ldyjocelyn

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

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Thanks, ldyj. I posted that from my iPhone about 2 a.m. once we got back into Canada and I had 3G service again. I was going to bring it over myself this morning, but got busy writing part two! I hate to wait because if I do I forget things.

Part two: Evening 8/21 plus Maine sight seeing

We had made plans to meet friends for dinner at the Maine Diner, which is located in Wells. It took a good half hour to get up there because of horrific traffic, but it was worth it. To die for seafood chowder and lobster pie. Unfortunately our friends didn't make it but we enjoyed ourselves and bought some souvenirs in the gift shop. Then, a quick check in at our hotel and back to the playhouse for another show!

This time the tshirts were available so Sue and I grabbed them. Our seats were centre row F which was killer. Couldn't have been better. It was such a different perspective, but much better to appreciate the play as a whole. There are not enough superlatives for the cast - they truly surpassed my expectations, which had been raised pretty high by reading recaps. Keala is brilliant. She cracks me up with her expressions. I didn't mention before that during the afternoon performance, on the line about the Pharoah being "right wing", she really played it right up to the president. It was hilarious.

Differences I noticed this show: Clay knelt down in front of one of the little girls during the opening number and sang into her eyes. It was so sweet. When they threw him down in the jail cell, his right arm seemed to be positioned very awkwardly, and looked really uncomfortable to me, almost twisted backwards. And when he hits the ground he hits it hard! Anyway, he sang without moving his arm for the first few lines and eventually got it into a better position to raise his head. The rest of the play just flew by. I thought I might cry at the end, knowing it was my last one, but I was just too caught up in the excitement of the finale for anything but cheering. Next thing I knew we were trying to get out to the stage door again, but we had worse luck this time than last. The crowd was huge. I held my program over heads and my daughter held out an Ogunquit Playhouse postcard (she is a post card collector). We both got them signed. It's impressive how he manages to catch everyone in such a short amount of time. I heard him snarking on Claymatron in the front row. Sue had already got Clay's autograph in the afternoon, so this time she positioned herself down at the end, hoping to get a picture with "the Pharoah". She was quite successful. smile.gif We hung around chatting with other fans and old friends until we realized that we were the last people left. Apparently, the door kept opening a crack and later we realized that Clay was probably waiting to leave. Ooops! So we trudged over to our car, the lone car up against the fence near the visitor's centre, and joked that if we sat there long enough maybe he'd walk by us. But we were good fans and drove away, but not before asking one of the employees where the nearest ice cream shop was. We were hoping to find frozen custard (something that doesn't exist in Canada) but when we arrived at Prego on Shore Drive, they were just closing. They pointed us across the street to a little ice cream parlour, which was really good. We stood out on the street (quite busy with pedestrians even at that hour) and caught up with FearOfH20 and playbiller for a while. We briefly considered taking the foot path to the beach that was prominently signed, but decided it looked pretty dark down there. So we headed to the hotel and crashed, setting our alarms for 6:30 a.m.

My NJU friend Sue really enjoyed the play. She was glad that we got to see it twice, because she said she caught so many more things the second time around. She loved Clay on AI2 and she saw him in Toronto for the Jukebox Tour, but since then she has not seen much except Celebrity Apprentice. She saw Joseph twice in Toronto with Donny Osmond, so she was quite familiar with the play, but she was able to explain to us the differences in staging, props, etc. She was absolutely giddy and thrilled that she got Clay's autograph, and she said Clay, as compared to Donny, played the part in a much more emotional way. She particularly was impressed with Close Every Door and the reprise of Any Dream Will Do, as sung to Jacob. She also couldn't get over how he sang some of the parts so high! But she had a blast and said she'd love to come on another Clay adventure in future.

