Theater: “Walk on Through” starring Gavin Creel
Gavin Creel has starred on Broadway and won Tony Awards for his musical-comedy performances. He’s appeared alongside Julie Andrews on television and released three original albums. So how come I’ve never seen this guy perform before?
It’s a big town, I suppose. But after last night’s performance of “Walk on Through” at MCC, he’s officially on my radar.
The concept: Creel, a native of Ohio, had never visited the Metropolitan Museum in the 20 years he’d lived here so was given carte blanche by the Met to write a musical about his visits.
The execution: delightful and always amusing. One moment, Creel is swooning over a portrait of a handsome Russian poet. “Look at those eyes,” he gushes, speculating about the artist as well as the subject. Staring at another painting of a couple skipping through a garden, he wonders what they’re thinking about. He frets over works portraying lonely, unhappy people, including a Hopper painting that depicts a sliver of the Williamsburg Bridge—a detail we never noticed before.
Creel has a very animated stage presence. While singing “Hands on You,” a tune about falling in lust with some of the Met’s muscular Greek statues, he became so excited, he literally bounced off the laps of every person sitting in the front row. Including ours.
As you may have gleaned by now, Creel is unpretentious. He only gets serious when he feels he must, as when he describes a relationship with a BF (played by Ryan Vasquez) that just didn’t work out or the isolation of COVID.
The only negative here is that after a two-month standing-room-only run at MCC (we had to practically arm-wrestle the ticket seller and we’re subscribers!) “Walk on Through” is closing this week. That’s okay. Wherever Gavin Creel is headed, we’ll definitely be there.
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