A Pop-Up Piano Bar With Darren Criss

TodayTix and Elsie Fest offered a free, intimate evening for fans with Glee and Broadway star Darren Criss Wednesday night. Somehow, despite my terrible luck, I managed to win a ticket. Even better, I was able to attend.

The event was very exclusive and very hush-hush. Winners were notified about 26 hours before the show was set to begin. TodayTix sent us winners the address Wednesday morning, and by the time I picked up my wristband at 4:30 that afternoon, there was only a small crowd. They brought us upstairs in groups of five or six, to accommodate the elevator, and we waited in the TodayTix Loft with pizza and soda until the show started and we crowded around the piano.

Kevin Lynch - Pop-Up Piano BarWhile many fans (myself included) probably interpreted the event as “A Pop-Up Piano Bar starring Darren Criss it really was just with him. It starred Kevin Lynch, an incredibly talented pianist from Marie’s Crisis, a popular West Village piano bar, and the audience. Kevin played a variety of Broadway tunes, and the audience sang along happily. In the middle of an enthusiastic rendition of “Cabaret,” Criss came running into the middle of the group, making his first appearance, so that he could sing the line that he named his music festival after.

Darren Criss Pop-Up Piano BarAfter that, Criss stayed to the edges and sang along with the crowd. Criss even took over on the piano for two songs, his own “Get Back to Hogwarts” (from StarKid’s A Very Potter Musical) and Aladdin’s “Part of Your World.”

In true Darren Criss fashion, he couldn’t fully remember the words to the song he wrote (“Hogwarts”) or the song from the show he’s going to be headlining in a month (Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s “Wig in a Box”). Afterwards, Criss took a number of promo shots for Elsie and TodayTix, but even though he was pressed for time as he left, he made sure to take selfies with all the fans that stuck around and waited.

Overall it was an enjoyable time, but probably not what many fans had been hoping for.

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