Reviews from Les Miserables:
I love his Parnasse. Who doesnt? :) Parnasse's problem is that he has no discretion, grabbing Ponine like that in the middle of a street full of people. He seems to have fun playing with Marius (ok, threatening Marius with that dagger, but its a game to Parnasse and nerve-wracking to Marius), and I love how he has to hide from Javert -- a couple of female rag pickers he threatens with that lingre so he can bend down with them to hide his face...the greatest Montparnasse I have ever seen...Matt's Parnasse is proud, determined, and is actually in love with her. The blown kiss was always so beautiful.
....I saw Matt twice in the national tour of Les Miserables. The first time I saw the show, at the Ahmanson, I was not sure what to expect so I went in without any prior opinions of the characters. For some reason my eyes rested on Matt during the prologue and from that moment I was glued to his characters and to Sutton Foster (Eponine). I simply LOVED their performance and chemistry together during "Attack on Rue Plumet". I was so shocked to say the least when I read the understudy list and didn't see Matt's name! For some reason, and I am sure I'm not the only one, I thought Matt would be an extrordinary ENJOLRAS. His facial expressions, esp. during Eponine's death at the Barricade and the attack on Rue Plumet when Thenardier looks ready to kill Eponine, were so heartwrenching and powerful - its no wonder he's so well loved.
The second time I saw Matt, I was ready to look out for him and was majorly disappointed when they cut his portion with Eponine (Diana Kaarina). :( However, his performance was still as powerful and beautiful as ever. He deserves a thunderous applause and a lead role!
....Matt Clemens is the unsung hero of the ensemble. He just rocks. He's always *on*, always gives a good performance, always sounds fantastic. I love his voice and it's a shame he doesn't get to use it more in his roles. His Montparnasse is a very well-developed character, moreso than the other members of Thenardier's gang. But I do wish he did more for the show (Hello - Marius cover, anyone? He'd be great!). But it's just nice to see ATEOTD and see him, center stage, in all his grubby, dirty glory. :-)
Me (Katie), written after the 7-12-00 matinee:
....Matt was incredible in every role he played. As the chain gang worker; his expression in that scene were so full of hate and loathing toward the constables that I was convinced that he didn't deserve to be a prisoner in Toulon. He was a riot in MOTH, especially when Jerry Jay Cranford (the drunk) came over to his table and started talking like they were old chums; Matt looked over at Sarah Ramsey-Duke as if to say, "This guy's nuts!!" (Matt himself started to look a bit tipsy toward the end of the scene;-)) When Aymee Garcia did the "...not much there" bit, he clapped his hand over his mouth in surprise, not believing his ears. As Montparnasse, well, what can I say? He was PERFECT! Trying to flirt with Eponine whenever he had the chance, yet being extremely harsh with her when she refused to give in to his tight grasp. I didn't remember him being as harsh last time, but it added a lot more to the character even from the beginning. Bahorel, the student...I couldn't have loved Matt as character more if he had lines! His expressions spoke a hundred words! Two examples - when Grantaire did the "Don Juan" bit, he looked appalled, with wide eyes and his mouth just dropped open, yet at the same time he was laughing. During "Upon These Stones", when Enjolras asked for "a report on the strength of the foe", Matt raised his hand and walked forward eagerly to help and started to walk forward. Then, Javert pushed him aside and volunteered himself. Matt shot him a glare as if to say, "Well, FINE THEN!!" Ticked off look if I ever saw one. I felt extremely bad for him when he got "shot" and fell down, but he stared smiling and talking right away to two of barricade women like nothing had ever happened (while they were trying to help him, BTW), so I couldn't help but laughing:-) In "Dog Eats Dog", Matt is the dead student who gets his tooth pulled by Thenardier. I still do not have a clue as to how J.P. and Matt pull that off - it looked so real!!! I got the pleasure of meeting him at the stage door afterward, and he was extremely nice. Matt, thank you for all that you do. You're fantastic both onstage and off, and I feel so fortunate that I got the chance to watch you perform (and finally meet you)!
Reviews from other shows:
MATT IN CINDERELLA:
"...Leslie Lorusso played a lovely, shy Cinderella, complemented by a brooding prince, Matt Clemens.
Clemens is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He had two duets with Lorusso and a tragic solo, "Loneliness of Evening."
Clemens exhibited excellent tonal quality and projection as a singer and confidence as an actor..."
Copyright 1995, Student Publications Inc.
"Matt Clemens will play Cinderella's Prince. He received his bachelor's degree in music from the University of Alabama, and his other roles include Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro."
Copyright 1995, Student Publications Inc.