answered. "Did you?" She replied that she was married to one of the cast members. When I inquired who it was, she told me "Sir Galahad!" I responded, "He's gorgeous!" (and he really is). She said, "I know." It was really cute to hear the pride in her voice. I told her that I thought he had done well and fit fairly seamlessly into the cast and that I and my companion had enjoyed his performance.
After the show, I tried to get my Polaroid autographed, but had no luck, given that a guy about 6'5" was right in front of me. So, I decided that I would try again the next night, and went off to Sardi's with my friend to have the second dessert of the evening. Those of you who are weight conscious might be interested to know that even with all the desserts I ate that week, I lost weight! I walked nearly everywhere in NYC, and that makes all the difference. One can exercise without really trying! Anyway, as we were finishing our coffee, a nicely dressed man breezed by our table, called me by my first name and said, "You did a great job!" I said thank you, and then remarked to my friend that the man had to be a member of the cast since he remembered my name and would have had the occasion to say and/or sing it out loud. It was not until the next day that I realized it was David Hibbard, the wonderful actor who plays Patsy. What a great guy!
The next evening, I stood at the stage door to get an autograph. I was three back in the line, but I think that once Clay saw what he was being asked to sign, he grabbed it. He had a look of "Aha" on his face, and signed it beautifully in the white part of the picture. BTW, Clay is officially cool now. A young guy who stood in line with me thought it was way cool that I had gotten to be the peasant! What a great experience it was!
As for the play itself, there is nothing I can add that has not already been said. Clay's performance is a triumph, his voice divine, his excitement palpable. I saw the play 5 times while I was there, and on Sunday night, another Clay friend and I scored 5th row center seats, which are typically considered the best seats in the house. I have to agree that they were-I was close enough to see every detail and every expression, and far enough back that I could take in the entire stage. To make matters even better, that night Brother Maynard sang the Amen, in that glorious voice that has no match. Sigh.
After I got back home, I couldn't get the songs out of my head. What fun! Oh, I forgot to mention that after some of my performances, I managed to get Rick Holmes', Tom Deckman's, and Hannah Waddington's autographs. They are all generous with the fans. Tom is just a doll-and an amazing talent.
Oh, I forgot to add one other thing: At the Sunday night show, my friend and I sat next to a friend of Hannah Waddington. She told us that Hannah considers Clay the nicest person she has ever worked with and has said that the entire cast loves him!!
- And another review from another lucky peasant, Alliicat:
I went to the April 1st show. And was THE VERY BEST PEASANT IN NYC!
But first the Clay stuff which I know everyone wants most.
The first guard in the tower scene - Clay was so cute. He made such cute faces through the whole thing and played with his helmet strap like everyone has said. And I got to hear his English accent for the first time I was really looking forward to that. My friend Cydni who went with me is not a Clay fan - she laughed all the way through the play - not just at Clay but the whole thing. She said she thought he would have been a lot stiffer playing his parts and was surprised at how loose he was. Of course she has not seen him in concert and seen was a silly goofy guy he can be.
I'm working such long hours and my internet connection has been so bad that I've not been able to read a whole lots of reviews but I'll tell you some of the things I had the wrong idea of. The horse scene - I thought that they were facing sideways while galloping away. But they are Right at the edge of the stage - so close! - and facing the audience -I was seat C101 - so Clay was on my side of the stage - Really Really close. He doesn't just stick his tongue out but rolls it up so you can see the underside a lot. They are all lined up in a row, facing us and doing all kinds of different antics. Each doing his own thing but I didn't get to see of lot of it because I was mostly watching Clay.
Then the guard scene - so so funny - but the reports I read said he kept a straight face through the whole thing - maybe he changed it but when he was questioning the Kings directions or repeating back what he thought the King had told him to do (which was never right of course) he would get this really quizical expression on his face. Then after he repeated back to the King was he thought he was supposed to do - Like "Ok so you're saying, we should guard him and not let anyone in unless they knock." or some such silly thing - Then he would draw himself up really tall and proud draw his chin in against his chest and get this really smug smile on his face, like he was so proud of himself that he got it right.
