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Clay Aiken Wows Water Mill Crowd at Calissa

 

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Clay Aiken Wows Water Mill Crowd at Calissa

By Angela LaGreca
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Clay Aiken performs at Calissa
Clay Aiken performs at Calissa, Photo: Angela LaGreca

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American Idol star Clay Aiken kicked off the Broadway Out East concert series at Calissa in Water Mill on June 15 in two rare, intimate performances.

Aiken flew up from the South—where he lives in Raleigh, NC—to entertain delighted South Forkers and support the live music series in the restaurant’s beautiful outdoor courtyard.

Seated casually on a stool accompanied on keyboard by his talented musical director, Ben Cohen (Dear Evan Hansen), Aiken presented a solid hour of crowd-pleasing ballads in an intimate setting—peppered with self-effacing banter as the rapt audience listened intently, while quietly dining on delicious, Greek-inspired menu options.

 
Clay Aiken performs at Calissa
Clay Aiken on the mic, Photo: Angela LaGreca

Both shows were sold out and the audiences hung on every note as Aiken tackled and delivered favorite Idol hits and recordings, such as his classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water, along with “Impossible,” “Somewhere” and his closing number “Moon River.”

The Broadway Out East series runs Thursdays through September and features a great lineup of some of Broadway’s best voices. The next show will feature rising concert star Jessica Vosk (Wicked) on Thursday, July 29.

For more info, visit calissahamptons.com/broadwayouteast.

Clay Aiken performs at Calissa
Clay Aiken wows the crowd, Photo: Angela LaGreca

 

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CLO celebrates 75 years with Clay Aiken, stars, alumni and Broadway music at Heinz Field

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CLO celebrates 75 years with Clay Aiken, stars, alumni and Broadway music at Heinz Field

 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo
 
TYLER DAGUE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
 
JUL 21, 2021
 
10:14 AM
 
 
 
After 75 years of musicals, the stage is set once again.

Pittsburgh CLO brings its second show to Heinz Field at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday with “A Broadway Musical Celebration” in honor of its 75th anniversary. The revue, which runs through Saturday, features “American Idol” star Clay Aiken, Norm Lewis from “Phantom of the Opera,” New York City Ballet dancer Robert Fairchild and other special guests and alumni from past CLO productions. Tickets start at $15 and are available at PittsburghCLO.org.

“This is our first 75 years,” said Mark Fleischer, Pittsburgh CLO’s executive producer. “Whether it’s our Spark program [for small, new musicals], or work that eventually goes to Broadway, I think we’ll be at the forefront of musical theater.”

Fleischer said this show is a full-fledged musical revue rather than a staged concert, with choreography from director Baayork Lee, a Broadway veteran who was in the original cast of “A Chorus Line.”

Special guests include Jackie Burns, best known as the longest-running Elphaba in “Wicked,” and actor Patrick Cassidy, the son of Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy. The show also features Pittsburgh native Joe Serafini, a CLO Academy alumnus who has found success on “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” on Disney+.

Covering 75 years, the musicals highlighted run the gamut from the CLO’s early productions of “The Student Prince” and “Man of La Mancha” to “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Mamma Mia!” and “In the Heights.” 

Fleischer called “A Broadway Music Celebration” a Broadway sampler with a “fun party atmosphere,” but one the company had to create largely from scratch. Jason Coll, the CLO’s former creative director who launched the CLO Cabaret Theater, wrote the book and original music. The revue has 13 principal performers, an ensemble and students from the CLO Academy singing and dancing.

“Sometimes it’s harder about what to leave out than what to put in because you have 75 years of incredible musicals to put in,” Fleischer said. “So that selection — what are the things that we think people are really wanting to see and we have the talent to really do well? — is really what’s been fun.”

Like the CLO’s other Summer Under the Stars production, “The Wizard of Oz,” “Celebration” will have digital backdrops to set the scene. The digital screens will also show video tributes to the company’s history and alumni telling stories about their experiences. A live orchestra led by music director James Cunningham will accompany the performers and play a salute to Rodgers & Hammerstein.

