While the rest of Team StarKid was off gallivanting with Sean Astin, Dylan Saunders and Darren Criss returned last weekend to their hometown of San Francisco to take part in the 2012 Season Gala for the American Conservatory Theater, where they met ten years ago as young performing arts students.

Darren and Dylan joined 400 other guests and alumni at the gala, which was “black-tie-with-a-twist,” so bright colours and extreme accessories were encouraged. The evening included a cocktail reception, dinner, and the performance of an original musical titled Tales of A.C.T.!, written especially for the occasion by A.C.T. Publications Manager Dan Rubin.

Aside from participating in the musical alongside two-time Tony Award winner Bill Irwin, actors Patrick Lane and Betsy Wolfe, students from the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program and Young Conservatory, and members of A.C.T.’s Board of Trustees, Darren also performed a few musical numbers, including James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” with Dylan and other alums Rachel Rubenstein and Charlotte Ubben, as well as addressing “I Believe In You” from How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying to a child version of himself, played by young A.C.T. student Matt Avery. He also played his well-known original song, “Not Alone,” backed up by the Young Conservatory Cabaret, and appropriately, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.”

Dylan, Darren and some other alumni also took part in a Q and A, an acting advice session for the 180 Bay Area high school students and teachers with a passion for the arts who were sponsored to attend this event.

(Darren Criss and Matt Avery perform “I Believe In You”)

(Darren Criss and Bill Irwin)

(Darren and his parents at the Gala)

(Darren, Dylan Saunders and fellow alums give a Q&A)

Darren spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about returning to the city by the bay for the event:

Q: What’s it like to return home as a headliner for ACT, where you used to be a student?

A: It’s one of those full-circle moments. I started with ACT’s Young Conservatory when I was 9 or 10, and I used to take part in the galas as a kid. I remember one where I played the violin. I probably wasn’t that good on the violin, but I was this cute kid wandering around in coattails. I was a walking, talking prop, which was fun.

Q: You made your professional stage debut here in a trio of musicals with 42nd Street Moon, “Fanny,” “Do I Hear a Waltz” and “Babes in Arms.” What does that experience mean to you?

A: The 42nd Street Moon years are in tandem with the ACT years, and I’m grateful I got to foster my love of performing from a young age. Looking back, it was nice to have a place to put those interests. I was learning so much about musical theater that I never could have learned on my own. I mean, what 11-year-old knows every song in “Do I Hear a Waltz?” by heart? On a more personal level with 42nd Street Moon, all my friends were these twenty- and thirty-something theater hopefuls giving me rides home and taking me under their wing. Most kids were home watching TV and playing video games, and I was getting a burger with these guys in the Castro. I was surrounded by this vibrant, wonderful theater culture. I wasn’t really aware of it then. That’s just how it was.

Dylan shared his feelings about the event on Twitter:

Doesn’t this sound like a fun event?

Netflix announces new Bill Nye the Science Guy talk show

BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL! BILL!

11:39 am EDT, August 31, 2016

Warm up those microscopes — Bill Nye is coming back to television thanks to Netflix!

Netflix has announced Bill Nye Saves the World, a new talk show slated for Spring 2017.

In a statement, Netflix says “each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.”

Read full article

Warm up those microscopes — Bill Nye is coming back to television thanks to Netflix!

Netflix has announced Bill Nye Saves the World, a new talk show slated for Spring 2017.

In a statement, Netflix says “each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.”

“Since the start of the Science Guy show, I’ve been on a mission to change the world by getting people everywhere excited about the fundamental ideas in science,” said Bill Nye in a press release.

“Today, I’m excited to be working with Netflix on a new show, where we’ll discuss the complex scientific issues facing us today, with episodes on vaccinations, genetically modified foods and climate change. With the right science and good writing, we’ll do our best to enlighten and entertain our audience. And, perhaps we’ll change the world a little.”

