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Clay Aiken: Alleged Stalker Arrested After Scary Home Encounter

Frightening moment for Clay Aiken ... when an obsessed fan broke on to his property and made it all the way to his front door ... this according to police docs obtained by TMZ.

According to the docs, it all went down on April 3 ... when the fan -- 57-year-old Barbara Saylor -- snuck into Clay's gated community in North Carolina and hopped a fence surrounding the singer's home. Sources connected to the incident tell us the woman was seen trying to peer into a window at the front of the house.

The scary part -- Clay was home at the time.

Someone called 911 -- and cops responded to the scene. Barbara was eventually arrested for misdemeanor stalking and misdemeanor first degree trespassing.

According to the docs, Clay told police it's not the first time the woman -- who lives in the Seattle area -- crashed Clay's N.C. pad. Aiken told cops Barbara had previously "thrown her phone over the fence and reported she had been invited by the victim when actually she had not been."

Sources close to Clay tell TMZ ... the singer was shaken up by the incident ... but he's grateful to local law enforcement for responding so quickly.

The woman is due in court on April 24.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/04/09/clay-aiken-stalker-arrested-north-carolina-home-encounter/#ixzz2PxzfO5Hz

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Fantasia, Clay Aiken, Perform on American Idol Top 5 Results

Next week, Season 3 winner, Fantasia and Season 2 runner-up, Clay Aikenperform on the American Idol results show.

There is no confirmation of next week’s theme in tonight’s press release from FOX. But, spoilers say that the Top 5 girls will take on “Divas” and “Songs From the Year You Were Born.”

Check out the Press Release below


Last Man Standing, Lazaro Arbos, Says Goodbye To Competition

Season Three Winner and Grammy AwardWinner Fantasia to Perform on Next Results Show, Thursday, April 18

For the first time in IDOL history, the Top 5 finalists are all girls. After finalist Lazaro Arbos was sent home this evening, the remaining ladies – Janelle Arthur, Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller – will continue to battle it out on stage in hopes of becoming the first female AMERICAN IDOL winner since Jordin Sparks in Season Six.

From Naples, FL the 22-year-old Arbos sang “Angels” by Robbie Williams and “(They Long To Be) Close To You” by The Carpenters on last night’s performance show. In addition, on tonight’s results show, multi-platinum-selling artist, and the very first AMERICAN IDOL ever, Kelly Clarkson, performed her new single, “People Like Us” and Season 10 winner and platinum-selling artist Scotty McCreery also performed his new single, “See You Tonight.”

Next week, on Wednesday, April 17 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), the Top 5 fabulous females return to perform for America’s votes as they take one high-heeled step closer to the IDOL crown.

On the next live results show airing Thursday, April 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), one woman’s IDOL journey will end. Also, Grammy-winning artist, Broadway star and Season Three winner of AMERICAN IDOL, Fantasia, will perform her new single, “Lose To Win,” and Season Two runner-up Clay Aiken also will perform.

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Clay Aiken Revisits "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on "American Idol"


by Amy Sciarretto April 18, 2013 9:36 PM

Clay Aiken, one of the most beloved alums in ‘American Idol‘ history, came home tonight (April 18). The singer, who didn’t win Season 2, losing by a tiny (124,000 votes, actually) margin to Ruben Studdard, returned to the show’s stage to perform his rendition of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ He performed it when he competed and it still has that Clay touch.

Flanked by backup singers and piano players, Aiken cut a dashing figure in a dress slacks, tie and cardigan, but it was that unmistakable voice reminded us why we’re still interested in him a decade after his big loss. When he hit that impressive vocal run at the end of the song, he earned a standing O from the judges, rightfully so.

Aiken’s early performance of the song has become iconic in ‘Idol’ lore, and he did himself and the show proud tonight.

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NBC's "The Office" Season 9 Spoilers: First Look at Clay Aiken, Mark McGrath Episode

NBC’s ‘The Office’ season 9 spoilers: First look at Clay Aiken, Mark McGrath episode

As you may know already, May 16marks the hour-long series finale for “The Office,” and while there are very few details available about this episode at the moment, we are finally get the opportunity to see an answer to a completely different question: what is going to happen in the week leading up to it?

The 23rd episode of the season is entitled “A.A.R.M.,” which stands for Assistant to the Assistant Regional Manager, which definitely sounds like a made-up title almost to the same extent as “Assistant Regional Manager” vs. “Assistant to the Regional Manager.” This in itself is a nice little callback to some of the fights that Andy and Dwight used to have with Michael Scott, and the synopsis makes it sound as though Jim has one last prank in store for Dwight before the end:

“As the office readies for the premiere of the documentary that night, Jim (John Krasinski) convinces Dwight (Rainn Wilson), who is planning to propose to Esther (Nora Kirkpatrick), that he needs an Assistant to the Assistant Regional Manager, and holds tryouts to find the best candidate. Angela (Angela Kinsey) brings her baby to work after her daycare turns her away. Meanwhile, Andy (Ed Helms) attends auditions for ‘The Next Great A Cappella Sensation.’”

This episode also boasts a very impressive crop of guest stars, including the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Clay Aiken, Mark McGrath, Jessica St. Clair, and Santigold. Out of this crew, we have a feeling that a few of them are meant to be celebrity judges of Andy’s competition.

Do you think that this sounds like a great episode to help lead into the finale? If you want to read some more news on next week’s new episode of “The Office,” be sure to visit the link here.

