Times Square Chronicles
By Myra Chanin
Robert Creighton is a quintessentially multi-faceted and endearing performer/artist with every facet well worth five, six or seven cheers! Actor — featured in Anything Goes; Singer – his first CD “Ain’t We Got Fun?” really is; Dancer – a few taps here and there; Composer — sings several songs he wrote for a musical called “Cagney,” a star with whom he identifies and resembles; Author — with readings from the poetic thoughts he writes down usually right before he goes to sleep. You say you’re not satisfied. You want more for your money? Here goes. Robert is also a kazoo virtuoso, a whistler, he not only plays the trumpet but creates convincing faux trumpet solos with his mouth. He’s a father of three. A 2009 Musical called “Cagney,” a 14-week- old baby, RJIII and a just released today, first CD filled with old time lively happy tunes mostly from the ‘20’s.
His compact body has soaring talent. He’s a cross between James Cagney and Mickey Rooney. The man seated next to me gave me a heads up about Creighton before the show started. “He’s a wonderful talent!” he said, a critique with legs when it’s told to you by theater icon Joel Grey. Creighton is Grey’s understudy in “Anything Goes.” Grey surprised Creighton by joining him on stage to sing a chorus of “Give My Regards to Broadway,” from George M! The Weisslers should revive that show and star Creighton in it. He has an energy and joy that’s absolutely irresistible. And his talent is no longer a well-guarded secret. The Metropolitan Room was packed and with a cheering audience on a bitter cold Monday night. The only people missing were Judy Garland and Louis B. Mayer or Creighton would already be starring in a series of money making musicals for M-G-M.
Charming and gifted, Creighton has a barrel full of talent. Every move he makes is geared to make you happy. The Greg Anthony band, the material, the guest artists, and the personal revelations all blend together into a unbeatable evening. Creighton not only got fun, he got very talented friends. Linda Mugleston, Arbender Robinson, and Laura Osnes shared the stage with him but never overwhelmed him. He was always the star of his show and more than held his own against one and all, including Joel Grey.
He started with “Ain’t We Got Fun?” to an amazing Randy Landau bass accompaniment, continued through some of the songs he wrote for “Cagney,” then on to ,among others, “Accentuate the Positive,” “Look for the Silver Lining,” “I’ll be Seeing you,” and ending with “Johnny One Note,” on which he actually played the one note on his trumpet. In his patter, he talks about first appearing on stage when he was four in a church pageant. He was only supposed to say four lines and go but he hung around until his father escorted him off. He’s a really nice person who worked hard and made good and is grateful for all the parental support given to him along the way. His philosophy, which he’s teaching to RJIII, is that “Good Things Happen,” and “Smell Good, Feel Good.”
He was the good thing that happened this past week-end at the Metropolitan Room and he made everyone in the audience feel great. The CD “Ain’t We Got Fun” is produced and arranged by Georgia Stitt.