For all of you aficionados of The Office, you know the multi-talented Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin, the loveable, no-nonsense warehouse foreman of Dunder Mifflin. When he’s not forced to deal with the hijinks of manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell), Philbin can usually be found jamming alongside Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) and Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner) as the keyboardist of their makeshift band Kevin and the Zits.
Though most of their songs are improvised, with Helms doing lots of “sca-da-de-doop-ing,” there is a clear musical talent exuded from Robinson, one that goes beyond the screen. When he’s not in front of the camera, the actor can usually be found on stage alongside his band The Nasty Delicious, which will perform at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center on Saturday, April 7.
The Times recently caught up with Robinson to see what he has in store for his Bucks County audience. Trust us…you’re going to want to leave the heels at home.
“Come ready to laugh and dance,” he said. “Our ultimate goal is to connect with the crowd in the moment and have some fun.”
In other words, don’t expect to be sitting down for very long. At any Nasty Delicious show, Robinson promises a jam-packed evening of entertainment and interaction — not just a band performing one song after the next.
When asked to share a sneak peek of a song or two audiences can expect to hear, Robinson played coy, comparing the concert to how he approaches a trip to the movies. Before going to the theater, he refrains from reading a single review, preferring to be completely surprised. This is how he wants audiences to enter the Nasty Delicious experience — unprepared and ready for anything.
Though the setlist will remain a mystery until the evening of the concert, attendees can rest assured they’ll leave the Xcite Center feeling like a million bucks. According to Robinson, The Nasty Delicious thrives on lifting the mood of every person in the crowd. No matter how happy someone thinks they are walking into the venue, he guarantees they’ll leave feeling even better.
“I can’t say enough about their musicianship and wanting to please the crowd,” he said of the band. “It’s a brotherhood.”
Literally. The Nasty Delicious formed in 2007 as a collaboration between Robinson and his real-life brother, fellow musician Chris Rob. Together, the two created a unique fusion of hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz and rock. The band eventually welcomed a handful of talented musicians to take on drums, guitar, bass, saxophone and trumpet, all of which make up the powerful wall of sound heard today.
Over the past 10 years, The Nasty Delicious has been featured on VH1’s Hip Hop Honors, Last Comic Standing, and the soundtrack of the comedy film Hot Tub Time Machine, which stars Robinson as Nick. All of the members also have their own creative projects, which include touring and recording with artists like Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Beyonce, The Grateful Dead and Maroon 5.
Just like Darryl Philbin, Robinson shines as the lead vocalist and keyboardist of The Nasty Delicious. He explained the concert will be reminiscent of the warehouse jam sessions The Office fans have come to know and love. Except they’ll be taken to a whole new level.
Reflecting on his years with The Office, Robinson said when producers discovered he could play the piano, they immediately found ways to incorporate his talent into the show. Ever since, he’s been able to enjoy a career that encompasses his two passions of acting and music, an achievement many only dream of.
“Music has been my partner the entire time,” he said of his acting career. “It’s always been with me.”
So what’s on Robinson’s agenda for the rest of 2018 and beyond? First and foremost, he hopes to have The Nasty Delicious record and release its debut album, which is sure to be a go-to soundtrack for any party. As for upcoming acting projects, Robinson is preparing to shoot more episodes of the FOX series Ghosted, on which he plays Leroy Wright, a former detective hired to investigate a paranormal-based mystery.
In the meantime, he has one wish for those planning to clear their schedules this Saturday night.
“I love ya’ll and I hope to sing and dance with you.”
Who could say no to that? ••
If you go…
Craig Robinson & The Nasty Delicious will perform at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center, 2999 Street Road in Bensalem, on Saturday, April 7 at 8 p.m. For more information, visit parxcasino.com/xcitecenter.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com