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enewschannels.com, a press release site

The National Inclusion Project, Co-Founded by Entertainer Clay Aiken, Announces It Is Recipient of JL Simmons Nonprofit PR Grant

The National Inclusion Project, co-founded by entertainer Clay Aiken, announces it is recipient of JL Simmons NonProfit PR Grant

by Aria Munro on Tue, 23 Apr 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. /eNewsChannels/ — The National Inclusion Project, co-founded by entertainer Clay Aiken, is pleased to announce it is one of 10 recipients for 2013 of Neotrope’s annual J.L. Simmons Non-Profit PR Grant award. With this commitment, Neotrope® will provide public relations (PR) and cause-marketing support to the National Inclusion Project over the next year.

This grant will assist the National Inclusion Project in their mission of bridging the gap that exists between young people with disabilities and the world around them. They partner with communities and programs to teach others how to be inclusive so that kids with and without disabilities can experience life-long benefits.

“We are grateful to have Neotrope help us raise awareness of the benefits of inclusion and to ensure that no child sits on the sidelines. Their services will be extremely helpful as we plan our 10th Anniversary Champions Gala, October 12th in Charlotte, N.C.,” says Tonya Gillham, Director of Development and Marketing for the National Inclusion Project.

As part of this in-kind grant program, Neotrope® is providing PR solutions, news dissemination (through its Send2Press® Newswire service), online advertising, and social media marketing for the National Inclusion Project. This cause-related marketing program is intended to help raise awareness of the 501©3 non-profit to traditional media, to the public, as well as to potential sponsors and donors, regarding their efforts.

“We’re honored to be providing assistance to such a worthy cause as the National Inclusion Project, in both sharing their successes and recognizing this milestone 10th anniversary year for their programs,” said Neotrope CEO, Christopher Laird Simmons; a member of PRSA and ASCAP. “As their name suggests, they have done an admirable job of bringing kids together, and helping to make safe spaces for children who may often feel left out of activities other kids take for granted. And by educating parents and families on the value of inclusion, they give all kids courage to share and grow and better understand that we’re all different, but we’re also all the same in so many ways. All of our staff thought this was a wonderful cause, and was top of our choices this year to support.”

Copyright © 2013 Neotrope® News Network – all rights reserved.

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Coming Full Circle with Clay Aiken

Coming full circle With Clay Aiken


APRIL 30, 2013 6:00 AM

When Raleigh-born American Idol star Clay Aiken, 34, takes the stage this month to star in North Carolina Theatre’s The Drowsy Chaperone, he will be coming home in more ways than one.

“My first audition ever was at North Carolina Theatre,” he says. Aiken was 17, the production was the Declaration of Independence musical 1776, and the odds were long. The part in question was several years too old for Aiken, and he had to sing for an intimidating director: celebrated Broadway veteran Terrence Mann. But Aiken’s choir teacher told him it was a perfect way to get some auditioning experience. “There was no pressure, because I couldn’t get it anyway,” Aiken recalls.

He not only got the part but also ended up performing in three shows with the company and forging a career in the process. “I sort of found a home with NCT.” One that would prepare him for bigger stages, including the glaring limelight of American Idol and national tours for the multi-platinum record (and four others) that would follow. As it does today, NCT took its mission seriously to nurture local talent and to stage professional productions. A homegrown company started by De Ann Jones 30 years ago, NCT today puts on half a dozen acclaimed shows a year and maintains its local flavor.

Aiken’s first role with NCT was a dream come true, one sparked when his mother took him to see his first musical, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, also at NCT. It was 1991; Aiken was 13, and he was bowled over.

“Marty Moran was playing Huck Finn,” Aiken recalls. “I was sitting way up high in Memorial Auditorium, and I remember seeing this guy dancing around and singing on stage, and it was the first time I realized in my life that people could make a living off of singing, that people could make a career out of it. I knew I wanted to make a life out of it at that point.”

That didn’t happen until the second season of American Idol, in 2003, when Aiken, then 24, was transformed from an earnest hopeful with talent into a polished performer with a big Broadway voice. He came in second to eventual winner Ruben Studdard, but a star was born.

None of it came as a surprise to NCT founder Jones. “I have watched thousands of people audition over 30 years, and I have seen a lot of talented kids,” she says. “The number of people who have Clay’s talent I can count on one hand.” It’s more than the perfect pitch she knew he had at 17, or the kind of technical proficiency that is commonplace on Broadway. “He has his own sound. It’s amazing.”

The public agreed. The next years brought several hit singles, 10 successful concert tours, and the emergence of legions of older female fans who called themselves Claymates.

But Aiken wasn’t sure about Broadway when it came calling – insistently – years later. Aiken, at that point, was busy not only touring and recording, but acting on shows like Scrubs, writing a New York Times bestseller (Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life), and working on behalf of UNICEF and the National Inclusion Project, which he co-founded to support children with disabilities.

Then Mike Nichols called. The world-famous director wanted Aiken to join the cast of his Tony Award-winning Monty Python musical Spamalot in the key role of Sir Robin. “I thought, I don’t want to do this,” Aiken recalls. He was busy enough. “But they’re giving me free tickets to see the show, so I’ll go see the show. And when Robin came on the stage, who was playing Robin? The same guy who’d played Huck Finn, Marty Moran. I said right then, I’m going to do this part.” The two are now great friends.

Kismet played a role in Aiken’s decision to take the part of “Man in Chair” in NCT’s Drowsy Chaperone as well. The company had asked him for years to come back to its stage, but it wasn’t until they offered him this role – which allows him to interact directly with the audience while delivering a meaningful message about the power of art – that Aiken decided the time was right.

The production is about an unhappy man made happy by his love of a musical, a production that literally comes alive before his eyes as he describes its characters to the audience and listens to its soundtrack on his record player. “He ends up being enchanted by the power of the theatre, which is what NCT has done so well for 30 years now. That’s why I was willing to do it,” he says. That, and the chance to share the stage with co-star Beth Leavel, another Raleigh native who will reprise the role of “Chaperone” she created on Broadway, and which earned her a Tony.

