7 Things We Have To See At BroadwayCon, Because This Musical Theater Convention Already Sounds Amazing
Finally, a place where Idina Menzel won't be known as "the girl from Frozen": Next January, there's going to be a three day long BroadwayCon — a Comic Con-like fan convention for musical theatre enthusiasts. Wonder of wonders! Miracle of miracles! As somebody who used to lurk around the "Broadway Secrets" livejournal website back in the day, I've always thought that the theatre community was one of the best kept secrets in fandom. There is a lot of untapped passion here and it's incredible that a convention like this hasn't been done before. You can find out more information on co-founder Melissa Anelli's personal blog, but most of it now is still speculation.
The story of two of the event's founders is kind of insanely sweet. Melissa Anelli was one of the original "Rentheads" who waited outside of the Nederlander Theatre for cheap rush tickets during the original Broadway run. It was there that she befriended Rent star Anthony Rapp. This type of interaction is what makes being a Broadway fan so special, as Rapp explained in an interview with Playbill:
"I started communicating with her and a bunch of other people, who were also active on AOL Rent chat boards. This was before 'stage dooring' became this hectic crazy thing. Sometimes there were just a couple people outside the theatre. Not hundreds like it is today."
Anelli is maybe better known today as a big name in the Harry Potter fandom. She is a host of Pottercast and her website The Leaky Cauldron spun off into Leaky News, which has become Geeky News. Along with her business partner and their company Mischief Management, they hosted a Harry Potter-themed conference LeakyCon, which spun off into another fan convention, GeekyCon. BroadwayCon is just the next logical step.
We know there will be panels, workshops, autograph opportunities and keynote speakers, just like Comic Con. Part of the proceeds with go to the charity Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS. As for what the convention will include, it's still in development, but you can even tweet your BroadwayCon ideas now — so, here are our suggestions for how BroadwayCon can be the best of the best:
If there's anything that Starkid (the production company that brought us A Very Potter Musical and subsequently Darren Criss) has taught us, it's that when fandoms combine, amazing things will happen. Check out the video from GeekyCon, in which Anthony Rapp reprised his Rent role to parody La Vie Boheme with YouTube stars and superfans, because he is just that cool of a guy. Have you ever seen something so joyful?
Every tight cast, from Stephen Sondheim to Stephen Schwartz and community theatre to the Great White Way, has longed for just one more performance. Just one more chance to play again together. Broadway Con is the perfect place to reunite famous Broadway casts (original or whatever) for hugs, photo opportunities, and maybe a song or two.
Cosplay is about to get so much cooler, y'all. If Laura Benanti can dress as Fosca from Passions and troll Times Square for autographs, anything is possible. Theatre geeks love to dress up and you can't have a convention without a hall full of costumed enthusiasts. I want to see as many Phantoms, Eponines, Moritz Stiefels, and Dreamgirls as there are Avengers, Red Shirts and Jedis in San Diego. Bonus points if you come as Julie Taymor, Tyla Tharp, or a Law & Order character. Get it? Because that's where you can find Broadway actors.
After-Hours Piano Bar/Karaoke
I mean... right?
Do most conventions have food? Not necessarily. But BroadwayCon needs to have some firsts if it's going to stand out in the wide world of fan conventions.
Seth Rudetsky Breaking It Down
It's hard to describe to an outsider what Seth Rudetsky does, because he kind of does everything. He's a Sirius XM Radio host. He's a talk show host. He's a novelist and writer. He's a pianist. He gives audition workshops. But he also makes these videos that are both hilarious and crazy educational about the little subtitles in musical theatre that we may not have noticed. The above example, which looks at Les Miserables is particularly fun to watch.
Susan Blackwell Asking Questions
The former title of show and Law & Order star is hands-down the best interviewer in the Broadway community. Here she is interviewing Daniel Radcliffe: This actor has been in the public eye since he was eleven years old, and have you ever seen him answer questions while cleaning someone else's apartment? She is absolutely essential.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy