Fellow guilty pleasure enthusiasts, I think you’ll be proud. I’ve just spent the last two days Googling, Wikipedia-ing and generally cyber-stalking one Mr. Darren Criss. Isn’t technology grand?
If the name Darren Criss doesn’t sound familiar, fear not, I am here to enlighten you. (You might want to jot that name down, though, because I think this kid is going places.) 24-year-old Darren Criss’s shining face and golden voice have been wooing us for the past several months on “Glee,” where Criss plays Blaine, Kurt’s very first gay friend and co-crooner of the Dalton Academy Warblers. Not only does Criss fully commit to the preppy blue blazer and campy dance routines, he does a mean version of Katy Perry’s, “Teenage Dream.”
What really got my GOGP-meter firing on all cylinders was last week’s episode, when Blaine finally grasped his feelings for Kurt. He captured the moment of realization silently, brilliantly, in one of those magic scenes that makes me want to quit my day job and crash the set, so that I can witness firsthand the next ground-breaking episode. (I know it’s FOX, but when’s the last time you saw network television romanticize a same-sex relationship between high schoolers, during primetime, no less?)
I was sure that this Darren Criss fellow had to be drawing on personal experience to deliver the aforementioned performance, but am now convinced (thanks to an enlightening Vanity Fair article) that he is straight. Impressive. He was raised in San Francisco and graduated from the University of Michigan, where he studied drama, which explains his ambigious-seeming sexual orientation. He’s got a fairly robust resume and even released an EP on iTunes last year (check out “Not Alone“). He is featured in two music videos with Charlene Kaye, a fellow U. of Michigan alum, lest any of his vocal chops go to waste.
But here’s the real clincher – he and his U. of Michigan classmates founded Team StarKid, and in 2009 produced a play called “A Very Potter Musical,” which, to date, has nearly 5 million hits on YouTube. Criss portrays Harry and is credited as one of the primary songwriters on this and other StarKid productions.
Darren, you go girl. I mean, good lookin’ out, bro.