A sold-out crowd at the Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles got a treat when singer/songwriter Darren Criss’ performance of Laura Branigan’s 1982 hit pop song, “Gloria.” Pounding the keys of an old-fashioned upright piano, the former “Glee” star belted out the first half of the song in Italian to honor both “Gloria’s” songwriter Umberto Tozzi as well as the late 20th-century Italian fashion designer, Gianni Versace.
“American Crime Story” fans are already familiar with Criss’ rendition of the song, as he sang the song in a scene while playing 1990s spree killer and Versace’s murderer, Andrew Cunanan in “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” The scene has Criss belting out the song to calm his nerves as he drives to his next crime scene in Miami.
Criss tweeted the performance out to his fans on Tuesday morning, noting that the Tozzi version of the song would’ve been a hit tune in Italy when Versace opened his first shop, and he hoped the song would’ve reminded the fashion mogul of the early days of success before his rise to international stardom.
Branigan’s “Gloria” was also featured in 2017’s “I, Tonya,” a docudrama chronicling ice skater Tonya Harding’s life leading up to, during and after the 1994 attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan.
Sang this last night for Gianni Versace. Umberto Tozzi’s version would've been a hit in Italy when Gianni opened his 1st shop. I’d like to think this song reminded him of early days of success, the days he’d enjoy before blossoming into an international superstar. Per te, Gianni! pic.twitter.com/bV0VN4V4sW
— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) June 12, 2018