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# 65: "Clay Aiken's Not Just Any Joe"


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Yes, Master....I do what you say.

And now I have a new follower in one Mr. Clay Aiken.


I figure, why not? Now I don't tweet too often, so Clay might be disappointed in me. OTOH, I might start tweeting more. Having said that, I will not do "all Clay tweets, all the time." I mean, I like "Community," Weird Al, "The Nerdist"...he's could find out that I'm a very interesting person. Heh.

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Watch Clay Aiken and Keala Settle Sing to the Heavens in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Watch Clay Aiken and Keala Settle Sing to the Heavens in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

By Marc Snetiker August 14, 2013 - 2:58PM


Clay Aiken in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'

Watch Keala Settle and Clay Aiken in 'Joseph' at the Ogunquit Playhouse!

Everyone’s seen the photo—now it’s time to watch the clips! Clay Aiken is making a colorful splash at Maine’s Ogunquit Playhouse, where the formerAmerican Idol favorite is playing the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Joining Aiken is another fantastic performer, the dazzling (literally, if you watch the video) Keala Settle, a newly minted Tony nominee who stars as the Narrator. Below, feast your eyes on a video montage of clips from the production, which runs through August 25. You’ve only got a few more chances to get yourDreamcoat on up in Maine! After watching this video, we have one question: Broadway transfer, anyone?

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Complete conversation to explain the Eric Idle Tweet:

THis guy is apparently a Clay fan (said that Clay's Unchained Melody was his and his wife's wedding song) and followed Clay and tweeted yesterday about following Ken and Kory
John Adair Reed II ‏@JohnAdairReedII 6h @megwen826 Its a pretty good night! I haven't had any celebrity interaction for a while haha Maybe we should see what @EricIdle is up to!
Megan Adams ‏@megwen826 6h @JohnAdairReedII @EricIdle oh our dear friend Eric! Do you think he knows @clayaiken
John Adair Reed II ‏@JohnAdairReedII 6h @megwen826 @EricIdle @clayaiken I have no idea! Lets ask if either one knows each other or would ever do a song together! Mind blown!!
Megan Adams ‏@megwen826 6h @JohnAdairReedII @EricIdle @clayaiken well Clay was in Spamalot so I do hope they met at some time!

then Eric responded

Eric Idle ‏@EricIdle 3h @megwen826 @JohnAdairReedII @clayaiken We met and I wrote him a special verse for All For One. Fine man.

Another twitter conversation:

Craig Laurie ‏@Craig_Laurie 14m

@clayaiken @korywithaK_18 @KenArpino you all are getting out of control. Do we have to do 2 shows tomorrow?!?!

kory geller ‏@korywithaK_18 8m

@Craig_Laurie @clayaiken @KenArpino I'm trying to figure this crazy thing called twitter out! #babybrotherproblems

Craig Laurie ‏@Craig_Laurie 4m

@korywithaK_18 @clayaiken @KenArpino ask Clay. He'll explain it all.

Again...Clay GETTING PEOPLE on Twitter? And now EXPLAINING Twitter? I think Hell has frozen over.

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Clay's now following almost 1000 people, I doubt he'll be reading everything on his Twitter feed. *g* Tweet away what you will! Like I'm feeling the need to freak out about Broadchurch right now...

Oooh I just watched the latest Broadchurch episode (I think it was #4 here in Canada). I have no idea what to think.

Last night was a hoot! I was at my son's baseball game, but I have Clay's tweets set up to come to my phone, so it was beeping and buzzing like crazy. I managed to do what he asked (yes master!) and get him to follow me before 8 pm. I texted my daughter, who was up north visiting her dad, and got her on board as well. We both screencapped it when he followed us. Wheeeeee! 5 days until I head for Maine! Sounds like it's one hell of a party up there!

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Oooh I just watched the latest Broadchurch episode (I think it was #4 here in Canada). I have no idea what to think.

It was episode #2 here in the states and I think my jaw was on the floor for half of it! When it comes to the popular UK shows I usually just find the whole series/show and marathon it but I decided not to this time. It's maddening to wait but kinda fun at the same time to not know what's happening before everyone else (stateside) for once. :)

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Ken posted.

@KenArpino: Gamenight 4 the boys of #joseph! W/ @clayaiken & @korywithaK_18 4some pregame dinner b4 the fun begins. #arpinonoir http://t.co/c9036x8uWA

Zachary posted.

