The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization announced today the release of the next video in their YouTube series, R&H Goes Pop! This new video features Tony Award-winner Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!; She Loves Me; The Book of Mormon; Waitress), performing a contemporary version of “Something Wonderful” from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King And I.
“Rodgers & Hammerstein are the grandfathers of our art form,” said Gavin Creel. “To me, there is no greater melody in musical theater than ‘Something Wonderful.’ It is tension and release, beauty and tumult, and unabashed romance. That romance is timeless.”
Gavin Creel is best known for his Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning performance as Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! He has also been seen on Broadway in Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie, She Loves Me, The Book of Mormon, Waitress, and La Cage aux Folles. Gavin was also seen on the West End in Mary Poppins, Hair, and The Book of Mormon, for which he received an Olivier Award for originating the role of Elder Price. Later in January, he will be seen in the West End production of Waitress.
The track’s musical direction and arrangements were led by Nadia DiGiallonardo, who is also featured in the video playing piano. She is joined by her fellow members of the band from Waitress on Broadway: Yair Evnine on the cello, Lee Nadel on the bass and Meghan Toohey on the guitar. Jamie Eblen also joins them on the drums.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King And I originally opened on Broadway in March 1951 at the St. James Theatre. This musical, which was the fifth collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, went on to win five Tony Awards. The show was revived four more times on Broadway, most recently in 2015 at Lincoln Center Theater. That production was the winner of four 2015 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical.
The YouTube series R&H Goes Pop! launched in January 2019 with the premiere of a music video featuring Jeremy Jordan singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’.” The series continued to feature several Broadway stars covering Rodgers & Hammerstein classics, including Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan, Matt Doyle and Jelani Alladin, Derek Klena, Kyle Selig, Ashley Park, and Ryan McCartan. Each performed songs from Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, including Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, The King and I, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and more.
Most recently Ali Stroker and Rebecca Naomi Jones, from the current revival of Oklahoma!, released two special R&H Goes Pop! Studio Sessions featuring “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” and “Lonely Room.”
R&H Goes Pop! aims to preserve the legacy of Rodgers & Hammerstein by inspiring artists to interpret the R&H classics in a contemporary light. The launch of this YouTube series celebrated and coincided with the 75th Anniversary of the team’s first collaboration, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! The video series features the brightest Broadway stars performing and honoring the classic canon of Rodgers & Hammerstein in unique and inventive styles ranging from Pop, Rock, R&B, Soul, and Country. The video series is hosted by Laura Osnes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific).
Upcoming videos will feature: Lilli Cooper (Spongebob Squarepants The Broadway Musical, Tootsie), Ariana DeBose (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story), Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit, 2020 revival of Company), Andy Mientus (“Smash”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery,”Rent), and many more still to be announced!