Darren Criss Sings 'Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm,' Queers 'How to Succeed'
By Shana Naomi Krochmal
The Outfest Legacy Awards took place October 13, and here's what you missed:
-Host Michael Urie continued to show off his impeccably good comedic timing, which continues to go to waste on the inevitably soon-to-be-canceled CBS sitcom Partners. Here’s hoping he lands somewhere worthy of his dramatic chops (as seen in the quirky “Petunia” at Outfest’s summer showcase).
-Sean Hayes introduced a reel of producer honorees Craig Zadan and Neil Meron that recapped their very large body of work, including Chicago, Hairspray, Footloose—and a sneak peek from the new season of NBC’s Smash with Jennifer Hudson and Katherine McPhee singing “On Broadway.” (But why oh why would you show a sneak peek of Smash that didn’t include Megan Hilty?!). The pair recalled that a shot of Bette Midler singing “Rose’s Turn” from 1993’s TV movie version of Gypsy had been shot in the then-decrepit, now lovingly restored Orpheum Theatre where the awards were held. Next up: producing the 85th Annual Academy Awards.
-A screening of Outfest’s restoration-in-progress, 1919’s Different from the Others. The film was a product of the Weimar Republic that tells the (silent) story of a violin virtuoso, his student/number one fan and a blackmailing that can only end badly...sort of. Because it also features the world’s then-leading sexologist Mangus Hirschfeld (who both co-wrote the film and appears in it as himself, Oprah-style), the potentially dire tale is laced with blunt affirmations about how natural and normal it is to be a homosexual—and how utterly unchangeable. It was surprisingly tender, with knowing laughs from the audience heard over the sound of a live organ soundtrack and the bittersweet experience of watching moving images from nearly a century ago that tell a story not so different from what many (especially in an election year) are still fighting over today.
-And, oh yeah, there was a performance by that dreamboat Darren Criss, accompanied by Glee pianist Brad Ellis as he sang “Happy to Keep his Dinner Warm” from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the Zadan/Meron Broadway revival in which Criss briefly starred last winter after Daniel Radcliffe’s run ended. (Criss joked that both he and Radcliffe were just opening for Nick Jonas.)
Criss told the story of having fallen in love with the musical as a kid, but saying to himself then, “Such a bummer I’ll never be able to sing it though, because it’s a girl’s song.” Luckily, he said, it turned out that “15 years later I would be on a television show where pronouns didn’t really matter.”
WATCH: Darren Criss sing "Happy to Keep His Dinner Warm" from How To Succeed at the Outfest Legacy Awards October 13, 2012.
Learn more about Outfest’s Legacy Project here: http://www.outfest.org/legacy/