ThatFunnyGayGuy 17s

@clayaiken @KenArpino @korywithaK_18 Lobster Mac and Cheese...Pinot Noir...and a hefty side serving of attitude. #carb #shade


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The boys played a game called celebrity and I can just see this happening with Clay only not!

Ken Arpino tweeted

@KenArpino: Its a dance-off!!! Winner... @apuette!!! #levinailedit #brothers4life #joseph

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I was lucky enough to attend 3 shows, evening of 8/13 and both shows on 8/14. I wanted to share my thoughts about the scenes in the order that they appear. I've tried to mention things that I don't remember seeing before. If someone else has already made these observations, please forgive me for duplications.

First Installment:

Prologue - When Clay sings Any Dream Will Do, he comes out through the fog and sings first to the children around the stage. I didn't know until reading the program that a new group of child performers began on Tuesday night. They evidently have 2 sets of kids for 2 weeks each. So, I imagine that this group was especially nervous since it was their opening night. Clay smiled and made contact with each of them (There were 22 in all, 21 girls and 1 boy) then he comes to the front of the stage, near the Narrator just as he reaches the line... "I was left alone". There's a brief pause as he stares out over the audience with the saddest look on his face. He looks so completely heart-broken for that brief instant, then catches himself and becomes aware of the children and continues to sing.

Jacob's sons - While the brothers are off to one side, he is talking to Jacob about the book he is reading. He mimes being very excited about the book but tells his father that he doesn't know the meaning of all the words.

Joseph's Coat - He expresses such utter delight when he puts on the coat, twirling round and round, picking up the various sections and showing the fabric to his brothers, wanting them to share in his joy at the wonderful gift and completely oblivious to their jealousy. He is the picture of joyously sublime innocence.

Joseph's dreams - When he's interpreting his own dreams for the brothers and talks about the corn, being green and "rather small", their faces reflect that they're pretty sure he's not referring to their corn! :whistling:

Poor, poor Joseph - The hairy Ishmaelites are absolutely hilarious, shuffling across the stage with their sliding camel and wearing sun glasses. They are a little taken aback by the enthusiasm of the brothers wanting to sell their brother. The sheep falls from the ceiling and sometimes his legs come off as they fall, before they can rip him apart. It is quite comical!

One More Angel in Heaven - At the beginning the brothers are relaying the sad news of Joseph's death to his father. The minute Jacob goes into his tent, the tempo picks up and they are openly celebrating. They are absolutely gleeful about his demise. Their dancing and antics are very entertaining.

I was just catching up in the Joseph thread and noticed that lilkahuna posted some stage door pictures on 8/13 that include Kory with a K. Looks like he was signing autographs right along with clay. Kory signing They're in post 1723. You can see him clearly beginning with the 3rd picture. All of the brothers were good, but DH and I especially enjoyed Ken, (even before Clay made him famous) :rofl3: Drew King who plays Dan, and Nathan Chang. Nathan is so expressive in his reactions to everything that is going on around him, making him really fun to watch. We actually walked toward the parking lot with Drew after the matinee yesterday, and I asked for his autograph. He was so cute, seemed embarassed that he didn't have a sharpie on hand like Clay, but was delighted by the attention. He looks like a very young Seinfeld. I told him he was adorable. uh oh, does that make me a cougar? :blush: One thing I noticed about the brothers is that they all look like they really could have lived in the middle east. All eleven have brown eyes and wore brown or black wigs. Clay really stands out against them with his auburn hair and green eyes, and he is taller than most of them. I thought that added a unique element to the contrast between them.

I had purchased tickets in the far side of row BB for Wednesday's matinee. When we arrived for the Tuesday evening show we could see that those seats had very limited stage visibility, as others have pointed out, so we were able to upgrade to the same row, but at the right side of the center row. Our knees were only inches from the stage. There were several times that I could have reached out and touched Clay and some of the other actors. I was most tempted when his toes were within arms reach! My DH elbowed me and made a tickling motion with his fingers and I knew he was aware of what I was thinking! BUSTED! The most amazing thing was being able to look up and see Clay's eyelashes. They are very long! We could also tell that he wears some sort of padded vest under the shirt. He is literally drug from one side of the stage to the other, with a rope around his hands. For the matinee he was dragged on his back, and that evening he was on his belly. He may not do much dancing, but it is a VERY physically challenging role in other ways.

