TODAY   |  April 29, 2013

Darren Criss of ‘Glee’: I’ve got to step up my game

Darren Criss, best known for playing Blaine on the musical TV show “Glee,” is preparing to kick off a sold-out 16-city tour called “Listen Up.” He talks to TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb about his start on YouTube and his experience at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> he sings, he writes, he acts, he does it all and he's got a sold-out tour coming up this summer. he's only 26 years old, but he is well on his way, darren criss is best known for playing blaine on the hit show, "glee." he published his album, "human" in 2009 and is giving his fans a preview of what they can look forward to on his tour. the tour is called "listen up."

>> that's one month from today, mr.

>> yes, it is, got to get cracking.

>> congratulations on the sell-out, what happened?

>> you guys beat me to the punch. i was going to give you my first announcement. we went on sale saturday morning and i was really overwhelmed by the fact that we sold out very quickly. so --

>> tell us --

>> i better step my game up a little bit.

>> this is not the "glee" tour?

>> no. i played a variety of venue, i probably played the most in new york city before "glee." i played a lot around here.

>> what can people expect?

>> it will be me with my band, which will be great, a whole backing thing like a full production.

>> how many in the band?

>> about six-piece band. all my friends from college and music school . all the music nerds coming together again.

>> what's the song that gets the most reaction when you sing on stage?

>> i don't know, i'm too busy trying to remember the words.

>> you write the songs?

>> yes, yes. and i like playing covers. i've kind of run the gamut over the past several years, i started on youtube doing wacky covers. so obviously "glee."

>> an homage.

>> it's a review.

>> you were busy this weekend. you stopped by the white house correspondents ' dinner.

>> i did. my second time. last there i was more in official business, i was there with the the " huffington post " very officiating thing. look at this fancy mug. i get to take the dramatic sips.

>> what was it like?

>> this time around i just went with a friend, he had an extra ticket. i got to enjoy myself. i saw a lot of friends from home in san francisco and at michigan, i was the actor doing the wacky theater shows in the really cool, highfalutin poly-sci clubs and now we're all coming into our own interests and professions, it was a lovely weekend for me and i thought it was a fabulous dinner.

>> what dot folks from "glee" think of you going out on your own?

>> we just wrapped our season four on wednesday. so i think they're all just thrilled to be going on vacation. having a little time off.

>> some are not taking time off. jane lynch is going to "annie" on broadway.

>> she's going to be great.

>> we're so happy for you.

>> you're going to be in new york during that tour?

>> i'll be in new york , i'll be in new york the end of may. excuse me, end of june, i'll be at the roseland ballroom .

>> have a great summer.

>> appreciate it.