Clay Aiken – A Valuable Asset

Eric Idle is the talented and funny mastermind who created the very famous Broadway musical Spamalot.  Mr. Idle was a guest on the talk show Good Morning LA and he talked about the history of the show and about how exciting it is that the touring show is about to open in Los Angeles.

Clay Aiken, who starred in the Broadway production of Spamalot as Sir Robin was a talking point in the interview.

There was much excitement for Clay fans when they found out that Clay was going to star on Broadway at the beginning of 2008. Clay fans flocked to the theater from all over the world.  And many of the fans who traveled to the city, saw the show more than once.  The fans were excited and supportive and tried to see Clay before his run was over.  I doubt that any Clay fans will forget Clay’s last appearance when there were so many fans at the stage door in Shubert Alley that Clay took to the roof and gave his fans a kiss and a wave.

It was a surprise to many when Clay rejoined the show for a second run.  The audience for the show was waning and the company was counting on Clay to bring more people and excitement to the show.

Mr. Idle commented in the interview in LA that during the second run, Clay confirmed publicly that he was gay and Mr. Idle seemed sad that some people might have stayed away because if this. But Clay still brought many people, fans and those who had lost track of Clay, to the show.

There were  many  reasons that the audience was smaller for Clay’s second run in Spamalot.

Most of the fans of Clay had already spent their vacation money on the first run.  They just did not have the finances to make another trip across the country.  Many had to enjoy the second run by reading the reports of the fans that lived close by and could attend.

Twelve Broadway shows closed in January, 2009.  The country was hurting and Broadway was feeling the loss.  However Clay left the show with great numbers.

Clay’s closing week in Spamalot was the highest grossing week since 2006.

The official numbers for Clay’s last two weeks on Broadway are:

$968,563 98 – 2nd to last week

$1,068,658 101 – Week ending Jan 4th – This was Clay’s last week.

$811,514 99 – Final curtain for Spamalot.  Clay was not performing that week.

How exciting to see the numbers and recognize that Clay Aiken and his talent were an important part of Spamalot.

Clay Aiken had great reviews for his run in Spamalot and he brought many people to the theater.  He was a valuable asset to the show and should be respected and congratulated for what he brought to Broadway.

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  1. I LOVED seeing Clay Aiken in Spamlot – went for both ‘runs’ and thoroughly enjoyed the show and, especially him, each time.

    And, don’t forget all the money helped to raise for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, by posing for pictures on stage after the show, by signing posters for auction, and for the delightful Spamalot Bear with his and DHP’s autographs which went for a pretty penny a$ well.

    No one can put a price tag on it, but he exciement of seeing him interact with fans at the stage door was incredible.

    Would love to see him on Broadway again. I’d go back in a heartbeat!!

  2. Count me in as another who was fortunate enough to see Clay in both of his runs in Spamalot. I didn’t think I would be able to make his second run, coming from the West Coast to NYC costs a pretty penny, plus tickets, hotel & food *gulp*

    Fortunately, I have wonderful parents who could see how much I wanted to see Clay his closing weekend – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!!!!!

    I ended up seeing 9 shows in total. I would never have gone to New York (too expensive) had Clay not been on Broadway. I would go back again in a heartbeat!!!

  3. Clay Aiken and Spamalot–oh how I wanted to go. Circumstances just made it impossible to travel that far. It wasn’t for lack of trying or wanting! Whatever Clay’s next concert or broadway show is, I will be there, come H or high water!!

  4. I was able to attend the first showing of Spamalot with Clay Aiken, but financially was unable to fly to NY for the 2nd run. A financial decision for me. I would have gone in a heartbeat if it had been possible. I hate for even a person such as Eric Idle to infer that the “Claymates” are homophobic. A few may have left the fandom when Clay announced, but I wish this group think could be left behind as the great majority of Clay’s fans are very accepting and the complete opposite of what he inferred.

  5. Clay Aiken brought great numbers to the ticket sales for Spamalot. It had nothing to do with his sexuality, but with the talent and the man. I am not a “Claymate” and cringe a bit when that term is used. I am a fan of Clay’s, though.

  6. I’m confused. Eric Idle commented in the above video that the Claymates stopped coming to Spam when he came out. Check your facts and the ticket sales. Clay Aiken’s final night sold MORE tickets than the actual final night of Spam. There were still many at the shows, but possibly the financial situation impacted the ticket sales.

