# 64: A super smart, caring, determined, classy, easy-going, and genuinely good, likeable guy

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What a nice thing to wake up to this morning! He sounds wonderful, and thank you Anonymous!

Sigh. He's dweemy.

BTW, we're going to FINALLY need a new thread soon. Any suggestions for title? I'll try my best to go through some of the reviews and see if I can find something...

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Vjm and I got tickets for Friday, August 3rd and Saturday evening’s performance. We barely made it to Friday night’s show due to (a) overly optimistic estimate on how long it would take to get there from the Philly area, and (B) stop and go traffic for nearly two hours going across Massachusetts. What we originally planned as a leisurely afternoon in Ogunquit before going to the play turned into going straight to the theatre after changing clothes in the restroom at the Maine Visitor Centre. We settled into our seats with ten minutes to spare. There was a lot of electricity in the theatre-we were seated in Row G on the side, great seats. Sitting next to me was a woman with her husband who were there on vacation. Small world, she graduated from the PA college where I work.

I had never seen the musical even though I love musicals and see a lot of local theatre. The play had a run in Lancaster’s Fulton Theatre that ended at the end of June. It got great reviews (more on that later). I thought the production at Ogunquit was first rate, really outstanding. Not a weak actor in the bunch. The dancing-amazing. I thought Clay did fine among such talented, experienced group with some areas that were truly stellar and other areas (in my opinion) he has room to grow. And I confident he will because that is his work ethic.

Clay’s voice was stellar-I am not sure I have ever heard it better. Close Every Door-I don’t think I breathed through the entire song. I was mesmerized. Vjm and I talked about this – there were many very good voices in the production but there is just something so very special and gorgeous about Clay’s – it just sets him apart. I found myself thinking that Clay’s voice is perfectly suited for the theatre (not that he should be limited to that). His emotional and physical connection to that song was superb while he was singing CED, just wonderful.

An area where I think Clay will continue to grow is his acting, particularly when the action does not directly involve him yet he is still on stage. A sports analogy for me would be the importance of moving without the ball in basketball. I don’t mean that Clay should be actually “moving,” more that his actions and reactions might fit better in the whole. Actually I saw some improvement in this the next night. He seemed more forceful in the scene with the brothers who were begging for mercy for the youngest brother. I so wish I could see Clay the last week. I suspect he will study his performance and continue to make adjustments.

It seems that the general consensus from NJU that I have gleaned from the reviews and the FB posts brought to the board is that Clay does fine and sings wonderfully but that the showstoppers involve scenes featuring the brothers and the Pharaoh who did get the louder applause on Friday night . (Clay got the loudest applause on Saturday). This is consistent with the reviews on Joseph from the Fulton. The reviewers focused on the brothers, pharaoh and narrator and mentioned Joseph briefly but positively for his voice. I just don’t think that the character of Joseph quite lends itself to fun, over the top moments as do some of the other characters.

On a more shallow note, I thought Clay looked very, very handsome. The play must be physically demanding on him. He is thrown down on the floor, pushed around, hoisted up over his brothers and passed around. I must imagine he gets sore.

I feel very fortunate to have had a chance to see Clay in this production. I wish I could see more performances.

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Playhouse's Joseph Lots of Fun

Playhouse’s ‘Joseph’ lots of fun

By Jeremiah Turner


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

OGUNQUIT, Maine – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Ogunquit Playhouse adds more than just a classy night out to this summer’s offerings on the Maine coast.

It’s simply a lot of fun.

Joseph is played by Clay Aiken of American Idol fame among other accomplishments. Broadway’s Keala Settle is the Narrator.

Their big talents combine with an energetic cast of professional actors and local children in a musical romp through the classic biblical tale of Joseph and his jealous brothers.

The story and its lessons for life are well known. What has endeared thousands of theatregoers to this version is Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s re-telling of it in song and dance with a modern twist.

The Ogunquit performance lived up to their talented vision and then some.

If the costumes and dance numbers don’t make you wish intermission did not arrive so soon, you’ve spent too much time on the beach that day.