The partnership between the CLO and the Pittsburgh Steelers to stage shows at Heinz Field is a full circle moment for the company. In 1946, the CLO began performances at Pitt Stadium in Oakland and later performed Downtown in the Civic Arena, which was built to house the company in 1961.

“The Pittsburgh CLO, from its very beginnings, was about bringing the community together,” Fleischer said. “This organization has been about building shows in Pittsburgh for Pittsburghers. I think that’s a really special thing, and I think that’s why people have identified with it for 75 years from all of our different homes.”

Tyler Dague: rdague@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1569 and on Twitter @rtdague.

First Published July 21, 2021, 9:38am

 

 

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Review: Some stars shine in CLO's 'Broadway Musical Celebration' at Heinz Field

 

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Review: Some stars shine in CLO's 'Broadway Musical Celebration' at Heinz Field

 
 
TYLER DAGUE
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
JUL 22, 2021
 
1:20 PM
 
 
 
The stars were shining brightly at Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh CLO’s “Broadway Musical Celebration” honored the company for 75 years of singing, dancing and musical theater at a stadium not unlike where it all started at Pitt Stadium in 1946.

The revue, which premiered Wednesday and runs through Saturday, had moments of Broadway magic in an uneven show that featured some tremendous talent, some winning scenes and a healthy dollop of cheese.

“Gypsy,” arguably the ultimate Broadway overture, was a great choice to start. Under the direction of James Cunningham, the orchestra sounded strong throughout the show Wednesday and was an asset to the production.

Like CLO’s other Heinz Field show, “The Wizard of Oz,” this one used digital screens for backdrops, which captured the tone and vibrancy of each musical featured.

Clay Aiken of “American Idol” fame came onto the stage in a suit resembling the thin, horizontal tiles of a kitchen backsplash, and carried the show with self-deprecating humor and breezy ad libs.

It must have been a challenge to choose from 75 years of storied productions, but balanced pacing was ultimately sacrificed in favor of squeezing in crowd-pleasing numbers. The main through line was the connections the performers had as alumni of CLO shows.

The best section of “Celebration” came in a clever medley honoring winners of the CLO’s Richard Rodgers Award. Recipients included many of Broadway’s most prolific stars, allowing the performers to dive into a wide range of their most notable work.

Standouts from this section included Genny Lis Padilla singing “Roxie” from “Chicago,” Joshua Grosso and Ali Ewoldt singing “A Heart Full of Love” from “Les Miserables” (Grosso is currently playing Marius on tour) and Manu Narayan tackling the complex wordplay of Sondheim’s “Putting It Together” from “Sunday in the Park with George.”

Then there was the transcendent Jackie Burns. As the longest-running Elphaba in “Wicked,” she brought her powerful voice and all of her experience to “Defying Gravity,” slowing down the speedy show in just the right way. It’s no wonder she stayed with the role for so long.

Norm Lewis, who garnered the loudest applause, likewise gave the show some much needed breathing room. Lewis brought a soulful richness to favorites “Being Alive” and “The Impossible Dream.”

The whole revue was stopped completely for Patrick Cassidy, who shared a heartfelt story about his mother, Academy Award-winner Shirley Jones. He seamlessly transitioned from his reminiscing to “Trouble” from “The Music Man” like the stage veteran he is.

Less seamless were immediate scene changes later to numbers that didn’t seem to have much to do with the CLO. How many people associate the company with “Mamma Mia!” or “High School Musical?” These may have been well-known, but were these really the best of the bunch from 75 years?

What made more sense was Aiken singing the title song from “Barry Manilow’s Copacabana” and Padilla singing a medley from the Gloria Estefan musical “On Your Feet!” They were two shows CLO produced that gained national exposure with big names attached.