“Some comedies are just trying to make you laugh, but sometimes you find a comedy that has a real message,” he says. It also gives him a chance to do one of his favorite things. “I’ve done a lot of TV stuff, but it doesn’t give you the satisfaction of doing theater.”

Performing in Raleigh is its own kind of reward. The Leesville Road High School graduate moved to L.A. for a while after the success of Idol, but came back home in 2005. He now lives near the border of Cary and Durham and says there’s no better place to be than here, or to raise a family. Aiken’s son Parker was born in 2008, at which point he decided to acknowledge publicly that he is gay. The Claymates showered him with support.

“There’s just no place in the country like it,” he says of his hometown. “It is a testament to the leadership of Raleigh and the city council that they have maintained the ‘park with a city in it’ environment here. It is a great place to live.”

And to perform. Singing on stage with NCT again is a way, Aiken says, of saying thanks to the theatre company that first believed in him: “It’s appreciation for being such an incredible part of my life.” And, “it’s just about 10 years to the day since I did Idol,” he says – as good a time as any to come back to where it all began. -L.R.

The Drowsy Chaperone runs from May 7-12 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on May 11 and 12. For tickets and more information, go to www.nctheatre.com.

Read more here: http://www.waltermag...y-aiken/#storyl

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Clay Aiken Likes Durham's Flavor

Clay Aiken likes Durham’s flavor

Singer/actor done with reality TV, now starring in ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ play

May. 02, 2013 @ 06:04 PM

BY DAWN BAUMGARTNER VAUGHAN dvaughan@heraldsun.com; 919-419-6563


The Herald-Sun | Patrick McLaurin Clay Aiken points to his castmembers as The Man in the Chair, during rehearsals for NC Theatre's "The Drowsy Chaperone" on Monday, April 29, 2013.


The Herald-Sun | Patrick McLaurin Clay Aiken rehearses his role as The Man in the Chair, in NC Theatre's "The Drowsy Chaperone" on Monday, April 29, 2013.


The Herald-Sun | Patrick McLaurin Aiken as The Man in the Chair, left, listens to the Superintendent played by Wes Hart, right, while castmates Linda Griffin, center, and Dirk Lumbard remain frozen after the record stops during rehearsal of NC Theatre's "The Drowsy

Chaperone" on Monday, April 29, 2013.


Clay Aiken in person is the Clay Aiken that America has seen on television – friendly, good-mannered, strong North Carolina accent. Aiken said he can place a person’s North Carolina hometown by his or her accents. Both sides of his family come from Triangle communities, and he lives in Durham.

It’s been a decade since Aiken became a household name on “American Idol,” and since then he has appeared on several television shows and in the Broadway production of “Spamalot.” Last year he was a contestant on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Aiken said he lived in Los Angeles for three years, but he’s not an L.A. person at all.

“I just needed to get out of it, and I wanted to be closer to family,” he said. His mom lives in Raleigh, where he grew up. His dad’s side of the family is in Johnston County, and the Aikens and the Claytons are from Bahama in northern Durham County and from Person County, he said.

“I still drive around town and think how lucky I am to live here,” Aiken said. “People would come to visit and say, ‘There are so many trees here.’ I thought that’s a stupid thing to say, but I’ve been around and we do have a lot of trees.”

Aiken said Durham and Raleigh residents are lucky to have Durham Mayor Bill Bell, Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and before that, Raleigh mayors Charles Meeker and Tom Fetzer. They didn’t let Durham and Raleigh turn into Atlanta or Charlotte, Aiken said.

Aiken has a Durham address, is geographically in Chatham County and is closest to Cary. Between the choices of downtown Durham or downtown Raleigh, he chooses Durham. “Durham’s got a trendy, SoHo hip feel to it. Raleigh is very yuppie white bread. Durham has a flavor Raleigh doesn’t have,” Aiken said. “Durham has always had character, but not always the character you wanted it to have.”

He talked about the resurgence of downtown, with the Durham Performing Arts Center, American Tobacco Campus and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Aiken performed a Christmas concert at DPAC in December, his first time performing there.

DPAC owner Nederlander knows theater, he said, but Aiken’s heart is at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, where he’ll perform in North Carolina Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” which opens Tuesday. The first show he ever saw – “Big River” – was at Memorial Auditorium, and the first professional show he was cast in was a NC Theatre show.

“DPAC’s incredible, but Memorial is the heart,” he said. As an audience member, DPAC is fancy and the seats don’t creak, he said, but as a performer, there’s nothing DPAC has backstage that Memorial Auditorium doesn’t.

Aiken was being interviewed while sitting in the same chair he will sin in as “Man in Chair” in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” during rehearsals at NCT’s conservatory space in North Raleigh. His character puts on a record of a musical, which is acted out nearby while “Man in Chair” narrates and comments.

Aiken stars alongside Raleigh native Beth Leavel, who won a Tony Award for her role as “The Chaperone.” Aiken said that some prior NCT performances were not what NCT was when he did shows in the 1990s. But now, “I haven’t seen in years the kind of talent this stage has,” he said.

Aiken said of television, the recording industry, film and theater, theater is “really the only one where the fantasy and reality match.” People on television are driven by fame and money, he said, while people who do theater do it because they love it.

“They’re happy all the time. People in TV show up and go home – they don’t talk to each other or go early,” he said. “Here, it’s interesting. People get along.” And they get to work early, Aiken said.

Aiken said he’s done with reality TV.