What makes this production so delightful are the humorous revisions of other famous shows’ tunes to fit Joseph’s story.

From country to reggae, the French Revolution to Elvis, no worthy theatrical material or musical number is above being used in a surprise way in this fast-moving production.

Aiken and especially Settle are powerful vocal anchors. Joseph’s 11 brothers are really, really good in song and dance numbers infectiously entertaining. Their often multiple appearances in other roles add to the fun.

Bill Nolte, as Jacob, and Matthew Ragas, as Pharaoh, provide further depth. Add in the enthusiastic kids selected in local casting calls and it is a winning cast.

As the action rolls from scene to scene, you will be disappointed when the show is over.

The Ogunquit version of “Joseph” is a credit to Playhouse Associate Producer Jayme McDaniel, who is the director and choreographer. What’s accomplished on a small stage is impressive.

If you love theatre, music and fun in the summertime grab some tickets and come see this show. You’ll leave smiling.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on stage through Aug. 25 and is part of The Ogunquit Playhouse’s ambitious schedule this season.

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Thanks merrieee, that pic is adorable.

I got this one via Facebook, I'm assuming it's from last night's stage door:


More later, but I'm running late today!

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CV reviews:

:omg: almost 4 1/2 hours later.....I'm home from Oregon.... Boston..... Maine at 2:30 am. iii

The theatre was jam-packed tonight...with the exception of a few seats in :huh: front row center. This couldn't have been a Clay crowd. Someone aside from myself would have moved over there at intermission. Lots of men in the audience tonight...compared to more children on Sunday night.

Before the play....I had a glass of wine right near all of the children eating McDonalds' happy meals (no one else was there...as i got there before they really opened up and read/tried to read magazines). They were singing and dancing.....different songs than those from Joseph. The female dancer arrived and they were all hugging her. Them "Elvis" arrived. Didn't know any of the others. Talked with one boy a lot. Clay is funny/hysterical. All of those in the lead roles get along very well. Cute to see him on stage bringing Clay the DreamCoat. He kept reminding me he would be wearing yellow. The kids were all over the place outside....very ADD unable to stay still. I guess they were getting all their excess energy out before the play. The poor narrator must need a personal podiatrist...as the tops of her shoes were digging into her feet again. That is real professionalism....to sing when in pain (or forget the pain b/c you are so focused on the singing. I think I picked out the brother who cried on Sunday night. He has a gray(with streaks of white) hat and it has red dangling on each side at the bottom. He does not have a beard.

I met deemer!!!! YAY. I love meeting new Clay fans....especially such sweet ones like deemer! She stayed after for stage door...but, nothing will compare (for me) to my stage door encounter/interaction with Clay on Sunday night....so, I have given up while I am ahead. I wish we could have spent time together. I wish she would have joined me over in the front row for the second half of the play.

I ate at a restaurant down the road from the theatre...several miles. AMAZING lobster roll....very, very, very lightly coated in mayonnaise with warm dipping butter on the side (I don't eat the bread). YUMMY.

After tonight, I decided the second half (with the exception of CED :Thud:) was the best for me. Of course my seat upgrade could have contributed to that. :giggle:. Seriously, I love Those Canaan Days and I enjoy Elvis. I could be wrong, but, it seems like Clay sings more in the 2nd half? Yay to CCCCCC=calm, cool, collected, cellcert captain, caperkeeper. Hopefully, we will get a full cellcert on Friday!!!!

I move this week/weekend (haven't even packed yet)....but, I shall look forward to listening to Joseph again.......AND I will be back for the 21st and the 25th to see him in person. I am in front row center for the 21st!!!!! YAY!!!

Well....one quick read....and then :offtobed: :dragclay: :Joseph:

Clay's friend Cameron posted this on Twitter last night. I think I love Cameron.

Cameron Saemann ‏@camerons 4m

@clayaiken This. http://s3-ak.buzzfee...375828385-5.jpg


The theater is sending out email ads:


One more review from CV:

I haven't posted much lately, so I hope it's ok for me to post a recap.

