ARMANI’S FRIENDS: Ahead of the show, Darren Criss and Taron Egerton were thick in back-slapping and conversation, clearly old friends. Criss had traveled from Monte Carlo, where he had been promoting the “American Crime Story: The Assassination of ” series at the city’s Television Festival. Criss is a longtime fan of Armani, whose clothes he’s been wearing since he was part of the “Glee” cast. “I am an admirer of the industry, and I am getting more exposure and more connections into it,” he said, suddenly breaking into Italian. He remembered his days studying Italian at university and in Arezzo, Tuscany. As further proof of his passion for the country, the actor said he was planning a vacation in Italy, although he demurred from providing details about the location. “It’s very easy to find a place here,” said Criss, who is also on a music tour with Lea Michele. He said “acting and song-writing are equally attractive,” and added that he had just opened a piano bar in Hollywood with his fiancée Mia Swier, called “Tramp Stamp Granny’s,” where he plays the piano and sings.
Music was also top of mind for Egerton, who has signed up to play Sir Elton John in the artist’s biopic, which will start filming in August in London. “There will be lots of singing and dancing and I am spending my time with Elton John, to emulate him and capture his mannerisms. I am watching old footage and performances from when he was between 17 and 35 — I hope to do him justice,” explained Egerton, who met the artist two years ago on the set of “Kingsman.”