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


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Looks at banner at top of page

Wonders what the fuss is all about.

I'd heard that too merrieeee, and it may replace that picture. Having said that, I'm not going to get my panties in a bunch over a picture and the comments made about it. Life's too short to spend time worrying about Clay and reactions to him. Yes, I love it when people LOVE him, and it does hurt a bit when people say crappy stuff about him. But I can't control those people. Clay's learned how to deal with them in a classy way; I think I'll follow his lead.

Anyone have a suggestion for a banner after the run is over next week?

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I thought that it was funny that Mathew, the guy who plays Pharoah calls it that damn picture! I bet hilarity ensued with the brothers. I wonder if that's how they got to respect and like him so much. He just laughed it off and didn't go all Clay Aiken on them! Unlike some fans!

I never cared much about what he looks like in pics as he seemed to change his style every month..........well except for the dreaded Snowflake one!!!

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I absolutely refuse to post again until someone else does..........oh wait!

Matthew Ragas tweet ( Pharaoh)

@MatthewRagas: Brad to Barbara bush about me "we don't let him wear a lot of clothes" Barbara "when he looks like that why should you" lol

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Just got back from tonight's show. I was a little more to the center and a little farther back, so the experience was different than last night. Different view, slightly different show. Nice.

I'm still thinking through my recap - maybe write it on the plane tomorrow to D.C. However, in the meantime, I want to write about a NJU experience that the Mac Geezer had. Kinda a NJU/NJU event. Or NJU squared. Heh.

During last night's intermission, I headed to the ladies room while the Geezer strolled out to the outside patio to get a Diet Coke. Two guys sat down near him and started talking about the show. The Geezer said they sounded extremely knowledgeable about musicals. He said that, if this had been opening night, he would have thought they were critics come to review the show. They talked about the original Broadway production in which, apparently, Joseph ends the show by doing a "Mary Poppins": flying out over the audience, coat flowing behind him. They said that Keala was really good but not physically attractive. (I don't like this. The role requires someone with great stage presence and a fabulous voice. She's perfect casting.) Moving on. They weren't sure if Clay had won American Idol or not (this part I liked) and thought he had a great voice in this production. They added that Joseph is more often cast with a hot guy with a hot body. Harumph. So 80% good stuff and 20% bullshit? At least they admitted he had a great voice.

I have video of tonight's stage door, though not as good as I had hoped. Had a great view from the end of the signing row. And then Clay came out with a largish woman in a black shirt who walked to the end of the row to provide some security, which is good, but at the same time blocking almost my entire view, which is not so good. I won't be able to upload it till I get home this weekend.

Hope everyone who is going to the final shows has a great time. I've really enjoyed my time in Maine.

Several of the cast went out of their way to give extra attention to a girl with Down's Syndrome sitting next to me...most especially Matthew/Pharoah. She was having the time of her life...squealing and jumping up and down during the play. I thanked Matthew and said how sweet it was for him and the others to do. He said something like...I just wanted to make it special for her.

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I saw that on CV, and went "wha-?" I mean really...we're looking for a glimpse of leg in a picture now? Shrug.

And I've now discovered that I'm going to miss the last cellcert; I thought it was Sunday evening, but it's Sunday afternoon, and I'm busy that day. Sigh. I hope Saturday evening's cellcert does well, as that will be the only one I'll get to listen to!

merrieee, back to you...hee.

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Since merrieeee didn't take the bait...LOL.

Just got home from a very long, but fun day in Maine. I don't write very good recaps and I don't know how to make it red, but I'll try. We left at 6 a.m. and arrived in Wells at 9:30. We first stopped at a local farm stand and bought corn and wild Maine blueberries. If you've never had them, they taste completely different from store-bought blueberries and are a real treat. Next we stopped st Capn Hooks for steamers and lobster meat to take home with us. Then we headed to Wells Beach. We walked the beach and waded in the water until it was time for lunch. We ate at a place in Wells and had a lobster roll and fried oyster sandwich. Yum! Then we headed to Ogunquit.

Thank you to those who gave us the info that you could park at the Playhouse early and walk into town. The traffic in Ogunquit and heading north was horrible. We walked from the Playhouse to the Marginal Way. It was just a gorgeous day and the views were spectacular. Thank you Clay for bringing us to such a great place! But it was hot, so we were glad when it was time to go back to the theater. It was wonderful to see the sign "Standing Room Only" as we arrived! The place was absolutely packed. The announcer came out and said what a wonderful run it has been with Joseph with so many sold out performances. I do think the theater is very happy.