I saw Joseph 6 times August 1-4, and I could happily see it 100 more. It's that good.

Some preliminary stuff:

--I knew about the show and that it was a Lloyd Webber/Rice work, written when they were very young.

--I had not only never seen it, either the movie or a play version, I was not familiar with any of the music. Not one song. (Now the songs are all spinning in my head.)

--I knew that Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, and Michael Damian have played the lead. I just didn't know what they'd done. Ha.

--I know the story of Joseph backwards and forwards. I have read it many times and used to teach a class in the public high school called Bible As Literature. (Yes, you read that right.) It was a very popular class, and we studied the story of Joseph in great detail and even watched a movie version of it. The Joseph story is rather complicated, and I always wondered how it could make a successful musical. The answer: very well. :thumbsup2:

--I have directed a dozen high school musicals and am now branching out into directing community theater. I'm not a professional of course (although some of my former students are :polishnails: ) but I know a little bit about the challenges of this kind of thing.

Other than Clay's magnificent voice and his excellent acting, here are the aspects of the production that I enjoyed the most:

--The complicated and hilarious stage business. I love plays where lots of things are going on at once. This one is done very well. They had a small stage and made great use of every inch of it. Lots of well planned running around, loads of funny stage business, fabulous dancing and movement. Loads of sight gags. Spamalot was a lot like that. So much fun.

--Perfect casting with great characterizations and vocals. In addition to Clay and Keala, Craig Laurie as Reuben/Butler, Bill Nolte as Jacob/Potipher/Baker, and Matthew Ragas as the pharaoh are real standouts. So much talent on the stage.

--The ensemble. I used to tell my students that even if they are "just" in the ensemble, they can make a great impression on the audience. The little extra touches are what make or break a great show. People will notice individuals and their actions even if they never have a line to say. I just loved the dancing/singing girls, especially the weeping/wailing ones. The girl with the Egypt sign is adorable. And the brothers are downright mesmerizing. I couldn't help smiling the whole time they were singing and dancing.

--My favorite minor character is Mrs. Potipher. I loved loved loved her Nefertiti style headdress and her dance. I love, too, how she says "Pity."

--The kids. What a great experience for them. And they did an excellent job. They add so much to the story. And great lessons to be learned by all.

--And to get back to Clay, I love his wonderful facial expressions. Plus, some of the lines really stand out. I waited for them like I did the Spamalot lines. I love the way he says "Nevah" when scolding Benjamin for "taking" the cup. In the same song, he says "Guard, seize him!" in a stern fashion. I sure don't want Clay mad at me. His face and voice were showed it all. Loved it. His "Mr. Pharoah Man" is funny, too.

Since I had already left Ogunquit and there was no show to watch last night, I watched the movie version with Donny Osmond on my iPhone. It's all on YouTube. I was very surprised that most of the costumes were either exactly or almost the same. I'm thinking they must have borrowed or rented some of them. Donny's clothes were both similar to and different from Clay's. I wondered about the white outfit, but now I understand both it's symbolism and it's transformation. Of course, Clay keeps all his clothes on :Joseph: , and it's interesting that none of the reviewers mentioned that at all. I am tired of people on the internet commenting on Clay's Joseph wig. His hair style is so much better than that stringy mop Donny wore. I did love the gold headdress Joseph wore in the chariot scene. I wish he's worn it more.

What else can I say? I am so grateful that I got to go to this great production. I enjoyed it so much. I so hope Clay does more theater, and I'm anxious to see where he turns up next.


Two silliest comments I overheard audience members say:

--One woman behind me lamented that they had a "sparse" set. "Not much scenery," she whined. Well, IMO they had just what they needed. No more. No less. And she must have missed that gorgeous backdrop with the smiling Sphinx and the Egyptian columns.

--One older man said that he couldn't imagine Andrew Lloyd Webber writing this music and that he must have gotten someone to come in to help him out with it. Totally clueless. Since ALW wrote it in 1968 at the age of 20, yeah, I think we can see him writing it.


