And our friend Sara E. went and wants to tell you all about it!
A GoSeeIt People Interview
We dance with Sara E. about once a week at Zumba class, so it's no surprise to learn she's a big fan of Broadway musicals. When she told us she was attending the first BroadwayCon in NYC, we said..."Wait? What? That's a thing?" (see we can speak millennial when we have to!) Well, it IS a thing, and Sara went last January and graciously shared her experiences and photos with us. If you want to Go See It...this years BroadwayCon (click for a link) is being held January 27-29th in NYC. It's described by organizers as "the theater's answer to a Comic con" for fans of theater. Enjoy Sara's interview and photos, and if you decide to go, you'll probably need to pledge your first born child for Hamilton Tickets, but it costs nothing to get dressed up as Hamilton!
1- How did you decide on this destination? Why did you want to go?
SE: There were a couple factors that lead me to the first ever BroadwayCon in New York City this January. First, I had recently returned from the fourth season of ATX, the television experience festival held in Austin, when I came across an announcement about a convention for Broadway fans to be held in January. The festival was a fantastic way to engage with fellow fans and really embrace the fandom in person. I knew I had to go and immediately put the ticket release date in my calendar. Second, being from Massachusetts, I try to visit New York City at least twice a year, usually with a Broadway show or two on the itinerary. Third, Hamilton. If you are not familiar with the Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about the founding father, I highly recommend you check out their performance from the Grammy’s and be ready to listen to the rest of the cast recording on repeat for the next several weeks. And this was a great way to get to see the cast, since the show is so difficult to get into these days. Fourth, it just seemed like a lot of fun.
2- How did you plan your trip? Did you use a travel agent or tour?
SE: I planned my trip around the Con, booking the accommodations at the Hilton where it was held for the entirety. Amtrak was very convenient for the trip to and from Boston.
3- What did you do while you were on this trip?
SE: While on this trip I immersed myself in Broadway fandom. And it was an action-packed weekend. The Con had a variety of panels and workshops and sing-alongs and games and goodies encompassing all aspects of what brings a show to life and available for an audience. There was, of course, the Hamilton panel with the cast. It concluded with the entire room singing the Schuyler Sisters without errors (you can find it on YouTube). There was a Rent 20-year anniversary panel, as this event was within a couple days of the anniversary of the first off-Broadway performance of the show, with many of the original cast sharing memories either in person or through video. Several members of the cast and crew were kind enough to put memorabilia from the show together in a museum exhibit for attendees to view. On the not show specific end, I attended several panels about the history of certain shows, decades, and theaters. One morning I participated in a fitness workshop. There really was so much going on, I can’t list it all here.
4- what surprised you about this place? Is there a "don't miss it" attraction?
SE: BroadwayCon has so many “don’t miss it” moments that you have to skip some in order to catch others. It was all about prioritizing and exploring. For example, taking a break for lunch and still finding time to slip into the back of the Waitress panel just in time for an unplanned performance by Sara Bareilles on the piano. (Ed Note: Sara described this as a highlight! We attended the show Waitress with Sara Bareilles in June, and can attest she's an incredible performer and this is a wonderful, somewhat easier ticket to get if you can't get into Hamilton if you are looking for a show!)
5- what tips would you give for someone who wants to visit? Anything special you should pack?
SE: Most important things to pack are show-related items. Cosplay is huge at this Con. Here is the place to display appreciation for shows both classic and modern. This year there was plenty of the instant modern classic Hamilton, with a number of King George IIIs, Schuyler Sisters, and Hamiltons walking the hallways. I went with two characters from Legally Blonde the Musical, Elle Woods and Brooke Wyndham. It was a great experience being recognized as these characters and being asked to pose for photos with fellow fans. I even got a chance to go on the Main Stage with others in Cosplay to show off our looks.
6- is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your trip?
SE: This trip happened to coincide with the blizzard that shut down NYC. While this is something that can’t be planned, it was an experience like no other and I recommend it. All the public transportation was shut down for the day. No yellow taxis were whizzing around city corners. There were no sit down or take out restaurants available not associated with a hotel. It was out of a sci-fi movie. With mountains of snow on the sidewalks and few vehicles on the street it was safer to walk in the middle of the street, and that is a very rare experience in Midtown.
Sara E (@_Miss_Sara_E) is a twenty-something life sciences professional from Massachusetts who loves to travel. This January she attended BroadwayCon, the convention for Broadway fans held in New York City. (ed. note: she's also a darn good Zumba dancer!)