Raleigh Tony winner Beth Leavel returns with musical

May 11, 2013 by  

Raleigh native Beth Leavel is back in town, in the show for which she won a Tony.

The comedy musical ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’, presented by NC Theatre, is currently featuring Leavel in her award-winning role while American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken plays the ‘Man in the Chair’. Casey Hushion, who handled assistant director duties on Broadway, is directing this production, her 19th for NC Theatre.

Leavel’s Raleigh roots should please audiences, as will Aiken, who has sold over six million albums and made 11 sold-out concert tours and dozens of TV appearances. Aiken has a Raleigh connection as well, since his first professional audition was for NC Theatre’s production of ‘1776’, produced in 1996. He won the role of ‘man in the leather apron’, and was required to sit on stage for most of the performance. In ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’, he once again is required to sit for the majority of the evening.

The musical is a fantasy play-within-a-play in which the unnamed Man in the Chair is listening to a recorded performance of another show, also called ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’. As he listens, his imagination takes over and he “sees” the musical and makes a great many comments about it—more than 3,000 words, according to Aiken. The show is a sly, witty, wry commentary on show business, and life itself.

The theater will probably want to work with a poster printing expert to create an eye-catching piece to display throughout Raleigh. It comes to an end tomorrow, May 12, at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.