Top: This group of University of Michigan grads have all appeared on the Great White Way. Desi Oakley (Annie), Etai BenShlomo (Wicked), Ashley Blanchet (Annie’s Star to Be) and Darren Criss (How to Succeed).
Bottom: Lucky Eleni! She has worked as the Broadway assistant to both Jane Lynch and Darren Criss .[Source]
“Glee” (and “A Very Potter Musical”) starand U-M grad Darren Criss has just announced some upcoming concert dates, and among them is a show that’s part of Ann Arbor’s free summer music series Sonic Lunch: on June 13 at 11:30 a.m. at the Michigan Theater.
All members of Criss’ band will be U-M alumni who attended school at around the same time as Criss, who graduated in 2009. Theo Katzman will both open the show and perform with Criss.Tyler Duncan and Joe Dart, from former local favorite band Ella Riot/ My Dear Disco, andJack Straton from Vulfpeck will also accompany Criss on stage.
“We are super thrilled to bring Darren Criss back to Ann Arbor for this very special Bank of Ann Arbor Sonic Lunch performance,” Tim Marshall, president and CEO of Bank of Ann Arbor (which sponsors Sonic Lunch), said in a prepared statement. “Sonic Lunch, in its sixth season, helps make Liberty Plaza in downtown Ann Arbor the coolest place to be for lunch on Thursday afternoons. Our support of the arts and culture in the greater Ann Arbor region has always been an important part of the fabric of our bank and Sonic Lunch is a really fun event to present annually to our community.”
The Ann Arbor appearance is part of a 16-city tour by Criss, and is the only date on the tour that’s a free show. According to the tour announcement, “Criss will give fans a preview into his forthcoming album and perform hits from his 2009 self-released EP ‘Human.’”
“I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the summer than being on the road and doing live shows,” said Criss in the press release. “I wanted to do something bigger than what I’ve done before - more cities and new music. It’s a real opportunity for me to connect with all the people who’ve supported me through the years, as well as a chance to get new folks excited. It’s gonna be a party for everyone!”
In addition to starring on “Glee,” Criss has also been part of the U-M-formed Team StarKid, which created “A Very Potter Musical” and other online sensations. He took over the starring role on Broadway in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” and this summer makes his movie debut in “Girl Most Likely” with Kristen Wiig.