While Joe Serafini is a cast member on the Disney+ show “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” the number “We’re All in this Together” did him no favors. The song is a group number with different voices and personalities coming together. Instead, he sang all the verses while a teen ensemble from the CLO Academy joined in the chorus, waving pom-poms and leaving out the well-known movie dance moves. The new choreography also forced Serafini to have his back to the audience for an extended period.

Tony nominee Max von Essen was given several scenes to showcase his classic Broadway leading man sound. He charmed with a stein of beer in “The Drinking Song” from “The Student Prince,” the only actual light opera in the show. Mr. von Essen also gave his all for “Stairway to Paradise” from “George White’s Scandals.”

He returned for a welcome medley from “An American in Paris,” which also featured terrific dancer Robbie Fairchild, who was criminally underused throughout the show. A truncated version of the famous Christopher Wheeldon pas de deux with Allison Walsh followed a quick costume change, a few minutes singing on stage, and that was it. When you have one of the best Broadway triple threats out there, you should make the most of it.

Stephanie Umoh, who played Angelica Schuyler in the first national tour of “Hamilton,” was also used minimally. While she sang a beautiful rendition of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” her appearances were mostly limited to the “Mamma Mia” megamix. Something from “Brigadoon” would have been apt considering the CLO has done it every decade since the 1950s.

Oh, and about that cheese? Some worked, some didn’t. What worked was Aiken’s original opening number “Under the Stars,” with words and music by Jason Coll, that set the premise for the evening. It seemed reminiscent of Sherwood Schwartz TV shows like “The Brady Bunch” and “Gilligan’s Island,' where the theme song told audiences all they needed to know.

The cheese that soured followed the always flashy “One” from “A Chorus Line,” sung by the full company with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” to close the show. It leaves the audience with a hopeful note on the CLO’s future, but for a certain age range of Broadway fans, this will always call to mind the often-cringeworthy TV series “Glee.”

Special mention goes to the ensemble who kept up with a grab bag of dance styles and eras. They high kicked in “One” and “Copacabana” and congaed in “On Your Feet!” to choreography by director Baayork Lee, an original cast member of “A Chorus Line.”

Overall, one did get a sense from “Celebration” that the CLO is a major force in musical theater. But it was only a 90-Minute show. Despite issues with pacing, audiences would be hard-pressed to find this much Broadway excellence in one place, all to open the door for the CLO’s next 75 years.

Tyler Dague: rdague@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1569 and on Twitter @rtdague.

First Published July 22, 2021, 1:20pm

 

 

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Stars take the field for the Pittsburgh CLO 75th Anniversary Celebration

 

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Stars take the field for the Pittsburgh CLO 75th Anniversary Celebration

By Sharon Eberson
 

When it comes to music at Heinz Field, you expect some RENEGADE between Steelers’ possessions or Kenny Chesney singing about sexy tractors. Or you may have seen the Rolling Stones on their last tour — the one before the pandemic forced them to cancel in 2020.
Well, don’t blink now, Kenny, but some of Broadway’s finest have taken the field, and you could say that Pittsburgh CLO has been preparing for 75 years to get there.

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Van Kaplan and Mark Fleischer greet patrons before opening night of “A Broadway Musical Celebration” at Heinz Field. The end zone by the Champions Club leads to field-level tables and seats in the stands. Photo by Sharon Eberson.

Modestly titled A BROADWAY MUSICAL CELEBRATION, the really big show with a party atmosphere, paying tribute to CLO”s 75th anniversary and the breadth of the company’s reach, from Mini-Stars to Tony Award winners to Hollywood stars.

Norm Lewis — “Broadway royalty,” as host Clay Aiken called him — WICKED’s Jackie Burns, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Tony nominees Max von Essen and Robbie Fairchild, HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL TV star Joe Serafini, Genny Lis Padilla of ON YOUR FEET! and more delivered a slew of well-known show tunes and 11th-hour numbers.

