Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Clay Aiken To Do N.C. Theatre?

N.C. Theatre producer William Jones wants Clay Aiken to star as "Huckleberry Finn" in Jones's production of "Big River" as you will read below.

But maybe Clay would serve Jones better as "Sandy" in the N.C. Theatre's upcoming production of "Grease"?

No ifs about this Effie

Orla Swift, Staff Writer
Broadway producers have wasted no time in scooping up "American Idol" contestants. No sooner does each season end than the theater negotiations begin.
But N.C. Theatre producer William Jones is quicker. The day after LaKisha Jones sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Broadway's "Dreamgirls" on "Idol" last month, Jones says, he was on the phone putting in dibs for her to play Effie in "Dreamgirls" at N.C. Theatre.
That production won't hit the stage until January. But Jones didn't want to tarry, lest he lose an "Idol" Effie.
"She sang the mess out of it," Jones says.
Jones has also been hot on the trail of Raleigh's "Idol" runner-up, Clay Aiken, who played small roles at N.C. Theatre before his "Idol" stardom.
Aiken would be a perfect Huckleberry Finn in "Big River," says Jones, who won't stage it until he can get Aiken.
Why Huck?
Well, first, it's a starring role, which Aiken's stature demands, Jones says. The vocal range is suitable, too. But mostly, it's a personality thing.
"I think he's got a little bit of innocence to him," Jones says. "And I think Huck is an innocent kind of character: Everything's great in the world. Huck is a guy who believes in everybody. He doesn't see black, he doesn't see white. ... He just sees the world as it is. I think Clay could portray that very well."
Jones' pop culture fishing expeditions don't end at "Idol." He's also eyeing NBC's "Grease: You're the One That I Want!" hoping that one or more of the Dannys who don't win the Broadway role will head to Raleigh instead.
N.C. Theatre's "Grease!" opens May 12. Jones won't finish cast until NBC announces its castoffs.
"We're kind of holding out," he says.