So yesterday, we went to Amore for breakfast quite early, around 7:30 am. That is the perfect time to go because there was no one waiting in line, we just walked right in and were seated. What a gorgeous place, and a gorgeous area! Our waiter, Douen, was fantastic. The food was impressive. I was all lobstered out so I went with a waffle. We spent some time in the gift shop and bought a few things. We had a chat with the owner on our way out and told her we were Clay fans. She mentioned that Clay had been in the day before for an omelette. She said he chose his ingredients himself so she was thinking of calling it the Aiken omelette. LOL. She said they "talked food" and mentioned just how nice he was. We wondered whether maybe he might have rented a cottage in that area, because it's a bit out of the way but very ritzy. Since we were already down there, we decided to continue along Shore Rd towards York, because we were hoping to get to see the Nubble Lighthouse on our way out of Maine. We weren't really sure how to get there but we just played it by ear, and at one point we came to a fork in the road. We almost turned right but then I spied a glimpse of ocean to the left, so we went that way instead to investigate. Lo and behold, we had just stumbled upon Perkins Cove and the Marginal Way. We really weren't planning on it, but OMG so beautiful that we paid to park for an hour. There is just no way we couldn't get out and experience it. We walked the footpath as far as "Top Of The Rock", taking pictures of the amazing scenery, then doubled back because we lost my daughter and From Claygary. Lo and behold, there's Lindsay down on the rocks creating her own little tower of stones. So we traipsed on out there ourselves in our improper footwear to create our own masterpieces. Finally headed back to the car and found Sohier Park and Nubble Lighthouse. By this point we were so hot because the A/C didn't seem to want to kick in in the vehicle. I was quite determined to get my feet into the cold ocean again, so we climbed down the rocks and I did just that. Of course, rolling my pants up didn't help again, because the waves have a mind of their own. Change in the parking lot #2. We bought more souvenirs at the gift shop and finally hit the road out of town, crossing out of Maine at about noon.

Our trip home was uneventful until just past Syracuse, when we started to notice police presence on every overpass, and flashing service vehicles in every U-turn area along I-90. This went on for miles and then we passed a service area that was completely secured by police tape, with people standing overlooking the highway because they were not allowed to leave. We were like WTF is going on???? Is there a fugitive on the loose? We also noticed that there was very little traffic around us on the highway. We finally turned the radio on to a news channel and were informed that Obama was travelling across I-90. We figure we just made it before they closed the highway behind us, so the people and police were all waiting for Obama to come by. Crazy! Two presidents in two days. What are the odds?

We arrived at the border about 10:30 and were stuck there in line, not moving, for about and hour and half. It was ridiculous. I have no idea what was going on in our lane, but each car was held for at least 5 minutes (sometimes much more) even though we never saw anyone get pulled over. We were getting pretty silly and giddy when From Claygary advised us that the boom mikes would be hearing everything we said. That just made it worse. We had a really hard time keeping straight faces when it finally was our turn. The guy took our passports, asked us where we were from and how much we had spent, then closed the window and disappeared into his booth for 5 minutes. I have no idea what he was doing in there, but finally he gave us our documents back and sent us on our way. Finally! Freedom! Except not, because as soon as we got on the QEW we ran into a wall of taillights. They were paving the road and it was down to one lane. It was probably 12:45 by the time we hit Grimsby and retrieved our car from the parking lot. And then it was 2:45 am by the time we got home. Wow. 58 hours round trip. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

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Clay tweet!

@clayaiken: How does crap like The Bill Cunningham Show get on the air! I'll never get that 10 minutes of my life back!!!

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Oo how did I miss that one......oh yeah I have a life!

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From BEEDAWN at CV

Looks like Clay made it into Jaymes' cookbook

http://www.blessthistable.com/

QUOTE

Bless This Table ‏@BlessThisTable10mOur Website Just Went Live! Please Retweet the News and Read about our #Celebrity #Family #Cookbook Coming Sept25th: http://ow.ly/odCXJ

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Since I love collecting cookbooks, this is a no brainer for me...

From CV:

I find the red type a little hard to read, so I'm setting this off in red but putting the recap in black for those, like me, would like a little more contrast.

