If there was to be a revival of The Most Happy Fella on Broadway, Robert Creighton should be cast as the lead right now. I actually have no idea what the show is about, but what I do know is that at his concert and album release party at the Metropolitan Room February 13 for his debut record Ain’t We Got Fun, Creighton was the most gleeful guy in New York. In addition to covering for Joel Grey as Moonface Martin in the hit revival of Anything Goes when the actor was out due to an injury in the fall and having a baby with his wife soon after, Creighton kicked off the official release of his album by duetting on stage with Anything Goes original castmates Laura Osnes and Grey.
Ain’t We Got Fun is a collection of jazz and Tin Pan Alley standards, as well as Creighton’s own compositions of the same style. If that genre of music gets your toes tapping, Creighton’s renditions will delight. If those tunes don’t float your boat, you’re still bound to enjoy Creighton as an entertainer because every performance is infused with characterization and his brand of clumsy, ‘aw shucks’ humor. And there was no shortage of that charm at Creighton’s concert. After kicking the show off with his own song “Crazy ‘Bout You,” Creighton explained that he was about to deliver his third baby. His first was the musical Cagney!, which he co-wrote and starred in in Florida. The second being his actual child and the third baby being the debut of his album.
VIDEO: Watch Robert Creighton sing “Crazy ‘Bout You”
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What do you think, Rushers? Do you think Robert Creighton has navigated Broadway wisely? Which duet are you most excited to hear on his album—Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Joel Grey, or Tituss Burgess? What did you think of Relatively Speaking and Sons of the Prophet? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Robert Creighton made the decision that he would not understudy anymore. After covering roles in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Little Mermaid on Broadway, he felt that he was losing his spark, his “umph,” which Creighton cites as his greatest asset. But then along came the revival of Anything Goes, and as Creighton himself says, “[Understudying] Joel Grey’s a different story.”
Creighton has been covering Grey in the role of Moonface Martin in the Tony-winning revival since October 4, while Grey is sidelined by a foot injury he sustained while walking around New York. Creighton usually plays the role of the Purser. While most actors would be ebullient with the opportunity to play such a major role in a hit show like Anything Goes opposite the great Sutton Foster, Creighton is not in a celebrating mood. “When I found out Joel had hurt himself… I love Joel. I don’t feel comfortable really celebrating that I get to [play the role] when Joel’s hurt. If he was in Europe for a month, I’d be like, ‘Hey, I’m playing Moonface! Come and see me!’ In this case, I hope he gets better and I’m just doing my job.”
This is not the first time Creighton has gone on in the role. While the show was still in previews, Grey was unable to perform one Sunday due to a vocal injury. Creighton got the call at 11:30 a.m. and an hour later was on the stage of the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with Foster receiving his first rehearsal as Moonface. In addition to no prior rehearsal, there hadn’t been time for a costume fitting. Creighton brought his own suit and tuxedo pants to the show. “It was scary, but it was also the highlight of my career,” Creighton said.
VIDEO: Robert Creighton on his bold Anything Goes audition and bonding with costar Joel Grey
- Adam Rothenberg from Adaumbelle’s Quest co-hosts!
- Sexy Performers Week at Broadway in Bryant Park
- Word Association with Chester Gregory‘s best roles
- One Night Stand, the documentary about the 24-hour musicals
- Broadway grosses
What do you think, Rushers? Did this week’s Bryant Park concert rock your world with the sexy people that performed? What is your favorite role of Chester Gregory’s to date? Have you ever attended the 24-hour musicals event? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to enter our Follies ticket giveaway for a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to the show!
The oldie musicals came to Broadway in Bryant Park this week to show the newbies who’s boss. The lively casts of The Phantom of the Opera, The Fantasticks, Hair, and Anything Goes performed their classic, well-trodden material with fresh enthusiasm.
At first, I wasn’t so sure about the Phantom set. Kyle Barisich and Marni Raab sang a sweet “All I Ask of You,” but the acting was so out of context on the Bryant Park stage that I had trouble holding back a few snide laughs. I shut up when Hugh Panaro took the stage for “Music of the Night.” The Broadway A-lister and long-time Phantom sang the famous number with remarkable control, and his power notes filled the park effortlessly.
VIDEO: Hugh Panaro sings “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera
The back-and-forth chatter of who will go home a winner on Tony Awards night must come to and end, as the ceremony this Sunday draws closer. Stage Rush predicts the winners below!
AUDIO: Listen to Stage Rush editor Jesse North give his Tony Award predictions on WGHT radio’s “Curtain Call” (hosted by Teisha Bader).
The Motherf**ker With The Hat
War Horse (WILL WIN)
I’ve heard rumblings of a desire for an American playwright to take the award this year, but War Horse is too commercial and awe-inducing not to win. Read more
The new Broadway season swoops in with quite a homecoming when it takes over the area it inhabits. During the annual Broadway on Broadway concert, Broadway the art takes full control of Broadway the district. In its nineteenth year, the free outdoor concert in Times Square offered strong performances, many of theater’s biggest stars, and a lack of new offerings.
Sponsored by The Broadway League and billed as a kick-off to the new theater season, Broadway on Broadway should (and usually does) feature the new musical productions that will be bowing in the coming months. It’s an exciting sneak peak of shows that are opening in a few weeks, and some much further into the year. Last year, new productions like Finian’s Rainbow and Memphis were among those that debuted their songs and cast to the Times Square audience. This year, just two new musicals performed, out of the 10+ productions slated for Broadway this year.
Only one of those two productions, Elf, features original music. Beth Leavel was on hand to perform “There Is A Santa Claus,” which was pretty paint-by-numbers in melody, but embodied a strong seasonal flavor. Will Swenson (with newly cropped hair, much to the female audience’s audible disdain) performed “I Say A Little Prayer” from Priscilla Queen of the Desert—a jukebox musical. Not two of the strongest numbers of the day, but still exciting, being they were new.
Where was the cast of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, who is clearly ready to go? The Scottsboro Boys are still performing at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, so they get a pass on this event. But why couldn’t Reeve Carney represent Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark like he did on Good Morning America on Friday? Were the A-list stars of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown above the free concert? Being that all these shows are set to open in the next two months, a one-song performance couldn’t have been too far out of their reach. Instead of performances, Sutton Foster, from the upcoming revival of Anything Goes (another production that didn’t perform—like she doesn’t know how to sing “Blow, Gabriel, Blow?) appeared on stage to read from the list of all these shows that are coming to Broadway and wouldn’t be performing. Some tease. Read more