BroadwayCon 2023: A Theatrical Extravaganza That Hits Close to Home

As the annual celebration of all things Broadway, BroadwayCon has become a cherished event for theater enthusiasts from across the globe. This year, BroadwayCon returned to the iconic Marriott Marquis on July 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, bringing together a vibrant community of fans, cosplayers, Broadway stars, and industry professionals. For many attendees, this convention is an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of theater, meet their favorite performers, and gain insights from the best in the business.

For me this year’s event held a special significance. Having covered BroadwayCon on multiple occasions in the past, I have been absent since 2019 due to other commitments, including running a program at UCLA. However, the stars aligned, and they found themselves at the Marquis, the very venue where my own Broadway journey began.

In 1985, my mother, Georgie,  brought me to see “The Tap Dance Kid” at the Marriott Marquis, an experience that left an indelible mark on my life. Returning to the place where it all started, this year’s BroadwayCon carried an added layer of sentimental value.

BroadwayCon is renowned for its ability to showcase the latest developments in the world of theater. With workshops, panels, and performances, attendees have the opportunity to learn from industry experts and gain insight into the creative process that brings Broadway shows to life. Cosplay, a staple of conventions, is also embraced at BroadwayCon, allowing fans to dress up as their favorite characters and immerse themselves fully in the theatrical atmosphere.

One of the highlights of this year’s BroadwayCon was the momentous 20th reunion of the beloved musical “Avenue Q.” The original cast took to the stage, delighting the audience with their performances. What made this reunion truly unique was the inclusion of a random audience member who possessed an exceptional knowledge of the show’s music. Witnessing the spontaneous collaboration between the original cast and this enthusiastic fan created an unforgettable theatrical experience, reminding everyone of the power and magic that Broadway can evoke.

This reunion held a personal significance as I had first seen “Avenue Q” the day after it won its Tony Award. Witnessing the reunion three decades later was a testament to the enduring impact of the show and the memories it had created in my life and so many.

Beyond the reunion, BroadwayCon offered a multitude of other engaging events. Panels featuring Broadway stars delved into the intricacies of the craft, offering valuable insights for aspiring actors and theater lovers alike. Autograph sessions and photo opportunities allowed fans to meet their idols up close, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Original Cast Of – The Whos: Tommy

Continuing the whirlwind of excitement at BroadwayCon 2023, Saturday proved to be a day filled with remarkable events and experiences. The main highlight of the day was the much-anticipated 30th-year reunion of “The Who’s Tommy.” This iconic production, which I had the privilege of seeing with my high school theater class, holds yet another special place in my heart. The reunion brought the cast together once again, offering attendees a rare glimpse into the magic and nostalgia of this groundbreaking musical. While there were no musical performances like the Avenue Q reunion, the event was still a testament to the enduring impact of “The Who’s Tommy” and the lasting connections it forged among its cast members and fans.

In addition to the reunion, BroadwayCon attendees had the opportunity to participate in a Playwrights workshop led by David Henry Hwang, acclaimed playwright, and Martyna Majok, a recent Pulitzer Prize winner. This workshop was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn from two of the industry’s most esteemed figures. I, along with the entire class of 15, had the privilege of writing alongside these theatrical powerhouses, honing their skills and gaining valuable insights into the art of playwriting. Collaborating with a Pulitzer Prize winner is an extraordinary opportunity that epitomizes the spirit of BroadwayCon, where aspiring artists can connect with established professionals in a nurturing and supportive environment.

As Saturday drew to a close, BroadwayCon attendees were treated to a spectacular Ozdust Ball event. This enchanting evening celebrated the 20th anniversary of the beloved musical “Wicked.” The event was a joyful gathering of like-minded theater enthusiasts, many of whom donned Glinda’s and Elphaba’s iconic costumes. The atmosphere was electric as past performers from “Wicked” took the stage, delivering captivating dance performances that transported the audience back to the magical land of Oz. The night also featured Wicked-themed trivia, allowing fans to test their knowledge of the show and engage in friendly competition. For lovers of musical theater, this event was an absolute delight, serving as a testament to the enduring popularity and impact of “Wicked” even after two decades.

Photo Credit D.B. Frick

Looking back on BroadwayCon 2023, it is clear that the event once again delivered an unforgettable experience for theater enthusiasts. From the emotional reunions to the exhilarating workshops and celebratory events, BroadwayCon showcased the magic and power of Broadway. Attendees, including our dedicated BroadwayCon veteran, were reminded of the deep connection they share with this art form and the transformative experiences it has brought into their lives.

Photo Credit: Joshua Dudley

As the final curtain fell on BroadwayCon 2023, participants left the Marriott Marquis with hearts full of inspiration and memories that will be cherished for years to come. The convention continues to be a vibrant celebration of theater, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among fans, professionals, and aspiring artists. Until the next BroadwayCon beckons, theater lovers around the world will hold dear the memories and connections forged at this remarkable event.

For Info on Future Cons :

DB Frick
D.B. is a long time writer and performer. He's had the opportunity to work alongside such greats a Martin Scorsese and Jesse Eisenberg. Most recently D.B. was a writer and performer for the podcast The National Lampoon Presents The Final Edition run by comic icon Tony Hendra, whom D.B. has also written with. D.B. was Senior Comedy Writer for The NY Theatre Guide, interviewing many greats and reviewing NYC Comedy. D.B. also has a script used as material in an NYU Tisch writing class taught by mentor, D.B. Gilles. D.B. has also taught Improv and Writing at UCLA and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

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