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Clay Aiken as Joseph

dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 06:35pm
Just got home from seeing Clay Aiken in the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. "Hit or miss" is the best way I can think of to describe it. What's good is very good, and what's not is... well.

The overall production quality is fantastic. The sets, costumes, lighting and choreography are bright, colorful and fun, as they should be. As far as visual appeal, the show definitely lived up to expectations. The ensemble cast was also very strong. Save for the absence of Dan Levine as Naphtali, I liked this ensemble every bit as much as the one in the North Shore Music Theatre production in 2010. Their comedic timing was perfect, the singing and dancing were highly entertaining, and overall they were one of the show's two high points.

The lowest point of the show, for me, was Keala Settle as the narrator. While she is a talented singer, she was far too over-the-top. That character is supposed to be a school teacher, not some Aretha Franklin wannabe. Any time she was not the center of attention, she'd be engaging in some kind of behavior that drew your attention away from where it was supposed to be. She came across as though she was trying WAY too hard, and coming from a Tony-nominated actress, I was disappointed. Her performance was far too overstated and came across as obnoxious throughout most of the show.

Clay Aiken's portrayal of Joseph was more or less what I expected it to be. Vocally, I was actually less impressed than I expected to be. I've seen Clay in concert twice in the past, and this was underwhelming compared to those shows. His vocal high point was during "Close Every Door To Me," although even that paled in comparison to other actors I've seen play the role.

My biggest problem with Clay's performance was that it was very much on the surface. I spent the entire show thinking of him as Clay Aiken, not as Joseph. There was no obvious emotional connection and while Clay went through the motions just fine, with only one minor glitch when one shackle fell off directly after the end of "Close Every Door," there was just something missing. I never felt like he believed what he was performing. Sometimes, he came across as though he was almost bored. He spent much of "Close Every Door" looking down at the floor, which destroyed any chance for audience connection. During the group numbers, while everyone else was dancing and laughing and appearing to have a good time, Clay was often standing awkwardly in the middle of the group and looking like he wasn't quite sure what to do. At first that had a certain charm, but it got old quickly. Also, there was the matter of his vocals. They were not what I have come to expect. Quite often, he went into this weird falsetto that was just not well suited to him at all. More than once, it sounded quite strained, and had he gone even a full octave lower, it would have been more enjoyable. Clay sounds best in full voice at mid-range, and this show has plenty of opportunity to utilize that... and it didn't.

The show's saving grace was Matthew Ragas as the Pharaoh. Of every production I've seen, both in person and on video, his was the best performance by far that I have ever seen of that character. His vocals were spot on, the dancing and stage presence were fantastic, and he completely stole the show every time he stepped onstage. What little stage time he had made the trip well worthwhile.

Overall, this wasn't the worst show I've ever seen. But it certainly wasn't the best, either. There was plenty of potential, but with different leads, it would have been a much more enjoyable and much less awkward show.

Updated On: 8/4/13 at 06:35 PM
Kelly2 Profile Photo
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 06:41pm
Really makes you wish they would've kept the coproduction with the Fulton, a few friends saw it and said it was wonderful. I'm sad to have missed it since I haven't seen a good production of this show in awhile, doesn't sound like this is it.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 06:44pm
Yeah, it was underwhelming. The only production I've seen live was at the North Shore Music Theatre in 2010 with Anthony Fedorov as Joseph, and that was fantastic. This one had a great ensemble, but the leads were weak.
Mikers Profile Photo
Mikers
Leading Actor
joined:6/25/05
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 07:44pm
Yeah this Anthony Federov fan joined BWW just to post her negative review and bash Clay in the same role AFed played 2 years ago. Yeah I'm not the least bit cynical LMAO.
Tink2 Profile Photo
Tink2
Stand-by
joined:8/7/08
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 07:49pm
I did notice that they just joined today. Suspicious much?
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 07:49pm
I'm not bashing anyone, did you actually read the review? There were things I liked, and things I didn't. Overall, yes, I liked Anthony better in the role. That has nothing to do with who I'm a bigger fan of, and for the record I have been a fan of Clay for many years as well. You don't have to like everything a person does in order to be a fan. Actually, I have been reading BWW for years, and joined to post this review because a friend asked me to. Way to be a troll, though.
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 07:50pm
Tinhatter much? I just joined today because, as I said before, someone suggested I post my review here. I've always hated message boards, and this reiterates the reason why. God forbid I should have an opinion, and God forbid I don't think Clay ****s rainbows.
Mikers Profile Photo
Mikers
Leading Actor
joined:6/25/05
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 07:53pm
Clay Aiken as Joseph

Here's a real review.