The second of CLO’s Summer Under the Stars shows, an unabashed lovefest of Broadway tunes and talent, is helping bring back Pittsburgh’s summer-stock tradition that was halted last year by the COVID-19 outbreak.
But this is CLO like you’ve never seen it before. When the company started out at Pitt Stadium in 1946, there were no giant video screens — one for the backdrop, two flanking the stage for close-ups. And I can’t imagine that the sound was ever as pure and crisp, or the performers as in sync with the live orchestra as they were on opening night Wednesday.

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The host, cheerleader and performer for “A Broadway Celebration,” Clay Aiken, who played Teen Angel in CLO’s most recent production of “Grease.”  All rehearsal photos by Matt Polk, Pittsburgh CLO.

 

As noted by Aiken, opening-night weather was mercifully clear and mild, as if the stars had aligned to kick off the Broadway celebration’s Wednesday through Saturday run.
The engaging host, cheerleader, and performer was as well-versed in CLO history as he was eager to get the party started. You’d think he was a Pittsburgher the way he kvelled about the city’s talent onstage and behind the scenes.

The AMERICAN IDOL runner-up and SPAMALOT star, who burst onto the CLO scene as a bespangled Teen Angel in GREASE, quipped that he was invited back so he could outdo his costume and show off “my best Liberace.”

He opened the celebration with a song by Jason Coll, UNDER THE STARS, written specifically for the occasion. Aiken later delivered one of the few take-a-breath numbers, an unexpectedly jazzy, moving arrangement of WHAT KIND OF FOOL AM I?, featuring a sax solo by Sam Eisenreich.

Stephanie Umoh (HAMILTON tour’s Angelica Schuyler, and I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM, soloist, in the CLO show). Umoh was tasked with presenting the history of the COPACABANA musical in Pittsburgh. Aiken then timed it just right to say, “I’ll take it from here, girl.” He sang the title song of the CLO-produced Barry Manilow musical while the ensemble danced up a storm.

This was a staged concert, with many of the performances punctuated by a high-energy dance ensemble and teens from the CLO Academy of Musical Theater.

The BROADWAY MUSICAL CELEBRATION had nearly 20 numbers, with some history and storytelling in the fast-paced mix. As CLO executive producer Mark Fleischer told us, there would be no intermission because the pandemic had kept us waiting long enough.

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Norm Lewis wowed the opening night crowd with “Being Alive” and “The Impossible Dream.”

Chief among the memorable takeaways Wednesday was Lewis’ bookending the concert with Stephen Sondheim’s BEING ALIVE from COMPANY and THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM, plus a solo within SEASONS OF LOVE. His rich baritone filled every crevice of the stadium, along with patrons’ audible gasps during the big notes.
During his first number, and as the concert progressed, my only quibble was with the centerstage video backdrops. They were often so distracting as to obscure some of the staging and unnecessary when a larger-than-life performer like Lewis belts his heart out on a classic like BEING ALIVE.

But at other times, the video and lighting effects found the harmony I was looking for — such as the starry lighting that emanated toward patrons as Lewis sang THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.

In other cases, the video screen helped tell CLO’s storied history, Patrick Cassidy tells his family’s history with the city and company.

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Patrick Cassidy performed numbers from “The Music Man” and told of how the musical shaped his life — his mother, film star Shirley Jones, was pregnant with him during the making of the movie version. Cassidy, his mother and dad Jack Cassidy are all CLO alums.

The dashing Cassidy, who last was with CLO for the 2014 production of FOOTLOOSE, followed in his parents’ footsteps. Smithton, PA’s Shirley Jones, and Jack Cassidy, who both had performed with CLO.
Fittingly, Patrick Cassidy’s entry into musicals began with one of his mother’s best-known films, THE MUSIC MAN. Before performing a couple of numbers from the show, including a duet with Ali Ewoldt, he told a name-dropping story of how he was the star quarterback at Beverly Hills High School. When he suffered an injury, and turned to the drama club. The upcoming show was, of course, THE MUSIC MAN. So, to prepare for his audition, his mother naturally took him to see her friend Dick Van Dyke, who was starring in a tour of the show at the time.

