Thursday, February 4

Snowed in at BroadwayCon (NYC Trip Part 2)

Here's the second part of my NYC trip posts, continuing with BroadwayCon.  Saturday was the only full day of programming, starting in the morning and going until around 1am that night.  This already-full day was made even more hectic by the "state of emergency" the mayor declared that afternoon.  With blizzard-like conditions and almost a foot of snow on the ground, a couple thousand BroadwayCon attendees were stuck at the Hilton.

Cons: last-minute cancellations and panel changes due to guests being unable to get into the city, or to the hotel.  Pros: the wonderful people of BroadwayCon organized a few "snowed in" programming events to keep the crowd from getting some massive cabin fever.

Ben Cameron and Anthony Rapp.

One of the blizzard panels they organized essentially turned into the organizers calling (and Skyping) some crazy big names in Broadway and chatting with them.  Some of the people called were: Idina Menzel, Joel Grey, Audra McDonald, Darren Criss, Patti Lupone, and shown, Jeremy Jordan!  He had to cancel last-minute due to flight complications.  It was extremely impromptu, but such a nice gesture on the organizers' part.

My favorite blizzard programming change was the BroadwayCon Cabaret that turned into a Krysta Rodriguez cabaret, with Ben Rauhala and Joe Iconis.  She sang songs shows she'd be in (First Date, Spring Awakening, In the Heights, The Addams Family, Smash) and some songs with Joe Iconis.  She's definitely in the new slew of younger Broadway actors coming onto the scene and she is so incredibly deserving of all her success.  Needless to say, incredible cabaret.

Other tidbits from the con.

Learning some choreography from the opener of "A Chorus Line" know the one.

BroadwayCon museum! Original Mimi costumes from Rent, lent by Daphne-Rubin Vega.

Kristin Chenoweth's "Something Rotten" dress she wore at last year's Tony Awards.

Miniature of the Hamilton set.

Sunday, the last half day of the con, included a few other panels and one last walk around the merchant's area.  All in all, I think the first-ever BroadwayCon was a success and I hope it continues to just get better in the future.  Jonas couldn't "stop the beat" that weekend.

Currently listening to: "Safer" Krysta Rodriguez (First Date OBC)

Monday, February 1

Stargazing at BroadwayCon (NYC Trip Part 1)

Like I alluded to in my last post, I just came back from a musical theater fan's ideal vacation.  The first ever BroadwayCon took place in NYC January 22-24, headed by Anthony Rapp.  This was meant for aspiring actors, but also just fans of Broadway.  Anthony Rapp and a few others organized panels, workshops, and performances to take us attendees into the ins and outs of the business and to get a chance to hear/meet some amazing actors.

While these pictures aren't editorial, I wanted to share a few of the panels we went to.

The Phantom of the Opera panel that was added at the last minute, featuring the record-breaking Howard McGillin and Sandra Joseph and members of the PotO crew.  This spectacular and timeless show became my and my sister's first Broadway show (we ended up seeing it that following Monday).

Spring Awakening revival done by Deaf West.  All puns aside, these actors made me fall in love with Spring Awakening all over again, and I spent the next two days trying to see this heartwrenchingly beautiful show before it closed that Sunday.  Special thanks to Spencer Liff for incorporating ASL and movement into the choreography, and all the actors for making it so special.  "Not a revival, but a reincarnation" is really the truth.

The much anticipated Hamilton panel.  Needless to say, the biggest actors in the biggest show on Broadway right now.  Lin-Manuel Miranda has been an incredible source of inspiration for me for years now and hearing him speak (and inevitably rap) was pretty amazing.  The story of Hamilton and how it went from an idea to the biggest thing in NYC right now is pretty great.

20th Anniversary of Rent reunion, with many members of the original cast, in addition to other guests.  Endless thanks to Anthony Rapp for continuing to be so dedicated to Jonathan Larson's memory and to Rent.  Did I cry?  Maybe.  Also, personally witnessing Daphne Rubin-Vega Facetime Jesse L. Martin was hilarious and wonderful at the same time.

