Musical idolizes feats of Clay Aiken

'IDOL: The Musical' hitting Off Broadway

Finally: An “American Idol” tuner!

We’re talking “IDOL: The Musical.” We’re talking Off Broadway. The legit production — which bowed earlier this month in unlikely tryout spot Syracuse, N.Y. — follows nine wildly different high schoolers (the jock, the tomboy, the genius, etc.) in Steubenville, Ohio, bonded by their intense devotion to the “Idol” runner-up.

With alums of the Fox reality skein appearing with increasing frequency on Broadway, an “Idol” musical was probably inevitable. Fantasia‘s current, glowingly reviewed turn in the lead role of “The Color Purple” is just the latest in a line of legit perfs from former contestants, including Frenchie Davis in “Rent,” Diana DeGarmo in “Hairspray” and Constantine Maroulis in “The Wedding Singer.”

Reality TV and Broadway have been bedfellows in other ways, too. NBC’s “Grease: You’re the One That I Want” let viewers cast the leads of the upcoming Rialto revival of “Grease,” and for a while there was even talk of a stage musical based on “The Apprentice.”

The small-scale production of the “Idol” tuner doesn’t look likely to dominate the legit landscape the way the tube version tops TV. But Claymates can begin casting their votes when “IDOL: The Musical” begins perfs off Broadway on July 5.

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