Cassidy thought he had Harold Hill all sewed up, but alas, the role went to the son of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Cassidy actually started life on the Hollywood set …

You didn’t think I’d give it all away, did you? Aiken said something about how we were also getting E Entertainment — less gossip, more showbiz history — before moving on to one of his own solos, followed by a MAMA MIA! medley and a “teen” takeover.

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Genny Lis Padilla, Jackie Burns and Stephanie Umoh rehearse a medley of ABBA tunes from “Mamma Mia!”

Joe Serafini, the 23-year-old out of Bethel Park and star of (deep breath) Disney’s HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES, got his start at CLO Academy. He was inspired to enter the program, he said when he saw the stage version of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL at age 9.

CLOJoe-1.jpg?resize=895%2C597&ssl=1

Joe Serafini, a CLO Academy alum, led a spirited song representing his TV series, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”

Serafini then launched into WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER with the CLO and Teen Ensemble, complete with gold pompoms and Serafini bounding blissfully about the stage and getting the audience clapping to the beat.
Late in the program came the tribute to one of CLO”s biggest Broadway triumphs, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. Co-produced by Van Kaplan, the show won four Tony Awards and made a Broadway star of ballet dancer Robbie Fairchild. When the world was shut down last year, Fairchild started a floral arrangement business, boo.kay, and produced a few dance videos, too.

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Allison Walsh and Robbie Fairchild perform the pas de deux from “An American in Paris.”

 

On Wednesday night, he was back on stage in the Gene Kelly role of Jerry Mulligan dancing Christopher Wheeldon’s breathtakingly romantic AMERICAN IN PARIS pas de deux with Allison Walsh.

 

In a parade of showstoppers, the AMERICAN IN PARIS sequence was well worth the wait. Broadway costar von Essen and Manu Narayan joined in on other Gershwin tunes. Fairchild’s spinning leap put an exclamation point on the performance.

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A dream team of Manu Narayan, Robbie Fairchild and Max von Essen rehearse Gershwin numbers from the CLO-produced musical “An American in Paris.”
 
 

 

A word here about the immensely talented von Essen, whom I first saw on a CLO stage.
Listening to von Essen deliver on three songs — THE DRINKING SONG (THE STUDENT PRINCE); OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING and his big number from AAIP, I’LL BUILD A STAIRWAY TO PARADISE — made me frustrated anew that the filmed version of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS is of the London production. Overseas, the musical also starred Fairchild and Leanne Cope but had a different supporting cast than the brilliant Broadway group. Prohibitive costs and union agreements aside, I want everyone to see original Broadway cast members such as von Essen and Brandon Uranowitz, and Billy Porter and Stark Sands in “Kinky Boots,” for that matter.
But I digress. Such memorable performances also are a reminder that we were witnessing something that only live theater can deliver — a singular, exclusive moment to treasure.

One of the many things the concert did well was to relate each song or medley to CLO’s past 75 years. That includes collaborating to administer the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theater, last awarded in 2009, to composer Stephen Schwartz,

That led to a series of songs by Rodgers Award winners. Sondheim’s “Putting It Together,” was rendered by Pittsburgh native and BOMBAY DREAMS star Narayan, who was recently seen on Broadway in MY FAIR LADY. Other highlights were Joshua Grosso, CLO’s IN THE HEIGHTS star, dueting with Ali Ewold on A HEART FULL OF LOVE from LES MIZ. And Ewold, Broadway’s recent Christine Daae, on PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’s THINK OF ME.

The finale portion of the show was intended to be from WEST SIDE STORY, but it was cut before the program was printed. Instead, we were treated to the big finish by Burns, the longest-running Elphaba in WICKED’s ongoing Broadway run, belting DEFYING GRAVITY to the heavens.
The show ended with the veteran stars onstage and cheering from the sidelines as the gold-clad Teen Ensemble performed ONE from A CHORUS LINE.

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The finale “One,” from “A Chorus Line,” featured the CLO Ensemble and Teen Ensemble from the CLO Academy.