After the Sunday matinee, I tried to find someone to ask some questions. The best I could find was the house manager and the head usher. But they did tell me that the actors practiced a lot on that part where they toss him in the pit. They want to make it both realistic and safe. It's in his contract that they don't hurt him. Ya think? LOL They didn't know what was a the bottom of the pit but it's "something," they said. Ha. They also told me the musicians are still in the orchestra pit. They're just not visible. The conductor/keyboardist watches the stage through a monitor system, and the actors can watch him the same way. If you go, look up and see the monitors on either side of the stage and outside the lighting booth.


Go if you can. You'll be happy you did. I sure am.

I have some stagedoor video that I may try to post some time.


A couple of travel observations. Traffic in Ogunquit is very bad, especially on the weekends. So allow plenty of time.

The Seafarer Motel is almost across the street from the theater. I don't know anything about it except it's close.

We stayed at the Meadowmere, which is an eight minute walk to the theater. I'm so glad we did. I don't know what we would have done if we had had to drive.

The town of Ogunquin is a ten minute walk away from the Meadowmere.

Perkins Cove is a little further (you should drive), but there are better stores there.

Saturday morning we took a boat ride (Finestkind is the company) by the coast, and it was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it.

My thanks to washgirl who made the Meadowmere reservations and chose the fun activities to fill the time when we weren't watching Clay and company.

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Happy Birthday Parker Foster Aiken!

Tidbits that I remember:

(This will be full of horrible typos and lack of grammar and caps and spelling cause I cant type kn this tablet for shit. Its a nightmare!!!)

When he first comes out, a giant book of Joseph slides to the side and he appears backlit through the fog. He begins to sing ADWD and he's looking at the childrdn as he sings it he looks at them suth such love and tenderness in his syes, with a smile playjng at the corners of his mouth. At the bridge of fhe song he steps forward and looks out and becomes distraught and emotional T what he is singing. He sort of sighs and then catches himself to coms back to the present and once again becomes serene and again smiles at the children as he finishes the song.

He smiles and shares a book with his father as they show that he is the favorite son. Joseph beams at his father, who clearly adores him they show them talking but you dont hear it as the narrarator is singing but you see jacob tell joseph to cover his eyes so joseph covers his eyes and his dad surprises him with the coat. Joseph shows wonder in his face at gstting the coat and thdy place it on him. He bdgins to twirl around with it and he is so gèeky and innocent and playfull as he does so, all conveyed perfectly thdough his facial expressions and body language.

He falls to his knees repeatedly throughout the show as he is first sold into slavery and when thrown in jail he gets manhandled qjite a bit. At one point he gets dragged across the stage on his knees (matinee) and his elbows and chest (evening).

CED was sublime both shows fhsre are a few notes he hits that are gasp worthy and are so classic clay. I was so impressed with his acting skills on this song. He is lying there, beaten and broken on the floor. His entire body shakes as he is crying he is sprawled sith his legs and arms akilter. When they first place the chains on his wrists the guard roughly pulls his hands out from under him so his upper body drops to ths floor. He begins to sing while his head is still down on fhe floor with his hair splayed all around. At the matjnee, when he raised his head while singing, his hair was in his face and since his hands were chained he couldnt push it back right away. So the hair wkuld blow up n fhen he finally buys in and this incredible smils lights and away frlm his mouth as he sang, until he could finally push it back as joseph in character.

In go joseph when the kids are singing to him to not give up he starts to look at them and he is taking it all in with a pensive look on his face but as it goes on he gains belief and this incredible grin comss out and it is like a beacon of light and his eyes twinkle and I swear that smile complstely transforms him. He stands up and pulls on his chajns and they bfeak free from his wrists.

