Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show
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Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show

Ruben & Clay's First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show NYC Reviews and Tickets

(116 Reviews)
Members say
Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy, Funny, Disappointing

About the Show

Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken are reuniting live on Broadway — to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of their record-setting “American Idol” finale with a Christmas spectacular full of theatrics, music, and laughter.

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Member Reviews (116)

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677 Reviews | 190 Followers
Fluffy, Self-indulgent, Mediocre, Schmaltzy, Good singing

See it if you miss your hometown community theater Xmas pageant; you yearn for the cornball, mawkish holiday specials of Como, Williams, Crosby, et al

Don't see it if you have a cheese intolerance; u hope for an Idol concert [There's precious little singing by the two]; u expect a scintilla of wit or soul. Read more

655 Reviews | 129 Followers
Enchanting, Quirky, Great singing, Funny, Cheesy

See it if Like a variety show all about Christmas.

Don't see it if Do not like Christmas, hear music about it Read more

505 Reviews | 729 Followers
Entertaining, Great singing, Refreshing, Fluffy, Joyful

See it if you're a fan of Clay's and Ruben's, enjoy Christmas carols, or need something light and joyful in these difficult, complicated times.

Don't see it if you're going to take it too seriously. It's theatre, but it's not meant to be Hamilton, so relax.

468 Reviews | 121 Followers
Good, cheesy fun and lots of charm

See it if Ruben & Clay play off each other well. Their ensemble of 3 girls and 2 boys are wonderful singers and dancers. Lots of Christmas songs.

Don't see it if Loads of fun, though not top Broadway production values. There is a religious aspect to some of the program. Bway debuts for Ken and Julian!

470 Reviews | 91 Followers
Entertaining, Cheesy, Fun, Fluffy, Cliched

See it if you want this to be EXACTLY what you’d expect: cheesy, hokey, 70s-variety-show-style holiday corn, featuring the Idol duo America fell for.

Don't see it if you’re expecting a Broadway caliber show. This is like your hometown dinner theater’s lovable if hastily thrown together Christmas pageant. Read more

402 Reviews | 86 Followers
Great singing, Entertaining, Cheesy, Family-friendly

See it if you want to get in the Christmas spirit and don't mind some cheesy holiday fun. Singing was great, some funny parts, other elements lacking

Don't see it if you're expecting a grand spectacle. It does come across cheap for a Broadway production, and the mad libs portion was a bit of a disaster.

394 Reviews | 70 Followers
Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent

See it if you just had to catch up with Ruben Studdard & Clay Aiken 15 years later after seeing them on the TV show American Idol.

Don't see it if you were able to get tickets to any other musical on Broadway. Read more

384 Reviews | 81 Followers
Ambitious, Cliched, Quirky, Fluffy, Indulgent

See it if If you enjoy holiday musical reviews and a fan of American Idol . They tried hard.

Don't see it if Do not see if you expect a well produced musical , this is holiday fluff with sparkling lights.

Critic Reviews (17)

The New York Times
December 11th, 2018

"Studdard and Aiken try to upstage each other in a showbiz arms race that’s cheeseball, and very funny...Aiken has an impish mien and a quick wit. Studdard is laid back to the point of impassivity, and his no-presence presence makes his singing all the more stunning...The two stars get solid support from the game cast...Unfortunately, it backloads all the sentimental stuff after intermission, and has a tougher time dealing with the reflective, spiritual side of the holidays."
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The Hollywood Reporter
December 11th, 2018

"A reunion for which no one was clamoring...Writers Arpino and Joyce vainly attempt to have their stars (and their five backup singers, who should be earning battle pay for gamely managing to smile throughout) deliver comedy sketches as well as holiday music. But the material is truly cringeworthy...While Aiken has some decent comic chops, Studdard is simply adrift, delivering his lines in a stiff monotone....It's a shame, because both Aiken and Studdard have lovely voices."
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December 11th, 2018

"Pads the proceedings with intentionally cheesy sketch comedy, corny banter and, more successfully, thoughtful personal nostalgia...Neither Aiken nor Studdard have anywhere close to the comedic chops needed to pull off something like this...Musically, 'Ruben & Clay' is on surer footing, with Studdard’s silky R&B and gospel takes on the holiday tunes mixing very well with Aiken’s more Broadway-belting style...and the two make for fine carolers (as do their perky back-up revelers)."
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December 12th, 2018

“An evening of skits and scenes, performed by two artists who won the hearts of 40 million people 15 years ago...Thankfully, time has not withered their voices, and their personal performance styles complement each other onstage...There is an astounding amount of padding within this show's inexplicable two-plus hour duration. Similarly, the transitions are sloppy, the design is cartoonish, and the painfully unfunny.”
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December 12th, 2018

"Sweet and sincere, modestly-produced entertainment...Despite the show's ‘American Idol’ pedigree, the style here is enthused musical comedy belting and everyone gets a moment or two to shine...Aiken is the more energized star...displaying a fine knack for comedy. Studdard is low-key...but he's definitely in his element...beautifully crooning in his soft r&b style...’Ruben & Clay’ doesn't claim to be sophisticated or flashy...but it's sincere and pleasant."
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New York Stage Review
December 11th, 2018

"Aiken is the far more animated performer...Studdard seems markedly lower in energy...but his gospel-style baritone vocals remain downy in sound. Their musicianship is more about bravura singing than interpreting the sentiments of songs; they shoot for the big, lasting notes rather than explore any emotional nuances within the lyrics...There tends to be a muchness about such performances when they mostly involve vocal flash while offering scant heart.”
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Broadway News
December 11th, 2018

“While Studdard and Aiken still possess impressive voices, they may have been a bit late in sending out invitations to their reunion party...Their comic banter mostly has the strained and saggy feeling of, artificially crafted comic banter...There’s cheesy and there’s cheesy...This show’s relentless barrage of mostly witless badinage and engorging seasonal cheer is enough to send even the most lactose-tolerant fleeing up the aisles.”
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December 12th, 2018

“Virtually every Christmas song in existence is wonderfully performed...Studdard and Aiken exhibit their renowned powerful singing, personability and a delightful rapport...Arpino and Joyce’s script is a skillful assembly of retro genre conceits linked by old-time humor with dashes of emotion. Tessero’s expert direction and Shriver’s snappy staging contribute smooth pacing and momentum...’Ruben & Clay’ is a prime opportunity for those seeking a merry diversion."
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