Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Aiken Shows Off New Moves

BRAVO, CLAY AIKEN! - Amazing_CA incorporated a handsome photo by Scrpkym, as well as scenes from the 'Spamalot' stage in this graphic. Bravo, ACA!

A Mailbag of Treasures

Clay, Quiana Capture Big Apple

What a busy weekend in the Big Apple! Quiana Parler, longtime friend, colleague, and backup singer with Clay Aiken for tours and other performances, was in town to see "new moves" the man is sporting as Sir Robin in "Spamalot" and to belt out a tune herself.

Quiana attended Sunday's show and accompanied Clay for the stage door gathering in Shubert Alley following the final curtain. Clay's fans are hers, too; so there was a "homecoming" atmosphere as she greeted old friends from the concert trail.

On Monday, Clay was in the audience as Quiana was featured on the song "Just Move On" in the one-night musical Big Tent, the Tammy Faye Bakker story, at the Metropolitan Room.

Big Tent was co-written by Ben Cohn, Sean McDaniel, and Jeffrey Self. Quiana received a standing ovation for her song, which you can view at YouTube: Just Move On.

In the left clickable below, Clay joins singers Jenny Hill and Quiana for a picture shoot after the Big Tent performance (photo by Genevieve Rafter Keddy). At right, Quiana smiles for the camera and greets the stage door crowd at the Shubert (photo by Mustbeeme).

Clickables by G.R. Keddy and Mustbeeme

For more Big Tent coverage, see Keddy's story at Broadway World.

City Guide Spotlights 'Spamalot'

A Feb. 19 addition to the Activity Planner of New York City's online City Guide is a feature about "Spamalot": And Now for Something Completely Silly ... Monty Python's Spamalot. Here are excerpts:

Knights without horses prancing to the clip-clopping of coconut shells; an empty-headed King Arthur searching for the Holy Grail; a killer rabbit (and a giant wooden one that serves as a Trojan Horse for the Middle Ages); a nasty and flatulent French Taunter defending his castle against the Brits; and a gaggle of fearsome Knights who say "Ni!" - these are only some of the elements that ensure Monty Python's Spamalot status as Broadway's most slaphappy musical ever.


One of those woolly-tighted knights is being played through May 4 by Clay Aiken, the runner-up in 2003's "American Idol," whose various parts include the neurotic and cowardly Sir Robin. Aiken has drawn his own largely female fans - the "Claymates" - who are besotted by whatever he does onstage at the Shubert.

"It's hilarious," said Waddingham. "He's so sweet about them backstage. He says, 'Ah'm sorry, they're embarrassing me, y'all.'" She went on to add, "He's taller than I thought he was and he's also quite strapping. I expected him to be 5' 6" and quite puny."

Aiken, who sang the inspiring "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on the "American Idol" finale (losing to his arch-rival Ruben Studdard, who has yet to make his Broadway debut), sings far less-moving lyrics as Sir Robin. "You can sing, you can dance, and you won't soil your pants, in your white tie and tail," he tells his non-voting Shubert audience. "Find your Grail... Find your Grail."

From Playbill.com: Broadway Bears Raises $127,000 for BC/EFA; Spamalot Bear Is King.

The Spamalot bear – signed by Clay Aiken and David Hyde Pierce – raised the most money at the annual Broadway Bears fundraiser, which was held Feb. 17. The Spamalot bear brought in $17,000 for the annual event, which benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Other top money-makers were the Lion King Pumba bear ($9,000), the Cyrano de Bergerac bear ($8,000), The Little Mermaid bear ($5,000) and the Wicked bear ($5,000).

PHOTO INTERLUDE -- Featured in this clickable interlude are graphics and photos of eight visual artists, including ABeautifulMind, photo by Katy4Clay, 1; Cindilu2, 2; Amazing_CA, photo by Butterflyshine, 3; Dev11588, photo by Toni7babe, 4; and Amazing_CA, photo by MadamePresident, 5.

Comments Complete Blogging Cycle

Reader comments about various journal topics complete the blogging circle and often add a new or different perspective. With each entry, I almost always learn something from what you folks write back.

Representative of the remarks that many leave at both the OFC and at the Carolina site, these are gems most readers miss. This mail bag includes comments from the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Great Britain, and Denmark.

LAP & LACIE, Socks, Dudes, and Socks

SANDY (addressing L&L): It is so nice to see that you two have taken charge of this blog. Welcome back! I always look forward to your insight in the Clay Nation. Once again I see that you have not disappointed us fans.

BARB55: I laughed as I read Lap and Lacie's conversation. I can tell that Lacie just loves Clay! She's convincing me to order some of those embroidered socks.

SOCKS NOTE: In her new OFC blog, Rosa reports she has sold a total of 50 pairs of Socks for TBAF. Info and pictures about this fundraiser are in the 2/16 entry here.

AMAZING_CA: Love the LAP & LACIE topics, but the main highlight is the cute dude, Kai. Very cool graphic from Sally!

SALLY: LAP and LACIE quoting Buddha, textism, our gorgeous Singer Man, and the cutest dude evah!

Spamalot, AI Rewind, and Clay

CLAYGACHIC: It’s great to hear all of the wonderful comments on how well Clay is performing in Spamalot. Of course we all knew he would do an outstanding job. Enjoyed all of the beautiful blends that were on your full blog.

