Actor Gavin Creel

Gavin James Creel (born April 18, 1976) is an American actor, singer, and songwriter best known for his work in musical theatre. Creel made his Broadway debut in 2002 in the leading role of Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie before starring as Claude in the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair, both Tony Award-nominated performances. From 2012–2015, he starred as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon; he received a Laurence Olivier Award for originating the role in the West End version of the musical and has played the role in the US National Tour and on Broadway. In 2017, he received a Tony Award for his performance as Cornelius Hackl in Broadway’s Hello, Dolly!.

Other stage credits of his include La Cage aux Folles (2004), She Loves Me (2016), and Waitress (2019) on Broadway, Mary Poppins (2006) and Waitress (2020) in the West End, and the national tours of Fame (1998) and Flashdance (2012). Primarily a theater actor, his most notable screen acting role is as Bill in Eloise at the Plaza and its Christmas-themed sequel.

Early life

Creel was born in Findlay, Ohio. He attended Findlay High School, graduating in 1994. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 1998.

Career

1997–2002: Early career

Creel began his professional career in regional theater. Some of his earliest credits are as part of the resident cast of Pittsburgh CLO, a repertory theater, for their 1997 and 1998 seasons; mostly ensemble roles, some of his eight productions there included Kiss Me Kate, La Cage aux Folles, and On the Town. Other stock theater credits around this time include productions in Massachusetts and New York state.

Following college graduation, Creel played Nick Piazza in the in the opening cast of 1998 national tour of Fame. In 1998-1999, the tour performed in cities including Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Following the tour, he continued to perform in regional theater before moving to New York City in the early 2000s. In 2001, he was the swing in the original off-Broadway production of Bat Boy: The Musical. He also took part in the 2001 workshop of Spring Awakening.

2002–2012: Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hair

In 2002, Creel made his Broadway debut in the original production Thoroughly Modern Millie, originating the stage version of Jimmy Smith opposite Sutton Foster’s Millie Dillmount. A breakthrough performance, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. Following his departure from the show in April 2003, he performed in the original Chicago production of Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show, then titled Bounce, recorded the original cast album for Bright Lights, Big City, among other productions and workshops. Of note, he made his screen acting debut in the 2003 film Eloise at the Plaza and its follow-up Eloise at Christmastime as Bill.

He returned to Broadway in 2004 in the revival La Cage aux Folles. He played Jean-Michel throughout the production. In 2006, he made his West End debut in Mary Poppins. He replaced Bert in the original production. Also in 2006, he released his debut studio album Goodtimenation.

He returned to Broadway in 2009 in the revival of Hair. For his starring role of Claude, he received his second Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. He and the rest of the cast performed in London through 2010 when the production transferred to the West End. Following Hair, he starred in the world premiere of Prometheus Bound and the original US tour of the Flashdance musical; the national tour was expected to function as a pre-Broadway production but did not transfer.

2012–present: The Book of Mormon and Hello Dolly!

From 2012 until 2015, Creel starred in a series of productions of The Book of Mormon. He first starred as Elder Price in the First Nation Tour of the show in 2012. He subsequently originated the role in the musical’s original West End production; for this performance, he was awarded Best Actor in a Musical at the 2014 Laurence Olivier Award, the most prestigious theatrical awards in the United Kingdom. Following his West End run, he returned to the touring production for a number of months before joining the Broadway cast in 2015.

Creel played the suave salesman Steven Kodaly, opposite Jane Krakowski, in the 2016 Broadway revival of She Loves Me. The show was a critical success and the production became the first Broadway show ever to be live-streamed. Since then, the recording has been part of the PBS series Great Performances.

In 2017, he began playing Cornelius Hackl in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler. For his role, Creel was awarded the 2017 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. In 2019, Creel assumed the role Dr. Pomatter in the Broadway production of Waitress. He subsequently played the role in the West End production of the musical.

In 2021, Creel appeared in two episodes of American Horror Stories opposite Matt Bomer and Sierra McCormick on FX on Hulu.

Personal life

Creel is openly gay. He is a regular on the LGBT RFamilyVacations cruise with Rosie O’Donnell. He is also one of the founders, with Rory O’Malley and Jenny Kanelos, of Broadway Impact, an LGBT activist group. He is an alumnus of Findlay First Edition Show Choir. He was in a relationship with actor Jonathan Groff in 2009.

Creel took a temporary leave from Hello, Dolly! in March 2018 for medical reasons.

In 2020, days after leaving Waitress in London, Creel announced he had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Acting credits

Theater

Adapted from About The Artists and Broadway World.

