Last weekend I attended the first ever BroadwayCon presented by Playbill in NYC. Although Winter Storm Jonas did put a damper on some of the events, overall the weekend was a success.
- Don’t underestimate the dedication of theatre fans – Over 3,000 theatre fans packed the conference rooms of the Hilton New York Midtown Hotel to celebrate their love of all things theatre. The impending blizzard and 27 inches of snow did not scare them away. Most panels and events were at capacity on Friday with dozens left outside the rooms unable to get in. But as the blizzard forced a travel ban on Saturday, the lucky ones who weren’t snowed out were able to attend the events not affected by the snow.
- Something for everyone – From the super fan to those wanting to learn more about the industry, their was something for everyone. The organizers, Mischief Management and Playbill did a fantastic job of balancing the offerings to fit the interests of everyone. Offerings included a panel with the casts of Hamilton, Fiddler on the Roof, Fun Home, The King and I, a cast reunion to mark 20th Anniversary of Rent, Producing 101, the Art of Stage Management, How to Market a Show, costume design, lighting design, set design. Master Classes with choreographers, actors, vocal coaches and casting directors.
- Broadway Stars are Super Fans too – Follow any of the Broadway stars in attendance on social media over the weekend; Lesli Margherita, Laura Heywood, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Sara Bareilles, Krysta Rodriguez, Susan Blackwell, Lena Hall; and they all expressed how much fun they were having, not only interacting with fans but having the chance to be fans themselves.
- The Show Must Go On – When the blizzard forced city and state officials to shut down mass transit and issue a travel ban, organizers sprang in to action. With guest speakers and attendees either snowed out or stuck at the hotel, the last minute need for newly created entertainment was needed. Last minute adds to Saturday’s agenda included Broadway karaoke, Broadway Sing-a-long and the Broadway Party Line. For the Broadway Party Line, Playbill Editor in Chief Blake Ross was the host as she called Broadway stars Audra McDonald, Harvey Fierstein, and Patti LuPone to name a few.