This is still not a red report, but a NJU encounter report, because it's fresh in my mind.

Encounter #1 = During intermission last night, my DH began a conversation with a 40ish couple who were standing nearby while we all waited for the lights to dim. Turns out they were from Boston and come to all of the Ogunquit Playhouse shows every summer. They both positively gushed about how good the show was. They said that they had never watched American Idol and were completely surprised at how good Clay was as Joseph. My DH mentioned that we had come from Houston to see it. They immediately assumed that we were related to someone in the show. DH soon disabused them of that notion, and pointed at me as the reason for this supposed insanity. I admitted that I was a claymate (I know that term is not popular with everyone, but I kinda like it, so chill.) :thumbsup2: The woman immediately responded. "I can understand why!" They were eagerly awaiting the 2nd act. They said that this production was one of the best, if not THE BEST, they had seen in almost 10 years of playhouse performances! We didn't get a chance to talk to them afterwords, but I was able to glance at their reactions throughout ACT 2, and they were thoroughly enjoying it!

Encounter #2 = I wore my Joseph t-shirt today when we went into Portland. At the Enterprise Car Rental place, the girl asked if I'd seen the show. When I told her how great it was, she said she was hoping to catch it because she'd heard that Clay Aiken was very good in it. I told her she definitely should not miss it!

Encounter #3 = We took a trolley tour of Portland that went out to the light house at Cape Elizabeth. When we picked up our tickets, the twenty-something girl at the counter saw the shirt and volunteered that she was trying to get time off from her job to get to Ogunquit to see Clay Aiken. Again, I assured her that she would not regret it!

Encounter #4 = In the gift shop at the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse, both women cashiers remarked on the shirt, then proceeded to tell me how much they loved Clay on American Idol, how he should have won, how they had hardly watched the show since, and how much they would love to get down to Ogunquit to see him.

Overall, it was so much fun to have conversations with folks who still love him. It's apparent that the Ogunquit Playhouse has a very good PR dept. and is highly respected throughout the area. I think this gig is going to prove very beneficial to him!

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My reflection on Joseph (continued) end of act I

Potiphar - When Clay appears as Potiphar's slave he is delivering a newspaper and a starbucks coffee and is completely serious. That is when Potiphar realizes he's a cut above the normal slave and reaches into a brief case to hand him a big stack of bills along with a promotion. That's also about the time he is noticed by Potiphar's wife. A bed appears and several slave girls are on the scene to watch Mrs. P's attempted seduction of Joseph. During the first 2 shows we saw, Clay was resisting, but obviously afraid of offending the lady. On Wednesday night, he actually hung onto his jacket when the slave girls stripped it off of him and tried to take it away. So when Mrs. P jumped on top of him, the jacket was between them and they had a little tug of war. I loved this interpretation much more, because he wasn't just saying "I don't believe in free love", he was actually doing something to defend his honor. :biggrin:

Close Every Door - Earlier descriptions of this song have been spot on. However, it is such a dramatic scene that it almost doesn't fit with the rest of the show. In fact, on Tuesday night when he raised his head, the hair almost completely covered his face and it would puff out with every breath. It was slightly comical and very distracting and I heard a few giggles in the audience. They didn't last long because the power of Clay's voice replaced any other thought anyone might have had. I do wish there was a way to clip that hair back just a bit to keep so much of it from getting in his way. It all depends on how it falls because it wasn't nearly that bad for the Wednesday performances. I also think that the transition from all of the comedy numbers to such a powerfully dramatic one is a bit startling for theater goers who aren't familiar with the production. It did get the most applause because his performance is a tour de force!

Go go Joseph - I loved, loved, loved this scene. When the girls start singing after CED he is so incredibly beaten, then he very slowly starts to pay attention to what they are saying. Then the other cast members, dressed as go go dancers come out to add to the pep rally. He slowly stands up and they begin to make him believe that he can break the chains. He tenatively begins pulling on one, then pulls harder until he is free on one side. Then he does the same to the other one. The change in demeanor that takes place on his face and in his body language during this part is gloriously transformational. He slowly begins to believe what they are telling him. And the scene and act end with him standing tall and flashing that gorgeous smile. He is no longer beaten but ready to conquer the world! (or Egypt anyway)

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Red Report continued - 2nd act

