A few weeks ago, I got to check out the first ever BroadwayCon, held in New York City during the second biggest blizzard in the city’s history. Of course, this day just also happened to be my birthday, and made it an event I will cherish for many reasons aside from the obvious.
When my group first walked into the convention, there was a lovely buzz around the air. There seemed to be a lot of good behaving, happy con-goers – ones who were excited to be inside from the storm, and to take on this new event with all the magic it had in store. And even if a lot of the guest appearances and events got cancelled due to the weather, that magic never seemed to die down.
The first panel I attended was Broadway Feud, a tribute to the famous game show Family Feud, with Broadway stars and fans playing together for the prize of – well – just being the winners. Who was playing? Susan Blackwell, Rob McClure, Jonathan Grof,f and the queen herself, Lesli Margherita were in attendance, and it was hilarious to see them take on the challenge ahead.
Afterwards, we then checked out the Marketplace, which offered tons of cool merchandise to pick up from your favorite shows. Granted, the layout of this room could have been a lot better (autograph lines got mixed with shopping lines very easily) but some of the treasures I found were adorable – including some Hedwig iron on patches, Broadway Trading Cards, and BroadwayCon posters!
The next couple of hours were spent checking out some panels, including one featuring the revival cast of Fiddler on the Roof, along with the Tony winning company of Fun Home – which included an amazing moment when cast member (Joel Perez) came out in full drag, dressed as Young Allison, and even sang his own “special” rendition of “Ring of Keys.” We also got to attend, shortly after, a panel dedicated to the history of the Palace Theatre, where we learned about the special elevator filled with candy, and some hilarious stories about Carol Channing.
After a long lunch break (which was hilarious to attempt, since all of New York City was closed due to the snow) we went back to the Main Stage. Since the snow made a majority of the schedule change, BroadwayCon decided to throw on an impromptu karaoke concert, featuring the attendees of the convention. My favorite performance from this featured a girl (who was 15, if you can believe it) belting out (like a pro) “Whatever Happened To My Part” from Spamalot.
Following this, another off-the-cuff presentation came on, this one featuring the remaining guests for Saturday (that hadn’t been snowed out) just performing whatever the heck they wanted to. Lesli did an amazing rendition of “Part of Your World” – where she recounted the time she got to sing it at the El Capitan Theater, and got a very annoying bunch of college frat boys screaming at her. But the highlight of the entire day came shortly after, when Rob McClure did the greatest version of Sweeney Todd I have ever seen – a one man show cover. I kid you not, Rob could do the entire show – seriously. And I would pay good money to see it, as should all of you reading this.
One more thing to mention, in case you wanted to know what the cosplay was like at this convention – it was pretty flawless. I saw a lot of near professionally perfect renditions of some very famous Broadway characters. My favorite being the awesome Phantom of the Opera group I found, who seemed like they stepped right off the stage right into the Hilton. So impressive.
At the end of the day, even with the snow, BroadwayCon is a treasure of my convention going life. I can’t wait to see it grow from here, and hopefully become the theatre nerd fest I have always dreamed of. Snow or not, this was an event I was pretty impressed with, and am so excited to be part of its future.