CED was stunning. I love the way Clay sings/cries this song! As others have said, it is amazing how he can sing with such power when he is lying face down on the floor. There was an adorable little girl sitting in front of us who was so upset for Joseph and kept asking her mother if he was going to be okay.

DH and I loved the play!! I saw Spamalot and I thought how similar Joseph was in the sense that the whole cast was just so excellent and had such a great camaraderie that you just left both plays feeling so uplifted. They got a standing O at the end which was so well deserved. I really liked Jacob, but I never saw the old one so I had no comparison. Someone gave Keala, Matthew Ragas and Clay beautiful flowers at the end. Somehow Clay didn't see her trying to hand them to him, so she had to throw them. It was very cute and they all looked really appreciative.

The Stage Door was fun, too. The brothers came out to lots of appreciation and they seem so sweet and really thrilled. I heard someone ask for Ken and she was asked if she were a Ken Doll. :biggrin: Keala came out carrying her flowers and happily signed and then Clay came last. It was all over too quickly.

So wish I could go again, but I will have to live vicariously through those of you going this weekend. Have a blast everyone. We did!

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A more formal RECAP (now that I am back home at my computer and not trying to use my phone to type on)

Arrived in Ogunquit about an hour before the show....after a 4 hour drive from NW CT.

Went to the ladies' room to change from my comfortable driving pants...into something a bit dressier. Met one of the cast. She was a young lady who is 12 (tall...wears green in the play). She said she is also doing The Cat In The Hat play as well. I asked her how she enjoyed working with the cast. She said they were awesome. The adults (not sure about the kids) are all staying in one place and they all sit around every night cracking jokes.....and they are all very funny. (man, would I love to be an "Invisible" fly on the wall for those gatherings).

Inside the lobby, I spoke with a mother and her daughter. They were looking at the pictures on the walls of various actors who had performed there. I said I wondered if any of the actors from Joseph would make it up there. The mother said maybe Clay Aiken because he won American Idol....then she said something like, or did he come in second. I said I think he came in second, but, he seems to have done well. She agreed. Assuming they were NJU because she wouldn't have thought, for a minute, that Clay had won.

I had a first row center seat...which has both it's benefits and issues....but, mostly benefits. On one side of me was an elderly gentleman who had brought his mother. They were vacationing from MA for the week and he had seen Joseph before. On the other side of me was a young lady with special needs...definitely Down's Syndrome and possibly something else. I asked her if she was enjoying her vacation and she said she like the beach and brown. Her mother explained that she meant chocolate ice cream...but, she just calls it brown. Then, I said to the girl that this must be a great vacation with the beach, chocolate ice cream, and seeing a play. She seemed to agree. Her mother said if she bothered me to let them know. I felt badly that she had to say something like that. Her family (5 of them) had a summer cottage up in Maine....but, I think the girl was up for only a week or two.

The show started as with the speaker...and everyone knows by now that George and Barbara Bush were announced as being in the audience. They were sitting in the last row of the section on the right ...near the exit door....WC12 for George in his wheel chair. Just to give a visual...

The play was amazingly good ..A true Presidential performance!! I spoke with some of the actors after the show. They were all positively glowing and full of excitement. One of the brothers said he found out about the Bushes being there just as he was tying his shoes to go on stage. Another (Clay's young friend...Kory Geller) said the Bushes met with them at intermission (which we know). The intermission was super long. We were guessing that the Pres was taking the time to meet with the actors. Lots of secret service....anxiety provoking for me, as I was doing an illegal cellcert with the President and his wife in the audience!! I had visions of being escorted out by members of the secret service in front of the President :blush:....but, all was fine. LOL...I told caperkeeper I was nervous, because I was kind of breaking the law. She said ...you weren't kind of breaking the law..you were breaking the law. :omg: Thanks caperkeeper. Many of the audience stood and clapped when President Bush was wheeled back in after intermission. Barbara came in earlier..and got applause as well. Everyone was waving at the President though. He saluted back to the audience. It was surreal and exciting at the same time. The young girl sitting next to me was jumping up and down with excitement about the President. Yet, even with the President in the audience, some of the cast members, especially the Pharaoh (Matthew Ragas), gave the girl the most attention. She kept telling Elvis she loved him. She would wave at him, giggle, and he would wave back. Made me so happy. A moment of inclusion at it's finest. I would like to think that some of the attention was because Clay's devotion to inclusion has had an impact on some of those he has worked with.

