Gavin Creel
Creel at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards in 2010
Gavin James Creel

(1976-04-18) April 18, 1976 (age 48)
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
  • Actor
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • librettist
  • producer
Years active1997–present
Musical career
  • Pop
  • musical
  • Vocals

Gavin James Creel (born April 18, 1976) is an American actor, singer, and songwriter best known for his work in musical theater. Creel made his Broadway debut in 2002 in the leading role of Jimmy in Thoroughly Modern Millie before starring as Claude in the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair, both Tony Award-nominated performances. From 2012 to 2015, he starred as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon; he received a Laurence Olivier Award for originating the role in the West End version of the musical and has played the role in the US National Tour and on Broadway. In 2017, he received a Tony Award for his performance as Cornelius Hackl in Broadway's Hello, Dolly!.

Other stage credits of his include La Cage aux Folles (2004), She Loves Me (2016), Waitress (2019), and Into the Woods (2022) on Broadway, Mary Poppins (2006) and Waitress (2020) in the West End, and the national tours of Fame (1998) and Into the Woods (2023). Primarily a theater actor, his most notable screen acting role is as Bill in Eloise at the Plaza and its Christmas-themed sequel.

Early life

Creel was born in Findlay, Ohio. He attended Findlay High School, graduating in 1994. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 1998.


1997–2001: Early career

Creel began his professional career in regional theater. Some of his earliest credits are as part of the resident cast of Pittsburgh CLO, a repertory theater, for their 1997 and 1998 seasons; mostly ensemble roles, some of his eight productions there included Kiss Me Kate, La Cage aux Folles, and On the Town.[1] Other stock theater credits around this time include productions in Massachusetts and New York state.

Following college graduation, Creel played Nick Piazza in the opening cast of 1998 national tour of Fame.[2] In 1998–1999, the tour performed in cities including Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.[3] Following the tour, he continued to perform in regional theater before moving to New York City in the early 2000s. In 2001, he was the swing in the original off-Broadway production of Bat Boy: The Musical.[2] He also took part in the 2001 workshop of Spring Awakening.[4]

2002–2012: Broadway debut, Thoroughly Modern Millie, West End debut and Hair

In 2002, Creel made his Broadway debut in the original production Thoroughly Modern Millie, originating the role of Jimmy Smith opposite Sutton Foster's Millie Dillmount. A breakthrough performance, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.

In February 2003, Creel played Prince Eric in a workshop for Disney's stage adaptation of The Little Mermaid.[5]

After he departed Thoroughly Modern Millie in April 2003, he performed in the original Chicago production of Stephen Sondheim's Road Show, then titled Bounce, recorded the original cast album for Bright Lights, Big City, among other productions and workshops.[4] Of note, he made his screen acting debut in the 2003 film Eloise at the Plaza and its follow-up Eloise at Christmastime as Bill.

He returned to Broadway in 2004 in the revival La Cage aux Folles. He played Jean-Michel throughout the production. In 2006, he made his West End debut in Mary Poppins. He replaced as Bert in the original production. Also in 2006, he released his debut studio album Goodtimenation.

In 2008, Creel was set to star as Jesus alongside Joshua Henry as Judas/John the Baptist and Diana DeGarmo in a Broadway revival of Godspell at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, but on August 19, it was announced that the show was postponed indefinitely due to the loss of an investor.[6]

He returned to Broadway in 2009 in the revival of Hair. For his starring role of Claude, he received his second Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. He and the rest of the cast performed in London through 2010 when the production transferred to the West End.[2] Following Hair, he starred in the world premiere of Prometheus Bound at the American Repertory Theater.

2012–2020: The Book of Mormon, Hello Dolly!, and Waitress

From 2012 until 2015, Creel starred in a series of productions of The Book of Mormon. He first starred as Elder Price in the First National Tour of the show in 2012. He subsequently originated the role in the musical's original West End production; for this performance, he was awarded Best Actor in a Musical at the 2014 Laurence Olivier Awards, the most prestigious theatrical awards in the United Kingdom.[2] Following his West End run, he returned to the touring production for a number of months before joining the Broadway cast in 2015.

