Theatre Lovers Head to Coney Island for Second Annual Labor Day Elsie Fest | Playbill

News Theatre Lovers Head to Coney Island for Second Annual Labor Day Elsie Fest
The “Coachella for Broadway music” features Megan Hilty, Cynthia Erivo and others.
Megan Hilty, Tituss Burgess, Darren Criss
Tituss Burgess, Megan Hilty and Cynthia Erivo Joseph Marzullo/WENN, Monica Simoes

The second annual Elsie Fest, a one-day outdoor music festival modeled on the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California, but celebrating stars and songs from the stage and screen, rolls out September 5 at the Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk in Brooklyn, NY.

The second annual Elsie Fest includes full sets from Tony Award-nominated actress and singer Megan Hilty; actor, singer and Emmy-nominated Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess; Emmy-nominated musician and actor Darren Criss; musician and actress Evan Rachel Wood and musician Zach Villa, who perform as Rebel and a Basket Case; musical theatre composer, lyricist, playwright and three-time Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown; Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s Tony Award-winning Lena Hall; Broadway singing actor and Newsies star Corey Cott; Tony-nominated songwriting duo behind Broadway’s upcoming musical Dear Evan Hansen, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; Broadway personality and SiriusXM Radio On Broadway host Julie James; and a special guest performance by 2016 Tony Award winner of The Color Purple, Cynthia Erivo.

Elsie Fest was the brainchild of Criss, talent manager Ricky Rollins and Broadway producer and Jujamcyn Theaters president Jordan Roth.

”I was at Coachella [the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in southern California] and thought ‘let's do this for show tunes,’” said Criss in an earlier statement. “Musical theater has been going through a wonderful shift in the past few years, from the type of work that’s being produced to the way it’s being consumed by the public. It's more than showtunes on Broadway–it’s songs from film, TV and YouTube. Since the rules were already changing, I figured, why not shake up people’s ideas of where to watch the performers they love. Enter Elsie.”

Criss and Rollins released a joint stament for year two: “Last year’s Elsie Fest was a passion project. The support from the public and the success of the festival reinforced what we knew, that people love coming together to watch, hear and sing with their favorite musical stars. Now, we hope to make Elsie Fest bigger and better every year.”

The outdoor festival begins at 1 PM and features performances throughout the day, including surprise guests. Concertgoers will be offered exclusive meet and greet packages with their favorite stars, festival merchandise and a Beer Garden from the famed West Village piano bar, Marie's Crisis. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

To get to the Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk, take the Q, N, D or F subway to Stillwell Avenue/Coney Island, or drive to 3052 W. 21st Street in Brooklyn. Click here for more detailed directions.

Tickets for Elsie Fest are available at and on

Here is a clip of Criss performing at the 2015 inaugural Elsie Fest.

Elsie Fest Lead HR

(Updated September 5, 2016)

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