Born in Findlay, Ohio, in 1976, Gavin Creel is known for his performances as an actor and a singer, especially in musicals. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, where he studied musical theater. In 1999, he took part in a national tour of Fame – the musical by Steve Margoshes, Jacques Levy, and José Fernandez, based on the movie of the same name – playing Nick Piazza, and in 2001 participated in the workshop of the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater musical Spring Awakening.
In the Union Square Theatre production of Bat Boy (2001), a musical by Laurence O’Keefe, Keythe Farley, and Brian Flemming, Creel was an understudy for Rick, Dillon, Lorraine, Pan, Bud, and Daisy. Also in 2001, he played Father, Principal, and a member of The Tribe in an off-Broadway concert production of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical as part of City Center’s Encores! series Great American Musicals in Concert. (Recordings of the original-cast productions of Bat Boy and Hair are available on Sony.)
In 2002 Creel had his first leading part on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie – a musical by Jeanine Tesori, Dick Scanlan, and Richard Morris, based on the movie of the same name – playing the part of the paperclip salesman Jimmy Smith in the original Broadway cast. The musical won several Tony Awards®, including one for Best Musical, and Creel, who sings on the original Broadway cast recording, earned a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.
The following year, Creel played Hollis Bessemer in the premiere of the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical Bounce (later called Road Show) at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Creel reprised the role at the Kennedy Center later in 2003. Also in 2003 Creel played in an off-Broadway production of Bright Lights, Big City, the musical based on Jay McInerney’s novel, by Paul Scott Goodman and Patrick Wilson.
In 2004, Creel played Sebastian in the Prospect Theatre’s production of Illyria, a musical by Peter Mills, based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. In the same year he played Jean-Michel in the Harvey Fierstein-Jerry Herman comic musical La Cage au Folles, based on the popular French film.
In addition to his work on the stage, Creel has sung on several recordings, including the collection Broadway Today (2003), and has appeared on television, notably in the TV films Eloise at the Plaza (2003) and Eloise at Christmastime (2003), in which he plays Bill, the room-service provider who befriends the title character.
Photo courtesy of The Everett Collection