Photo Coverage: Gavin Creel & HAIR Friends Plays Birdland
Last night, November 1, Gavin Creel opened his three-week run at Birdland with the help of Hair alumni Cassie Levy, Steel Burkhardt and others. Creel will play his "Back to New York" show at Birdland for the next 2 Mondays, November 8 and November 15 at 7pm.
The concerts mark Tony-nominated Gavin Creel's return to the US after his triumphant run starring as Claude in the West End production of Hair. During his time in London over the past six months, Creel has written new material and will perform with friends and special guests during his Birdland residency. Gavin will also be celebrating the release and performing songs from his new EP, "Quiet". As a follow-up to his debut album, "GOODTIMENATION," "Quiet" is an intimate collection of six original acoustic session songs, including fan favorite, "Hot Ohio," a song Creel describes as, "a simple ode to the kid out there with big-time dreams, trapped in a small town...with no air conditioning."
Gavin Creel was nominated for the 2009 TONY® Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and also received a 2009 Distinguished Performance Award nomination by the Drama League for his star turn as Claude in the hit Broadway Revival of Hair. Creel garnered his first Tony® nomination for Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002. Gavin is an alumnus of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department and is also an accomplished singer-songwriter with his own concert and recording career.
Creel was raised in a small city in Ohio and spent his childhood studying classical music, while obsessively listening to Top 40 radio. He developed a unique roster of childhood musical heroes that included Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, George Michael, and Harry Connick Jr. After graduating high school, he took his passion for music and performing to the University of Michigan. It was during his collegiate years, with sights set firmly on the New York Stage, that Creel started writing and developing his own songs, creating a unique sound that blended his love for both pop and theatre music.
Once he hit New York City, Creel broke out with his first Best Actor Tony® nomination in his Broadway debut as Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Since then, he has solidified his reputation as one of the business' top performers. For more than 10 years, Gavin has worked consistently as a actor to great acclaim. He starred as Bert in the West End production of Mary Poppins and as Jean-Michel in the Tony® Award winning revival of La Cage Aux Folles in 2004-2005. He has appeared in the world premiere of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Bounce (Dir. Hal Prince), Bat Boy (Off-Broadway), Honk! (American Premiere), The Mystery Plays (Second Stage / Yale Rep.) and can also be seen alongside Julie Andrews as "Bill" in the television movies ELOISE AT THE PLAZA and ELOISE AT CHRISTMASTIME.
He can be heard on numerous recordings such as the Grammy-nominated Hair (2009), Bright Lights, Big City, Thoroughly Modern Millie, It's Only Life, The Actors' Fund Benefit recording of Hair, Find and Dandy, and Fame.
In tandem with his success as an actor, Creel has garnered a mainstream following playing his own sold-out shows at famed London venues such as The Pigalle Club and Ronnie Scott's, as well as New York's Symphony Space, Joe's Pub, and Arlene's Grocery.
For tickets to the concerts, visit www.birdlandjazz.com.
Photo Credit: Monica Simoes
Gavin Creel & Celia Keenan -Bolger