7:27 PM

Review: Ogunquit Playhouse's 'Joseph' a crowd-pleaser

By STEVE FEENEY

Styles often change, but one particular coat has a record of staying fashionable, even in the warmer months. The outerwear in question here is an important prop in an early work by the legendary team of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" emerged on the world's stages in the wake of the creative duo's later success with "Jesus Christ Superstar." Expanded and revised along the way, "Joseph" has become a favorite for theater companies and theatergoers at every level.

Over the years, pop idols like David Cassidy and Donny Osmond have signed on to the cast to bring the show home to mass audiences as well as add another stage appearance to their careers. Now, the Ogunquit Playhouse has landed former "American Idol" sensation Clay Aiken, who has some Broadway experience, to add star power for its production of the show.

Aiken does fine by his title role, but the show owes its strength equally to a sterling cast that gets to loosen up and fly high in some of the very entertaining set pieces and ensemble numbers. All in all, this "Dreamcoat" fits well without need of major alterations. It's a show that anyone with an ear and an eye for top-quality song and dance will enjoy.

Aiken generally adds a low-key demeanor to his role as the biblical dreamer who believes he is destined for greatness. At Sunday's matinee, his big numbers were delivered in a singing voice with range enough to connect on both those somber moments ("Close Every Door") and the inspiring ones ("Any Dream Will Do"). Even when he was being tough ("Who's the Thief?"), he stayed within his character's gentle strength to get at the show's fundamental message of perseverance and forgiveness.

Broadway powerhouse Keala Settle gained applause for several songs sung in the role of the story's Narrator. Easily reaching the back of the hall and perhaps all the way to downtown Ogunquit with her soaring voice, she was a dynamic presence throughout.

Numbers that mixed various genres and eras of music and dance were what will likely be most memorable about this production.

An early "Hoedown" piece was a hoot, with the men playing Joseph's wayward brothers singing and dancing up a strorm. Later, an appearance from the Pharoah (Matthew Ragas) evolved into an Elvis impersonation that had everyone cracking up.

Craig Laurie and Nicholas Ward stood out in hilarious numbers inspired, respectively, by French balladry and Carribean calypso. These and other numbers were ensemble as well as individual gems for which director and choreographer Jayme McDaniel deserves much credit.

The only negative might be an unnecessary "Megamix" tacked on at the end that briefly reprises most of the show's big numbers as if the next stop was Las Vegas. Notwithstanding this quibble, if you've never seen this show or have only seen community or high school productions in the past, it is well worth it to make a trip down to Ogunquit to see how well the pros do it.

dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 07:57pm
I'm sorry, I guess I missed the part where a difference of opinion made my review less "real." I'm more than willing to post a photo of my ticket if you feel the need to see proof I was actually there.
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:04pm
On second thought, I have nothing to be ashamed of because I only spoke my mind, so I'm putting the review back. If you don't like it, no one is forcing you to read it.
Updated On: 8/4/13 at 08:04 PM
Mikers Profile Photo
Mikers
Leading Actor
joined:6/25/05
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:07pm
Joining just to post your negatives is called trolling.
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:08pm
Perhaps you ALSO missed the part where I posted plenty of positives. They just weren't necessarily about Clay. And if you had bothered to read the whole thing, you would see that there WERE aspects of his performance that I liked.
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:11pm
Wow, Mikers, taking it a bit too personally? Is it odd that he joined just to post a review? Yes, but it's not like he either trashed it or sang its praises -- so what would his objective be?

dblue -- you post whatever the heck you want.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:12pm
I'm a she, but thanks anyway.

I just joined today because, as I said before, I hate message boards. A friend suggested I post my review here as well as on my Facebook because not many people here had actually seen the show, and most were only basing their "reviews" on their opinion of Clay.
Mikers Profile Photo
Mikers
Leading Actor
joined:6/25/05
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:15pm
You can tell how badly you hate message boards. You can't shut up. LMAO
FindingNamo Profile Photo
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:17pm
Yikes, local reviewers and their awful ledes. My goodness, Steve Feeney.

dblue, my hat's off to anybody who could sit through more than one production of this show. You are something like a war correspondent in my eyes.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:19pm
Mikers -- do you ever post about anything besides Clay? You like him, great -- don't expect everyone else to.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:21pm
dblue, thanks for the very even handed review.

Mikers, as you've admitted yourself in previous threads, you are a huge Clay Aitken fan. dblue's comments are not massively derogatory towards him - she thinks he has performed better, is all. It is not always the case that everyone who disagrees with you is wrong - and it's perfectly possible you would see his performance and enjoy it more. That's the beauty of opinions - as long as you can justify them well, they can often conflict whilst still being valid!
Mikers Profile Photo
Mikers
Leading Actor
joined:6/25/05
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:22pm
Clay Aiken as Joseph



Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

(Or the Bible goes Disco)

A Review by Jason Pendergast



As summer in Ogunquit hits high season, so does the camp factor at the Playhouse. I would have thought cornball productions like “The Rat Pack” or “Young Frankenstein” would have won the title. Little did I know that the winner (so far) is a play based on--- a Bible story! “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” opens this week and based on the enthusiasm I saw on Thursday nights, fans of this camp classic (and its American Idol star, Clay Aiken) are ecstatic.