The first day of BroadwayCon was hectic, tiring, but so worth it.  Being around so many other theater fans was so incredibly draining, but being able to be in "the room where it happened" was pretty irreplaceable.

Currently listening to: "Brother" Austin McKenzie cover (if you watch no more Youtube videos today, please end with this one.  I'll even embed it in this post for convenience.)

Saturday, January 30

A Gentleman's Guide to the Theatre

My timing has never been the most prompt with this blog.  My sister and I recently came back after a week's vacation in NYC with a friend from college.  Before I can in good conscience post those photos, I wanted to post about a sibling outing from a few weeks ago.  My sister, brother, and I went to the Kennedy Center to see the national tour of A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, the 2014 Tony Award Winner for Best New Musical..and one of my brother's favorite shows.

It was an incredible show and performance.  I will continue to stand by my opinion that GGLAM 100% deserved the Tony Award for Best New Musical.  It's a story and sound that seems to have been missing from Broadway and I'm saddened to see it leave the Great White Way earlier this month.

We may have been in the absolute last row of the theater.

Phoebe D'ysquith's dress.

 The closest I'll ever get to holding a Tony Award.

Being a responsible adult in the workforce, it seems I've got to budget for a live show now and again.

Currently listening to: "The Last One You'd Expect" A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder OBC Recording

Wednesday, December 30

Reflections on 2015

Another year, another chance to start anew.  To work harder and do better at all the things we didn't get around to in 2015.  At least, that's what people tend to say.  I was pretty content with the way this year went but am extremely excited for what 2016 has to offer.

As the post title implies, I think this blog is a good a place as any for some thoughts about this past year, filled with some amazing concert experiences, so much grad school, and just overall good times.

1. Eternal gratitude in receiving a ticket to see Hamilton in a few short weeks. #nonstop
2. Second year Homecoming surprisingly topping the first.
3. Having some career revelations resulting in a change from forensic science into the field service world of analytical instruments.
4. Acquiring a real world job doing GC-MS analysis which is a great stepping stone to #3.
5. "If your PI didn't think you were ready to defend, he wouldn't be letting you."
6. Having an amazing AMITW concert experience with my brother.  Post can be found here.
7. All of the concerts and festivals; Lava Music Festival, ETC, Passion Pit, the list actually goes on and on.  And it's all been wonderful.
8. Being able to visit both LA and St. Louis with my sister.
9. Seeing so much live theater this year; Diner, In the Heights, Avenue Q.
10. Networking is a necessary evil but sometimes disguised as finding people who share your interests.
11. Typically, the only person stopping yourself from countless yourself.
12. You truly never know the internal demons people face until it's too late sometimes.
13. You can't just like things, you've also gotta do things.
14. This isn't new, but being alone doesn't always mean being lonely.
15. Being able to come back home after a long stint in Williamsburg.

Hope everyone welcomes 2016 with a bang.

Currently listening to: "In the Night" The Weekend

Tuesday, December 15

Happy Holidays from Norfolk

It's always a nice change when we get 70 degree days in December...a little strange, but nice.  I took a day this weekend to visit Norfolk and take advantage of my freedom.  I visited a holiday pop-up market, the NEON Holiday Market, and my friend who worked at Dickens' Christmas Towne.

I love these mermaid statues.  They're individually designed and can be found all over Downtown Norfolk.

The Arts District of Norfolk has some pretty great graffiti and I love me some urban art.

Graffiti in real-time.

NEON Holiday Market!

USS Wisconsin (BB-64)

Dickens' Christmas Towne at the Nauticus.

Watching an old college roommate perform.

With the end of my time in the Hampton Roads area drawing to a close, I was glad to be able to visit Norfolk one more time.  Who knows where the adventures will come from after graduation? I sure as hell don't.

Currently listening to: "Wonderful Christmastime" The Shins