Drew Elovitz
June 06, 2016 AT 06:41 PM EDT

For women of a certain age group, Prince Eric, the big-eyed, broad-chested love interest for Ariel in The Little Mermaid, was their first real crush. (Animation be damned.) So why shouldn’t crush-worthy Darren Criss, the charismatic former Glee star, have his shot at playing the classic Disney boyfriend.

Before spending three nights playing Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid Live at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Criss took over EW’s Instagram (and our hearts).Thanks to Darren, though, we were able to join along for the wet and wild ride.

Missed the shows in LA? Don’t worry: you can relive our favorite moments here and catch up with Darren’s behind-the-scenes snaps below.

1. Basically the IRL version of Prince Eric, right? Right.


2. You wouldn’t eat fish before going to the aquarium, right? As Darren says, “No les poisons today…”


3. Later on at lunch… Darren’s dreams begin to come true.

An appropriate song to accompany my day. 🌠 – @darrencriss #dinnerandashow #LittleMermaidLIVE

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4. Apparently Darren lives with a harem of sequin-clad mermaids. Who knew!?

Let's just say the mermaids in my house are crushing getting ready – @darrencriss 🐚🐚🐚🐚 #LittleMermaidLIVE

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5. Tituss Burgess ladies and gentlemen!


6. A bunch of fishes are about to get schooled.

Where my 🐟🐠's at? – @darrencriss #LittleMermaidLIVE

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7. Up where he walks, up where he runs, up where he… turns into Prince Eric!

Gotta go! I mean gotta walk! I mean gotta run! I mean gotta stay all day in the sun! ☀️🏃🏼 – @darrencriss #LittleMermaidLIVE

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8. Last but not least, the legendary composer of The Little Mermaid and countless other tunes, Alan Menken, who played a medley of Disney classics before show time.


Huge thank you to Prince Eric — erm, Darren Criss — for taking over our Instagram before his big night at the Hollywood (fish) Bowl! Thanks for letting us be part of your world.

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