Creel played the suave salesman Steven Kodaly, opposite Jane Krakowski, in the 2016 Broadway revival of She Loves Me. The show was a critical success and the production became the first Broadway show ever to be live-streamed. Since then, the recording has been part of the PBS series Great Performances.[7]

In 2017, he began playing Cornelius Hackl in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler. For his role, Creel was awarded the 2017 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. In 2019, Creel assumed the role of Dr. Pomatter in the Broadway production of Waitress. He subsequently played the role in the West End production of the musical starring alongside Sara Bareilles.

2021–present: Into the Woods and Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice

In 2021, Creel appeared in two episodes of American Horror Stories opposite Matt Bomer and Sierra McCormick on FX on Hulu.[8] On August 29, 2021, Creel was featured in the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network's aired concert for the musical Wicked which was hosted by Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. Other featured artists were Rita Moreno, Cynthia Erivo, Ariana DeBose, Ali Stroker, Amber Riley, Mario Cantone, Jennifer Nettles, Stephanie Hsu, Alex Newell, Isaac Cole Powell and Gabrielle Ruiz performing many of the musical's numbers.[9]

In May 2022, Creel appeared as The Wolf and Cinderella's Prince in the New York City Center Encores! production and subsequent Broadway revival in June of Into the Woods.[10] He left the production July 23 for two weeks and was filled in for by Cheyenne Jackson and understudy Jason Forbach.[11] He came back for a month and then left again on September 4 for 10 days and was filled in for by Andy Karl,[12] He returned to the production September 16 and stayed with the cast through its closing date January 8, 2023. During the Broadway run he would star opposite Bareilles, Karl, Joshua Henry, Phillipa Soo, Brian d'Arcy James, Patina Miller, Stephanie J. Block, Krysta Rodriguez, Denée Benton, Julia Lester, Sebastian Arcelus, Montego Glover, Diane Phelan, and Joaquina Kalukango.[13] He reprised these roles in the 2023 national tour opposite Glover, Block, Arcelus, Forbach, Phelan, Rodriguez, and Karl.[14][15]

The first time Creel performed a song from his self written musical was at Elsie Fest in 2019, where he debuted the song "The Only One".[16] In 2021, Creel performed two shows of a self-described 'concert-cal' called Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice, for which Creel was commissioned to write and perform the book, music, and lyrics by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[17] In December 2022, two industry readings of Walk on Through were held at Pershing Square Signature Theatre Center.[18] Creel has spoken at length on various podcasts about working on this piece before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. It had its world premiere Off-Broadway in November 2023, running from November 13 to January 7, 2024.[19]

Personal life

Creel is gay.[20] He is a regular on the LGBT RFamilyVacations cruise with Rosie O'Donnell.[21] He is also one of the founders, with Rory O'Malley and Jenny Kanelos, of Broadway Impact, an LGBT activist group that mobilized the New York theatre community in the pursuit of marriage equality. He is an alumnus of Findlay First Edition Show Choir.[22]

In 2009, Creel dated fellow actor Jonathan Groff.[23]

Creel took a temporary leave from Hello, Dolly! in March 2018 to recover from back surgery.[24]

Acting credits


Adapted from About The Artists and Broadway World.[1][25]