The Broadway/CLO pedigree of talent behind the scenes of this extravaganza includes director/choreographer Baayork Lee, a CHORUS LINE original, and music director James Cunningham. The celebration was conceived by Jason Coll and written by Mary Jane Brennan.
It was pointed out that CLO’s new shows of today may be the hit revivals of the future. Ending the celebration with CLO Academy teens and current stars onstage said as much about the past as it bodes well for a bright future.

A Broadway Musical Celebration by thePittsburgh CLO at Heinz Field runs through July 21 – 24 | for tickets visit https://www.pittsburghclo.org/shows/broadway-musical-celebration

 

 

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SEEN: Pittsburgh CLO's 75th anniversary gala featuring Clay Aiken and Patrick Cassidy

 

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SEEN: Pittsburgh CLO's 75th anniversary gala featuring Clay Aiken and Patrick Cassidy

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo
Patricia Sheridan
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
Jul 26, 2021
10:59 AM
 

Pittsburgh CLO has come full circle. The first shows were performed in the University of Pittsburgh’s stadium in Oakland and this summer the CLO is bringing Hollywood and Broadway to Heinz Field on the North Shore.

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, a gala of theatrical proportions was held Friday at Heinz Field with more than 450 guests. 

“We are so happy it is a beautiful evening to be under the stars,” said event coordinator Nancy Byrnes of Nancy Byrnes Events. “To be able to do this dinner 25 years after I did their 50th is really exceptional for me.”

Also thrilled with the turnout after working since last year to make it happen were event chairs Christina O’Toole (with daughter Jacqueline) and Sloan Overstrom (with her husband, board president Alex Overstrom).   

“I couldn’t be happier since we couldn’t be at the Benedum. Why not be here?” said Ms. O’Toole of the venue. “We are thrilled to have so many people attending,” added Mrs. Overstrom.  

After a lively cocktail reception in the FedEx Great Hall, guests enjoyed a seated dinner.  Board chair Helen Hanna Casey (with Steve) thanked all the sponsors, including Dolores Kara, Sandy and Bill Lambert, Kathy and Joe Guyaux, Bob McCartney and Cate Linn.

A special video tribute for award honorees Dan and Debby Booker highlighted all this power couple have given to the city and the CLO. 

With his September retirement looming, CEO Van Kaplan (with Mary Jane Brennan), was savoring the celebration. Replacing him at the helm is executive producer Mark Fleischer (with Holly). The duo took the stage to welcome the audience as well as the gala guests, who had moved to be seated cabaret-style in front of the stage on the field for the show.

With Clay Aiken as emcee, the show was a revue of the CLO’s 75 years, including performances from “Copacabana,” the ballet from “An American in Paris,” a “Mamma Mia!” mega mix and Patrick Cassidy singing “Trouble in River City” from “The Music Man.”

Everyone on stage was a CLO alumnus in some way. Aiken was Teen Angel in “Grease” two summers ago. Performances were punctuated by great storytelling. Cassidy recalled his youthful dreams of being an NFL player and how his mother, Shirley Jones, encouraged him. The evening ended with chorus line of CLO students and fireworks to the song “No Business Like Show Business.”

Among those applauding nearly as loud as the fireworks were: Patti Blenko, Kristen Lane, Annie and Denny Cestra, Nancy and Saad Tabbara, Drs. Martha and Larry John, Annie and Gus Engel, Judge Robert and Donna Gallo, Dolores Warwick with Rick Guzik, Ralph Watson, Jackie Dixon, Jackie McDonald, Marty and Cami Davis Ryan, Catherine Loevner, Peggy and Steve McKnight and Dan Onorato. 

First Published July 26, 2021, 10:59am

 

 

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Clay Aiken wishes Kathy Griffin well after Meghan McCain ‘View’ flap

 

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Clay Aiken wishes Kathy Griffin well after Meghan McCain ‘View’ flap

August 2, 2021 | 6:39pm

 

Timing’s everything, Meghan.