“I’m not a competitive person, even though all people know I’m from is competing,” he said, referring to “American Idol” and “Celebrity Apprentice.” Aiken did make friends on “Celebrity Apprentice,” he said, and talks regularly with fellow competitor Arsenio Hall.

Aiken said he’s never really been starstruck, with the exception of three people: Diane Sawyer, Tom Brokaw and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Sawyer and Brokaw because Aiken is a news junkie, and Harkin for the senator’s work in special education, which Aiken studied.

During rehearsal earlier this week, Aiken, in character, was a bit fussy when a knock at the door interrupted his musical listening. In person, between scenes, Aiken chatted amiably with a colleague, his old-school Triangle accent coming out strong.

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'Drowsy Chaperone' is the musical for those who hate musicals

Published: May 4, 2013

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  • Details
    What: “The Drowsy Chaperone” by N.C. Theatre.
    When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through May 12; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
    Where: Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh.
    Cost: $21-$63.
    Info: 919-996-8700 or nctheatre.com.

By Tim Stevens — tstevens@newsobserver.com

The N.C. Theatre’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperone” has the feeling of a reunion.

Raleigh’s Beth Leavel and Clay Aiken lead a company that includes three actors from the original Broadway production that won five Tony Awards, including Leavel’s honor as the best actress in a supporting role in a musical in 2007.

The show is directed by Casey Hushion, who was the assistant director of the Broadway production. She is doing her 19th show at NCT.

Aiken was the runner-up in 2003 on “American Idol,” has sold 6 million albums, has made dozens of television appearances, co-authored a best-selling book and performed on 11 concert tours that sold out some of the nation’s top venues.

Leavel has her Tony, theater’s highest annual award, and was nominated for a second time for her role in “Baby It’s You.”

“Drowsy” will be the first time they have shared the NCT stage, although both have a history with NCT. Leavel is a Broughton High, Meredith College and UNC-Greensboro graduate.

Aiken was a singer who got involved in theater because musicals gave him a chance to sing. His first audition was for N.C. Theatre’s 1996 production of “1776.”

His chorus teacher at Raleigh’s Leesville Road High encouraged the 17-year-old to go for the experience of auditioning – one that would be good practice and pressure-free since he was too young to be seriously considered.

He landed the role of “man in the leather apron” and he sat in a chair on stage for much of the production.

Seventeen years later, Aiken is back on the NCT stage – and he sits in a chair for much of the show.

The story is told through Aiken, who is aptly named “The Man in the Chair.”

“We’ve come full circle. All of these marvelous actors and dancers are performing all around me and I just sit,” Aiken said between rehearsals.” “I want to wave my hand and say, ‘I’m still here.’”

Leavel has been involved with “Drowsy” since it was developed for the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. The play originally was written as a wedding gift for actors Bob Martin and Janet Van De Graaf, and it languished for years before Leavel and the cast assembled to refine the show in Los Angeles. Hushion and Leavel said it was the most collaborative process in which they have ever been involved.

The show was so well received in Los Angeles that it was moved to Broadway.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” has a show within a show. “The Man in the Chair” is listening to a recording of an old musical, also called “The Drowsy Chaperone,” and the musical comes to life in his mind. The audience sees what he imagines.

The fictional musical revolves around the upcoming marriage of an oil tycoon to a Broadway star. They are surrounded by gangsters, a producer, an aviator and assorted other characters, including the star’s alcoholic chaperone.

The gangsters and the producer are doing their best to stop the wedding, but others are in favor of the wedding. Along the way there are various misidentifications.

As he listens to the music from the fictional musical, “The Man in the Chair” makes comments on the fictional show, the characters and the actors playing those characters.

He comments a lot. Aiken counted his words during one of his sit-in-the-chair times while dancers spun, a blindfolded skater rolled past, and an actor said she came from the part of France where they make toast.

“3,548 words,” he said during a break.

Almost every word is delivered without prompting. The other actors ignore him. They aren’t really there.

“I am on my own,” Aiken said. “Nobody on the stage ever looks at me.”

The show moves audiences, Leavel said. She had never seen it until she saw Western Carolina University’s production.

She cried.

But the heart of the story is the reactions of the man-in-the-chair to the show.

“It is hilarious and yet so moving,” she said. “They gave me a box of tissues. This show means so much to me. You’re sitting at home unemployed and you get a call to go to Los Angeles immediately and it changes your life.”

She keeps the Tony beside her bed and likes to take it on the road with her, because it sparks excitement among younger actors when they can see, touch and hold stage acting’s Holy Grail.

The brass and bronze medallion on the award spins, a metaphor for the nature of theater acting. Just because you win a Tony doesn’t mean you’ll be cast again.

She recently auditioned for a commercial and didn’t get the part, she was told, because she didn’t look enough like the child in the ad. The child is her son.

But there was no question Leavel would be asked to join the NCT production, and landing Aiken was a bonus. Aiken said he remembers how well he was treated at that first audition years ago.

“Who knows it would have happened if it hadn’t been a good experience,” he said.

Aiken said this is the musical for people who say they hate musicals. In fact, among his first lines is: “I hate musicals.”

But “The Man In The Chair” really doesn’t hate musicals, and Aiken said he has been thoroughly bitten by the stage since making his Broadway debut in “Spamalot” in 2008.

“Musicals teach us so much about ourselves and each other,” he said. “In this show, you are watching this show within the show and laughing, and slowly you begin to understand that the show isn’t about this imaginary show. It is about the man and the life that he has lived and is living. And it breaks your heart.”

Musicals can do that, Aiken said, because they give the audience the chance to expand their perspective.

“The theater is like a fantasy world,” he said. “In real life, people don’t just burst into song about their feelings. But wouldn’t it be good if sometime they really did?”