  7. I attended Clay’s first run in Spamalot and I’ll never forgot it! The show itself, and the stage door experience afterward, were so exciting! Clay was the only reason I traveled to New York to see Spamalot. I would have loved to have seen the show again later that year, but finances and my work schedule prevented me from doing so. If Clay were to perform in another Broadway show, I’d try to move heaven and earth to be there! I’m very disappointed about Eric Idle insinuating that Clay’s fans abandoned Clay after he came out. I’ve been Clay’s fan since 2003 and I’m still just as much his fan now. Clay was a major reason why ticket sales for Spamalot were as good as they were. Eric Idle should be thanking Clay, not badmouthing him and his fans.

  8. I was one of the fans who attended the first run of Spam and would have loved to go again in the fall. Unfortunately, I was unable to go for financial reasons. I hope Mr. Idle was just being “funny” and doesn’t really believe that people in the real world would stop watching a talented singer/actor simply because he is gay. How sad for all gay performers.

  9. I think he assumed that many quit going because he came out. Some did, but I read over and over on many boards that no one knew that Clay was going back for a second run and they spent all of their Clay money on the first run and could not afford to go the second run.

    If I could have, I would have been there without a doubt.

  10. Clay was wonderful in Spamalot. Even though he was brought in to build up sales, he worked hard at learning the role of Sir Robin–his co-actors spoke highly of him from the very beginning. Appearing in eight shows a week would be very tiring work with only one day off per week.

    A trip to NYC and to see two shows can easily run $1000 with airfare, hotel, meals, tickets and other small expenditures. This is a lot different than buying an $85 ticket to go see a concert nearby or even to travel to 2 or 3 concerts and spend a couple nights. Most people didn’t know Clay would be back in the fall and spent their travel money for the first run. The economics of going on more than one trip to NYC speak for themselve.

  11. I was lucky enough to go in the spring and then again in the fall when Clay was back in Spamalot. But, I know of so many fans who went many times in the spring not knowing that Clay would be back. If they had known he was coming back in the fall, they might have reserved one of their many trips for then rather than going so many times in the spring.

    I will always be grateful that I was able to go back. Clay Aiken was just outstanding in that role! He was responsible for a huge number of ticket sales and for a great deal of money that was raised for Broadway Cares. Even the local restaurants benefited from his presence.

    I hope to see him back on Broadway some day. If he is, the fans will be there!!

  12. I and my four friends could only afford (time and money wise)to travel to NYC from AZ. to see Clay in Spamalot once, but when we were there we went to four shows and each time it was better than the previous one, Clay was such a delight!

    I also had my dream come true and got my picture taken with him, also the money we spent was for a good cause.

  13. Eric Idle is a great talent, but in this instance, he didn’t know what he was talking about. Clay was still a draw and us fans that didn’t go, didn’t go because the economy was bad and Christmas was coming up.

  14. Musicfan,

    Thnx for starting the dialogue. I only saw “Spamalot” through the recaps of others, but I know Clay Aiken brought much excitement — and a bundle of dollars — into the Shubert Theatre.

    Happy Fourth of July!


  15. Possibly the box office heard some of that when disgruntled fans tried to return tickets. I doubt that they would know when fans bought tickets on line.

    I did make 2 trips the first run and 1 trip the second run. The end of the year is always busier for me. Nevertheless when I went in early November, midweek, there were quite a few fans in the first few rows and they appeared to all know each other. I didn’t really see a difference from the spring.

    I would also go to see Clay on Broadway again as would my husband, who loved Spamalot and thought Clay was great.

  16. Fortunately, I had the chance to go during the second run. Enough of kicking my own butt for missing the first run made sure I didn’t miss the second one. As it was, I went for the weekend, stayed with a fellow fan, met lots of others and went for the standing room on Saturday night and great seats for the Sunday matinee. I loved it so much that I wish finances would have allowed me many more visits. NY City is very expensive, even if staying with a friend. I am sure that a very small percentage of former fans did not go because of Clay’s announcement but most of us couldn’t have cared less though, were happy for him and I think the numbers showed it in the final analysis. I read somewhere online that without Clay, Spam would have closed in September as the crowds dropped right off after he left in May. If it wasn’t such grueling work, I would love for Clay to go on a Spamalot tour so everyone could get to see him as our beloved Sir Robin.

  17. Clay was just amazing as Sir Robin in Spamalot. He brought in lots of money for the show and Broadway Cares. I didn’t get to go but I never missed a night of all the video’s of backstage and believe me it was exciting.

    He also got his picture in the famous Sardi’s Restaurant and that is quite the accomplishment. I am sure that anyone would love to have Clay back on Broadway in a minute. If he ever goes back to a Broadway run I would be very happy and try in any way to get there this time around.

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