Now, it is has been many years since this Gayogunquit reviewer has been to Sunday School so my memory of the tale of Joseph is a bit hazy. Set many, many years before the birth of Christ, this play (narrated by vocal talents of Keala Settle) tells the story of Jacob, a powerful (and apparently polygamous) leader of Israel, who has (at least) 12 sons. One of them, the studious, sensitive Joseph (Clay Aiken) is his obvious favorite. This does not sit well with the other 11 and when daddy Jacob gives his #1 son a rather flamboyant, gay pride looking trench coat, they plot a “Cain and Able” on him.

Stripped of his beloved coat and sent off as a slave, Joseph uses his psychic (and vocal) abilities to impress person after person he comes in contact with. His talents are soon noticed by businessmen and royalty alike, and Joseph becomes a high advisor to the Pharaoh after he is able to decipher his highness’s dreams. (This rock and roll Elvis number is one of the highlights of the show- Matthew Ragas really nails his Vegas-style Presley!) Thanks to Joseph, Egypt is saved from famine and he is given a royal title….just in time for his brothers to come begging for help...

As said before, this take on a Bible story can’t be taken seriously (even animal lovers will laugh aloud during the “death” of the goat/sheep prop!). The cast is clearly enjoying themselves. Aiken plays the role as a subdued, sensitive soul and comes across as very likable. The “evil” brothers add enough goof ball charm to want us to see them be acquitted of their crimes. (Nicholas Ward had the audience whipped up into a frenzy with his Benjamin Calypso number.) The song and dance numbers also give the show a real feel-good charm that helps us forget the serious nature of the source material. Also, the costumes look like something Elton John would have designed after an all night LSD bender- in other words, the laughs are fast and furious. Think what would have happened if ABBA and Charlton Heston’s Moses had a love child and that should sum up this light, feel good romp!

Jane2 Profile Photo
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:25pm
why do you have a toddler name?
<-----craves juicy pizza
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:25pm
Actually, on the whole I did enjoy the show. The production quality is fantastic. I just think some different casting (by the way, NOT including Anthony Fedorov, as he is on to other things and is in a band now) would have made for a more enjoyable show. As far as the ensemble, and the feel of the show as a whole, it was fun, and I did not dislike it. There were just some very awkward moments, and a truly irritating performance by the narrator. My opinion. I realize not everyone is going to share it, but if you're going to tear me apart because I don't feel the same way you do over a show you haven't even seen, I can't say I can take you very seriously.
darreyl102 Profile Photo
darreyl102
Broadway Legend
joined:8/23/08
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:27pm
@ Mikers, what do you expect- posts that are all smiles, sunshine and lollipops? Really, The review pointed out good and bad in the show- just because you don’t agree with someone gives you the right to bash them? Seems like your aching for some Aiken. And posting what you call a “Real” review means little, I have seen many reviews from reputable people that praised stuff that I hated or disliked in a show- it’s all a matter of openion! in short- Calm the **** down! LOL
Darreyl with an L!
dramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:29pm
dblue -- don't waste your time explaining yourself. Mikers is just a Claymation fanboy. I will never understand how your NOT liking Aiken's performance makes him irate. (Especially since I doubt he's even seen it.)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Mikers Profile Photo
Mikers
Leading Actor
joined:6/25/05
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:29pm
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As usual, the Ogunquit playhouse has put on a superior production with Joseph and the amazing technicolor dream coat. Clay Aiken was Joseph and he was fantastic--perfect vocal range for this role. choreography was outstanding. not a week cast member in the bunch--in fact, an extremely strong cast across all roles. As a Joseph fanatic, i have to say this was an exceptionally great production, and once again OP proves they deserve the name "Broadway at the Beach" because of the top notch production values. OP productions are often better than the national tours!
dblue236
Stand-by
joined:8/4/13
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:30pm
Yeah, I have quickly learned what kind of person Mikers is. It's all good.
Mikers Profile Photo
Mikers
Leading Actor
joined:6/25/05
Clay Aiken as Joseph
Posted: 8/4/13 at 08:32pm
Loving all the Troll apologists. She joins BWW and starts a completely unnecessary thread just to pump up A-Fed and downgrade Clay. I call her out on it and everyone jumps to the troll's defense. Typical BWW bullying behavior.

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