Stevens: 919-829-8910

Read more here: http://www.newsobser...l#storylink=cpy

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Clay Aiken and Tony Winner Beth Leavel Star in North Carolina Theatre's Drowsy Chaperone, Beginning May 7

Clay Aiken and Tony Winner Beth Leavel Star in North Carolina Theatre's Drowsy Chaperone, Beginning May 7

By Andrew Gans

07 May 2013

Aiken200_1361552603.jpgclear.gifClay Aiken

"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 favoriteBeth 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 andDon 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.comor call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.

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NCT's Drowsy Chaperone Starring Clay Aiken and Beth Leavel Opens Tonight!

NCT's DROWSY CHAPERONE Starring Clay Aiken and Beth Leavel Opens Tonight!

Back to the Article

by BWW News Desk


American Idol star, Clay Aiken, returns to the stage as "Man in Chair" in North Carolina Theatre's production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE along with Tony-Award winner, Beth Leavel, who will be reprising her role as "The Chaperone." The show opens tonight, May 7 and runs through May 12 at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

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." A longtime friend and supporter of NCT, this will be Mr. Aiken's return to our stage having performed here in his youth.

Beth Leavel will reprising the title 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.

The Drowsy Chaperone follows a devoted theater fan's love affair with the madcap musicals of the 1920s, particularly one title that comes to life in his apartment as he fires up his record player. The Broadway production opened on May 1, 2006 and earned 13 Tony nominations, winning five (including Best Book and Best Score).

A rare combination of unprecedented originality and blinding talent, The Drowsy Chaperone boldly addresses a great unspoken desire in all of our hearts: to be entertained. If you've ever sat in a dark theatre and thought, "Dear Lord in heaven, please let it be good," this is the show for you! It all begins when a die-hard musical theater fan plays his favorite cast album on his turntable, and the musical literally bursts to life in his living room, telling the rambunctious tale of a brazen Broadway starlet trying to find, and keep, her true love.

For more information, visit: http://nctheatre.com/shows/the-drowsy-chaperone

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Stage Tube: Clay Aiken, Beth Leavel and More in Highlights of NCT's Drowsy Chaperone

STAGE TUBE: Clay Aiken, Beth Leavel and More in Highlights of NCT's DROWSY CHAPERONE (TV Content)

American Idol star, Clay Aiken, is returning to the stage as 'Man in Chair' in North Carolina Theatre's production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE along with Tony-Award winner, Beth Leavel, who is reprising her role as 'The Chaperone.' The show is currently playing through May 12 at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. BroadwayWorld has a first look at highlights from the production below!

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BWW Reviews: Raleigh Natives Shine in NC Theatre's The Drowsy Chaperone

BWW Reviews: Raleigh Natives Shine in NC Theatre's THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

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by Larisa Mount


It's an old-fashioned musical - with a twist. NC Theatre's current production is the 2006 Broadway musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, subtitled, "A Musical Within a Comedy." The show's premise is that the narrator, named simply Man in Chair, guides the audience through his favorite show album (on vinyl, of course), the fictitious 1928 The Drowsy Chaperone. In a tongue-in-cheek look at the musical comedies of Broadway in the 1920s, the Man in Chair provides modern-day commentary on the things that make such shows at once laughable and wonderful. The show-within-the-show tells of a star, Janet Van Der Graaff, about to give up life on stage for marriage. Of course, no classic musical would be complete without its own off-the-wall subplots. The Drowsy Chaperone includes everything from a spit-take obsessed butler/hostess pair to pun-loving gangsters disguised as bakers, as well as Van Der Graaff's chaperone who has her own romantic entanglements with the hopelessly clumsy Adolfo. The premise is what makes this show work - the modern-day lens creates a show which is accessible without sacrificing on humor.

Raleigh native Beth Leavel, who won a Tony for playing the same role (the title Chaperone) on Broadway, makes it clear why she won almost every award in New York for this role - she was born to play it. Funny and engaging from the moment she sets foot on stage, Leavel is flawless from her showstopping voice to her undeniable charm. Her big number, "As We Stumble Along" is one for the ages. To get a performer of her caliber on a regional stage in Raleigh is quite the coup for NC Theatre, and audiences should take advantage of the opportunity while they can.

Another Raleigh native also graces the stage in this production - Clay Aiken in the surprisingly non-musical role of Man in Chair. The show's narrator, Aiken serves as the audience's adept guide through his favorite record. Although perhaps a little young to be playing an old-timer who reminisces over pre-Depression Era shows, Aiken manages to pull it off. He has the right attitude for the character, and the punch lines go over very well. His character is the bridge between old and new, and he sets the tone to create a show that is likable for people of all generations, with a little extra punch for those of us who have a particular affinity for musical theater.

The rest of the cast completes the ensemble nicely, particularly Paige Faure as Janet Van Der Graff, Johnny Stellard as Rbert Martin, and David Josefsberg as Adolfo. The show, performed without an intermission, flows smoothly, thanks to a sophisticated set which slowly transforms from Man in Chair's apartment to the world of The Drowsy Chaperone. The set works well in the space at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. Aside from a few moments in which the microphones should have been louder, the technical elements of the show are well-executed. Overall, the production is as high a quality as you're likely to see in a regional theater. The experienced cast and great orchestra together bring some NYC magic to right here in Raleigh.

The Drowsy Chaperone runs through May 12. For tickets and more information, visit www.NCTheatre.com.

Photo credit: Curtis Brown.

