Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts




RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Theatre (NCT), now celebrating their 30th
Anniversary Season as the region’s premier producer of professional Broadway
musicals, is thrilled to announce that Clay Aiken will star in their upcoming
production of The Drowsy Chaperone running May 7th through May 12th for eight
performances in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the
Performing Arts (formerly Progress Energy Center). This will be Mr. Aiken’s
return to the NCT stage after performing here 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 Mr. Aiken. “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

Clay Aiken will play the role of “Man in Chair.” A Raleigh native, Mr. Aiken first
came to national attention on the second season of American Idol in 2003, Since
then, Clay Aiken has released five well-received albums, selling over 6 million
units as of 2011 and penned a New York Times best-selling memoir. In 2008, Clay
Aiken began his critically lauded stint as the inept yet endearing “Sir Robin” in
the Broadway musical Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. SPAMALOT Director Mike
Nichols later referred to Aiken “an excellent comic actor and a master of

“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,” said 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.”

Steel Magnolias Tickets Raleigh

Joining Mr. Aiken onstage as “The Chaperone” will be Beth Leavel reprising the
role that won her a Tony Award. A Raleigh native, Beth also starred as “M’Lynn”
in NC Theatre’s 2012 production of Steel Magnolias. Before her Broadway debut
in 42nd Street, Beth attended Broughton High School and is a graduate of
Meredith College and UNC Greensboro. For her performance in the Broadway
production of The Drowsy Chaperone, Beth has received a Drama Desk, NY Outer
Critics Circle and LA Drama Critic’s Awards in addition to the Tony.

About The Drowsy Chaperone
The Drowsy Chaperone begins when, to chase his blues away, a modern day
musical theatre addict known simply as ‘Man in Chair’ drops the needle on his
favorite LP — the 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone. From the crackle
of his record player, the uproariously funny musical magically blooms to life
inside his apartment walls, telling the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who
wants to give up show business to get married, her producer who sets out to
sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, and her debonair groom. “Man in Chair’s”
infectious love of The Drowsy Chaperone is sure to touch anyone who has ever
been transported by the theatre. At the 2006 Tony Awards, The Drowsy
Chaperone won Best Book & Best Original Score of a Musical.

For tickets to NC Theatre’s production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, visit or call

Categorised in: News, Theatre

4 Responses

  1. Please note that this article contains inaccurate information. Despite his claims to the contrary, it is simply not true that he had never auditioned before North Carolina Theatre in 1996. Clay Aiken, (going under the name Clayton Grissom at the time), auditioned at a number of other area theatres, and was even cast from time to time, for years prior to 1996.

    Not sure what he is trying to imply, unless he feels some ridiculous need to rewrite history in order to give the impression that he was so intensely amazing at a young age that he was able to walk into his first audition ever and nab a role. However, in the interest of fairness, we must point out that this just isn’t true.

    Let’s keep it honest.

  2. This is wonderful! Clay will shine in this role. He has great comedic timing and is a talented actor as well.

  3. I saw Clay Aiken in Spamalot and he was amazing as Sir Robin, the Monk, and the Guard. I’m sure he will be outstanding as “Man in the Chair”. Really looking forward to seeing his performance and that of Beth Leavel. This sounds like a really fun play with a great cast and good music. Thanks for your well-written article.

  4. Clay will be awesome as man in chair. The part almost seems to be written for him. He was also great in Spamalot. He did very well portraying Sir Robin, the Monk and the Guard. I can remember the crowds that came to see Clay even after the show, just to get his autograph. I am very excited about this show.