Netflix also promises that “In Bill’s unfiltered style, he will bring in special guests, conduct experiments and demonstrations, and ultimately let the facts lead the argument.”

Bill Nye is best known for Bill Nye the Science Guy, the half-hour PBS show that ran from 1993 through 1998.

The theme song is iconic. Science RULES!

The new Netflix series seems like a continuation of Bill Nye the Science Guy, so we’re very excited for the new show to launch in 2017.

Your wish is Marvel’s command. Fans have wanted to see a live-action Squirrel Girl adaptation, and it looks like it might actually happen thanks to New Warriors.

If you don’t know who Squirrel Girl is, do yourself a favor and look her up. Her name is Doreen Green and, shockingly, she can talk to squirrels. (Who would’ve guessed?) But it doesn’t stop there! She’s also got super strength and speed.

Fans have been fantasy casting the role for a while, but when Anna Kendrick said she wanted to play the character, the internet went wild.

Read full article

Your wish is Marvel’s command. Fans have wanted to see a live-action Squirrel Girl adaptation, and it looks like it might actually happen thanks to New Warriors.

If you don’t know who Squirrel Girl is, do yourself a favor and look her up. Her name is Doreen Green and, shockingly, she can talk to squirrels. (Who would’ve guessed?) But it doesn’t stop there! She’s also got super strength and speed.

Fans have been fantasy casting the role for a while, but when Anna Kendrick said she wanted to play the character, the internet went wild.

Shannon Purser has also declared her interest in the role. You’ll know her as Barb from Stranger Things, but she’s also just been added to Riverdale.

Before we can start casting, however, we need a show, and according to TV Line, that show is New Warriors.

Marvel and ABC Studios are currently shopping the project around, which would be a half-hour comedy based on the character. One of the tell-tale signs of a Squirrel Girl story line is its lighthearted and humorous nature, so this sounds like a perfect fit.

TV Line reports that the show is being described as “the junior version of The Avengers,” and that “the New Warriors are a superhero squad made up of teenagers.”

Marvel has, of course, brought plenty of its characters to the small screen and to great success. There’s even a chance that this project could be tied to some of the Netflix properties, as Doreen acts as a nanny to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter, Danielle, in the comic books.

Just think about that crossover potential.

Are you looking forward to this ‘New Warriors’ show if it stars Squirrel Girl?

Shannon Purser plays fan-favorite character Barb on Stranger Things and now she’s joining a new project on The CW.

A lot of people instantly fell in love with Barb the moment she graced our screens in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, and who can blame them? She was cool, confident, and not at all worried about what the popular kids thought of her.

Then the Demogorgon arrived. But that’s a tale for another day.

Read full article

Shannon Purser plays fan-favorite character Barb on Stranger Things and now she’s joining a new project on The CW.

A lot of people instantly fell in love with Barb the moment she graced our screens in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, and who can blame them? She was cool, confident, and not at all worried about what the popular kids thought of her.

Then the Demogorgon arrived. But that’s a tale for another day.

EW is now reporting that Purser has joined Riverdale, the television show based on the Archie comics.

Purser will be portraying Ethel Muggs for at least three episodes.

Don’t expect her to follow in the footsteps of her comic book equivalent, however. Ethel may have a crush on Jughead in the source material, but EW is reporting that she’ll have her heart set on someone else.

Ethel will also be teaming up with Veronica and Betty as they set out to get revenge on Reggie Mantle, Archie’s nemesis.

In July, we brought you our thoughts on the Riverdale pilot after we saw it at San Diego Comic-Con. It’ll be premiering midseason next winter on the CW and provides a darker spin on the original Archie characters as they become wrapped up in a murder mystery.

Though the pilot has already been shot, the remaining 12 episodes have yet to be filmed. Production on the rest of the season will begin in early September, and the show is expected to premiere in early 2017, barring any complications.

Are you looking forward to seeing Shannon Purser on ‘Riverdale’?