The second annual Elsie Fest, a one-day outdoor music festival celebrating theater stars, is set for Sept 5 at the Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island, New York.
This fall, the famous ConeyIslandboardwalkwill host some special hot dogs with a Broadway flavor.
The second annual Elsie Fest, a one-day outdoor music festival celebrating theater stars, is set for Sept 5 at the 5,000-seat Ford Amphitheater, offering a new location and a new slate of singers.
This year’s performers includeMeganHilty, Tituss Burgess, Darren Criss, Evan Rachel Wood, composer Jason Robert Brown, Tony-winner Lena Hall, Corey Cott, Tony-winner Cynthia Erivo, radio host Julie James and the composing team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
“There is truly nothing else like this festival,” says Criss, the Glee star who helped create the festival. “There was this yearning for something like this that just kind of made it easy. The meat just kind of fell off the bone.”
Burgess, a Broadway star currently on The UnBreakable Kimmy Schmidt, will be in Coney Island for the first time, but last week still wasn’t sure what he’ll be singing. “I’m going to see what is nearest and closest to my energy and that’s probably what I’ll be able to execute best.”
The concert is the brainchild of Criss, talent manager Ricky Rollins, and Broadway producer and Jujamcyn Theaters President Jordan Roth. Last year’s festival drew some 4,000 people to a midtown pier. Tickets start at $60.
Criss hopes to grow Elsie Fest over the next fewyears, turning it into a two-day event with art, food and cultural offerings.
“It’s about an experience to me. Like any festival. It’s not just the concert,” says Criss. “We’re really working on building that out as much as possible to make it a full-on experience and not just a series of concerts.”
Criss, who has been on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, says he’s been tapping his talented friendstojointhemovement.
Last year, he managed to get Leslie Odom Jr. to rush from a performance of Hamilton to appear on the Elsie stage, and this year he lured Burgess to Coney Island when both were starring in a concert version of The Little Mermaid at theHollywood Bowl.
“Asking talented friends to do anything is a really humbling experience,” says Criss. “No matter how nice people are about it, I just always feel so slimy about it. Having last year under my belt made me more confident.”
Darren Criss will participate in the second annual Elsie Fest.