The Aluminum Show at Clayton Center defies description

As part of the finale, performers images were flashed and saved for just a few seconds on a screen.

Photo by Jolanda Jansma

As part of the finale, performers images were flashed and saved for just a few seconds on a screen.

Robert Hutchens watched images of The Aluminum Show on the Internet before choosing them as part of the Clayton Center Presents productions.

“I was a little bit afraid it wouldn’t be as good as it looked,” he said. “It was better.”

The Clayton Center for the Arts executive director said the 13 Clayton Center Presents productions are shows the center pays to get and then sells tickets to cover the costs. So far, The Aluminum Show was the most successful of the series, he said.

“It was the biggest audience we’ve had for one of our “Clayton Center Presents” shows. There were 820 tickets sold,” he said. “It was great for kids. It was maybe an hour and half long, and I couldn’t believe how much variety there was, and it never got boring.”

The show was sponsored by Alcoa, Inc., and the company donated recycling containers to the college before the production began.

Hutchens said the interaction with the audience was great, with objects flying off the stage to be batted around in the audience and the “slinky” snaking its way into the audience for guests to touch and feel.

“The audience really got into it, and it would become animated like a creature,” he said. “It was like nothing the audience had ever seen before.”

The executive director said this was the kind of variety week-in and week-out he was hoping for in the Clayton Center for the Art’s first season. “One week you’re being transported by ethereal musical, and then the next week you’re having a pillow fight with a giant Mylar pillow with old people and little kids trying to get their hands on it to bat it around,” he said.

Hutchens said the production had a complicated light show that took the crew all day to set up. “They were really racing against time. For this show, they had 20 people working to get it ready. For the people backstage, the adrenaline had to be pumping. For the people who were out in the audience, it was nothing but theatrical magic,” he said. “There was nothing that looked hard, and nothing that looked like it required 20 people working all day like crazy to make it happen. That’s show business.”

The next two productions coming to the Clayton Center for the Arts are “Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana” and the musical “All Shook Up.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m., the dancers of “Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana,” will take the Nita Eckles West stage in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theater. Tickets range from $28 to $35 with discounts for seniors and students.

On Friday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m., the musical “All Shook Up,” featuring the songs of Elvis Presley, will be seen in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theater. Tickets are $30 to $35 with discounts for seniors and students.

Contact the Clayton Center at 865-981-8590 for tickets or go online at

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