Saturday, September 20, 2008

Clay Aiken Back on Broadway

KING CLAY -- Singer Clay Aiken takes an opening night bow Friday following his return to 'Spamalot' in the role of Sir Robin. Photo by J. Pellegrini (Broadway TV).

Fun Begins Anew

Spamalot Crowd Crowns King Clay

While he may be playing a "Sir" on Broadway in Spamalot, it is safe to say that he was King Clay Aiken at last night's opening.

American Idol star Clay Aiken is a natural on Broadway. This the excitement that happens on those rare occasions on Broadway.

At the moment, forget Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in Equus, and Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise and their entourage of Scientology protesters at All My Sons, or even forget Entourage’s Jeremy Piven in Speed-The-Plow, or Ace Young in Grease.

The big story on Broadway today is Clay! He is back on Broadway, and the fun has begun.

That's how Broadway TV summed up Clay Aiken's triumphant return to Broadway as Sir Robin in Monty Python's "Spamalot" Friday night.

The Shubert Theatre marquee once again reads "Spamalot Now Starring Clay Aiken"; and, from all reports, opening night was a rollicking "10" start to finish.

Broadway Celebrates 'Clay Day'

Meeting Internet friends in person -- putting a face with a screen name -- is a cherished bonus at Clay gatherings. Opening night at Spamalot was no different. Toni7babe reported it was like "old home week" in the line waiting to enter the theater.

In touch with the home crowd via cell phones, attendees were read Clay's late afternoon blog, which they promptly relayed up and down the Spamalot line. Pre-curtain reports always include fan assessments of ticket sales. Word from the box office was that only a few single seats were available.

Around 8 p.m. message boards throughout Clay Cyberspace proclaimed:


Opening night Spamcert recaps are everywhere, as pre-show, intermission, and post show cell phone reports traveled from board to board all night long. After the performance, the party moved from Shubert Alley to several New York restaurants.

Below are excerpts from Claniac24's recap:

Clay was fantastic tonight! He was full of energy, dynamic in all respects. When he first appeared, at the guard window, the whoop and holler that went up was unbelievable. It went on for many minutes.

In fact, every time Clay appeared in a new scene, the screams and applause were resounding. I think the theatre must have been filled with Claymates. And we yelled and screamed for all the other stars as they appeared also.

At the very start of the curtain call, the entire audience stood up and remained standing until the final curtain closed. We gave very warm applause for everyone, but Clay got a thundering ovation. At the very end, he was standing on stage grinning from ear to ear. I think he's gloriously happy to be back where he's so loved and appreciated.

He came out to the stage door after about 15 minutes to another round of raukus screams and hollers. He looked stunningly handsome and happy. He didn't stay too long, maybe only five minutes.

Just before he went inside, Clay got down on his knees to sign a playbill for a young lady in a wheelchair. The moment was captured with a picture taken by her father.

Later, aiken4aikenstouch posted a first person report at the OFC:

This was all my dad's doing. He left SPAM early and saved me a spot right at the front. Clay came out and signed my Playbill. Dad asked if we could get a picture, and he said we'd do something. Jerome told me to stay put (like I was going anywhere!).

When Clay was done, he pulled me through the barrier, hugged me, and asked my name. Then he said, "Let's turn around"; and he knelt beside me for the picture. He gives the best hugs ever. Thank you, Clay, for making my dream come true!

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Featured in this clickable interlude are Spamalot cast and curtain call photos by JPellegrini, 1, 2, and 3, courtesy of Broadway TV. Pictures of Clay signing autographs in Shubert Alley are by Toni7babe, 4 and 5 (with aiken4aikenstouch), and Isdollylovesclay, 6.

Paparazzi Cover Sir Robin's Return

The paparazzi covered Clay's return to Spamalot en masse. At
Getty Images, open the first photo and click through 21 images by Brad Barket from Friday's opening night. WireImage features 27 photos by J. Pellegrini.

There's already a new montage about Clay's 9/19 reprise of the Sir Robin role. See Stay by LovesClaysVoice at YouTube.

Recounting opening night for Clayversity, xxx4clay wrote, "Clay's performance was as if he had never left the show. The crowd was very, very loud. It was amazing to be there."

With four shows on Saturday and Sunday, opening weekend has just begun for those in the theatre, as well as fans around the globe celebrating via recaps and cellcerts.

Broadway Cares Bid at $8,200

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, online bidding for VIP Spamalot tickets followed by a Clay-conducted backstage tour hit $8,200 at noon Saturday.

Further bidding for this package will take place during a live auction. All items in the Broadway Cares auction can be viewed

SueReu Wins LALATE2 Contest

Congratulations to SueRue, whose montage Everything I Needed To Know I Learned from Clay Aiken was named the winning video in an
LALATE2 video contest.

SueReu's video has been added to LALATE2's premium celebrity page for Clay Aiken. You can view the winning montage at YouTube with this link:
Everything I Needed To Know I Learned from Clay Aiken.

Below is a clickable of JPellegrini
's lead photo from Broadway TV:

Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!


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SueReu said...

SO GLAD CLAY IS BACK!!!! I've missed him, missed the excitement, missed the pictures!!!

Thanks for the congrats on the LALATE video!!!

Ashes said...

What a night! Fantastic coverage of it here Caro. Clay Aiken IS back with a roar!

Medusa said...

You can feel the excitement in the air. Clay is BACK!!!

lovesclaysvoice said...

What a great blog Caro! Clay Aiken is back and all is right with the world! We all missed him terribly! He looked very happy last night! It was so great to see him again!!!

Thanks for adding my new montage! :)

Martigyrl said...

It feels awfully damn exciting today, doesn't it?! Just saw all the clack, and reading posts, and then to my delight, you post a great blog. Thanks for having a part of the excitement right here at your blog.
I miss him and wish I were there in NY to see Spamalot. I don't know what I'd do without people like you, to share the King Of Broadways'"Spamalot" news!!

MissSally said...

He just keeps getting better!!!!
Thanks for this wonderful blog!

clayam said...

How can just looking at this man's pictures make me teary eyed?
It is so wonderful to have Clay Aiken back on Broadway where he is loved and respected!

Anonymous said...

I never doubted for a second that opening night would be anything less than outstanding.

You owned Broadway last night, Clay...rock on!

gerra said...

I love the excitement in the air the last few days. Yea! for Clay returning to Spamalot and Yea! for Broadway's treatment of him.

Lee said...

Woo hoo !!! Lots of Clay Aiken news . I love the buzz .

Anonymous said...

Clay is back, better than ever!

katy said...

Absolutely!!Clay Aiken is back as a STAR!!

sbleu9 said...

Clay Aiken is unbelievable! All the talent and goodness wrapped up in gorgeousness.

Chardonnay said...

It's been so much following your blog the past few days! Thanks Caro! The "package" part tonight was pretty cool too!

China Pattern said...

I have been out of commision for awhile so let me offer your grandson a belated Happy First Birthday! Glad to hear that Clay's Broadway return was well received. RL is more than challenging these days so let me just wish you a great week in case I don't get back here.