Gavin Creel, who has been on medical leave from the Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!, will put on his Sunday clothes and return to his Tony-winning role a Cornelius Hackl. Creel will assume the role at the Shubert Theatre on Tuesday, May 8.. During his leave, Tony-nominee Santino Fontana has been filling in for Creel. When he returns, Creel will join the Dolly of Bernadette Peters, the Horace Vandergelder of Victor Garber, and the Irene Molloy of Kate Baldwin.
Gavin Creel, who has been recovering from back surgery, had this to say, “I’m excited to be back on the Shubert Theatre stage with my Hello, Dolly! family and I’m so grateful to Santino for stepping in while I was recovering.” Winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Creel also received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Ben Brantley of The New York Times cheered his Cornelius Hackl as “a marvel,” and Chris Jones of The Chicago Tribune heralded Creel as “spectacular.”
Making his Broadway debut in the Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002), Creel received his first Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical playing Jimmy. He was honored again (in the same category) for his performance as Claude in the 2009 Diane Paulus helmed revival of Hair. Gavin Creel has also appeared on Broadway in La Cage aux Folles, Mary Poppins, The Book of Mormon, and She Loves Me.
Bette Midler, who won a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical for her “perfect, once-in-a-lifetime Dolly” (New York Magazine), returns to the title role in the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival of Hello, Dolly! on Tuesday, July 17, for a strictly limited six-week-only engagement. The production will end its historic Broadway run on Saturday, August 25, 2018. A National Tour, starring Betty Buckley, is poised commence this fall.
Hello, Dolly! is based on the Thornton Wilder play The Matchmaker, about a widow whose business is helping people find love. As she orchestrates several connections in this department, she is systematically aligning the stars so that she can land a second husband for herself. The musical, with a book by Michael Stewart, features a celebrated score by Jerry Herman which includes such standards as “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”, “Before the Parade Passes By”, “It Only Takes a Moment”, and the infectious title tune. The original production was directed and choreographed by Gower Champion. The current Broadway production is directed by Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Warren Carlyle.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.