Broadway star Gavin Creel has reimagined the love song “Something Wonderful” from The King and I as a gorgeous love song to another man as part of the YouTube series “R&H Goes Pop!” The series pays homage to the work of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II by changing the songs up for modern audiences.
“This project excited me because it was really about honoring beautiful songwriting but also reimagining it to create a new way in which we might listen to and enjoy this brilliant material,” Creel, who is gay, told The Advocate.
Creel, known for his roles as Jimmy Smith in the 2002 Broadway production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and for Claude in the 2009 revival of Hair, won a Tony Award in 2017 for his portrayal of Cornelius in Hello, Dolly!
In The King and I, the king of Siam’s head wife, Lady Thiang, sings “Something Wonderful” to British teacher Anna to encourage her to look beyond the king’s shortcomings and to accept him as he is. But Creel’s churned-up version can easily be interpreted as a love song from one man to another.
Another “R&H Goes Pop!” song that got a queer makeover was Jelani Alladin and Matt Doyle singing The King and I’s “We Kiss in a Shadow” to one another.
Watch “Something Wonderful” below.