It’s Not Over Yet!
It was wonderful to wake up Monday morning and find interesting articles about the Pittsburgh CLO and Grease.
I thought you might want to read the articles, especially the exciting remarks about Clay Aiken.
BWW Review: Pittsburgh CLO’s GREASE Is Still the Word at Benedum Center
by Greg Kerestan
…Director and choreographer Barry Ivan‘s staging, in a licensed production based on the most recent Broadway incarnations (there are about a dozen variant versions of Grease out there, and this is the current most common), has kept the show zipping along, fast and funny and full of energy. Never missing an opportunity for a high-energy dance number, Ivan adds hula-hooping to “We Go Together,” rock-star fantasies to “Those Magic Changes,” and even burlesque to “Shakin’ at the High School Hop.” His talented ensemble, including teens from CLO Academy, is clearly having a hell of a time…
…And don’t think I’ve forgotten Clay Aiken, the big star around whom this production has been marketed. I will fully confess that I had misgivings about Aiken’s casting, expecting one of far too many lifeless “ex-superstar comes out in white clothes, sings like they’re at a concert and then leaves” put-ins that the role of Teen Angel has been subjected to. Gosh and shucks was I wrong. The Clay Aiken of 2019 is an improbable but winning fusion of Billy Porter‘s voice and Martin Short‘s everything else. Making an entrance dressed as Liberace, towering in sequined “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” platform shoes, and mincing wincingly down the stairs towards Frenchie, Clay Aiken has blissfully thrown away any sense of pop-star pride and decorum, and embraced this opportunity to embody a sneering gay-camp nightmare. Towering over the diminutive Barnum thanks to the aforementioned shoes, gasping, scowling and doing double-takes over the glittered-up chorus boys, turning on a dime from patronizing to vicious, all the while singing like an angel… forget Grease, somebody book Clay Aiken a tour as Frank N. Furter in Rocky Horror! (I’ve done almost two decades of Rocky Horror productions, and there are Franks who sing and Franks who pose. Aiken does both.)…
…Would I recommend this show to other people? You bet your sweet pleather-clad ass I would. For all its ups and downs, evolutions and deevolutions over the years, there’s still no fifties nostalgia vehicle like it; All Shook Upand Happy Days the Musical can’t hold a candle. After almost fifty years, Grease is still the word.
If you want to read the entire article, you can click HERE
BWW Review: Pittsburgh CLO’s GREASE a Shoo-Be Doo-Wop She-Bop Good Time
by Dylan Shaffer
“It’s got groove; it’s got meaning. Grease is the time, is the place, is the motion.” For the Pittsburgh CLO, the star-studded cast of Grease rocks the Benedum and sets the tone for a riveting summer season. With Broadway and television actors flooding the stage, the musical has proven to be a shoo-be doo-wop she-bop good time…
…Speaking of things being just right, Clay Aiken as Teen Angel gives a lovely rendition of “Beauty School Dropout.” He receives layered applause as he struts across the stage in his pink suit for his cameo appearance. He makes the role his own and adds nuance to his comedic character’s brief time on stage…
…Aside from the hula-hoops for me, what will be remembered is the sheer talent that came from this production of Grease. From Mr. Aiken to Mr. Adkins, Ms. Martin to Ms. Burns, and everyone in between, the cast of this production transformed an American classic into a unique Pittsburgh experience that will become an individualized memory to all who saw.
To read the entire review, click on GREASE
Both articles are interesting and praised Clay’s performance…I’m not sure that they like the musical Grease.
I hope we hear from Clay soon. I would love to see him in another show….soon!