Fangirls, I had the incredible opporunity to go to the first ever BroadwayCon. It’s a convention for all things Broadway, on and off the stage. It was everything a Broadway fan could dream of, and of course it took place in New York City. It was one of the best weekends ever.
So, how did BroadwayCon come into being? Well, back at the 2013 Tonys, the heads of Mischief Management, Melissa Anelli and Stephanie Dornhelm, were watching the finale aka Audra McDonald’s mic drop, when one texted the other asking “Has there ever been a BroadwayCon?” Turns out, no there hadn’t. So they, along with Anthony Rapp (yes, that Anthony Rapp) and Playbill, created one.
This year, the weekend of January 22-24 marked the inaugural BroadwayCon. It featured so many special guests, tons of singing chances, and some surprises. There were panels for everyone, about things on stage, off stage, behind the scenes, histories everything you could imagine. There was an opening ceremony (which can be viewed here), a finale, and everything in between.
They also created an app to help attendees with their schedules, keep them updated on changes, and even have some audience participation. The app was a big help. They also included a goodie/swag bag when you checked in, which included a “playbill” that had all the information for the weekend. And thanks to the partnership with Playbill, it looked like a real Playbill. Everything the team put together was fantastic and super helpful.
But when the team really shined was when Winter Storm Jonas hit. Because NYC shut everything down, a lot of guests couldn’t come and a lot of planned things couldn’t happen. So the team got together and in about an hour planned out the new fun things, including a Blizzard Party Line. This was where they called Broadway Stars in their phones and put them on speaker so the thousands of us there could talk to them. We “spoke” to greats like Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone (#senduspizzapatti became a thing when she became concerned that we weren’t eating because of the storm), Betty Buckley, Joel Grey. So many others. It was fantastic. And it wouldn’t have happened without the blizzard.
Another thing I noticed was the age range of the con. From young children just discovering their Broadway love to elderly men and women who had spent a lifetime loving the stage, all ages were represented. It was truly impressive.
As with Geeky Con, there was an overarching family feel. It’s the best thing about Mischief Management conventions. No matter who you are, you are made to feel at home.
If you love Broadway, definitely get a ticket next year. It’s so worth it. It’s an amazing experience and it’ll be one of the greatest weekends you experience. If you want to see more, check out this link and look for @bwaycon and #BroadwayCon on twitter. You’ll find all the love and joy that weekend held.
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