Artquest's Endless Recap

I went to the show on August 20th and the evening of the 21st. I had avoided most of the Clack and only seen some bits of the video of other productions, so I was a virgin. No, really! Well, mostly. Heh. The Mac Geezer and I had a ball with the show. So much fun in such a short time. Next to Clay, the brothers were my favorite part. I never tired of watching how they milked the script for every bit of humor and satire. I also thought Keala was amazing. Fabulous voice. Clay said he was fascinated and amazed by the choices she made. I think that's so interesting. She's a seasoned Broadway performer who knows so much. I bet he learned more from her than parallel parking!

The Pharaoh is such a hoot. And I love the stories about the extra attention he gave those kids with special needs. I'm sure he was that way before - people don't always need to be around Clay to pick up on kindness to those who need it. And he's amazing eye candy. I couldn't agree with Mrs Bush more. Hee.

And the brothers. OMG, so funny, so adorable, so vastly entertaining. I loved every minute they were on stage.

Now on to Clay: I just finished watching some of the parts of Donny Osmond's version. I think it's more than credible. There are even a few things I think he does better than Clay, but on the whole, Clay's version is more human, more touching, and in parts a little more accessible. Here's the deal.

The Joseph story has always been one of my favorites. It's got everything - sex, murder (sorta), conspiracies, psychic powers, and ancient Egypt in all its splendor. It's also got a great character arc as Joseph starts out as kind of an arrogant asshole, smug in his father's favoritism, and pretty annoying and condescending to his brothers. His years as a slave and his time in prison change him, mold him into someone else, someone who ultimately chooses compassion rather than revenge and is also wise and capable enough to be the architect of Egypt's survival. I can see bits of the smugness in Osmond's performance but not in Clay's. He's got a different take on the character (or the director did), where he's more oblivious than smug. I don't think it works as well, nor do I think it tells as good a story as the arc from ass to mensch. Just one woman's opinion.

I liked Clay's interpretation of the Man in Chair better. While it was certainly very close to that of the original actor, I found myself completely convinced. And as I've mentioned previously, there were long moments when I totally forgot that it was Clay on stage.

On the other hand, Clay has moments in Joseph that are simply brilliant, and much much more sophisticated and moving than the general shenanigans going on elsewhere on stage. His version of Close Every Door moved me to tears. It's ten times better than Osmond's or any of the other recordings I've heard. And his reaction to seeing Jacob again was pure gold. Tears in his eyes, love, devotion, all there to see. I probably shouldn't have been surprised, because anyone who can connect with a song's lyrics as well as he does shouldn't have too much trouble acting, but it still took my breath away. I think he can really build on the skills he already has. I think what he needs is a role of his own where he's forced to create a believable character, someone drawn up into flesh from the words on the page. I feel so strongly that he can do this, but I think he needs to be pushed. I also think he could use some work on movement. No matter how believable he makes a character, he sometimes still walks like Clay. I know he can get past this - he did it in Chaperone - but it needs his attention.

Mostly irrelevant - on Tuesday there was a miscue: When Potiphar was introduced, there was a rain of silver confetti. I was surprised, thinking it might have been more appropriate for the finale, but what did I know? Then on Wednesday, the ticker tape came down during the finale instead. I expect someone backstage pushed a button too soon on Tuesday. It happens. I'm saving my silver bits to go with the few gold bits left over from Spamalot. Is this a trend?

The End. Phew!

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I'm so sorry this is coming to an end. It has been a fun ride with Clay and the cast!

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Clay tweet!

@clayaiken: The whole cast enjoyed some great homemade cookies c/o @redroses1944 Thanks!

Isn't he supposed to be in the play right now?

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Cute tweet from the stage manager!

@StageMgrBares: People will donate for me to NOT take off my clothes at #Bwaybares2014 if I keep eating @clayaiken fan treats. No famine here @redroses1944

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Tried to do recap but lost it while answering phone calls. One of our neighbors went ino palliative care for her cancer and several people didnt get the emailfrom her husband. She is a very lovely person and I hate to think of all she has gone through in the last 3 years. Our community is very close.

Let me say that the evvolution in the 3 shows I saw was amazing. Clay got into dancing by the Thursday evening show. Tried to imitate the go go dancers in Go Joseph Go and dan ed off the stage inthe last show. Stage doorz were so crowded I just stood back and watched.

