Gavin Creel is back in the U.S. after scoring both an Olivier Award and a WhatsOnStage Award for his starring performance as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon on the West End. So now he and theater personality Seth Rudetsky are making up for lost time.
"We were meant to do [an Art House] concert three years back but Hurricane Irene happened and we had to cancel last minute because we didn't feel like getting on a puddle-jumper plane and being cast into the sea," Creel remembered during a recent conversation with TheaterMania. "So Seth called me when he knew I was gonna be on break and he said, 'Is there any chance you want to make up that concert?'"
Creel said yes, and the duo is scheduled for two performances, September 5 and 6, at The Art House in Provincetown, MA. Following his Provincetown appearance, Creel, star of Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie and Hair, will be buying an apartment in NYC and pursuing his next big project.
Is this the first concert you are doing with Seth?
I've worked with him before, but this is the first time I've ever done one of these Art House concerts and in his format — it's sort of like chatterbox meets cabaret. We have a fun set list picked. And it's gonna be really relaxed and casual. That's kind of how I always am when I do concerts. I'm not much for formality.
What do you like about Seth's format?
The casual nature of it. And also Seth is just funny. I sort of sit onstage as an audience member and then I just happen to be an audience member who's given a microphone. So I get to enjoy Seth and give anecdotes. He's also a beautiful musician and he has a real taste for great and off-the-wall music.
Is it nerve-racking that there will be elements that you haven't rehearsed?
Oh my gosh, yes. I will never have sung through the whole show until the night of. But I also like that challenge. I've been singing The Book of Mormon for two years and it's such a demanding show that I haven't done any concerts of my own…So I thought it would be good to have the challenge of learning some material, thinking about new lyrics, [and] about how to present them. That's why I did this in the first place — being able to communicate and connect through the music.
After spending significant time in both New York and London, where would you like to be next?
I want to be home. Out of the last eight years of my life, I've spent almost four of them in London. And it's time to stay home. I miss Broadway. I miss New York. I miss America. I miss my friends and my family. I've had amazing opportunities and experiences over there but it's my second home, not my first. So I'm putting down roots and I'm buying an apartment uptown and I'm staying put.
That's a bold move.
Yeah. You know, you've got to put a flag in the earth sometimes and say this is where I'm staying. I have been a nomad for most of my thirties, even creatively. Almost all of my thirties until a year and half ago, I spent waffling between different projects. Musical theater has sort of always been there for me but I haven't always treated it with the same reverence as it's treated me. And this job is really where I'm happiest and most successful and I get the most response from people to the work I'm doing.
Do you have a dream role now that you're back in New York?
I want to be above the title in something new. It's a total dream because I don't know what it would be. But I want it to be in something that plays on all of my abilities. And I'd like somebody to write it for me. That's kind of what I want. I mean, it's every actor's dream, but I figure why not put it out there and hopefully one of these great writers [who] I love will read your article and go, "I've got an idea!" and call me up.
Do you have a dream writer for a project like that?
You know, I love Adam Guettel's stuff. I really, really think he's the bee's freakin' knees. I love Jason Robert Brown. I love Ahrens and Flaherty. I'm not good at conjuring up people. I'm sure there's a million other greats. Miller and Tyson — I think they're amazing and they haven't had their dues yet. I also want Sara Bareilles. I think I'll put her at the top of the list. I kind of want her to write something for her and me to do together. I got to do a concert where we sang together once and I saw her on the Emmys and I thought she was the best thing of the entire night. I mean her voice is amazing and her spirit's amazing. And I also might write something for myself. We'll see.
What do you think you'll miss about London?
Tea. High tea. That was my favorite thing. I love going to afternoon tea…Any time somebody from America would come over, I would take them to tea in the afternoon. You'd go and you'd have the scones and the biscuits and the tea and the clotted cream and jams and champagne, and it's just heaven.
Well, you can implement that here.
Mmm hmm. I won't. I put on a lot of weight eating all that clotted cream. But I'm gonna miss the people. I mean, I miss them now. I miss my cast and my friends that I made over there...I wish there was a universe where I could combine them all and be together, but that isn't the case so I'm grateful for what I had.
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