Watch: Darren Criss drops stirring acoustic 'I Dreamed a Dream' music video to honor Elsie Fest 2017 announcement
Darren Criss YouTube

Broadway, TV and music star Darren Criss treated fans to a very special acoustic rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the Tony-winning musical “Les Miserables” on YouTube earlier today. He served up the heartfelt video performance to celebrate the announcement of Elsie Fest 2017. The former “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Glee” star teased fans earlier in the week via Twitter that something was coming “July 26.” His tender rendition of the highly-covered song fulfilled his promise. Oh, Darren! You had us at the very first line …

Diehard Gleeks will undoubtedly remember when Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and her bio mom Shelby (Idina Menzel) sang the song in season one, episode 19. Darren’s character, Blaine Anderson, didn’t come along until the next season. But, the role and the series launched the University of Michigan theater grad and viral rising star’s wild ride to fame. The “Glee” series finale feels like ages ago for many of us, even though it’s just been two years.

Since "Glee," Darren has diversified his creative portfolio, including a critically-acclaimed run in the lead role of the Tony-winning musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” (If you haven’t seen him rock Hedwig’s platform boots, you don’t know what you’re missing!) He is due to star as Gianni Versace’s killer in the upcoming season of “American Crime Story.” He also recently formed a hot new music duo with his brother Chuck Criss, called Computer Games.

Check out an AXS review of the lead single, "Every Single Night," from their debut EP here.

Elsie Fest was the Emmy-nominated singer-songwriter’s brainchild. He wanted to create a Coachella-style outdoor festival for theater lovers. Stars of stage and screen performed on outdoor stages to thousands of screaming fans each year. Criss and Company have pulled off two successful New York-based runs of  Elsie Fest to date. Last year’s festival took place at Coney Island. Darren performed, along with fellow U of M alum (who are Tony and Oscar winners), Pasek and Paul and a huge lineup of artists including Megan Hilty, Lena Hall, Tituss Burgess, Jason Robert Brown, Rebel and a Basketcase (Evan Rachel Wood and Zach Villa).

Elsie Fest 2017 will bring more music, food and fun to theater fans. The day-long event will take place on Oct. 8 at Summerstage, Central Park in New York City. Visit the Elsie Fest website for more information. Or, check out Darren Criss’ Twitter announcement attached below for info about how to get a presale code.

Meanwhile, Darren Criss fans can revel in the sweetness of his vulnerable, stripped back version of "I Dreamed a Dream" by watching the attached video. Hopeless romantics might want to keep some Kleenex on hand while watching. Sniff, sniff.

Stay tuned to AXS for Darren Criss, Elsie Fest and Computer Games updates.