Year Show Role Venue Notes
1997 Chess Ensemble Benedum Center
1998 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Hero North Shore Music Theatre
1998–1999 Fame Nick Piazza The North American Tour:
November 1998 – 1999
National tour
2000 Honk! Ugly North Shore Music Theatre
Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center US premiere
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Hero California Musical Theatre
2001 The Flood Male Lead Prospect Theatre Company
Hair Principal/Father/Tribe Encores! Concert
Bat Boy: The Musical Rick/Dillon/Lorraine/Pan/Bud/Daisy Union Square Theatre:
2001– December 2001
Original Off-Broadway replacement
Spring Awakening Melchior Gabor Roundabout Theatre Company Workshop
2002–2003 Thoroughly Modern Millie Jimmy Smith Marquis Theatre:
March 2002 – April 2003
Original Broadway production
2003 The Little Mermaid Prince Eric Unknown Venue in New York:
February 2003
Bounce Hollis Bessemer Albert Ivar Goodman Theatre:
June – August 2003
Original Chicago production
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:
October – November 2003
Washington, D.C.
Bright Lights, Big City Michael New York Concert Concert performance
2004 A Tale of Two Cities Charles Darnay Workshop
The Mystery Plays Joe Manning Second Stage Theatre
Yale Repertory Theater[26]
Illyria Sebastian Prospect Theatre
Hair Performer New Amsterdam Theatre Actors' Fund Concert
2004–2005 La Cage aux Folles Jean-Michel Marquis Theatre:
November 2004 – June 2005
Broadway revival
2006 Mary Poppins[27][28] Bert Prince Edward Theatre West End replacement
2009–2010 Hair Claude Hooper Bukowski Al Hirschfeld Theatre:
March 2009 – April 2010
Broadway revival
Gielgud Theatre:
West End transfer
2011 Prometheus Bound Prometheus American Repertory Theater:
February – April 2011
Original production
She Loves Me Steven Kodaly Stephen Sondheim Theatre:
December 5
2012 Flashdance Nick Hurley US National Tour Original US production
2012–2013 The Book of Mormon Elder Price US National Tour:
August 2012 – January 2013
National tour original cast
2013–2014 Prince of Wales Theatre:
February 2013 – July 2014
West End original cast
2014 US National Tour:
August 2014 – December 2014
Toronto / Montreal
2015–2016 Eugene O'Neill Theatre:
January 2015 – January 2016
Broadway replacement
2016 She Loves Me Steven Kodaly Studio 54:
March – July 2016
Broadway revival
2017–2018 Hello, Dolly! Cornelius Hackl Shubert Theatre:
March 2017 – March 2018
Broadway revival
2018 Thoroughly Modern Millie Jimmy Smith Minskoff Theatre:
February 2018
Broadway reunion concert
Hello, Dolly! Cornelius Hackl Shubert Theatre:
May – August 2018
Broadway revival
2019 Waitress Dr. Jim Pomatter Brooks Atkinson Theatre:
January – February 2019
Broadway replacement
2020 Adelphi Theatre:
January – March 2020
West End replacement
2021 Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice Performer The Met Museum
October 2021
Also creator/songwriter
2022 Into the Woods The Wolf / Cinderella's Prince New York City Center:
May 2022
2022–2023 St. James Theatre:
June – July 2022
August – September 2022
September 2022 – January 2023
Broadway revival
2022 Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice Performer Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
July 2022
Also creator/songwriter
Pershing Square Signature Center
December 2022
2023 Into the Woods The Wolf / Cinderella's Prince The U.S. National Tour:
February – July 2023
Ten city engagement
Walk on Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice Performer Kennedy Center
August 2023
Also creator/songwriter
2023–2024 MCC Theater
November 2023 – January 2024
Also creator/songwriter


Year Title Role Notes
2003 Eloise at the Plaza Bill Television film
Eloise at Christmastime Television film
2016 She Loves Me Kodaly Filmed Broadway show
2019 Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure Matthews (voice) 4 episodes
2021 American Horror Stories Troy Miniseries; 2 episodes
Central Park Young Hank Zevansky (voice) Episode: "The Shadow"
Wicked in Concert Performer PBS special

Other works


Performing at the Ryles Jazz Club in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2010

Solo discography

Guest appearances

Cast recordings

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2002 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Thoroughly Modern Millie Nominated
2009 Tony Award Best Actor in a Musical Hair Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
2010 GLAAD Media Award Special Recognition Award
(shared with cast)
2014 Laurence Olivier Award Best Actor in a Musical The Book of Mormon Won
WhatsOnStage Award Best Actor in a Musical Won
2017 Tony Award Best Featured Actor in a Musical Hello, Dolly! Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won
2023 Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album Into the Woods Won
Elliot Norton Awards Outstanding Visiting Performance in a Musical Won Audience Choice Awards Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (with Joshua Henry) Nominated
Favorite Funny Performance Nominated

