Coverage/photos/video by Melissa Griegel Photography
BroadwayCon 2020 brought on the fun this year with lots of opportunities for über fans to mix and mingle with stars, show off their knowledge of Broadway trivia, and display their cosplay skills.
When BroadwayCon had their first convention in January of 2016, a huge snowstorm prevented some of the featured guests from making it into New York City. In order to include the stranded stars, BroadwayCon founders Anthony Rapp and Melissa Anelli did an impromptu event for attendees displaying live video chats with the actors on large screens. It was such a huge hit, that is has now become a tradition every year to host the “Broadway Blizzard Line” on Saturday night.
This year, Anthony Rapp (Rent) wasn’t able to attend for the first time, so the blizzard line panel (Patrick Hinds, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Melissa Anelli, and David Alpert) called Anthony who announced that he is engaged to be married. Andrew Barth Feldman (Dear Evan Hansen) also had news: he will be attending Harvard in the fall. Other video chats included Laura Osnes (Cinderella), George Salazar (Be More Chill), Brandon Uranowitz (Falsettos). Christy Altomare (Anastasia), and Janet Dacal (In the Heights).
Many of the attendees enjoy showing up dressed as their favorite Broadway characters. The costumes have gotten bigger and better every year. The cosplay costume contest has now become such a staple, that they moved the event to the main stage this year. This year’s big winner was Nyssa Sara Lee who spent 600 hours on her outstanding Ursula costume, replete with a voice-activated shell necklace. Contestants were judged by Ann Harada (Avenue Q), Jonathan “Squigs” Robertson (Lights on Broadway) and Fredi Walker-Browne (Rent). Ann said that this year the contestants really worked on the fine details of their costumes and had amazing artistry, creativity, and seamstress skills. One of the funnier costumes was “Deer” Evan Hansen; Evan Hansen torso and cast, deer body and with 4 legs and antlers.
Two other opportunities for attendees to make their way on to the main stage were the Ultimate Trivia Contest and the Lip Sync Battle. Competition was fierce as the competitors vied to ring in first with the correct answer. Contestants for the Lip Sync Battle had to apply ahead of time to be in the competition and were sent audio clips of possible songs that they may have to sing. The competitors all competed in teams of 3 of more and worked on their own choreography. Host Ben Cameron joined in the fun busting out dance moves for the final head-to-head dance with the two finalists. The trio called Henry’s Half took home the prize and will be attending BroadwayCon for free next year.
Game Night is a main stage event of two teams consisting of Broadway actors and actresses. They had a solid hour and half of an assortment of games. Stephanie Styles (Kiss Me Kate) led her team to victory and was especially impressive during Pictionary. She was able to quickly draw the Broadway-themed clues and got her team to guess every single one of them before time ran out.
One of the most popular fan events was the SIX Singalong. The room was packed with fans eagerly awaiting SIX to open on Broadway. Everyone in the room already knew all of the lyrics and joyously sang along with the full cast of SIX (Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Abby Mueller, Brittney Mack, Samantha Pauly, Anna Uzele, Nicole Kyoung-Mi Lambert, Mallory Maedke, Courtney Mack). The cast sang in the front of the room wearing SIX black denim jackets and had a screen behind them displaying the words. Some SIX fans, dressed in cosplay costumes, came to the front of the stage to sing with the cast. Everyone was given a purple SIX crown to wear during the singalong.
There was plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle with the stars in the marketplace at the assorted autograph and photo sessions. Kerry Butler (Mean Girls), Arielle Jacobs (Aladdin), and Kate Rockwell (Mean Girls) were among the guests who were at the Broadway Records booth signing their new CDs. Two of the most popular signings were Beetlejuice stars Alex Brightman (Beetlejuice) and Rob McClure (Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire) who were at the Harmony Helpers Booth.
Start brushing up on your trivia knowledge or your cosplay costuming skills now, and maybe you can be part of the show at BroadwayCon 2020!