We had a great time and we agreed thzt we could watch it seveal more times. Just for sc ientific research, of course.

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I'm soooooo happy that so many from here have gotten to see Clay in "Joseph." I'm also a bit bummed on my part, because I've always loved the music of this show, and at any other time, would have made the trip. Oh well, gotta pull up my big girl panties....

Sounds like the stage door was madness last night. This is a good thing. *g*

To wit:

August 22 evening:

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August 21 matinee:

luckiest, isn't this your show?

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This is cool!

Totally sold out including 14 standing room.

Usher just told us that Clay has the highest gross for the Playhouse in its history.

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This is cool!

Totally sold out including 14 standing room.

Usher just told us that Clay has the highest gross for the Playhouse in its history.

Wowee! Extremely cool!

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August 21 matinee:

[media=]

luckiest, isn't this your show?

Yes, we saw both shows on the 21st. You can see me on the right hand side a couple of times in that video, because I was standing up on a ledge to see over the heads. I don't know how people get out there so fast....unless they skip the ending (which I wouldn't do). Seems to be the same people at the front every time. I wish they'd let others have a chance. I tried both times to exit quickly, but both times I was 3 or 4 deep and because I'm short, I couldn't see Clay. I did hold my stuff up over heads and get it signed though. One time I felt Clay take it out of my hands, and then put it back again. Hee! So I have a signed poster and a signed program. I'm thinking of getting them framed to match my Spamalot stuff. :)

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From CV:

Hi everyone!

Hope it is okay to have it here were everyone reads. Here is what I posted at OFC!!

Back at home from a very long day of traveling. We got home after 2 am our time here, (4 in Ogunquit Maine time) I am so tired right now. only slept for a few hours. My daughter and I spent our last day in Boston yesterday. It is an amazing city.

Okay about the show, it was AMAZING like everyone says. I liked it even better after each show. Went to the first show on Wednesday...didn't had any tickets for that night but my daughter and I went to see where the playhouse was around 12.30pm that day and decided to buy tickets....they only had about 5 tickets left for the afternoon show and only on the last row, but I was so glad when we asked for the night show and the lady there said that they had 2 front row seats. So I bought one for me and my daughter who had one ticket for the next day switched her's for that night. (she only wanted to see one show) Well the tickets were more expensive so we had to pay extra. So when we got to our seats and the show started we could not believe how close we were ... we could touch almost all the actors and Clay of course. I kept looking at Clay feet, hands and his face every time he came close. It was an amazing experience for both of us being so close to them on stage. CLAY is GORGEOUS even more when you get close to him. :hothot:

We loved the show so much. Everyone are GREAT actors, They all sing and dance amazingly good. There is so much energy in everything they do. Clay is the most GREAT, FANTASTIC singer ever. His voice is so touch. I love his voice SO MUCH, so BEAUTIFUL...There is just something on his voice that no matter how good other singers sing no one is like him. Clay is so UNIQUE with his INCREDIBLE, BRILLIANT voice.

I went to the other 2 shows that I had the tickets for. I think I even loved the second and third shows more. It was so Great also to meet so many fans from the boards. So many from CV and others boards.

Was so lucky to have Clay sign all my programs at all my three stage door that I attended. I wish I was still there for the last show. I was also so Happy to hear from the people there when we were shopping that they never had so many people coming in to town to see the shows. This guy at a Gift store thanked us for coming from so far away to see Clay. He couldn't believe how many fans were there from so far away to see the show. CLAY. :happykitty:

IT WAS SO GOOD. There is so much to say but I am not good at it. So I just say this.... It was SOOOO AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING. :wub: :lovesmiley2:

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I just listened to the last cellcert. The sound was as good as it can get--that is, it was like being there--and almost no breaks this time. "Close Every Door" was beyond, beyond. Oh clack goddesses, please; let there be video!

Hope they take this to Broadway. It's a fun show, and revivals are often popular. The whole cast is fantastic.

But, for now, it's done. Hated to miss it, but resigned myself that it just wasn't meant to be. I'm thrilled so many fans made it, and have loved the reports and the audio!

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