Aiken Reveals Backstage Secrets of 'Spamalot'

Posted February 28, 2008

— From singer to actor, Raleigh native Clay Aiken is taking a spin on Broadway in "Monty Python's Spamalot.” He plays several roles, but mainly Sir Robin.

Backstage at the Shubert Theatre recently, Aiken walked by the Wall of Fame.

“I have not made my way on here yet. Apparently, I’m not quite there,” he said.

Aiken might not be there yet, but another Raleigh native is.

“Lauren Kennedy of the Kennedys of the Kennedy Theatre downtown. She was the Second Lady of the Lake in Spamalot,” he said.

Aiken goes through several costume changes during the play, but he keeps ripping one in particular.

“Literally, they’ve had to modify things to make it work for me, because they’ve never had someone dance quite as well as me,” he joked.

So, where is the rip?

“Right in the crotch, as a matter of fact,” he said.

Wigs are another part of his costume. He wears three, and they’re all made out of real hair.

“Look! Even my wig is going gray from all the stress. Look! Do you see that?” he laughed.

Aiken’s dressing room is “sooo spacious,” he joked.

Besides the wigs, costumes and dressing room, Aiken says theater is tough work.

“I’ve dropped a line here or there, and it’s always, you know, quite interesting when it just gets silent on stage. And I think to myself, ‘Is someone supposed to be talking? Oh! It’s me! I’m supposed to say my thing,’” he said.

Clay's big solo comes in the second half. Sometimes it's hard to breathe, he said.

“Whenever the male ensemble starts singing, I stop singing, because I have to breathe. And I can’t breathe if I keep singing, so I’m just mouthing it. The secret’s revealed,” he laughed.

One of Aiken’s fans said she has seen “Spamalot” 17 times.

“(It’s the) funniest show on Earth, and Clay is fantastic,” said Evelyn Clasicas.

“He’s funny,” said Lindsay Reiss. “I thought this role was perfect for him.”

The role was modified a bit for Aiken, with a reference to the launch of his career. He took a shortcut to Broadway and said he was initially worried about how the other actors would treat him.

“Everybody’s been really great. And not one person, and I’d tell you if there (were), I’d tell you their first, last name and address. And nobody has been anything less than wonderful,” he said.

Aiken’s last performance in “Spamalot” is May 4.


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  • boots Feb 29, 2008

    How refreshing to have an update on a celebrity who isn't in the news because of DUI's, entering rehab repeatedly or neglecting parental duties.
    I wish Clay continued success.

  • Air Biscuit Feb 29, 2008

    bettys1957, and every one else who is right by agreeing with ME (just kidding--couldn't resist).

    I mainly post criticism of WRAL and Clay because it's fun to watch everyone get so upset...I love the two-faced hypocrisy...these same people will rip George Bush to shreds, or they will tear into Mike Huckabee for having a standard of behavior, but they can't handle their precious Clay being taunted (perhaps taunted a second time).

    Clay is talented, and he is from North Carolina, and WRAL loves him...that's's just fun watching all you folks get your undies in a wad...

    there's no real harm intended on my part.

    I'm glad someone knows what an air biscuit is.

  • Bozo652002 Feb 29, 2008

    Air Biscuit: (first of all, great name!) I agree that you should be (and are) allowed to criticize. People get REAL touchy about that subject (for some unknown reason).

    Reel Hillbilly: Hilarious!!

  • macdonald2552 Feb 28, 2008

    Thanks so much for your indepth interview. I think Clay is an amazing entertainer it was lots of fun to see all the backstage workings of the theater. Also, I really enjoyed the full 16 minute interview about his new CD. It's awesome that he finally has some control over his music. Can't wait to hear it. Linda Loveland is an amazing interviewer.

  • ncteacher22 Feb 28, 2008

    Eeewwwww! Did he really need to tell us he keeps splitting his crotch? That was way too much information !!!!

  • persica36 Feb 28, 2008

    I've followed Clays career since he was on American Idol. There's a reason his fans say "We came for the Voice, We stay for the Man". Not only is Clay an amazing singer/entertainer, but he has integrity and a huge heart. There's nothing quite like seeing Clay live in concert, when he not only sings but interacts with the fans. He's very witty with a sometimes slightly bawdy sense of humor. For those who say negative things, I question why you spend time even reading the stories or watching videos. As for Clays fans, we've most likely seen and read everything there is available since every interview/appearance/concert can be found on a few sites. So I'd say we have a better frame of reference as to the kind of man Clay is. A Unicef Ambassador, co-founder of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, being appointed to the presidential committee for people with intellectual disabilities, Clay isn't Just an amazing entertainer.

  • Justin T. Feb 28, 2008

    Aiken fans, you can enjoy this fact: The few negative posts that you read here are a miracle! Golo will not approve even the tamest criticism of Clay Aiken.

    My post earlier did not make it through despite its very tame content. I'll bet you 90% of the negative comments do not make it if the one I sent did not.

    I feel if WRAL posts a non-story about Clay, we should at least have a chance to criticize him.

    Response from GOLO:
    Criticisms of Clay Aiken has been allowed. What our moderators have not allowed are some of the degrading comments that we would not allow on *any* story, about *any* person. You can find our GOLO guidelines here:

    Angela Connor, GOLO Managing Editor

  • Space Mountain Feb 28, 2008

    Two words for this story...hated it!

  • simracer68 Feb 28, 2008

    "With these negative posts I sense a bit of jealousy."

    Has nothing to do with jealousy and more to do with nausea. I'm sick of hearing about the Idol loser, local boy done good or not. In fact, I don't like Idol and think that "reality" TV like it is a bane to our TV experience. Thankfully, we have 100 other channels on the satellite these days. Idol and Brother and all that mess have driven me away from network TV. IF WRAL didn't cover other, more legitimate news stories and have a great weather team, I'd never watch network TV again. Life is real enough for me day to day, I don't need to come home and have "real life" mess thrown at me all night too. I also don't feel the innate need to live vicariously through some local pop star wannabe.

    You want to see a singing contest, go to your local high school or college talent shows and stop making Simon Cowell wealthy. REALLY support you locals!

  • just trying Feb 28, 2008

    Nah, some people really hate him.