MCC Theater's world premiere run of Gavin Creel's Walk On Through: Confessions of a Museum Novice begins at the Off-Broadway company's Susan & Ronald Frankel Theater November 13. A new and "final" extension will see performances continue through January 7, 2024. Opening night is December 4.
Developed and previously presented at The O’Neill National Musical Theatre Conference, the work is inspired by Creel's time wandering the collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which commissioned the work. The musical features 17 original songs written by Creel, who makes his theatrical songwriting debut with the production. Creel has previously released albums featuring his pop songwriting, including 2006's Goodtimenation and 2012's Get Out.
Creel is also starring in the musical, alongside Sasha Allen (Camp, Hair), Madeline Benson (SIX), Chris Peters, Ryan Vasquez (The Wrong Man), and Scott Wasserman (Hamilton). Casting is by The Telsey Company's Rachel Hoffman.
Linda Goodrich is directing the world premiere, leading a creative team that includes scenic designer I. Javier Ameijeiras, costume designer Jeff Mahshie, lighting designer Jiyoun Chang, sound designer Alex Neumann, and projection designer David Bengali. The score features orchestrations and arrangements by Madeline Benson, Chris Peters, and Scott Wasserman; Benson is also music director, and Wasserman is the electronic music designer. Laura Hirschberg is production stage manager, with Nicole Johnson of Harriet Tubman Effect serving as diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant.
"Several years ago, we invited Gavin Creel to embark on a creative journey with MetLiveArts," said Limor Tomer, The Met’s Lulu C. and Anthony W. Wang General Manager of Live Arts, in an earlier statement. "We suggested that he get to know the collection and let it guide him towards an innovative performance. What transpired was deeply personal and uplifting. Through close looking over many months, Gavin found not only artistic inspiration, but also a profound connection to the Museum itself. Walk on Through is a testament to the boundless spirit of creativity and originality that emerges when we open our doors to performers. This work resonates with us all—it gives everyone permission to enter into an intimate relationship with The Met."
MCC is planning talkbacks after performances November 20, November 21, and December 9. Creel and Goodrich will participate in the November 20 talkback. Open captioning will be available at the December 6 evening performance.
Following Walk On Through, the company will give a world-premiere staging to Jason Robert Brown and Jonathan Marc Sherman's new musical The Connector, with performances beginning in January 2024.