New in 2018 "American Idol" alumni Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard reunite for a family-friendly Christmas-themed variety show featuring classic holiday tunes as well as comedic scenes and sketches.
The Broadway production of Ruben and Clay's Christmas Show closed December 30, 2018. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
From the producers: For the first time together - Live on Stage - in nearly a decade, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken are uniting once again this Christmas to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of their record-setting American Idol finale! With an evening of songs and sketches that harkens back to the Christmas comedy specials of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Ruben and Clay croon, quip, and create a magical setting that’s perfect for those yuletide yearnings. Enjoy an evening of holiday classics as they unwrap some of their old time favorites, some new found gems, and even a few old grudges. Come join in on the fun, the festivities, and the fantastic performances of two of America’s favorite singers who are reuniting for three weeks only!
The show's full title is: "Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show." Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard made their debuts on the second season of "American Idol" - Studdard won the season, with Broadway alum Aiken as runner-up. Aiken made his Broadway debut in 2008 in the Tony-winning musical "Spamalot." This concert marks Studdard’s Broadway debut.
Portions of the show’s proceeds will go to the National Inclusion Project, an organization devoted to the inclusion of children with disabilities in community and education programs.
This will be the first time Studdard and Aiken have performed together on a stage of this size since "Idol" in 2013. The two had previously reunited for the first time since Idol back in 2016, for a special duet on ABC's "The View."
Loaded with Christmas songs both religious and secular...[it] pads the proceedings with intentionally cheesy sketch comedy, corny banter and, more successfully, thoughtful personal nostalgia. The odd couple schtick is forced and undercooked. Fortunately, "Ruben & Clay" doesn't take its joking seriously. Musically, [it] 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.
The show attempts to recreate the spirit of vintage television variety specials. Given that it captures the cheesiness of such endeavors, the evening accomplishes its apparent goal. 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 [they] both have lovely voices. When given the too-rare opportunity simply to sing, they deliver beautifully wrought renditions of numerous holiday standards.