Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monty Python's Spamalot with surprise guest

Tonight I went to Spamalot, my first Broadway show, and I have to say that we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Part of the fun came from being with my beloved wife, without a doubt.

As we rounded the corner of the theatre, we knew little about the show. We knew it was based loosely on the "Holy Grail" movie from Monty Python and that Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria had been in the Broadway debut. What we didn't know was that the big name in the show for right now was... Clay Aiken.

Krista and I laughed about that and she assured me that she hadn't known. I'm not a big American Idol or Clay Aiken fan. A lot of people in the audience must have been because they applauded and screamed every time he said his lines without messing up. He's famous, I guess. As the guy next to us in the theatre told his father, "Clay Aiken's the Announcer-Guy on American Idol."

The first act of Spamalot left me grinning. It's funnier than the film it's based on, honestly. "The Song That Goes Like This" kept me laughing, as well as our heroes and their encounter with the Lady in the Lake and the Laker Girls. I could have done without much of the second act.

I would have gladly gone my entire life without hearing or seeing performed the songs "You Won't Succeed on Broadway" and "His Name Is Lancelot." Attempting bravely to balance these two travesties out was "I'm All Alone" and watching the Black Knight get hacked to bits on stage, followed by the ferocious rabbit. Please, someone, let somebody else read the Holy Hand Grenade instructions instead of Aiken. It's outside his range, I think.

All that to say, we had a great time. They closed the mezzanine for some reason and moved us to better seats in the balcony. Oh, and then we went for dessert afterwards and saw P Diddy. Yeah, apparently he was watching "Lion King" and fought his way out through his fans afterwards with his entourage. So we saw Clay Aiken and P Diddy in one night. Life in NYC, I guess.

Good night, everyone! See you tomorrow.


  1. Anonymous12:55 AM

    that was a cute review.
    I saw Spamalot last year. I am a Clay Aiken fan but I didn't scream or anything when he was on stage. I kind of found that embarrassing for him as well as the fans of his. Oh well.
    The show I went to Hannah (forgot her last name shoot) was the lady of the lake and was amazing. I was wondering how her replacement is.
    I wish I could see more Broadway shows but they are just to expensive.

  2. Anonymous7:04 AM

    First of all, Clay is a consummate professional-he does NOT 'mess up' his lines. I have been to many Broadway shows-musical and not-and Clay is one of the best performers I have seen. His voice, acting, comedic timing (and yes, his dancing!!) is impeccable. Clay plays THREE roles and uses a different British accent for each one. I didn't recognize him, at first, as the monk. He was THAT good. This is Clay's SECOND round in Spamalot. He was first in it Jan 18-May 4 of this year. He was asked to come back to the show. He will be at the Shubert until Jan. 4, 2009. His 'send-off' May 4th was the 'biggest one of any actor' some of the security has ever seen on Broadway. Up to a thousand people were in the alley way and Clay had to say his good-byes from the roof of the theatre instead of his usual stage door autograph signing and picture taking he usually did just about every night he performed. Hannah Waddington was Lady of the Lake during the Jan-May performances and she is fantastic. Sorry she is no longer in the show; as my husband and I are going to see it next week. (What was that? 'Clay Aiken is the Announcer guy on American Idol'?????? That person is an idiot - Ryan Seacrest is the Emcee of AI-Clay was the WINNER (YES HE WAS) of American Idol 2nd Season. ) You can see Clay's performance in the 'You Won't Succeed On Broadway' scene and David Hyde Pierce's. Compare them. Even though I thought David was great (first time I saw the show)-it wasn't until I saw Clay doing the same role that I realized how much better Clay is. Clay just doesn't play the piano as well as David! LOL (And he will admit it wholeheartedly!!) You may not know this, reviewer, but Clay has performed on stage many times before. He DOES have experience.

  3. Anonymous8:30 AM

    Anonymous 7:04:

    It seems to me that Clay has told us many times NOT to defend him. Everybody has a right to their opinion whether you like it or not. So chill!!

    BTW. IMO I think he's great.

  4. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Anonymous @ 7:04 AM
    It's Claymats like you that give the rest of us Clay fans a bad name.

    Sorry Matt, most of us Clay fans are not so over the top. I'm glad you had a good time though. Spamalot is a hoot, and I agree it is funnier than the Holy Grail.

  5. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Matt, you are too funny .... "Clay is that you?"

    I saw Clay in Spam & liked the show & liked Clay in it. He was good in my opinion. Your opinion is different .... to each his own.

    When I was in NYC I also got to see Wicked .... got great seats at the last minute .... online the night before I left for NYC.

    I had more fun at Spamalot tho & btw I liked both acts & it is too bad you did not get to see Hannah Waddingham as Lady of the Lake ... she owned that part.

  6. Anonymous8:42 AM

    Sorry, one more thing .... you saw P Diddy .... I saw John Travolta filming a movie .... yes, just another day in NYC.

  7. Kind of fun to have so many Clay fans innundating the blog today. Hi, Clay fans. I had no idea you guys had this vast network of "claymates" (is that the right term?).

    Anyway... I'd just point out that I didn't have a major issue with Aiken's performance, I just didn't think it was over the top great like I would expect on a Broadway show. But what do I know, maybe he wasn't feeling well or something. And he wasn't show-stoppingly terrible, I thought he was fine. Not great, but fine. Like I said, still had a great time and enjoyed myself immensely. Glad to know there's a variety of Clay-fans out there and a wide spectrum of "normal" to "fanatic." Nice to meet you all, and you're always welcome to come by here at BHR. Feel free to mention Clay whenever you like, as we encourage people to share whatever strange quirks they have openly here. :)

  8. Anonymous11:12 PM

    well GOSH (to quote the king) not everyone thinks Clay is a seasoned Broadway actor ..
    but on here some sure think he is LOL

    I'm glad you got to enjoy the show - all the hooting and hollering when he is on stage can be annoying ... ask me

  9. Wow! The crazies do really come out when you bag on Clay Aiken! Wrong move Mikilatos

  10. Anonymous8:48 AM

    The picture of Clay choking a certain animal makes me a little nervous.