American Idol season 2 runner-up, Clay Aiken, is headed back to the stage. He will play Man in Chair in the North Carolina Theatre’s upcoming production of the musical The Drowsy Chaperone.

The show will run May 7-12 in the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Clay was previously seen on Broadway in Monty Python’s Spamalot a few years ago.

“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 Clay in a 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.”

Clay will be joined by Tony winner Beth Leavel, who will reprise the role of The Drowsy Chaperone that she created on Broadway.

The plot revolves around 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 www.NCTheatre.com or call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

Read more at Playbill

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  • fuzzywuzzy

    It’s interesting that Clay is appearing in a non-singing role in this musical.

  • slp02879

    How wonderful that Clay does not forget his roots.  He will shine in that role.

  • MellyPer1692

    Not a fan, but great for Clay!!

  • http://twitter.com/starfishy2000 DD

    Clay Aiken is hilarious and has great comic timing. While Sir Robin in Spamalot sang, it wasn’t a real “singers” part. He has the chops to do both, and for that I am highly impressed. I am super bummed it looks like I won’t be able to travel down that way. 

  • fuzzywuzzy

    That’s why I’m a bit surprised that Clay took this non-singing part. He has told fans that if he accepts another role on Broadway, it would be one where he sings a lot. Still, it sounds like this gig will be very convenient for him, very close to home.

    ETA: I think that Clay’s voice and singing style would fit well in a singing role in a Broadway musical.

  • jeff2683

    Clay is going to have a blast in this show.  He is so funny.  His facial expressions have me rolling.  Cannot wait!

  • Sue123

    Beth Leavel is wonderful and paired with Clay, this should be a fantastic show.  

  • http://twitter.com/KariannHart Kariann Hart

    The more work experience on his resume, the more chance of future roles – both singing and non-singing.  He has such a great voice, I hope he’ll get a singing role on his next stage performance.

  • bestmusic

     If you read the write up above you will know exactly why he took this role. He will be perfect for this part. Wish I could attend.

  • http://twitter.com/eilonwya10 Eilonwy

    The minute I saw the headline, my first thought was “Man in Chair!”

    Aiken should have fun with this, and it really is a perfect match of part and player, despite the lack of singing.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YOXICNZRQDEUSEIYHONNR3K5LY docb

    I have my tickets and can’t wait! I missed live theater when I moved to upstate NY and have enjoyed attending again now that I’m back in the city. 

  • RustySax

    Our local dinner theater group put on this show last season – it’s hysterical.  If you’re in the area, spend the time/money/effort to go see Clay in this production, it will a thoroughly enjoyable evening!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YOXICNZRQDEUSEIYHONNR3K5LY docb

     fuzzy, Clay took the role for a chance to return to the theater where he did his first professional appearance. He is a patron of the NC Theater and has many friends there. For him, it’s a payback to the folks who had confidence in him when he was a teen, and no doubt it is a role that will be excellent on his resume.

  • ptslittlecomment

    Man in Chair is a perfect role for Clay!  ‘Man” is a homosexual, mad at the world for once having to conform. Holed up in his living room refusing to join the modern world or listen to modern-day music. I am not sayig that is Clay, but I can easily see Clay creating that character.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S6ORHQKMGKT6ZXMM6FDB2PAQ7Q cretan

      I had never heard of the show until I saw that Clay would be in it, but reading up on it, I think Clay will shine in it.   

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I know. I read what he told Playbill. I was just going by what he had told fans regarding his desire for a singing role in his next venture on Broadway, and assumed that if Clay were to accept a role at the NC Theatre that it would be a singing role.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Man in Chair is a perfect role for Clay!  ‘Man” is a homosexual, mad at the world for once having to conform. Holed up in his living room refusing to join the modern world or listen to modern-day music.”

    Ah, OK. I didn’t know that about the “Man in Chair” character. I see the connection now.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Aiken should have fun with this, and it really is a perfect match of part and player, despite the lack of singing.”

    After pts explained the MiC character, it does appear to fit Clay very well.

  • durbesque

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the director works out something for Clay to sing.  Even on “The Apprentice”, his tiny bit of singing was a highlight.

  • http://twitter.com/meggie1230 Meg Russell

    Clay will be wonderful in this production despite the lack of singing in the part. He is also a talented actor and and his quick, comedic nature will help him with this role. I understand the play will only be at NCT for 6 days, so it sounds like it will only be a “pit stop” for Clay and at the same time he is thanking NCT for their support over the years.

  • ptslittlecomment

    If he sang, other than the times he joins in the chorus or lip syncs with a character, it would change the structure of the play (and the ending) dynamically. “Man” is an observer….. He is telling the audience about his favorite musical and the characters are coming to life on stage. He is not a character in the musical he is telling folks about, he is the narrator.

  • ptslittlecomment

    Sorry this is so grainy. You used to be able to find the whole musical on YouTube with the original Broadway cast.

    Anyway, here is the original “Man in Chair” Bob Martin ( also a co-writer) interacting with Sutton Foster ( now of the TV show Bunheads) in an intentionally badly written song from the show. It will give folks a good idea of how “Man” interacts with the characters he is talking about, and pretty much shows the extent of his singing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr9R8i_XeLk

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “I understand the play will only be at NCT for 6 days, so it sounds like it will only be a “pit stop” for Clay and at the same time he is thanking NCT for their support over the years.”

    So Clay is donating his time and effort for this show? That’s very generous of him.

  • durbesque

    I think something could be put together for Clay to sing at the curtain call.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PVEFG2TOUIXSROKUSO2O2DOWWE Taylor

    It was the first thing that sprung into my mind, as well. 

    Man in the Chair a great part, and Drowsey Chaperone is a hysterical show-within-a-show musical. The monologues for MIC are well written and cover a wide range of emotions. If Clay’s fans can make it to see the show, I’m sure it will be a very enjoyable experience.

  • http://twitter.com/meggie1230 Meg Russell

    Nowhere in my post did I say or imply he is donating his time and talent to the NCT. I don’t know what the financial arrangement is, if any…that’s between Clay and NCT. I do know he will excel in the role and will probably have a great time doing it.

  • bestmusic
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Layla-Hooman/100002284363450 Layla Hooman

    So wonderful that Clay Aiken has not forgotten where he came from, he has always encouraged his fans to support their local arts programs.

  • ptslittlecomment

    Maybe after the show he will do his own conert a la Taylor Hicks in GREASE.  But not for the curtain call.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I think that if he were going to do that, it would be advertised so his fans would know.

  • stargazed

    Clay doesn’t have to sing in order to be a draw for his fans. His comedic talent is well known since his concerts are laced with humor.   Further, Clay’s abilities as a comedic actor were showcased during his run on Broadway in Spamalot.  I expect excellent reviews.