THE LEADING MEN: Gavin Creel Says "Hello!" to The Book of Mormon

By Adam Hetrick
03 Sep 2012

Creel at this year's NYC Gay Pride March
Photo by Monica Simoes

What are you looking forward to on tour? You have your dog Wally with you, right?
GC: I do! I'm excited about San Francisco — really excited. I've never been, and I'm excited to have five weeks there and explore. I think L.A. is going to be really fun — we'll be there for a few months. I'm really excited about going to Portland, I've always wanted to go to Portland, Oregon, and explore the town. I'm also excited to go back to Detroit, even though everyone on the tour said, "Uh. Detroit." My best friend, Celia Keenan-Bolger, is a Detroit native, and she said, "No. I don't accept that. I'm going to put together a little packet, and people are going to go where I tell them." So she's going to come out and tell us where to go.

Any must-haves that you can't live without on the tour?
GC: I can't live without my music player. I have to be able to have music at all times — to shower to, to listen to, to warm up, to dance. I also can't live without my steamer. I bought it in London because it's a Dr. Nelson steamer, and it's something that just gives me comfort. I don't always use it, but I just like knowing it's there. [Laughs.] I'm pretty easy. I can't live without Wally. He's making the tour not feel like a tour because, you know, I have to go home and walk him, and we get up in the morning, and I just put the leash on him, and we head in a different direction. I'm thinking, "I don't know this city, so we'll walk this way now." And, I found all kinds of stuff — an art museum and an aquarium and a park and flower gardens. And then we go out, and the next morning we head the other direction. He's my tour companion.

You're also a songwriter. Does being on the road and changing up your environment inspire you to write?
GC: Yeah. Absolutely. When I have a different environment, I start thinking about different things and writing different stuff. My hope this year, that I'm trying to hold myself to, is to keep collaborating with Robbie Roth and Jonathan Bernstein. We're really going to try and dig in and write this musical we've been working on. We won't always all be together. It's an opportunity for me to get out of New York and the distractions of New York, and once we open the show and I have my days free, I can sit and start. I bought a keyboard, and I'll be able to record stuff and write lyrics and get back to the book and stuff. That's the goal.