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Amusing Antics by Clay Aiken, Beth Leavel & Co. Make "The Drowsy Chaperone" a Must-See Musical

Amusing Antics by Clay Aiken, Beth Leavel, & Co. Make “The Drowsy Chaperone” a Must-See Musical

Posted by Robert W. McDowell+ • May 9th, 2013 • Printer-friendly


Clay Aiken and Beth Leavel star as the star-struck Man in Chair and the tipsy title character in NCT’s robust rendition of “The Drowsy Chaperone” (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

“American Idol” season-two runner-up Clay Aiken wins the hearts and minds of Triangle theatergoers with his pixilated performance as the star-struck Man in Chair in the North Carolina Theatre‘s uproarious rendition of The Drowsy Chaperone, playing now through Sunday in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in the downtown Raleigh, NC. Aiken, who made his professional debut at age 17 in NCT’s 1996 productions of 1776 and Shenandoah, is a hoot as an eccentric, effete musical-theater snob with a special affection for a forgotten 1928 Broadway musical romance entitled The Drowsy Chaperone.

Although he doesn’t have much of an opportunity to sing, Aiken demonstrates a fine flair for comedy as Man in Chair sets the musical ball rolling as he spins remastered LPs from his favorite guilty pleasure and — like magic — the original Roaring Twenties cast of The Drowsy Chaperone materializes all around him — to flirt and dance and crack wise. Meanwhile, Man in Chair scampers around and through the action, introducing the characters and the actors and actresses who play them with pep in their step, thanks to NCT artistic director Casey Hushion’s robust recreation of the original 2006 Broadway direction and choreography devised by her friend Casey Nicholaw, while Hushion served as his assistant director.

Clay Aiken’s fellow Raleigh native Beth Leavel is a scream as she reprises Tony Award®-winning performance as the perpetually sozzled and always hot-to-trot title character, whose signature song — belted in a big Broadway voice — is “As We Stumble Along.” While Leavel is hamming it up hilariously — and stealing every scene in which she appears — Johnny Stellard and Paige Faure keep the waves of laughter rolling with their antics as well-heeled groom-to-be Robert Martin and his fabulous fiancée, big Broadway star Janet Van De Graaff, who would be having cold feet if they ever cooled off from her sizzling dance routines.

The caffeinated comic characterizations of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed supporting cast and the invigorating accompaniment of the red-hot NCT orchestra, under the direction of Edward G. Robinson, help elevate this offbeat musical- within-a-musical from a “star package” to a full-scale musical extravaganza that compares favorably with the deluze touring versions of Broadway musicals that regularly visit the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. (Indeed, the North Carolina Theatre is the Triangle’s foremost purveyor of home-grown Broadway musicals!)


Paige Faure is a pip as soon-to-be former showgirl Janet Van De Graaff, the acrobatic bride-to-be in “The Drowsy Chaperone” at NCT (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Original Drowsy Chaperone Broadway cast member Linda Griffin and her partner in mirth, Dirk Lumbard, amuse royally as the ditsy hostess of the Martin-Van De Graaff nuptials, Mrs. Tottendale (in her ante-bellum outfits), and the Underling who fulfills her every need (pun intended). Indeed, they raise the “spit take” to an art form!

Fearful of losing his prime attraction to marriage, the big Broadway producer named Feldzieg (puckishly played by Adam Heller) employs the oily would-be Latin lover Aldolpho (hammed to perfection by Dennis Josefsberg) to seduce the bride, only things go awry almost immediately and Aldolpho sets his sights on another member of the wedding party — and provokes gales of laughter with his fumbling attempts to bed her.

Patrick Wetzel, who appears on the cast recording of The Drowsy Chaperone, adds a crisp comic cameo as George, Robert Martin’s hapless best man whose arrangements for the wedding unravel faster than he can knit them back together. Also making the most of their brief moments in the spotlight are Dana Zilman Harshaw as Feldzieg’s giddy girlfriend Kitty, who wants to replace Janet Van De Graaff as Feldzieg’s star of stars; Jeremy Morse as Gangster #1 and Eric Mann as Gangster #2, who are employed by Feldzieg’s chief investor and disguised as pastry chefs to pressure Feldzieg to ensure that the wedding gets called off; and Wake Forest chanteuse Yolanda W. Rabun as Trix the Aviatrix, who drops in just in time to save the day. The hijinks of Messrs. Morse and Mann are knee-slappers, and Rabun turns “I Do, I Do in the Sky” into one of the show’s musical highlights.

The Drowsy Chaperone’s magnificent scenery, originally designed for the Music Theatre of Wichita by J. Branson and George Mitchell, and the fab-u-lous 1920s fashions recreated by Branson and Mitchel for the Music Theatre of Wichita, Greg Barnes for The 5th Avenue Theatre of Seattle, and NCT costumer Ann M. Bruskiewitz provide a superlative setting and eye- catching costumes that make the Raleigh-based regional theater’s presentation of The Drowsy Chaperone look as good as it sounds. Don’t miss it!

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BWW Blog: Paige Faure -- A Very Drowsy Opening

BWW Blog: Paige Faure - A Very DROWSY Opening

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by Guest Blogger: Paige Faure

Hello, how are we?

I'm feeling a little drowsy myself. It might be the glass of Red Zinfandel I have in my hand, or the fact that I have a three month old baby boy, Henry, who is always so excited to see me...at 3 am. Or it could be because last night we opened a beautiful production of "The Drowsy Chaperone" in Raleigh, NC at the North Carolina Theater, directed by Casey Hushion, with two weeks of rehearsal and little time to breathe let alone breastfeed. Regardless of the lack of sleep, I have to say I'm having such a grand time singing and cartwheeling with this bunch of actors. I mean, how many times in your life does someone say, "Would you be willing/able to share the stage with Beth Leavel reprising the role for which she won a Tony Award?" Boy, does that ever give you the fire to get back into shape post-partum. And if that weren't enough, the rest of the cast seems to be custom-made for their roles as well, including former-American Idol runner-up, Clay Aiken, playing the Man In Chair. Say what you want about reality stars, but he is the real deal, y'all. Makes me misty every night. Of course, I say every night like we have been doing this forever or will be doing this forever...no no, like a lot of regional gigs, this one lasts a mere week in actual performance mode. Sometimes one week is enough but I dare say, I could do this one for months on end. This all may seem a bit gushy - I don't like to be gushy - but it's true. If you haven't seen DROWSY somewhere, you should. Now. Preferably ours. Because we like big crowds laughing at us. (In the intentional way...)

