Robert Creighton Interview

Robert Creighton Interview

Robert Creighton Interview

Ain't We Got Fun!, the debut album of actor/singer/dancer/writer/composer, Robert Creighton. Creighton, a veteran of six Broadway shows, is currently appearing as the Purser in the Tony Award winning revival of Anything Goes at The Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

The repertoire of "Ain't We Got Fun!" is largely from the early decades of the 20th Century, music Creighton discovered while researching his successful, award-winning new musical Cagney! "Ain't We Got Fun!" features two Creighton originals from the show. The album's musical director and orchestrator, Georgia Stitt, known for her work on Broadway (Avenue Q, The Music Man, Titanic, Annie) and television (America's Got Talent), produced the tracks with an authentic, vintage sound. The album features auspicious guest artists; Joel Grey (currently appearing as Moonface Martin in Anything Goes) sings "Give My Regards to Broadway" and Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff and Tituss Burgess make distinguished appearances.

Cagney! had its World Premiere at Florida Stage in March 2009 and went on to win the prestigious Carbonell Award for Best New Work. Co-authored with Peter Colley and Christopher McGovern, the musical has had several successful runs, and Creighton hopes to bring it to New York.

Creighton hails from tiny Walkerton, Ontario, Canada. He began singing as a child in the St. Michael's Boys Choir and performing in musicals with the Grey-Wellington Theatre Guild while in high school. After receiving a degree in vocal performance from Wilfrid Laurier University he attended New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Immediately after graduation, he was cast in S.N. Behrman's End of Summer with the Phoenix Theatre Co. Many National Tours and roles at Goodspeed, Paper Mill Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse and other regional theaters followed. He performed two seasons with the New York City Opera including as Njegus in the Live From Lincoln Center production of The Merry Widow. Broadway welcomed him in 2003 when he was cast in Jackie Mason's Laughing Room Only; he has since made a non-stop string of appearances on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Little Mermaid (Chef Louis), Lion King (Timon), and Chicago (Amos).

Interview with Robert Creighton

Question: Can you please explain your role in Anything Goes?

Robert Creighton: I play the Purser. He is the somewhat tightly wound, bespectacled assistant to the Captain. It is a fun, high-energy role. I have also had two multiple week stints playing Moonface Martin, the inept gangster, a role normally played by Joel Grey.

Question: How would you describe Ain't We Got Fun?

Robert Creighton: In a word: Fun. In two words: smile-inducing. In several words: It's a collection of some of my favorite songs from the early decades of the 20th century as well as a couple of my own inspired by that era.

Question: Your an actor, singer, dancer, writer and a composer - do you have a preference?

Robert Creighton: My preference…my joy…is in creating. Whether it is a character, a new song, a dance…I enjoy each element. My foundation really is as an actor first. When I write and compose it is always with the thought of how it will be performed.

Question: What are you currently working on, at the moment?

Robert Creighton: I just finished two album release concerts in New York at the Metropolitan Room and a lot of work went into creating those shows, between the flow of the songs, the musical arrangements and promoting it. I am starting to book concerts for later in the year after I finish my run on Broadway, and several theatres are looking at the musical I conceived and co-authored for their upcoming seasons.

Question: Do you write your own songs? What's your inspiration?

Robert Creighton: I do write songs. My inspiration? Love, in all its many joys and challenges, is the short cheesy answer. Also, I love words! I like poetry and rhyme (I do freestyle rap to entertain my friends!) and the fun of playing with words. That inspires me to create certain songs.

Question: What music/artists do you listen to when you are not playing your own?

Robert Creighton: I listen to a lot of jazz. Jane Monheit, John Pizzarelli & Jessica Mollaskey. I'll always love Harry Connick Jr. and I enjoy watching Buble perform. I listen to the Broadway XM radio station a lot, often listening to how the songs are technically created as I think about writing new music for the theatre all the time. Not averse to a good Top 40 station in the car, and I like country, good hip hop, classical. ie: I'm not hard to please.

Question: Was there a moment you contemplated throwing in the towel?

Robert Creighton: Not really, Nope. Like any artist's path there have been wonderful highs and some very frustrating stretches, but I will always believe that good things are going to happen if I keep moving forward.

Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?

Robert Creighton: I was born to be on stage! I also love the process of recording!

Question: What/who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?

Robert Creighton: I come from a family of music lovers - not necessarily musicians. I am the youngest of six kids and the oldest is a wonderful singer who has done a lot of musical theatre and performs a lot of classical music and teaches voice at a University in Ontario, Canada. She was always someone I looked up to as a performer and musician. That gave me the idea that I could do it too!

Question: What is the biggest challenge you have faced along the way to your musical success?

Robert Creighton: Having patience. Patience with myself and my limitations and with the process of moving things forward.

Question: What's a typical day like?

Robert Creighton: Well these days, my mornings are filled being Mr. Mom to our 17 week old son until about 11am. And I do eight shows a week as the Purser in the Broadway production of Anything Goes. Those are the two constants. Apart from that I do a lot of running around town auditioning for TV roles, tv commercials and voice overs. I often am learning music or lines for some project or audition. And…as often as I can I make myself do it, I sit down and actually work away at creating new songs and developing ideas. I wish I did that more! That was this year's new year's resolution.

Question: What has been your favourite part of becoming a music artist?

Robert Creighton: With regards to the CD, it was a great sense of accomplishment to have it all in my head and then for it to become a reality and know that people will be listening to it! I love singing with a killer musicians, I am always in awe, and that's how I was in the studio with the cats on my album, and when we did the release concerts. That makes me very happy! The bottom line for it all is that I love entertaining. That's my favourite part.

Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

Robert Creighton: I've always wanted to work with Harry Connick, Jr. Singing with Tony Bennett would be pretty amazing too! Can you get Louis Armstrong back?