Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Clay: A Review

I've never featured a theatrical production at There Stands the Glass. I'll gladly make an exception for Clay. I caught the "hip hop musical" last weekend at Kansas City's Copaken Stage. After the Kansas City run ends September 28, Clay opens in New York at Lincoln Center's Duke Theater on October 6.

As this is a music blog, I won't rave about the spectacular performance of Matt Sax. I'll only suggest that Clay feels nothing like a one man show.

Familiar songs by Kanye West and Common filled the theater before the lights went down. That's misleading; Clay's actual music content is far different. I suspect the narrative style of The Streets served as the production's creative blueprint. Mike Skinner's "Blinded By the Lights", with its female vocal hooks acting as a Greek chorus, offers a sense of Clay's tone. Eminem's "Stan" might also have served as an inspiration.

I loved everything about Clay save its anti-climatic conclusion. We're led to believe that the protagonist's first single, the song that is destined to propel Clay and his mentor Sir John to stardom, is a radio hit. The song is just not very convincing.

I suggest that Clay's creative team contact Mike Skinner- quick snap!

Kansas City Click: Tonight's The Beautiful Bodies show at the Beast House sounds like a good time.

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