Alas, many of you will not be able to see this one this time, so let me ruin a plot point for you - everyone gets married at the end. No one is left sad or lonesome or "blue" as Man In Chair puts it. The (Toledo) surprise of DROWSY is how silly it seems at first glance, then how meaningful it becomes as it unfolds. It leaves even the biggest outcast with a sense of belonging. Not that everything can or will be perfect, but that anyone can find their best possible place in the world, even if there's some STUMBLING ALONG the way...(Love that tune.) And its fun. Just fun.

Speaking of FUN - after my very short tenure as Miss Janet Van der Graff, I will be taking my little gypsy baby back on the road to hang with his daddy, my husband,Adam Monley, in Houston, TX for the Theater Under the Stars production of Spamalot, where he is playing "Sir Galahad". I will be judging the fate of my son based on his ability to handle the comedic genius of the Monty Python world. I don't care that he is but an infant - I have standards. Any self-respecting mother would. However, I'm fairly certain he will appreciate it, particularly since he even finds it amusing when I say "poopie" with a Muppet-like face. SO - Stay tuned, for the next exciting chapter of Paige Faure's Blog: "Will Henry find the Holy Grail of humor?"

Peace and Joy - Pf.

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A loopy musical send-up with a heart: this Drowsy Chaperone's no sleeper

A loopy musical send-up with a heart: this Drowsy Chaperone's no sleeper

Through Sunday at Memorial Auditorium

Posted by Byron Woods @byronwoods on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 1:58 PM


  • She doesn't really want to show off: Paige Faure as unwilling Broadway bombshell Janet Van De Graaff, in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE



North Carolina Theatre

Through May 12

Musical theater fans can be quite rigid in their tastes, and even more so once they’ve reached a certain age. Take this tart little number, whom I encountered the other night in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. Mere moments from the opening curtain, he was already griping to me about the long-term decline of the American musical—and at a North Carolina Theatre show, no less: They’re too disappointing. Too long. And then there are those productions—you know, the ones where the cast comes out into the audience: “God. I didn’t pay $100,” he snarked, “to have the fourth wall come crashing down around my ears.”

“You know,” he groused, “there was a time when people sat in darkened theatres and thought to themselves, ‘What have George and Ira got for me tonight?’ Or ‘Can Cole Porter pull it off again?’”

“Can you imagine? Now, it’s ‘Please, Elton John, must we continue this charade?’”

(What can I say? People have always felt that they can just open up to me.)

But this little-too-lonesome character wasn’t some crank on a night pass from assisted living in North Raleigh. The man in the chair was actually our host. (His name? Man in Chair.) And as the central figure in the musical THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, he not only ushered us into his all-time favorite night at the theater, dropping the needle on a phonograph to share the soundtrack by its original cast with us. He then proceeded to lead us on a guided personal tour of it as well, repeatedly interrupting the playback with his annotations on the careers of the performers, the mechanics of the show—and almost anything else that came to mind as the record spun. As obsessive musical theater fans will sometimes do.

And, as also sometimes happens, that musical, which becomes the play within this play, takes over and remakes his rather gray little flat into the dynamic stage of an all-singing, all-dancing (and definitely all-mugging) spectacular which supposedly bowled them over on Broadway in 1928.


  • Curtis Brown
  • Man in Chair, with Musical: Clay Aiken, in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

No, they sure don’t make ‘em like that anymore—mainly because, in this case, they never made it to begin with: As with the Little Green Pig’s current production, Chaperone lovingly recreates a hallmark New York production that actually never existed in the first place.

But with that niggling little drawback conceded, the musical which comes back to life, before his eyes and ours, spirits us off into an escapist musical comedy about high society in the decadent ‘20s.

Or, at least, it does until the land line in his apartment rings and an answering machine turns on to take the call. Or the record starts skipping, or other examples of what our host calls “the dreary horrors of the real world” intervene.

At first it seems our host’s beloved musical has all of the iridescence—and, unfortunately, the resilience—of a soap bubble. Still, after each catastrophe, the Man (a surprising Clay Aiken) and the interrupted production recollects themselves. Then they carry on.

That musical embedded within this show is a theatrical souffle; a pastiche that faithfully honors, lampoons—and occasionally, critiques—the on- and off-stage conventions of the old-school musical comedy. “Fancy Dress,” the opening number, transparently sets up the situation—while devoting a mere four bars apiece to introduce all of the main and minor characters. (Now, that’s compositional economy.)

In its wisp of a plot, the lovely, talented—and ruthlessly unassuming—Broadway bombshell Janet Van De Graaff (Paige Faure) has just turned her back on showbiz to marry the too-perfect-to-live Robert Martin (Johnny Stellard), handsome oil heir and man about town. This development not only displeases Janet’s boss, Broadway impresario Feldzieg (hint: invert the syllables)—it angers the representatives of Feldzieg’s underworld backer, two tough-guy enforcers disguised as dessert makers (Jeremy Morse and Eric Mann).

