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NC Theatre Announces Clay Aiken and Tony-Award Winner Beth Leavel to Star in The Drowsy Chaperone

Raleigh, NC, March 10, 2013 --( 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 Theatre.”

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 character.”

“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.”

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 Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, call 919-831-6941 x5204.

Media Contact:
Heather M. Millen
Marketing Director
North Carolina Theatre
(o) 919.831.6941 ext. 6942
(c) 718.877.9189
Contact Information
N.C. Theatre
Patty Briguglio

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