Clay Aiken and Tony Winner Beth Leavel Star in North Carolina Theatre's Drowsy Chaperone, Beginning May 7
By Andrew Gans
"American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken, who was seen on Broadway in Monty Python's Spamalot, plays Man in Chair in North Carolina Theatre's production of the award-winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone, which runs May 7-12 in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts (formerly Progress Energy Center).
Aiken is joined by Broadway favorite Beth Leavel, who reprises the role of The Drowsy Chaperone that she created on Broadway to Tony-winning effect.
The cast also includes Paige Faure (Janet Van Der Graaff), Linda Griffin (Mrs. Tottendale), Dana Zihlman Harshaw (Kitty), Wes Hart (Male Ensemble/ Superintendent), Adam Heller (Feldzieg), David Josefsberg (Adolpho), Aaron Kaburick (Ensemble), Yolanda Rabun (Trix The Aviatrix), Melissa Steadman (Ensemble), Johnny Stellard (Robert Martin), Patrick Wetzel (George), Dirk Lumbard (Underling), Eric Mann (Gangster #2), Jeremy Morse (Gangster #1) and Jennifer Swiderski (Ensemble/Dance Captain).
The production marks Aiken’s return to the NCT stage after performing there during his youth in the 1996 productions of 1776 and Shenandoah.
“The very first time I ever auditioned for anything was when I stepped into an audition for NCT's production of 1776 back in 1996. North Carolina Theatre was my first experience performing on a professional stage," said Aiken in a previous statement. “It's possible that, had it not been for experience and encouragement I received as a part of this organization, I may never have had the confidence to audition for 'American Idol.' Now, 17 years after my first theatrical performance, I'm happy to be fulfilling a promise I made years ago to return to the stage at North Carolina Theatre.”
“It has always been a dream of ours to have Clay Aiken back on the NCT stage someday. Clay is a remarkable talent and a fine theatre actor - we are beyond thrilled that The Drowsy Chaperone has created this opportunity,” added NC Theatre artistic director Casey Hushion. “We are grateful that Clay has been a longtime supporter and a true friend to NCT and we cannot wait to watch him shine in this incredibly unique role.”
The show-within-a-show (with Tony-winning book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and a Tony-winning score by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison) concerns a show-tune addict (named Man in Chair) who shares with the audience his favorite cast album — 1928's fictional The Drowsy Chaperone. As he plays the record, the vintage musical comes to life around him.
For tickets visit NCTheatre.com or call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
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