Can Feldzieg stop the impending wedding on the estate of the dotty Mrs. Tottendale (Linda Griffin)? Can Janet’s chaperone keep her out of the clutches of Aldolpho (David Josefsberg), the notorious lothario Feldzieg’s hired to accomplish this?


  • Curtis Brown
  • Upstaging, again? Diva Beatrice Stockwell (Beth Leavel) pulls focus from Janet (Paige Faure) and Man in Chair (Clay Aiken) in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

And, most importantly, can aging diva-cum-battleaxe Beatrice Stockwell (Beth Leavel) upstage or steal yet another scene as the chaperone, in an all but open warfare with the show within the show’s female lead and ingenue?

These are the stakes in a loopy assortment of dance and tap routines (lovingly choreographed by director Casey Hushion), variety show numbers, takes (in both the spit and double varieties)—and unforgivable puns. The last include the following exchange, when the pastry chefs goons threaten Feldzieg with “a recipe for disaster” if the impending nuptuals go through: “Now, one cannoli hope we have made ourselves perfectly éclair.” In another moment, Kitty (Dana Harshaw), the wide-eyed, empty-headed showgirl begging for a part in Feldzeig's next big show boasts about her recent ballet lessons: "I'm getting pretty good, too. Last week I auditioned for Swanee Lake."

(Don’t move. The pain should subside, momentarily.)

The silliness peaks in showstoppers including “Show Off,” in which Janet learns how hard it is to get an adoring world to just stop worshipping her, damn it: “I don’t wanna change keys no more | I don’t wanna strip tease no more | I don’t wanna say cheese no more,” she begs, amid impromptu displays of apparently irrepressible talent.

That’s matched shortly after by Beatrice’s trademark rousing anthem, “As We Stumble Along.” Leavel (who originated the role on Broadway) sells the song’s distended metaphor with a collection of shameless showbiz moves that literally puts her nemesis in eclipse.

Similarly overripe analogies in Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison's libretto provide comic dividends in the romantic plea “You’re An Accident Waiting to Happen (So Hurry and Happen to Me)” and a “Bride’s Lament,” following the inevitable lover’s spat. Only the seducer’s anthem, “I Am Adolpho,” briefly overstays its welcome.


  • Curtis Brown
  • Just dropped in: Trix the aviatrix (Yolanda Rabun) crashes the wedding party in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

But the light merriment—and outright hilarity at points—of the show within the show is curiously interrupted by something else: the Man in Chair’s own critical assessment of the work and the time in which it appeared.

He calls a mid-show excursion into a number seemingly lifted from a retread of The King and I “a degrading piece of Chinoiserie... a slap in the face of 4000 years of Chinese history.” (North Carolina Theatre has produced that show three times, most recently in 2004). And it stings, as it should, when Robert gaily refers to “Cold Feets,” an early tap number, as “a song an old Negro taught me.” Though Aiken’s Man tells us thatChaperone’s fictional creators were "quite progressive" in casting a female African-American dancer as a black aviatrix (in the vein of Josephine Brooks), playwrights Bob Martin and Don McKellar didn’t let us forget the racial dynamics in 1920s America among all the joking around.

After Adopho’s send-up of the Latin lover, the Man muses, “Mature contemporary audiences are too sophisticated to enjoy broad racial stereotypes on the stage. So we’ve banished them to Disney. Let the children sort it out.”


This production marks Clay Aiken’s return to the site of some of his earliest stage work, well before the days ofAmerican Idol and his subsequent leap to pop stardom. After a bit of digging, I found that I saw—and reviewed, for the News & Observer—the 1996 N.C. Theatre production of 1776 (in which he appeared in the modest supporting roles of A Painter and A Leather Apron), and the company’s 1997 iteration of Annie (in which he made the chorus).


  • Curtis Brown
  • Splitsville: Janet (Paige Faure) stoically gives the fans an encore, in THE DROWSY CHAPERONE

Since neither of those reviews made any mention of the budding thespian and future pop star, I kind of need to make sure that doesn’t happen this time out.

Aiken surprised me, slowly turning a role that so easily qualifies as a stereotype itself—a somewhat catty musical theater fiend, of ambiguous sexual orientation—into a character whose wit, insight and increasing poignancy ultimately moved me. Though his makeup needed further tweaks to reflect the true age of the Man in Chair, I found I cared a lot more about Aiken's character, under Hushion’s direction, than the lead who played to the same house in the professional touring version in 2008.

In these hands, we spend some time in a small room with a man who is—and, suddenly, isn’t—quite alone. Bette Davis was right when she once observed that old age is not for sissies. In this production, a daffy musical comedy—and a vivid world that reconstitutes whenever a phonograph record plays—provides an aging man with hidden, formidable resources. Hushion and Aiken find the heart in The Drowsy Chaperone. I’m pleased to report that its pulse is quite strong.

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The Number One Song Ten Year Ago Will Surprise You

Throwback Thursday: The Number One Song 10 Years Ago Today Will Surprise You


Posted by Samantha Martin on 06/27/2013 at 12:54 PM News

The Popdust Files: Beyonce, Clay Aiken, Throwback Thursday

Close your eyes and picture the summer of 2003. What do you hear? A blast of “Crazy In Love” with wafts of “Get Busy” and “In Da Club?” Same with us.

Now open your eyes, and prepare for them to widen: The number one song ten years ago today was sung by Clay Aiken.

To be fair, this is not so absurd given the insane popularity of American Idol season 2 and the fact that the song in question, “This is the Night,” was reportedly inspired by 9/11. On top of this, Aiken finished second on Idol, and everybody loves an underdog.

Beyonce would swoop in the next week with “Crazy In Love” and enjoy a solid 8 week run at the top. Still, if you hopped in a time machine today and zapped 10 years in the past, it would’ve been a Clay Day.

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