I have FOMO indeed as I type this because I was only able to attend BroadwayCon NYC 2022 (presented by BroadwayCon and Mischief Management) this past Friday, July 8th. Saturday, today, looked even more amazing and as much as I’d love to hop on a train back to New York City to be there tomorrow, I can’t. But if you’re a Broadway fan…go! Tickets are available here.
BroadwayCon is back and in-person at the Manhattan Center and neighboring New Yorker Hotel (they are on the same block, just steps away from one another). This is the perfect location for anyone traveling into Penn Station. So close! Like many conventions, this three-day Broadway themed event features panels, workshops, autograph and photo op sessions, and a marketplace filled with so many unique items and hard-to-find memorabilia. From Q&As, live performances, sing-along sessions and highlights/discussions from shows such as A Strange Loop, POTUS, CHICAGO, Dear Evan Hansen, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Six, Disney Princess – The Concert, Beetlejuice– you’ll be in theatre heaven!
First thing’s first. When I arrived and checked-in, I made a beeline to the marketplace before anything else. I was in search of one particular Playbill an wanted to make sure I got my hands on it…
We hit up our first panel of the day- That Bites: Broadway’s Vampire Musicals– before heading to the 2022 BroadwayCon opening ceremony in the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom. Surprise guests included Tony-winner Joaquina Kalukango (Paradise Square) and Tony-nominee Jared Grimes (Funny Girl). You never know who you’ll run into at BroadwayCon (I did finally get to meet Philly’s Rob McClure later in the day)!
Immediately after the opening ceremony, also in the Grand Ballroom, Former First Lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, moderated a discussion with Broadway’s LaChanze, Julie White, Donna Murphy, and Vanessa Williams. “Here’s to the Ladies” was an informative panel that discussed the accomplishments of these Broadway legends and the barriers that women still must overcome in the industry.
BroadwayCon is non-stop with panels and workshops throughout the day, so check out something you love or pop into something you’re unfamiliar with! Though I have never seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, it’s on my list and so I headed into the New Yorker Hotel Grand Ballroom for the show profile. A little later, I returned to that Ballroom for the Beetlejuice show profile too. The Beetlejuice event was recorded for a special episode of The Theatre Podcast with Alan Seales on the Broadway Podcast Network. You’ll be able to listen to it at bpn.fm. While I was attending Beetlejuice, my friend visited a panel on breaking down performance anxiety and stage fright. Not only does BroadwayCon celebrate the shows and genres of the Great White Way, it also provides noteworthy panels for anyone looking to get into this industry.
Another panel recorded for The Theatre Podcast with Alan Seales spotlighted Mrs. Doubtfire, a musical I was lucky enough to see in late 2021, before it closed. Rob McClure, Brad Oscar, and Analise Scarpaci reunited to reminisce about bringing this classic movie to the stage.
At the same time, I caught a bit of the Spongebob Squarepants musical singalong just across the hall! I enjoyed this musical, so of course I had to sing at least one song with everyone in attendance… including Kelvin Moon Loh who was in the cast (he couldn’t stay long as he’s currently in Beetlejuice on Broadway and had a show to do).
And that, unfortunately, wrapped up my day at Broadway Con. Saturday featured even more amazing programming with spotlights on POTUS, celebrating Black artists, and a Disney Princess- The Concert panel. Among so much more. Tomorrow, Sunday, you can expect a panel on the amazing Broadway understudies, disability inclusion, spotlights on The Kite Runner and Hamilton, a cosplay contest and close to 40 other sessions. View the schedule here.
Here are some things to note before you go:
Proof of Vax– Required! Bring your vaccination card or a photo, and wear your mask.
Food– You can get light bites and drinks (alcoholic and non) at the concession stand on level 7 of the Manhattan Center, where the main stage is. There’s also a bar just before you enter the BroadwayCon marketplace. There are plenty of restaurants around (and in) the New Yorker Hotel (I do live the Tick Tock Diner). My friend and I opted for a quick trip to Taco Bell because neither of us have had it in so long! And then a recharge at Gregory’s Coffee. Just step outside BroadwayCon and you won’t be too far from restaurants of every kind. Ask someone for a recommendation and try something new!
The BroadwayCon App– download this! It was so helpful. You’ll be able to find a complete daily schedule, map, and how to locate each event. You can also create your own schedule so you remember everything you want to do and receive notifications when it’s time to move to the next panel.
See a show– BroadwayCon ended early enough on Friday and Saturday to catch an evening show. So don’t worry about missing anything to bolt to the theatre. We saw POTUS (again) and it’s my top pick right now for anyone looking for a suggestion. If you’re on a budget (or spent all your money at the BroadwayCon Marketplace), check out digital lotteries, TKTS, TodayTix or even stop by the box office to see what’s available. You’ll be surprised at what you can find for last minute discounts.
Thank you so much to BroadwayCon and Mischief Management for having me. If this sounds fangirly, it’s absolutely intentional. What I love most about BroadwayCon is the community. I was finally able to meet people in person that I admire from afar on Instagram. Some Broadway makers I’ve purchased from during the pandemic were there (one even flew from the UK) and it was nice to put faces to screen names. I made a new vendor friend just because she spotted me holding my coveted Evil Dead playbill, and had a funny moment in the elevator with Phantom of the Opera cosplayers who loved my Waitress shirt. I felt welcomed and included the entire time I was at the convention.
I look forward to next year and hope to attend multiple days. Keep an eye on my Instagram accounts- @shamrockenroll and @rowhomemag, as well as @shamrockenroll on TikTok for more BroadwayCon and general theatre content.