See also


  1. ^ a b "Gavin Creel theatre profile". Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Stars On Stage - Gavin Creel". Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  3. ^ "Fame – Broadway Musical – Tour | IBDB". Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Gavin Creel". The Official Masterworks Broadway Site. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Little Mermaid workshop
  6. ^ "Broadway Revival of Godspell Postponed". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "She Loves Me ~ About She Loves Me | Great Performances | PBS". Great Performances. September 28, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  8. ^ Sullivan, Lindsey (August 1, 2021). "Aaron Tveit, Gavin Creel & More Announced for Ryan Murphy's American Horror Stories". Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  9. ^ "Kristin Chenoweth & Idina Menzel to Host 'Wicked in Concert' PBS Special; Full Cast Announced". August 5, 2021.
  10. ^ Wild, Stephi. "Meet the New, Broadway-Bound Cast of INTO THE WOODS". Retrieved September 30, 2022.
  11. ^ Gordon, David (July 12, 2022). "Cheyenne Jackson, Jason Forbach to Fill In for Gavin Creel in Into the Woods on Broadway". TheaterMania. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  12. ^ Hall, Margaret (August 12, 2022). "Stephanie J. Block, Sebastian Arcelus, Krysta Rodriguez, Montego Glover, More to Join Broadway's Into the Woods". Playbill.
  13. ^ "Into the Woods 2022-23 Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  14. ^ Harms, Talaura. "Broadway's Into the Woods Revival Will Journey Across the U.S. On Tour". Playbill. Retrieved December 10, 2022.
  15. ^ Wild, Stephi (January 17, 2023). "Complete Cast and Additional Cities Announced For INTO THE WOODS Tour". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved February 1, 2023.
  16. ^ Gavin Creel — "The Only One" from Walk On Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice at Elsie Fest, retrieved November 13, 2023
  17. ^ "Gavin Creel: Walk on Through | The Metropolitan Museum of Art". Retrieved October 25, 2022.
  18. ^ "WALK ON THROUGH: Confessions of a Museum Novice". WALK ON THROUGH: Confessions of a Museum Novice. Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  19. ^ Gavin Creel Musical, World Premiere From Jason Robert Brown, More Headed to MCC Theater
  20. ^ "Millie and Hair Star Gavin Creel on Coming Out, Making 'Noise' and Dreaming of a Hippie Heaven". January 16, 2013. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013.
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 15, 2008). "All Aboard!: 'Rosie' Cruise, with Murney, Creel and Rudetsky, Departs March 15". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 23, 2008.
  22. ^ Dwiggins, Margaret (September 16, 2014). "Creel excited to be returning to northwestern Ohio". The Courier. Findlay, Ohio. Archived from the original on July 30, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  23. ^ Sessums, Kevin (December 20, 2016). "Jonathan Groff Talks Looking, Hamilton, and Madonna's iPhone". FourTwoNine. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2024.
  24. ^ Clement, Olivia (February 21, 2018). "Santino Fontana to Step Into 'Hello, Dolly!' on Broadway". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  25. ^ "Gavin Creel Theatre Credits, News, Bio and Photos". Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  26. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Gavin Creel Starts in The Mystery Plays at Second Stage's New Plays Uptown, June 21". Playbill. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  27. ^ Portantiere, Michael (June 16, 2006). "Gavin Creel to Play Bert in London Production of Mary Poppins". Archived from the original on June 6, 2011.
  28. ^ Gans, Andrew (July 26, 2006). "Gavin Creel Joins London Company of 'Mary Poppins' July 26". Playbill. Archived from the original on February 16, 2018.
  29. ^ Trust, Gary (July 1, 2010). "Chart Beat Thursday: Eminem, Jason Derulo, Cyndi Lauper". Billboard. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2012.