Monday, February 22

More Katsucon Fun (Part 2)

Of course, anime characters are never the only cosplays walking around anime conventions.  Here are some of the non-anime cosplays at Katsucon.

Marvel cosplay meetup.

Jinx from League of Legends.  She's definitely on my list of characters I'd want to cosplay.

"The Girl in the Fireplace". The Tenth Doctor and Madame de Pompadour from Doctor Who.

A behind-the-scenes shot of the setup for Cinderella's bubbles.

Characters from Harry Potter.

Elsa and Anna from Frozen.

Christine Daae from The Phantom of the Opera.

Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.

Apparently, some of the more hardcore cosplayers really do just take photos and look at merch for the majority of their convention.  While they would miss all of the panels and other programming, I'm gonna be honest, I'd bask in my own wonderful cosplay if I had a cool cosplay.  For another con, it seems.

Currently listening to: "Brush the Scar Lemon" Granrodeo

Tuesday, February 16

Long time, no see, Katsucon. (Part 1)

This past weekend was a flashback to a former time, when I was in middle school and a pretty big anime watcher.  And where, unsurprisingly, my sister and I loved to obsess over the shows and characters.  I attended my first anime convention with my sister and father about ten years ago.  I attended my second this weekend.  Seeing the panels and cosplay were exhilarating and reminded me of the good ol' days.

Katsucon 2016 was at the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor during the coldest weekend of the winter.  The days were long, the invited guests were hilarious, and the cosplays were everywhere.  Purchased or hand-made, the majority of the attendees were in some sort of cosplay and it was pretty great to see.  The first of two Katsucon cosplay posts is of some of the anime cosplays we saw at the convention.

Ciel Phantomhive, Grell Sutcliff, and Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler.

Inuyasha, Sango, Kagome Higurashi, Miroku from Inuyasha.

RintarĊ Okabe and Kurisu Makise from Steins;Gate.

Conny Springer (maybe?) and a young Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan.  Recognize Mikasa?  Yeah, that's me...I decided to go for an easy cosplay.

Found an Uta no Prince-Sama cosplay group and my sister joined in!

And now for the sports anime cosplays, because there were so many of them.

Kagami Taiga from Kuroko no Basuke.

Rin Matsuoka from Free!

Nana Sakurai from Prince of Stride: Alternative.

My first love, when it comes to anime characters.  Duo Maxwell from Mobile Suit: Gundam Wing.

My sister and I already have our sights set on our next convention.  Otakon is in August and I'll be happily indulging her for a cosplay pairing.  As creative a person I am, my ideas far outweigh my skills at the moment, but seeing all of the attendees in cosplay fueled my fire to have at least one cosplay ready by Otakon.

Currently listening to: "Beautiful World" Granrodeo

Monday, February 15

History is Happening in Manhattan (NYC Trip Part 4)

Saving the best for last.  I was incredibly grateful to a friend of mine for having bought me tickets to see Hamilton while I was up in NYC.  Over the past five years or so, I've posted about In the Heights and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is a complete inspiration to me and has the mind of a lyrical genius, more than a few times.  Hamilton has essentially become the next big thing on Broadway, everyone from President Obama and his family to the late Alan Rickman to Beyonce and Jay-Z have seen the show.  I've been following Lin for years now and I'm so glad that the first seeing him perform was in this game-changing show.

While walking around during BroadwayCon, I spotted Alex Lacamoire, the music director of Heights and Hamilton, and like the fangirl I am, stood shocked for a minute, them asked him for a picture.

Stage door'ing the Richard Rodgers Theater!

Betsy Struxness, swing.

Chris Jackson, George Washington.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, genius.  Oh wait, I mean Alexander Hamilton.

Creeper picture of Jonathan Groff while I was waiting in line to get into the theater.

Seeing the show, my view.

Wonderfully talented actors and dancers.  It was a shame that I wasn't able to see or meet Seth Stewart, who played Graffiti Pete in Heights.

As hyped as this show is at the moment, everyone and their mother seems to be selling their souls for tickets to this show, my personal opinion is that it was absolutely worth it.  And I doubt you'll find many people who say otherwise.  It was an absolutely incredible show and performance, the performers were at the top of their game, and I might've cried...three times.  Nothing much came as a surprise to me, I've listened to the cast album for months now.  But it was seeing it come to life, and the emotion that the actors put into their performance, and maybe just the overwhelming realization that I was one of the special few who was actually seeing Hamilton, that made the experience what it was.

Currently listening to: "History Has Its Eyes on You" Hamilton OBC

Post-Blizzard Shenanigans (NYC Trip Part 3)

The blizzard itself hit Saturday and BroadwayCon ended the next day.  Because we were there for a few more days, we were able to explore the city in its new winter wonderland form.  We got to experience Times Square as it rarely is, empty and quiet.  Here's an assortment of pictures from those days.

Pre-blizzard Times Square.

Post-blizzard Times Square.

Views from our hotel room.

An unexpected part of the trip was my revived love for Spring Awakening, a musical that first came to Broadway in 2006.  The 2015 revival of the Deaf West Theatre production became my new fixation during this trip, so the morning of the blizzard, my sister and I tried our hands at the lottery for that day's show.  Unfortunately, we didn't end up winning, but shortly before the show, all Broadway shows for Saturday were cancelled due to the blizzard conditions.  We tried again on closing night, but alas, luck was not in our favor.

Then of course we did a little sightseeing.

St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Central Park.

Waiting in line to be audience members at Late Night with Seth Meyers.

It seems fitting that I publish this post weeks later, when the snow is once again coming down.

Currently listening to: "Oasis" A Great Big World

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.)