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
There is a perfect marriage of solid writing and superb acting occurring at the Golden Theatre in the debut Broadway production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. Originally staged at the Public Theater in 1985, Kramer’s semi-autobiographical play about the outbreak of AIDS in America in the early 1980s is a breathtaking view into paranoia, prejudice, and ignorance about what would become one of the world’s most important health issues.
It’s July 1981 in New York and Ned Weeks and his fellow gay companions are experiencing something strange. Their friends are getting sick, and no one knows why. The opening scene in a hospital waiting room depicts Ned comforting a nervous friend, experiencing the foreboding symptoms. Ned assures him that there’s nothing to worry about, yet the doctor he sees says otherwise. However, not even she has an explanation for the illness that dozens of gay men in New York are contracting. Thus begins Kramer’s incredible depiction of the rise of medical paranoia and how it incited a social revolution combating one of the most notorious diseases of the modern age.
Deeply disturbed by the mysterious plight of his friends, Ned forms an activism group to combat the unknown illness. In this production, the team consists of the Joe Mantello (Ned), Patrick Breen (Mickey), Lee Pace (Bruce), and Jim Parsons (Tommy), all of whom give stunning performances. During their rocky quest to work with the government to fight the epidemic, this rag-tag group of underdogs go to war with politicians, family members, and each other. The latter conflict proves to be the most heartbreaking, as their crusade against an unknown enemy highlights their fears and doubts, pitting them against each other. Read more