MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH LOVE
FROM CLAY AIKEN
Clockwise from center: Clay Aiken, Joan Charischak, Amy Secunda, Valerie Granzo, Caryn Fabrizio, Molly Lazar, Anthony Fabrizio (as "Santa"), Stephen Sporer, Maeve Price, Jake Williams, Jenna Williams, Jacque Williams, Jesse Williams, Alaina DiDonato
Fort Hill Players got a sweet treat for the holidays, when they were asked to
participate in American Idol's Clay Aiken's "JOYFUL NOISE 2005"
holiday tour at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. As part of this tour,
Clay enrolls local community theater groups to fill in supporting roles in his
original vignettes. Caryn Fabrizio, Anthony Fabrizio, Valerie Granzo,
Maeve Price, Amy Secunda, Molly Lazer, Alaina DiDonato, Joan Charischak, Stephen
Sporer and Jake, Jenna, Jacque and Jesse Williams appeared onstage singing in
various city crowd scenes. Exciting doesn't come close to describing the
feeling of meeting Clay, and being on a Broadway stage, with all the elaborate
staging, lighting, and tech crews filling every inch of the performance space
and wings. Clay was charming and welcoming, as he met and shook hands with
each of us. But after that, it was "strictly business," as
everyone rehearsed songs and staging on Friday afternoon, and performed Friday,
Saturday and Sunday nights. FHP was delighted to take a collective curtain call,
as Clay acknowledged the group by name and city, encouraging the audience to
support community theater.
"JOYFUL NOISE 2005" is the sequel to Aiken's first sold-out holiday tour. The 2005 tour features songs from Aiken's platinum-selling Merry Christmas with Love, the best-selling new holiday album of 2004. The song list differs from the 2004 tour and includes a number of songs Clay recorded for the album but did not appear on the actual CD, as well as new arrangements for some traditional favorites.
Another new element of this year's "Joyful Noise" tour is the series of vignettes with a running story line, written by Clay, himself. The vignettes feature two main characters and the supporting roles are filled by local actors.
"I've always loved Christmas music and holiday songs," says Aiken. "And even though there's no place like home for the holidays, I'm looking forward to touring the country with the second installment of the Joyful Noise tour.
Fort Hill Players