Whsn potifers wife seduces him the choreography is fun. He finally sort of gets thrown down on his back over thebed with his head hanging over the side. Hd does tell us he "doesnt bslieve in free love" lol

When he is listening to the pharoh to try to interpret his dream he listens very intently and is rather amazes by the goings on of the dancers and whatnot. At the end of the pharohs song the dancers fall to the floof and lid fhre not moving. Joseph reaches down to the one female dancer and pokes her with his long slender finged as if to see if shes still alive, cute! When pharoh makes joe his number two and gives him the gold adornments, thd girls are gathef round him and cloy amd paw him. At one point they circle him and you lose sight of him and then suddenly he comes crawling out of the circld looking back at them as he sheepishly crawls away.

When the brothers come to get help and dont ddcognize him , joe is playing them. He tells them somethjng, and whdn they look away he sort of looks to the audience with a self satisfied laugh and a rathef smug grin. He rolls his eyes at them. And he glares daggers at them when he is listenkng to their tale of woe. Like if looks could kill! Lovd thd way he sings this part. So forcefull and powerf

He rides out on his golden chariot near the end. He gets off the charkot and is singjng ADWD again to thd childfen whdn he sees jacob approach. He only has eyes for his fathdr as he moves through the crowd to get to him. Hes singing lyrics something like seeing if what he thought he was seeing was real. Jacob has his head down and joe approaches him and lifts his head and grasps his hands ànd sings right to hkm looking into his face with such joy that he is seeing hisbeloved father again.

At the end of the song joe and narrorator are holdkng hands and singing toward each other and joe has a huge grin kn his face.

At the end of the megamix joe had his arm around narrator's neck and she would put her microphone in front of clay, sort of cutely sharing her microphone with him. When they have all taken their bows and its time tl leave fhe stags clY has a huge coat of colors on with a huge train sk as he leaves the bdofhers characters gather it up and clay walks backward off the stagd pulling them off as they hold onto the long coat.

I ABHOR TYPING ON THIS THING!! Soooooo sorry this is awful it has taken me hours to type this on this keyboard. AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH

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Got my digital edition of Entertainment Weekly today. The picture of Clay spinning in his coat of many colors made the Bulls-Eye section. The caption: "Clay Aiken to star inJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Hair extensions courtesy of Julianne Moore." This should be in the print edition tomorrow (Fall Movie Preview on the cover).

I gotta say, this gig is getting him some mileage. It may not be what everyone wants for him, but I'm actually happy with it.

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Via the CH:

Clay is charming the local Maine residents ...

From the Facebook page of Amore restaurant:

Amore welcomed Clay Aiken today for breakfast! He's AWESOME as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Ogunquit Playhouse! He said of our seaside town, that before coming here, his home state of North Carolina was the the most beautiful place! He could be convinced that we are at least tied!!


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This afternoon was a "talk back with the cast" at the Oguiquit Playhouse. deemer at CV attended, and here is her report. Clay did not participate, so the rest of the cast talked about him!

Yes Clay was not at the talk back. Many of the brothers. Jacob &pontifera's wives and pharaoh were there

They said Clay was sweet and a regular guy one of the family. Says he is very funny and teases the brothers as a brother would. Later they were asked if they had to audition and they did. Pharaoh actor said he auditioned by video. Had been an Elvis fan when young and even had nickname Elvis. But now not as big a fan as one of the wives who reminded us Aug 15 death anniversary. She's big Elvis fan. On auditions they added that Clay didn't audition so only way he's not normal ( laughingly ).

to elaborate on what one of the wives said. She said she saw Clay on idol when she was young and thought he'd be quiet southern boy. She said he's not - not quiet. He's funny and SASSY. She was surprised. The person who said Clay was sweet-- be said sweet twice was I think Judah be sings the calipso song--- oh no not be Benjamin's as straight as a bamboo tree--- by the way this particular actor is taller than Clay I noticed. Program says his name is Nicholas Ward

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There are some nice photos at CV, but it's been requested that they not be published on public boards. If there's anyone who can't get to them (in the Joseph thread) I can put them in the supersekrit thread.

Have been thinking about thread titles, ldyj. What about "Clay aiken's not just any joe" trom this review: http://www.presshera...013-07-28.html? or some variation on that phrase? That's the only thing so far that hits me. Unless we want to go with "the Mona Lisa of our time." :hysterical:

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