63: Andrew Forste on being House Properties at the Sondheim


We have the Elsie Fest date!

My guest Andrew Forste is on the podcast to talk about working backstage at the Stephen Sondheim theater, his child as a musical theater actor, the Elsie alums he’s worked with, and his celebrity sister. 

Stay tuned to the end to hear Matthew Morrison’s Hairspray medley from Elsie Fest 2018. 



Elsie Fest FAQ: 2019 Edition


official twitter: @elsiefest

 Facebook event page

1. When is Elsie Fest this year?

October 5, 2019.

2. Where is Elsie Fest this year?

Summerstage, Central Park, New York City

3. Where do I buy tickets?

Buy tickets via the website at www.elsiefest.com.

4. How much will tickets cost me?

General Admission is $65 + $17.50 fees = $82.50

There is a bleacher pass for $95 + $18.20 fees =$113.20.

5. Are there seats at the venue?

There are some. Summerstage is primarily a lawn seating venue, which means everybody brings a blanket and finds a seat on the ground. There are bleachers, but they are in the back of the venue. There are no assigned seats. A Bleacher pass allows you to enter the bleacher section and guarantees you a seat. It’s open seating.

I have arthritis/use a wheelchair/just can’t sit on the ground. What do I do?

There is an ADA section with space for wheelchairs and a few chairs. Reach out to Elsie Fest and Summerstage and say that you need a seat (or a place you can see from your wheelchair) (or whatever accommodation you may need) and ask what they will do to accommodate you. I don’t know if these seats need to be reserved.*

You can reach out to Elsie Fest at info@elsiefest.com.

I’m told you can also get info by reaching out to Summerstage directly. @SummerStage on Twitter or info@cityparksfoundation.org.

6. Will there be VIP?

Last year there was VIP seating sold at the last minute that included a bleacher seat and waiter service for food and drinks.

There will also likely be VIP meet-and-greets, but those have not yet been announced.

7. Who will be performing?

“Darren Criss and special guests.” (They haven’t announced the lineup yet.)

8. What about Marie’s Crisis?

Not yet announced but I’ll be shocked if they aren’t there.

9. Will I be able to meet Darren Criss at Elsie Fest?

Probably not. Meet and greet sold out in one minute flat last year. Elsie Fest does not permit people to wait after the show to see the performers.

10. Can I bring a dog to Elsie Fest?

Sadly, no.

11. Is Elsie Fest going to sell out?

It might. But I doubt it.

12. When will additional guests be announced?

You never know. While I have no way of knowing who has been invited or what kind of negotiations are going on behind the scenes, they have made it clear that Darren is the person who arranges the talent at Elsie Fest. He’s a busy guy. We never know what he’s up to.

There will be more guests. Some will be announced before Elsie Fest, others will be surprise guests (if the past two years are a guide.) Buy tickets based on what’s announced, don’t get your hopes up, and enjoy watching it unfold.

13. I have nobody to sit with at Elsie Fest. May I sit with you?

Of course! Look for the yellow blankets. I’ll be sitting on these, so I should be easy to find.


All strays are welcome to hang out with us.

14. I wish there was a way to get familiar with the music of all of these artists before Elsie Fest.

I will make a new Spotify playlist once the lineup is announced.

15. I was hoping to take pictures/video at Elsie Fest, but the website for Summerstage says no cameras are allowed! What do I do?

The official policy says “Professional gear including video cameras or cameras with lens 100mm and over are not permitted.” Your phone or digital camera should be fine. They don’t want people taking professional-quality photos so that they can keep control of publicity.

16. Can I bring food and/or a water bottle?

Yes, but no coolers or alcohol. Beer, wine, soft drinks, and food are sold within the venue. There is also a water fountain to refill your water bottle. It’s located in the corner of the venue to the right of the stage (house right).

17. How do I get to Summerstage?

Summerstage is in Central Park at East 72nd Street. The closest subway is the 6 train at 68th street, or you can take the C train to 72nd Street on the West Side and walk across the park. Here’s a handy guide from TripSavvy that’s for the free concerts, but a lot of the info applies also to Elsie Fest.

18. What time should I get there?

Darren Criss fans are crazy. Lots of them like to stand around all day just to listen to soundcheck. Others are obsessed with being first into the venue. These people will line up early, and I do mean EARLY. Last year, the first tweet I saw from someone on line was at about 5am. If being up front is important to you, I would either buy a meet & greet or get there by 10:30am or so at the latest.

Since meet & greet happens before the event, buying a M&G ticket is a way to get into the venue a bit early. M&G ticket holders need to be at the venue no later than 2:30pm. Last year they didn’t let M&G holders in until 5pm, but they were allowed in before general ticket holders.

19. I’m looking for someone to travel/sit/swap tickets/share a hotel room with. How can I find someone? 

Check out www.elsiedate.com! It’s a new, fan-run service for fans of musical theater where you can meet new friends, sell tickets (at cost–no scalping!), or even find an actual date, if you want to.

20. Back in January, you did an Indiegogo and said you were going to give away tickets to Elsie Fest. Is that still happening?


*I’m sure I don’t have to say this, because Elsie Fest fans are awesome, but please don’t abuse this. People with disabilities actually need accommodations, and I want to live in a world where they get them with minimal fuss. When people abuse these policies, everyone’s life gets worse. So advocate for yourself if you need it, and everyone else, just sit on the damn ground or don’t come.

Last update Friday, August 2 at 12:18pm EDT

62: Glee’s Impact on Society


When my husband told me that two of his students gave a presentation called “The Impact of Glee on Society,” I knew I had to interview them. Our conversation is also a fitting tribute for the sixth anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death. 

You can follow Lucy and Kyleigh on Instagram @ImpactofGlee

Support the podcast on Indiegogo or buy something from my shop

61: 42nd Street Stitches


I talk to Kristen Daniels of 42nd Street Stitches! We nerd out about musicals and stitchery and the whole thing ends with Darren Criss and Nick Jonas singing Brotherhood of Man.

Support the podcast on my Indiegogo.

We are both members of the Broadway Makers Alliance