Broadway Show Tunes in Central Park

The outdoor music festival, Elsie Fest, returns to Central Park SummerStage this Saturday, October 5th from 6-10pm. The festival, co-created and produced by Darren Criss, Ricky Rollins, and Jordan Roth, features not only Broadway performers but composers, writers, and anyone with Broadway ties.

Elsie Fest, now in its fifth year, is the brainchild of multi-talented Darren Criss, who said he was inspired to bring the idea of cabaret shows and music festivals together. In a recent interview with, he said, “At the end of the day whether you know Broadway or not these are amazing performers. We’re in the Olympic tent of the best performers in the world right here in New York city. And you get to see them at a pretty bargain price considering you don’t have to pay for a Broadway ticket.” Ticket prices are $65 for general admission and $95 for VIP bleachers.


Here’s the line-up for this year’s Elsie Fest:

Darren Criss:

He co-founded Star Kid Productions with his classmates from the University of Michigan. He also went on to star in and co-write the music and lyrics to A Very Pooter Musical, A very Pooter Sequel, and A Very Potter Senior Year. Since then, Criss was a fan-favorite on Glee and performed on Broadway twice in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He recently won an Emmy Award for his portrayal as serial killer Andrew Cunanan in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Cynthia Erivo:

Her performance of Celie in the critically acclaimed revival of The Color Purple won her a Tony Award as well a Grammy, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Erivo made her film debut in Bad Times at The El Royale and was last seen in Steve McQueen’s hit Widows. She plays the title role in Harriet, out later this year.

Michael Feinstein:

The 5-time Grammy and 2-time Emmy nominee earned a reputation as one of the music industry’s leading entertainers, pianist, and Ambassador of the Great American Songbook. In 2007, Feinstein founded The Great American Songbook Foundation to inspire and educate others on the history of this music.

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Anais Mitchell:

The singer-songwriter wrote the book, music, and lyrics to the Broadway hit Hadestown. The folk-opera show not only won Best Music at the Tony Awards but also earned Mitchell her Tony for Best Musical and Score. NPR called her “one of the greatest songwriters of her time.”

Gavin Creel:

His performance as Cornelius Hackl in Hello Dolly starring Bette Midler earned him a Tony Award. Creel has an incredible Broadway resume, including  Thoroughly Modern MillieLa Cage Aux FollesHair, and She Loves Me. He most recently starred alongside Sara Bareilles in Waitress as Dr. Pomatter. Creel also won an Olivier Award for his performance as Elder Price in the Book of Mormon in the West End.


Ariana DeBose:

She recently wrapped up filming Steven Speilberg’s next hit, West Side Story, where she will play Anita. Her Broadway credits include Hamilton, the Leading Player in PippinA Bronx Tale The Musical, and Bring It On: The Musical. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

Dyllón Burnside, best known for his role as Ricky in Pose, will be the special guest at Elsie Fest. Additional performances include A Very Potter Musical, R&H Goes Pop!, Jagged Little Pill (a new musical featuring the songs of Alanis Morrissette), High School Musical The Musical The Series, and The Lightning Thief Musical. The West Village cabaret cafe, Marie’s Crisis, will spearhead the singalongs.

In the famous words sung by Sally Bowles about her friend Elsie: What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play! Life is a cabaret, old chum. Come to the cabaret!

Tickets can be found here. Doors open at 5 PM.

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