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Final Bow

Final Bow: Corey Cott Bids Gigi Adieu

He'll always have Paris…and the Tony Awards.

After an intoxicating ride, Corey Cott takes his final sip of Broadway bubbly in the cast of Gigi this Sunday afternoon at the Neil Simon Theatre. Fans may not recognize him without the page-boy hat he donned for nearly two years in the cast of Disney's Newsies, but for the past three months, he's been sporting a coat and tails as wealthy playboy Gaston Lachaille.

With only a few more chances to win the heart of his platonic pal-turned-love-interest (played by Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame), TheaterMania tapped Cott for a few of his favorite memories from gay Paris.

Corey Cott stars as Gaston in the revival of Gigi at the Neil Simon Theatre.
(© David Gordon)

1. What is your favorite line that you delivered?
In the duet that we sing at the end, I have this amazing declaration of love that's just really beautiful. "We'll take wing on love and sing of love like birds forever fly." That's my favorite singing line. In terms of a line, one of my favorites is "The only people who make love all the time are liars."

2. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty experienced during your show and how was it handled?
The other day I finished the title song, and I walked offstage maybe for two seconds and got a drink of water and then walked right back on. I've done this every day now for six months and this was the first time it went down the wrong pipe and I just had a coughing fit. I walk on the stage still trying to clear my throat and Victoria Clark like the gem of an improv actress she is looks at me and goes, "Gaston, do you need a drink of water?" I looked back at her and said, "No, I'm fine, thank you." And we just carried on with the show.

3. What was the most "interesting" present someone gave you at the stage door?
Somebody gave me a little tux outfit for my dog [with] a collar that has a bowtie on it. A Gaston outfit for my puppy. That was pretty funny.

4. Who is the coolest person who came to see your show? (You can't say family!)
Darren Criss came and I love him. He came during the run and now we've gotten to hang out a few times. He's a cool guy. I have a little man-crush on Darren Criss.

5. The cast of Gigi got to perform at the Tony Awards this year. What is your favorite memory from that experience?
There are probably two. Moments before we did our performance, we got to go onstage and just kind of run around and get all our jitters out. We just took a moment to really appreciate where we were and what we were about to do. And then also when we got to sing the In Memoriam. I actually asked my wife to marry me after I sang a Josh Groban song. There was a moment where we were down in the elevator and we could see all of Radio City, and Josh Groban was standing right in front of us. It all came kind of full circle for me. [Getting] engaged and wanting to be on the Tony Awards since I was a little kid. The Tony Awards were what made me want to be an actor. All these moments came full circle during the In Memoriam. That was pretty spectacular.

Cott in his Gigi and Newsies costumes.
(© Joan Marcus/Lorenzo Bevilaqua)

6. You've gone from a bedraggled newsboy outfit to fine Parisian suits. If you had to wear one of your Broadway costumes for an entire day out in the real world, which would you choose?
Jack Kelly by far. I don't like getting dressed up that much. I wear jeans and a flannel or jeans and a T-shirt and a hat every single day. I like to be comfortable. Not to say that I don't appreciate looking good.

7. Vanessa Hudgens brought a huge fan base to the show. Were there any memorable superfans in the audience?
There are people who throw flowers onto the stage in the front row and stuff like that, but they've been a lot tamer than I would have imagined. I was expecting off-the-wall crazy. [But] our stage door has felt like a rock concert. You get out there and there are hundreds of people waiting, most of which are waiting to meet her. The thing I like to do sometimes is let her go through the stage door before me to see how many people really care about me and usually it's around five. [laughs]

8. In the show, there is a very specific moment where Gaston realizes he is in love with Gigi. Do you remember the specific moment you realized you were in love with your wife?
I relive it every single day and it's the best part of my day. My wife and I, we had been dating for probably eight or nine months. There was this moment where we were sitting on the couch watching a movie and the movie ended. I forget exactly how it came out but I think I was the first person to say, "I am in love with you." And she started tearing up a little bit and she said it back. And I remember we just started laughing and saying it over and over to each other. I think it was the first time both of us had ever experienced the true meaning of the words in a relationship with another person.

9. Both you and Vanessa have been involved with beloved Disney projects. Growing up, what was your Disney obsession?
It's hard to pick but Toy Story and The Lion King were my two biggest obsessions. My dad had all The Lion King action figures and stuffed animals. Me and my brother would always pretend to be Simba and Scar and fight each other when we were very, very little. And then Toy Story kind of blew my mind. It still blows my mind today.

Cott (center) with Victoria Clark and Vanessa Hudgens, who play their final performance of Gigi Sunday, June 21.
(© Margot Schulman)
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