SALLYROX: I can’t wrap up my evenings without first surfing the net to get the latest update, clack and videos from the many talented Claymates’ contributions. And my daughter’s favourite tease …”Having your daily dose of Clay, Mom?” You bet!

SALLY: I played the catapult game [from Cha Cha's SPAMALOT site] several times. What fun! Flinging cows, chickens, and even a hand-grenade! I did better the first time, and the game is like “Spamalot”... totally senseless fun.

CINDILU2: Last week's Rewind was especially fun for me, as that was the very first time I laid eyes (and ears) on Mr. Clay Aiken. It's almost funny to think now that there was a time that beautiful voice wasn't a part of my life.

Textisms, New OFC Formatting

These two comments sum up hundreds more!

GALADRIEL: As Galadriel, Queen of the Elves, I will give half my kingdom to the one who figures out how to put backgrounds on the blogs.

ASHES2: I’ve spent the last 1 1/2 hrs messing around it and got all excited - again! But &#@( x%x $^ it was a waste of time as usual. Read more about the program, needing plugins, etc. Maybe they don’t have all that stuff here? I’m tempted to go out in the 30 below day to cool off!

Valentines, Water-Logged Week

CLAYRIN: Happy Valentine Day! The animated cartoon is very cute, throwing chocolates in the sky and eating. In Japan, usually women give a chocolate to men to express thanks. Some women give a chocolate to declare their love.

DEBS33: Your "Where There's a Will" story made me smile. (NOTE: The piano student in this story made it home from her lesson in record time and, with her trusty hair dryer, saved all but two books of the water-logged music.)

MADAELYNN: Candy hearts have a special place in our hearts, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel. They look good in Clay AND Kai pictures! Good to hear that your student was able to revive most of her music.

SANDY: Sorry to hear about your appliance woes. It always seems that once one thing starts breaking down, then others follow suit. It’s as if they talk to each other…”well if you can get fixed, then so can I”…LOL! But it’s also amazing how attached we become to these wonderful inventions!

BARB55: Your lead graphic by Sally, as well as the others, are beautiful and just perfect for Valentine's Day.

BIKERGIRL: Kai is sooo cute. I bet in some years lots of girls will want Valentine cards from him.

Special Note from a Friend

ClayNation, one of the founders of the Clayboard, emailed her remarks and asked that I pass along greetings. In December, ClayNation experienced the unexpected, sudden loss of a dear loved one; and she and her family have been coping with this reality. She misses everyone and thinks of Clay friends daily.

I wrote back that she and her family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Kai's Famous 5-T Carolina Jersey

SANDY (aka Grams4242, who sent Kai the Tar Heel shirt): What do you mean my shirt's too big? This is the style today, Mom! Get with the times! I am laughing so hard as Kai looks so cute. I’m imagining your daughter trying to get the shirt on him and he probably has this look that says "What are you doing to me?" It’s all good though, and I’m looking forward to seeing the "then and now" blog in 2010, LOL!

GALADRIEL: Kai will grow into that shirt in no time, and you will be trying to find a size 6. Somehow, I think Grandma will find a way. I wonder if the Knights of Ni will keep Clay up on the game score?

Kai prepares his first blog. Graphic by Sally.

New Assistant in Training

Grandson Kai has three favorite toys -- an old cell phone, a "retired" computer keyboard, and the TV remote control. He definitely enjoys pushing buttons.

In Sally's graphic, five-month-old Kai is pictured above with his cell phone and "computer" hard at work gathering news for his first blog.

Below is a clickable of Amazing_CA's lead graphic:

Have an awesome week, Clay Nation!


P.S. Kai appears to be a chip off his granny's block as these thumbnails indicate. On the left is Grandma Caro at 16 working on a newspaper back in "typewriter days." On the right is five-month-old Kai with his "computer" and cell phone.

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1 comment:

Sandy said...

Hi Caro,
When I opened up your e-mail and saw the latest picture of Kai, I just knew this was going to be a great blog! Isn’t he the cutest little thing typing away and talking on his cell phone. He actually looks like he knows what he’s doing! He and Grandma are going to get along just fine! He will make a fine assistant for sure. What a cute picture of “Granny” on the phone…soon Kai will see that picture and ask what is that black thing with a cord that is in your ear…LOL!

Thanks so much for “all” these great mentions. You know that I am always proud to be featured in one of your blogs! It’s like making headline news!

Speaking of news, what a week we’ve had so far with the news that came out about the possible release of the new CD on May 6. I see that CD release parties are in the making already. Now we just need news of a summer tour and that would really make my day! We’ve had so much clack since the start of the last summer tour, there really is no need to stop it now.

Quiana sang her heart out in the musical “Big Tent”. I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished and also the fact the Clay just adores her and has allowed her to showcase her great talent. He is so generous that way and I know that is why he is so successful in Spamalot. He never wanted to be the “star” of the show and from all reports that I’ve been reading he just “fits” in with the cast. But then how can anyone resist that “southern charm”!

I have now finished my tests and waiting for the doctor’s office to call me to come in and review them once he has received all the results. The therapist who did my Pulmonary Function Test told me that I am only breathing out 50% of what I am taking in so there is some obstruction in my airways. The doctor will review it more in depth with me. Will fill you in with all the results as I get them.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sandy :)