At intermission, I spoke with various people around me and they definitely seemed like NJU. All who had seen the Donny production thought that this production was much better!!! When I asked the elderly woman, two seats down from me, who she thought did Joseph the best....she said Clay Aiken was definitely the best one. Her son said that the Donny Osmond production was very different. He said that the narrator pretty much sat in a chair and did not have the personality that this narrator has (everyone loved Keala), the kids weren't as involved in the Donny production, and, he was very impressed with how Clay played Joseph. He said that while Donny was always smiling ...even at times he shouldn't have been, Clay's acting was much better. I think he really liked Clay's voice, too. I quickly looked over at him when Clay was finishing CED...his mouth literally wide open in pure awe...and he had his hands ready to clap...which he did...very loud and for a long time.

After the play, I went out to Stage Door. I had already gotten an autograph...so, my plan was to take a couple of pictures if I could...see below...I only got 3 quick ones with my iPhone. First however, I spoke with some of the actors (see above)....and then personally thanked Matthew/Pharaoh for being so nice to the girl in the front row. He said something like ...I just wanted to make it more fun for her. What a really sweet guy . I know Clay would have been very, very happy to hear that comment.

(cropped a lot....LOVE the hair)

(Clay signing his own hand?...just kidding...but, not kidding when I say he looks really HAWT!! ) :Thud:

(LOL...Clay is right in front of a fan...and she is staring at me :huh: instead...too funny :giggle: )

Out of three 1st row performances, this was by far my personal favorite. Elvis handed the handkerchief to the elderly woman NJU two seats away from me. She was so excited. When she wiped his brow, she did it so grandmotherly like. She was adorable and a bit overwhelmed by it all...in a good way. Then the President and Mrs. Bush....I have never been anywhere near a President before. Finally, the mentally handicapped girl sitting next to me. Some of her reactions during the play were priceless. She was dancing in her seat and having the time of her life. I honestly don't know any kids who have handicaps, so, it really put "National Inclusion Project" into an even better perspective for me.

I got back home today...but, I am going again for the final performance (with 3 of my relatives from NH and Maine...NJU's...and I can't wait to hear what they think of Clay) ...and I know it will be bittersweet. My entire summer, as many of you know, has been really horrible and crazy. Seeing Clay has brought a bit of sanity to it....and a lot of excitement to Maine. I hope he has something brewing for the fall...or, at least in the winter. If not, it could easily become my "winter of discontent".

p.s. I stopped at a restaurant for a lobster fix and started talking with some of the staff about just coming from Joseph. I get my best info when I don't let on that I am a Clay fan. I asked if any of the cast had come in there to eat. One girl said that she didn't really know anyone who was in the play but that Clay Aiken had been in a number of restaurants (which she proceeded to name...but, I won't) and that some big time Latin actor from another play had been in the restaurant. LOL....she couldn't remember the name of the Latin actor....but, Clay Aiken was a name she remembered. The way she spoke...Clay Aiken was a really BIG deal. I kind of think so, too. :wub:

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Here's a little red. Probably stuff that's been posted but I'm now just noticing it because of being up close.

Keala has different shoes now. Didn't notice that before.

When Joseph's being sold off he says something like" no stop" when he's being dragged off. Judah also says to Joseph "it wasn't my idea I'm sorry"

During the go go Joseph part I noticed clay says omg. Also he didn't sing the last part. Not sure if its only this show.

Seriously I'm amazed at all the different view the theater has since each one adds something different to the show. If your seeing different shows defiantly change up your seats and seat in differnt areas cause you'll pick up things you didn't see before. smile.gif

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Bringing this over from CV from luckiest. Sounds like the first part of her trip was...eventful. Hee.

Posting on my phone so pretend its red. This is for the first part of our trip and the 8/21 matinee.

Left Ontario about 4:30 pm on Tuesday, met up with Sue (a NJU) and From Claygary along the way, huge delay at the border (45 mins). Drove until midnight, stopped in Utica NY. Up and out at 6 am again, with a quick run through a retro McDonalds and the first available Starbucks! Ran into traffic in Massachusetts but pretty clear sailing the rest of the way. Arrived in Ogunquit just after noon, screamed as we passed the playhouse (took pictures out the window) but were hell bent on getting to the beach before show time. Sat bumper to bumper for a mile until we found Beach St., sucked up the $20 parking charge as "once in a lifetime!" and proceeded to discretely change into shorter pants and flip flops in the parking lot. Passed the "river beach" by, taking pictures, and went for the real thing. I don't think we got ten feet from the path down to the ocean before wading in. I'm sure people around us thought we'd lost our minds as we whooped and hollered and frolicked in the waves, fully clothed. We didn't mean to get our clothes wet but the waves had other ideas so since we were wet anyways....lol. Did I mention the water was like ice? Yet there were hundreds of people swimming. It was a hot day, about 32 C. After my legs were entirely numb we came back to shore and went in search of a lobster roll. Paid a ridiculous $19 (with tax) for a small bun with good chunks of meat, and a bag of potato chips. Sue and I split it. Again , "once in a lifetime!" My daughter Lindsay opted for a steamed hot dog. Then, wet and uncomfortable, we headed back to the car. Lindsay may or may not have dropped her pants entirely and put her pyjamas back on. We headed to the visitors centre where we perused the available literature and used the washroom facilities to get dressed for the matinee. We were just hanging around the car in the parking lot, waiting for Lindsay, when some of the cast began crossing from the private motel to the theatre. We said hi to Ken. :)