Song of the King - When the Pharaoh appears he is wearing a 3/4 length gold cape that is closed at the front, so all you see is his head, his calves and his blue suede shoes. He stands there looking very solemn and kingly while the narrator sings about the crazy dreams and Clay is summoned from his jail cell. Then the Pharaoh says the line "The Pharoah is in the building" and throws the cape off to reveal the costume you see in the video. His Elvis impersonation is highly entertaining and his interaction with whatever front-row lady he chooses is always a hoot. I paid attention to the entire group on Tuesday night because there is so much going on. On Wed afternoon I concentrated completely on Clay and I'm so glad I did. Except for the part about understanding about the corn, he is off to the side of the action, but his reactions are comically brilliant. It's true that the scene is reminiscent of the Vegas scene in Spamalot, but for me that didn't make it any less funny. Here is a man who has been alone in prison in a strange country for a lengthy amount of time. Now he is brought into a chaotic scene of dancing golden cow heads, practically nude women with funny headdresses, shooby-doos and sha-la-las, and movement everywhere. Not to mention a king who is expecting him to interpret his dreams in the midst of chaos. It is apparent that his head is swimming and he simply can't take it all in. Just at the moment he appears to be figuring it out, something startling happens and he gets that WTF look again as he peruses the latest absurdity. I think I laughed more during this scene just from watching his reactions than at any other point in the play. This was the chance for Clay's physical comedic gift to shine. It's just a pity that most of the audience was paying more attention to "the king" than they were to Clay. If you're planning to see this more than once in the week to come, please keep your eyes on Clay for at least one performance.

Pharaoh's dream explained - In this scene Clay moves from consulting the Pharaoh about the plans, to the other side of the stage where he has suddenly become the newest Egyptian celebrity. The girls are all over him, wanting to touch him, and squeal over him, and adore him in every way possible. He is eating it up, but keeps having to leave all the attention to go back to his "job" with the Pharaoh. At one point, he actually drops to the floor and crawls away from the circle of adoring women. Through it all, you can tell that he really can't quite believe that his situation has changed so dramatically.

Those Canaan days - This one is a crowd favorite mostly because of Craig Laurie's delivery. He is superb as the jaded Frenchman. He knows how to instill laughter from the audience with the lift of an eyebrow or by simply pausing in places to get the expected laughing reaction.

Benjamin Calypso - This is such a catchy number and Nicholas Ward is brilliant in it. He tries so hard to get Joseph to give up his stern angry scowl with his comical antics, but Clay maintains the impression that he is unwilling to be moved all the way to the end.

Any dream will do finale - The play comes full circle with Clay appearing from rear center stage in his golden chariot, just as he first appeared walking through the fog. He smiles and greets the children gathered round before he spots his father in the distance. Jacob actually walks down the aisle on the right and Joseph walks to the edge of the stage to greet him. It is a very emotional reunion that you can see and hear in Clay's voice.

Reprise - The only negative thing I can say about the reprise is that it lasts 10 minutes and Clay is only on stage for about 3 of those. It is very very very high energy. They are really good at getting the audience involved. I think the reason Clay doesn't appear until the very end is because there wouldn't be room on the stage for that enormous coat and dancing. It is quite impressive and very clever the way they all latch onto the coat as Clay drags them off stage.

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That long recap is really interesting. Thanks for bringing it over. Here's another recap:

Just got home from my first Joseph show and I haven't stopped smiling yet! The show was so much fun and the whole cast is really excellent - they are all obviously having a great time on stage together. It was so wonderful to see Clay live again, and from Row A I got to see him up close and personal! Close Every Door was riveting, and he was really into it - he looked a bit teary eyed while he was singing. I didn't notice any hair falling in his face during this song, but he does sing most of the song in a prone position - I have no idea how he can generate enough breath control and power from that position!

Years ago I saw a touring production of this show, with Debbie Gibson in the narrator role. After seeing Keala Settle (with her awesome Broadway belter voice) do this role, it is hard for me to fathom how someone with such a "light" (being nice here) voice like Debbie could possibly do this role justice!

Huge crowd at the stage door tonight. When the various brothers came out, they seemed thrilled to be asked for their autographs (none of them had pens to sign with!). Clay was adorable, but the crowd was big enough that he could only sign for those right in front.

I'd never been to Ogunquit before but I have to say that it is one of the most charming New England towns I have ever been to. I'll definitely want to go back again for a more extended visit. I'm already dreaming of Clay coming back next summer!!

There are many laudatory tweets being reported, people who've just seen the show and love Clay! Men and women.

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