Episode 49: Coloring Broadway

Andrea Koehler

Andrea Koehler, Chief Coloring Officer, Coloring Broadway

I interview Andrea about her business, Coloring Broadway.

Listen to the episode here: https://elsiecast.podbean.com/e/49-coloring-broadway/

You can buy designs from Coloring Broadway on Etsy or Amazon.

About half way through the interview, I mention Squigs. If you don’t know who Squigs is, you can listen to his Elsie Cast interview, or check out his website.

We also talked about the name “Elsie Fest,” which comes from the song Cabaret. Here’s Darren Criss singing Cabaret at Elsie Fest 2015.

And Elsie Fest 2016

And Elsie Fest 2017

Click below to purchase Elsie Cast merch and support free giveaways!Elsie Cast Shop


She’s here!!!

Some time last winter, I noticed that Elsie Fest was not getting the kind of attention from Darren Criss that it had the year before. Two years ago, as now, Darren would mention Elsie Fest occasionally in an interview. Last year: nothing. Although we sometimes saw tweets from the official Elsie Fest twitter (@ElsieFest), there was basically no mention publicly about Elsie Fest from roughly November of 2016 until Ricky Rollins tweeted that they were working on it in I believe June of 2017. (These are all my perceptions. I’d like to make this good reporting and go find all the tweets and interviews I’m talking about, but that’s not realistically happening. If you remember something differently, please let me know.)

I got frustrated and scared, especially since I had just started this podcast enterprise and if Elsie Fest stopped happening, I didn’t know what I would do about it.

But I don’t believe in being a pest to celebrities. Darren, Ricky, and Jordan (Roth, the third producer of Elsie Fest) don’t owe us an Elsie Fest. I just wish they’d communicate more. So I started tweeting using the hashtag #LittleOrphanElsie whenever I felt like Elsie Fest was being neglected.

Someday, I hope, more people will pick up the hashtag and make it more visible. In any case, it makes me feel a bit better. It amuses me. And I hope that when any of the producers of Elsie Fest see it, they take it in the intended spirit. It’s a nudge. A gentle nudge with a sense of humor hoping that they’ll take notice and be more communicative. Because we don’t know what’s going on in their heads and although I firmly believe at this point that they think we know for sure there will be another Elsie Fest, we don’t know that for sure. We need information. And people need dates so that they can ask for vacation days, plan travel, and save up.

It occurred to me at some point that it would be great to make Little Orphan Elsie t-shirts. I would love it if people started showing up at Darren’s events with a clever reminder that Elsie is something we think about (and would like to hear about) all year long. It would be a way to start a conversation with him about what’s going on with Elsie Fest.

There were just two problems.

  1. I can’t draw.
  2. I had no idea what Little Orphan Elsie would look like.

Obviously, she would need to be some combination of Little Orphan Annie and Elsie Fest, but what does Elsie Fest look like in human form?

Well, last week, I started chatting on Twitter with someone named @JesslovesDarren, and she offered to make me some art for a t-shirt I wanted to make based on something Darren had said in an interview.

Did you hear that right at the end there?

I know this guy. He’s weird. And he sure is happy about it.

It struck me that this should be on a t-shirt. And Jess helped me make it. I realize now that I screwed up the quote somewhere along the way, and the t-shirt doesn’t have it exactly right. But it’s a pretty cool t-shirt:


So I asked Jess if she’d try and make me a picture of Little Orphan Elsie that I could use to put my long-dreamed-of plan into motion, and she agreed. As I said, I had no idea what Little Orphan Elsie might look like, beyond some combination of Annie and Elsie Fest. And this is what we came up with.

She’s beautiful. She’s brilliant. And she needs to get in Darren’s face. I want him to laugh. I want his mind to be blown that people went to the trouble of creating such a thing. I want him to think the whole thin is ridiculous (because it is). And hopefully it will help him to understand that we need more communication. Or at least he’ll answer your questions about Elsie Fest 2018 and you can report back to me and I’ll tell everyone.

I would really like to have the first person who gets this in Darren’s line of sight to come on the podcast, too, to tell us about his reaction. I suspect it will be hilarious. So please, RT the image, purchase the image (stickers are just $2.50, tee-shirts are $20), wear it/bring it to LMDCtour shows or to Tramp Stamp Granny’s or wherever you know you’ll see Darren. In my dreams, Little Orphan Elsie will be everywhere he goes, until Elsie Fest gets the attention she deserves. Go out and make it happen people.

Here she is. Click here to purchase.


44: The Merch Guy

This one is really exciting. I interviewed Ricky Winowieckie (pronounced vee-no-vee-eh-ski) from Ann Arbor Tees, the company that produces merch for Elsie Fest! (And also Elsie alums Darren Criss, StarKid, and Computer Games.)

You can listen to the episode here: https://elsiecast.podbean.com/e/44-the-merch-guy/


Ricky wants to be remembered as a lover of dogs

Ricky and I go way into the weeds about how merch is developed and produced for Elsie Fest, how he first met the StarKids and Darren, and even where he parks his van during Elsie Fest weekend.

AND there’s a sale right now on official Elsie Fest, Darren Criss, and Computer Games merch! Check it out.

Ann Arbor Tees also does merch for Tin Can Bros, who currently have a show off-Broadway. Go check out The Solve It Squad this week, and while you’re there say hi to stage manager (and podcast guest) Adam Brunetti.

Next on the podcast:

May 7: Rosemary Rodriguez, Producing Director of Rise




43: On Leslie Odom Jr. and all the things


I interview Renee Grassi about her love of Leslie Odom Jr., which stretches all the way back to his time on Smash!

First, the bad news: I CANNOT FIND A VIDEO OF “LET’S START TOMORROW TONIGHT” from Smash. So that’s why it’s not here. If you have a link to one, please let me know in the comments or email me at elsiefestpodcast@gmail.com or tweet me @elsiepod.

Here’s a link to my blog post (from my old blog) about Sam and Tom.

And here’s the one about using Glee for sex ed.

And don’t forget to get Leslie’s book Failing Up!

Celebrate the first Elsie Fest with this t-shirt:

And find more awesome things in my shop.

Coming up on the podcast:

  • Ricky from Ann Arbor Tees
  • A fan report from the Todrick Hall tour
  • Rosemary Rodriguez, director of Rise!
  • The writers of the new off-Broadway show Wicked Frozen