Meghan McCain’s attack on Kathy Griffin — who is currently recovering from lung cancer surgery — over her supposed treatment of Clay Aiken now seems even more ill-timed following Aiken’s message of support to Griffin.

“I don’t like her, I’m never going to like her,” McCain had said of Griffin on Monday’s “The View,” citing her friendship with Aiken.

McCain claimed that Griffin made “very very very cruel and homophobic jokes” about Aiken “before he was out of the closet,” adding that she’s surprised her pal didn’t “end up becoming an opioid addict given the degree of bullying that happened to him when he was still struggling to come out of the closet.”

Hours later, Aiken tweeted a message of support to Griffin.

“Love and prayers for a speedy recovery to my dear friend,” he wrote. “Selfless and gracious, she even hosted a fundraiser for my congressional campaign years ago. Get well soon Kathy. I miss your jokes!”

Griffin, 60, had previously referred to Aiken, 42, as “Gaykin” in her stand-up routines prior to his coming out in 2008. But the comic has also long been an advocate for LGBTQ rights who was awarded the Rainbow Key award from the city of West Hollywood in 2018 for raising in excess of $5 million for HIV/AIDS services.

McCain added that she also disliked Griffin for her infamous 2017 Tyler Shields photoshoot that showed her holding a mask styled to look like the severed head of then-President Donald Trump.

“I don’t like seeing pictures of severed heads of anyone, anyplace because it reminds me of what Isis does to our soldiers,” McCain explained.

“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg, who has often clashed with McCain on-air, defended Griffin, calling the photo “a really bad misstep,” but allowing that “comics make missteps, it happens … I love Kathy Giffin as a person.”

“View” alum Rosie O’Donnell also tweeted about the timing of McCain’s attack, writing, “whats wrong with u mm ? she just announced she has lung cancer.”

Griffin announced Monday that she has lung cancer despite “never” smoking and would be having surgery to remove half of her left lung. Monday evening, her reps told Page Six that “Kathy is resting and recovering from her lung cancer surgery this morning.”

Aiken and McCain’s reps did not reply for comment.

 

 

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6 Portraits of Clay Aiken American Idol in Indonesia, Duet with Raisa at Designer Cynthia Tan's Wedding

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6 Portraits of Clay Aiken American Idol in Indonesia, Duet with Raisa at Designer Cynthia Tan's Wedding

Panditio Rayendra

20 Dec 2021, 12:30 WIB

Liputan6.com, Jakarta Singer from the United States, Clay Aiken is in Jakarta, Indonesia . The second winner of American Idol  season two is a duet with Raisa at Cynthia Tan and David's wedding party .

Cynthia is known as a fashion designer, whose work is often used by celebrities. Meanwhile, David is known as the boss of a concert promoter who often invites international singers to perform in Indonesia.

Besides Raisa and Clay Aiken, the wedding reception which was broadcast live via a website on Sunday (12/19/2021) also featured Christian Bautista. Here are 6 portraits of Clay Aiken at Cynthia Tan and David's wedding, summarized by Showbiz Liputan6.com , Monday (12/20/2021).

Clay Aiken was seen taking pictures with the bride and other performers. This can be seen in Yuanita Christiani's Instagram upload.

Not jaim , Clay Aiken followed the fun photo moments with Raisa and the bride and groom.

Yuanita Christiani acted as MC at Cynthia and David's wedding reception with Indra Bekti. Yuanita and Indra were seen posing intimately with Clay Aiken and his colleagues.

Yuanita captured Clay's action recording Raisa's stage performance. " Even a Clay Aiken is fascinated by Raisa ," wrote the host of Take Me Out Indonesia.

Clay Aiken was the runner-up for American Idol which aired in 2003. Currently, he is 43 years old, but the singer of the song "Invisible" is still fit and perfect on stage. Her voice is still as sweet as 18 years ago.

On this occasion, Clay had a duet with Raisa to perform the song "Can You Feel The Love Tonight". It is the original soundtrack for the animated classic Lion King (1994) originally sung by Elton John.

 

 

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