Year Show Role Venue Notes
1998 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Hero North Shore Music Theatre
1998–99 Fame Nick Piazza The North American Tour:
November 1998 – 1999
National tour
2000 Honk! Ugly North Shore Music Theatre
Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center US premiere
2000 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Hero California Musical Theatre
2001 The Flood Male Lead Prospect Theatre Company
2001 Hair Principal/Father/Tribe Encores! Concert
2001 Bat Boy: The Musical Swing/Understudy Union Square Theatre:
2001– December 2001
Original Off-Broadway replacement
2001 Spring Awakening Melchior Roundabout Theatre Company Workshop
2002–03 Thoroughly Modern Millie Jimmy Smith Marquis Theatre:
March 2002 – April 2003
Original Broadway production
2003 Bounce Hollis Bessemer Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre:
June – August 2003
Original Chicago production
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:
October – November 2003
Washington, D.C.
2003 Bright Lights, Big City Michael New York Concert Concert performance
2004 A Tale of Two Cities Charles Darnay Workshop
2004 The Mystery Plays Joe Manning Second Stage Theatre
Yale Repertory Theater
2004 Illyria Sebastien Prospect Theatre
2004 Hair Performer New Amsterdam Theatre Actors’ Fund Concert
2004 La Cage aux Folles Jean-Michel Marquis Theatre:
November 2004 – June 2005
Broadway revival
2006 Mary Poppins Bert Prince Edward Theatre West End replacement
2009–10 Hair Claude Al Hirschfeld Theatre:
March 2009 – April 2010
Broadway revival
Gielgud Theatre:
2010
West End transfer
2011 Prometheus Bound Prometheus American Repertory Theater:
February – April 2011
Original production
2012 Flashdance Nick Hurley US National Tour Original US production
2012–15 The Book of Mormon Elder Price US National Tour:
August 2012 – January 2013
National tour original cast
Prince of Wales Theatre:
February 2013 – July 2014
West End original cast
US National Tour:
August 2014 – December 2014
Toronto / Montreal
Eugene O’Neill Theatre:
January 2015 – January 2016
Broadway replacement
2016 She Loves Me Steven Kodaly Studio 54:
March – July 2016
Broadway revival
2017–18 Hello, Dolly! Cornelius Hackl Shubert Theatre:
March 2017 – March 2018
May – August 2018
Broadway revival
2019–20 Waitress Dr. Pomatter Brooks Atkinson Theatre:
January – February 2019
Broadway replacement
Adelphi Theatre:
January – March 2020
West End replacement

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Eloise at the Plaza Bill Television film
2003 Eloise at Christmastime Bill Television film
2016 She Loves Me Kodaly Filmed Broadway show
2019 Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure Matthews (voice) 4 episodes
2021 American Horror Stories Troy Miniseries; 2 episodes
2021 Central Park Young Hank (voice) Episode: “The Shadow”

Other works

  • 2016: The Ceiling Fan (producer) • short film
  • Discography

    Solo discography

  • 2006: Goodtimenation (Creel/Roth)
  • 2012: Get Out (self-released)
  • 2010: Quiet (self-released); No. 44 at the Billboard’s Top Heatseekers
  • 2011: “Noise (Equality Now)”
  • 2012: “Whitney Houston”
  • 2002: “Lullaby of Broadway” with Marc Kudisch & David Nehls from Broadway Romances Manhattan
  • 2007: “Young at Heart” from Over the Rainbow (Universal)
  • 2010: “Greenwich Time” from Love on a Summer Afternoon: Songs of Sam Davis (PS Classics)
  • 2017: “Christmas Broadway Bus Stop” with Laura Bell Bundy & Eden Espinosa
  • 2019: “Do You Hear the Bells?” with The Laurie Berkner Band from Waiting For The Elevator
  • 2020″ “Witchcraft/I Put a Spell on You” from I Put a Spell on You (Broadway Records)
  • 2020: “If It Be Your Will” with Shoshana Bean & Shayna Steele from Sing Your Hallelujah (Shotime Records)
  • 2021: “Something Wonderful” from R&H Goes Pop!
  • 2021: “A Moment Forever Ago” from Central Park Season Two, The Soundtrack
  • Cast recordings

  • 2002: Thoroughly Modern Millie (RCA Victor)
  • 2005: Hair (Actors Fund of America Benefit Recording) (Sh-K-Boom)
  • 2005: Bright Lights, Big City (Sh-K-Boom)
  • 2006: It’s Only Life (A New Musical Revue) (PS Classics)
  • 2009: Hair (New Broadway Cast Recording) (Sh-K-Boom)
  • 2011: Fine and Dandy (World Premiere Recording) (PS Classics)
  • 2012: Flashdance – The Musical (Roth Music Inc.)
  • 2012: Fugitive Songs – A Song Cycle (Warner/Chappell)
  • 2016: She Loves Me (2016 Broadway Cast Recording) (Ghostlight Records)
  • 2017: Hello, Dolly! (New Broadway Cast Recording) (Masterworks Broadway)
  • 2019: Three Points of Contact (Very Intense Records)
  • Awards and nominations

    Year Award Category Work Result
    2002 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Thoroughly Modern Millie Nominated
    2009 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Hair Nominated
    Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
    2010 GLAAD Media Award Special Recognition Award
    (shared with cast)
    Honouree
    2014 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Musical The Book of Mormon Won
    WhatsOnStage Award Best Actor in a Musical Won
    2017 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hello, Dolly! Won
    Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won
    Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won

    External Links

    Actor Gavin Creel – Wikipedia

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