June 2011
Photographs by: 
Bobby Altman

Celebration’s managing artistic director brings diverse background to new role



Managing artistic director for the new Celebration Music Theatre, Greg London, brings a rich background to this Surfside Beach stage. This native Charlestonian has been a show director for Walt Disney World and is founder of the Richmond Shakespeare Festival, a past professor of theatre at Coastal Carolina University, award-winning actor in the national touring production of Hairspray and former art director for the Broadway Series at the Palace Theatre.

Q: You describe Celebration as a “hybrid” production house. What do you mean by that?
A: It’s a crossover venue meaning it is meant to appeal to locals, tourists and children. Celebration offers the impersonator SuperStarz show and then theatrical productions and educational programs for children. It’s commercial and non-profit at the same time.

Q: As artistic director, what is your overall vision for Celebration?
A: To create a place where we deliver magic right from the door. We’re committed to the total experience—exceptional artists, live music, a magical atmosphere plus giving our customers true value. Our tickets are very affordable and we sell popcorn for $2 and a child’s soda for 50 cents. When you think about it, how can you sit back and really enjoy a show if you know you’ve just drained your wallet?  

Q: Given all of your credentials and experience, why did you pick Celebration in Surfside Beach?
A: It was an opportunity for me to be given full reign to assemble a cast and crew of professional friends I’ve come to greatly respect, from all over the country. We’re all on the same page when it comes to the “magic” we want to create. I’m taking that concept from my days at Disney where they know how to put a family of artists together with great talent and great imagination.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being at Celebration?
A: I love watching the interactive audience relationship develop over the course of a night with the SuperStarz show. The impersonators are top-notch, we pull from Branson and Vegas to get the best. A woman who gets to touch Elvis as he sings to her or a man who gets to dance with Cher on stage … the look on their faces … you know it’s made their whole year. I get to see that happen and be part of that joyful experience in someone’s life. It’s that magic.

– Denise Mullen