TFM’s Best of BroadwayCon
BroadwayCon is the first ever theatre-themed convention for fans of all things on the Great White Way. The event took place over this past weekend, and it’s participants braved more than just the regular troubles of a New York commute, given the sudden appearance of a blizzard, aptly dubbed: “Snowpocalypse” by many New Yorkers. While Broadway shut down on Saturday, BroadwayCon went on with the show. And though that show is over now, fans were treated with an abundance of musical theater delights. Here are some of the best things that took place at the first-ever BroadwayCon.
Chock-full of musical references, Broadway baby experiences, including one of BroadwayCon’s co-creators, Anthony Rapp, as well as inviting various Broadway stars like Tommy Tune onstage, ‘BroadwayCon’s The Place For You’ was a wonderful song, met with incredible cheers from the audience. It set the mood for the whole convention perfectly, and suffice it to say that the rest of the event did not disappoint.
The creator and star of the smash-hit Hamilton treated fans with an impromptu rap during the show’s MainStage panel. While this was one of the panel’s highlights, many more exciting things took place, including the history of the show, how cast members got involved in the musical, and the discussion regarding diversity, which serves as a demonstration of why the show has become not only relevant, but necessary.
Original cast members of the smash-hit musical RENT came together to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary, and along with that, the legacy of RENT creator Jonathan Larson, who tragically passed away on the night before the show’s first preview. The panel was filled with nostalgic stories and musings of the past, but one of the highlights was a video featuring Idina Menzel, who, like many of the panelists, ricocheted to fame after starring in the show. She stated: “Twenty years ago this changed the course of our lives, and we want to pay tribute to Jonathan and just remind everyone of the theme of the show and just stay in the moment and live for today.”
Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky’s popular blog “OBSESSED!” has gained a massive following among the musical theater community. In it, Rudetsky picks out performers or songs, and begins to break down the obsession over them. Having co-created the upcoming musical “DISASTER!”, Rudetsky proceeded to do a live rendition of OBSESSED! at the show’s panel, which included interviews, performances, and crazy Broadway tales. In one segment, Rudetsky sings Suddenly Seymour (Little Shop of Horrors) with Faith Prince, who had to decline originating the role of Audrey.
Shortly before fans requested her to sing, Sara Bareilles and the all-female team behind the new musical WAITRESS went onstage to talk about the show. Bareilles also stated that the show’s opening night at the American Repertory Theater was the proudest moment of her career. She then went on to sing a beautiful rendition of “She Used To Be Mine”, and received a standing ovation for it.
6. The Broadway Party Line
What started out as a random and casual phone call turned out to be one of the convention’s most exciting moments. Audience members listened in on a phone call of Anthony Rapp from an unknown female caller who greeted the fans by saying “Hi people at BroadwayCon. How are you?” The crowd responded with genuine screams, but it was nothing compared to how much they shouted when Rapp nonchalantly mentions “It’s Audra McDonald”.
Later on in the show, numerous celebrities call in via cellphone or video chat, including Patti LuPone, Harvey Fierstein, Darren Criss, and Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti, and Joel Grey, some of whom couldn’t make it to the event due to the blizzard.
After three days of what was surely an amazing experience for stars and fans alike, BroadwayCon had to come to a close. Three days of singing, laughing, engaging with fellow fans, meeting with idols and so much more commenced with Jonathan Larson’s most famous song: Seasons of Love. The team behind BroadwayCon, as well as some stars, came out on stage to sing the song with the fans. It wrapped up the emotions of the event so perfectly, and left all who were there feeling fulfilled for one year, as they wait in anticipation for the next BroadwayCon.
*Featured image was taken from here