But my favorite part was after many trys at getting his instructions straight, the King turned for the upteenth time to leave the room and turned around to check on guard Clay to make sure he was finally straight on what to do and was guarding the Prince and caught Clay staring vacantly at his pike. This part was so hysterical. Clay was just standing there with the most vacant daydreamy expression on his face - hope I can describe this so you all can imagine it. The pikes were decorated for the wedding with dryed flowers tyed just under the heads with ribbons trailing down. Clay was suddenly gazing up at his with the most vacant expression on his face like he was lost in another world, when he's supposed to be guarding the Prince - then to top things off he reaches up (still with that utterly vacant daydreamy expression on his face) and starts twirling the ribbons around his finger like he was so facinated with them. Everyone in the audience including my friend Cyndi started laughing at that he just looked so silly and stupid - it really made the scene.
But people are right Prince Herbert was so good in his roll - just perfect. Oh and the stand in King did an excellent job I thought.
Oh and that bottle dance - it is a killer - when they stick their legs out and do that slide....Wow for some reason that is so sexy. Well I was mostly watching Clay and he looked sexy doing it anyway - I'm not sure about the others. Loved the part where he was trying to look up the girl's skirt.
And as others have reported - even when he is not the center of the scene, he keeps on acting - never lets up - is always turning to someone pretending he's commenting on what going on or reacting to what is happening or something - always making a little more of the scene than he would really have to.
Another memorable moment - think it was the 2nd poopy scene. Clay really did it up. After he grabbed his butt, he let go then stood there for a bit and wiggled and twisted his legs and butt around like he was kind of "settling things around in there" is the only way to describe it. He did it so well and everyone got the picture so well, that you could hear people in the audience going "ewwwww ...and then laughing. Then he walked (uncomfortably) off stage.
Ok now it's my peasant report. I bought the tickets before I knew about the seats - or I might not have bought them - I'm chicken. And when I saw the time coming up I started to get nervous and was praying - let it be one of the other seats...please. When Patsy came toward me, Oh Lord, but I got up and put my purse in the chair - then had to snatch it back out so Patsy could get the grail he found in the seat Then he told me I could sit back down. They Clay gestures to me and asks the King if they shouldn't do something to reward me so Patsy came back for me. When I was heading up to the stage and Patsy was counting the steps I knew I would be ok - didn't feel like I was going to faint or anything. I remember most of what happened but don't remember the order they happened. OH and contrary to some earlier reports - I Did Not stare at Clay the whole time. I least I don't think I did. The King took my hand and asked my name and I said Renee - then he asked my last name - He turned me to face forward and said to face my audience - then the speech is made about me being remembered for evermore as the best peasant in all of NYC - blah blah etc. There's some singing and I'm facing the audience and trying to kind of move a little back and forth with the music. I turned my head to try to see Clay but at that point he had his hands up and I couldn't see his face - I tryed to see between or around them but the brat kept them between us. Then I remembered that the King had told me to face the audience so I turned back and faced them. At some point the picture was taken and Clay gave me the picture and someone else gave me the award envelope and the golden foot of God. Then a lot of them smiled at me and shook my hand and congratulated me. And Patsy took me back to the stairs. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be best peasant but as soon as I was up there I was really glad I got picked. It was a once in a lifetime experience - being on a Broadway stage - and next to Clay to boot. Oh and you don't see bright spot lights - all you see is one big solid wall of blinding white light. That's all you can see - no people - no nothing - just a solid wall of white light. If you look straight down you can see the first 2 or 3 rows of people. But nothing if you look straight out.
A funny thing - after the show several people congratulated me on the way out of the theatre. But the funny was when we were over at Juniors sitting and waiting for our seats. Several people and groups of people would walk by and see me - they would start clapping and congratulating me on the great job I did. Then when we were seated, a group of 5 was seated at the table next to us and one of the guys turned around and started the same thing - clapping and saying how good I did and everyone at the table was clapping and congratulating me. It was so cute, like they were pretending I was really a Broadway star.
The show and Clay were sooo fantastic that I was so wishing I could see it again - but I know how lucky I was to be able to see in just once and to be the peasant.
Here are a couple of YouTube videos of Clay at the Stage Door:
- From bbandit31 on 3/25/08:
- Here is a great one of Clay laughing at a fan's comment. This one's a definite keeper!