BY Brandon Voss
March 29 2009 11:00 PM ET
Following a wildly successful run last summer at Central Park's Delacorte Theater, Hair has returned to Broadway for the first time in more than 30 years. Electrifying and enlightening a whole new generation, Galt MacDermot, Gerome Ragni, and James Rado's 1967 "American tribal love-rock musical" officially opens March 31 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.
Tony-nominated for his 2002 Broadway debut in Thoroughly Modern Millie , 32-year-old Ohio native Gavin Creel stars as Claude, the conflicted apex of a bisexual love triangle within Hair 's tribe of Vietnam-era bohemians. Aside from appearing in the Broadway revival of La Cage aux Folles and the London production of Mary Poppins , Creel released a debut pop CD, Goodtimenation , in 2006.
Inspired by the passing of Prop. 8, Creel also cofounded Broadway Impact, a grassroots movement led by the theater community to promote marriage equality. His affection for activism is even evident in his Hair program bio: "Gavin has no patience for people who perpetuate inequality in the guise of 'religious belief.'" Yet while Creel's passion for gay rights is obvious, his own sexuality has remained rather ambiguous -- until now.
Advocate.com: Because you weren't involved in this past summer's incarnation of the show in Central Park, you joined the Hair tribe pretty late in the game. What was it like being the new kid?Gavin Creel: It was a little daunting at first, but the cast made me feel totally welcome. There was work to be done, so there wasn't a whole lot of time for touchy-feely worrying about how I could feel better. I had to get down to business, learn these crazy words, and start figuring out who my character is.
Did you see Jonathan Groff or Christopher J. Hanke play Claude in the Central Park production? No, and I'm glad I didn't see them, because I would've just stolen everything they did. [ Laughs ] It's like if I'm going to do a play based on a movie, I don't like to see the movie first, because then I get too in my head. And doing a revival, it's hard enough playing a character that so many people think they know how it should be done. If people are like, "Jonathan was this way," or, "Chris was this way," I'm not really concerned. They're both amazing actors and what they do is awesome, but what I do is too.
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