Clay Aiken – “…Ultimately Moved Me”


From the INDY Week

A loopy musical send-up with a heart: this DROWSY CHAPERONE’s no sleeper

This production marks Clay Aiken’s return to the site of some of his earliest stage work, well before the days ofAmerican Idol and his subsequent leap to pop stardom. After a bit of digging, I found that I saw—and reviewed, for the News & Observer—the 1996 N.C. Theatre production of 1776 (in which he appeared in the modest supporting roles of A Painter and A Leather Apron), and the company’s 1997 iteration of Annie (in which he made the chorus).

Since neither of those reviews made any mention of the budding thespian and future pop star, I kind of need to make sure that doesn’t happen this time out.

 Aiken surprised me, slowly turning a role that so easily qualifies as a stereotype itself—a somewhat catty musical theater fiend, of ambiguous sexual orientation—into a character whose wit, insight and increasing poignancy ultimately moved me. Though his makeup needed further tweaks to reflect the true age of the Man in Chair, I found I cared a lot more about Aiken’s character, under Hushion’s direction, than the lead who played to the same house in the professional touring version in 2008.

In these hands, we spend some time in a small room with a man who is—and, suddenly, isn’t—quite alone. Bette Davis was right when she once observed that old age is not for sissies. In this production, a daffy musical comedy—and a vivid world that reconstitutes whenever a phonograph record plays—provides an aging man with hidden, formidable resources. Hushion and Aiken find the heart in The Drowsy Chaperone. I’m pleased to report that its pulse is still quite strong.

The entire review is long and detailed.  Please visit the site and give some props to the review and reviewer.

You can see the entire article at  INDY

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  1. This was a great review of the show. The show is so wonderfully zany and yet pulls at our heart strings at the same time.I am so glad I was able to see the show! Thanks for posting the link to the review and for posting the parts of the review that showcase Clay's wonderful portrayal of his character.

  2. I am loving all the positive reviews Clay is getting. I sure hope his performance in this production leads to a staring role on Broadway in the near future.

  3. Just saw Friday nite show. WOW. It was wonderful on so many levels. I see the sadness because I live alone also. I kind of interpret the ending as a death scene.(Think about it.) Anyway it was fun. I enjoyed how his character knew so much about the actors just like we all know so much about him! It was very much worth the trip from MN. (Besides getting away from the still frozen lakes in northern MN) I plan to see the matinee tomorrow.

  4. I envy the ones who were able to see the show, will the show be able to be seen on Utube like Clay's concerts? if would be great! (wishful thinking), anyway, that was a nice review, Clay's a great performer, love his accent. I've watched the video of the highlights of the show many times, wish there was more. Thanks Musicfan xox.

  5. This was a very positive review not only about the play, but about Clay. Of course Clay's fans have know this for 10 years! He is one talented guy!

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