We parked where they told us to at the playhouse (we advised them that we were staying for stage door) and headed for the gift shop. Sad to report that the mugs are once again sold out. I bought a poster and ascertained that there would be tshirts available later that day. We did the whole "family reunion" thing in the lobby, grabbed a bottle of water, and headed to our row BB ( aka front row) seats. They were on the right side on the aisle, up against the steps to the stage. Never been so close in my life! But of course the pillars were right in front of us. So we knew we would be slightly obstructed, but the pay off of having clay close enough to touch was too hard to pass up. So we stayed put.

Cindilu2 had texted me to say former president Bush Sr. would be in attendance so we weren't surprised when secret service and Barbara sat down about 6 rows behind us. Then the man himself was wheeled in. So many people were taking pictures, until the secret service asked them to stop. The children took the stage to skip and jump and hula hoop. Is it bad that we found most of them quite obnoxious? In our defense, we were close. Really close. It reaffirmed Lindsay's decision never to have children.

Finally the playhouse representative came on and gave his spiel (which I did not find out of place or obnoxious at all). And then the lights went down and Keala came out and wheeeee! OMG. We were blocked a fair amount of time, because of the way the children and other actors were staged, sitting and or standing right in front of us. But I knew we would have an unobstructed view in the evening, so I was ok with it. When Clay came over to our side, I could have reached out and touched his feet. His white sandals were hideous. LOL. His arms and hands are so furry! His facial expressions are hilarious. There were certain moments in the play where he stood facing away from the action, but facing me. I was eating it up and no doubt grinning like a loon.

Close Every Door was amazing. How he sings laying prone like that is beyond me. You could see his chest just heaving at the beginning. He raised up on his hands and eventually his knees, but never raised his lower body off the stage. It was an extremely emotional performance and the crowd loved it. During Elvis I watched Clay. The way he reacted to the cow heads was hysterical. After the pharaoh finally chooses him as his #2 (Joe!) he turns away and puts his hands to his face and looks down....right into my eyes. Holy shit. Soon after that it was intermission, and we went outside to breathe.

The bell rang signalling the second act and we went back down to the seats. There was a long delay waiting for the president to be brought back in. We later found out that he was backstage with the cast.

I moved over to the second seat in from the aisle, to give my daughter a chance to have a better view. The children came up our aisle and man is it a tight squeeze for anyone to get up those stairs. We had our feet tucked under our chairs. I love Clay as the Pharoah. I mean I freaking love it. Those eyes of his are like laser beams when they catch you. He is pissed off and the combination of that and the eye makeup is killer. When he threw Benjamin to the ground right in front of me, I was in seventh heaven. I would like to Groundhog Day that moment for the rest of my life. Or maybe not, because I think my absolute favourite part is when he sees Jacob coming (up our aisle again) and he sings the reprise to him in such a tender, emotional way, with tears in his eyes. I had to lay across the next seat to the wall to see his face but that's ok. It was amazing. I was on my feet during the ending, clapping and screaming. What a show. I loved every actor (except maybe Potiphar because of the loin cloth - seriously too much shown of his body - ewwwwww).

We had a heck of a time getting across the theatre to the left side exit and the stage door. It was a good 3 deep by the time we got out there, but I held my poster over heads and he signed it. His hair was soooo short, looked like it was just cut. He was out and gone in probably 2 minutes. We were milling around, talking to fans we knew, and then I heard a woman loudly asking who had the Ontario plates? So I said "me" and she proceeded to scream at me and berate me for blocking her vehicle in. I thought she might hit me, even while I apologized and explained that we were told to park there. What a Royal Bitch. She ended up following us up Hwy 1 north, and we let lots if people get in front of us on purpose, just to piss her off further. Hey, we're the polite Canadians. That's what we do! Heh, heh.

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