Let your freak flag fly!
Comic-con, a yearly extravaganza for fans of science fiction, comic books, anime, super heroes and many other comic extensions. See where I’m going with this?
I should start this article by confessing that I have unfortunately never been to Comic-con, so if I get anything wrong feel free to crucify me in the comments!
If you haven’t dressed up as an anime/comic book/gaming/science fiction character to attend this event, then you have probably seen these committed fans walking around the city. So my question is; Which weekend am I going to bump into an Elphaba, Elle Woods, Mormon and adult-sized Billy Elliot wandering around the city on the way to [working title] Theatre-con?
Well, for the moment the answer is, unfortunately, none!
I can understand this event not occurring in Australia because let’s face it, we don’t have the best reputation with musicals. But why not on Broadway?
Close off Times Square to all traffic. Bump all the leads and ensemble members from the current playing musicals and plays behind desks for signings. Throw in a couple of established legends for good measure. Put up a stage to feature performances from current shows and shows through the ages. Have competitions, meetings, talks and games for theatre fans. And put out a press release to Broadway.com and watch theatre fans flood in from everywhere!
Sounds like a pretty good idea. In fact, I think I just heard the eyes of several Broadway producers roll over into dollar signs!
The reason this event doesn’t exist yet is probably due to the fact that throughout the year Times Square hosts a couple of similar, but smaller, events. Broadway Barks and Broadway Flea Market come to mind. But there is one simple reason why Theatre-con [seriously, could do with a better name] should exist:
Okay, not world domination per say, but the ability to transfer this event around the world.
If the Broadway community created an event that could be reduced down to a simple equation for promoters, easily replicated in different environments and does not rely on a city to contain 40+ theatres, I can imagine it getting a try at certain hubs around the world. Of which the West End would probably raise its hand first!
But we still have one question. Why bother?
Simply, to reward current theatre fans by giving them autographs and experiences that make them come back for tickets to new shows they haven’t seen (and more tickets for those they have). And to promote a bit of awareness to the general public about the popularity of theatre.
I mean, seriously, what says ‘I must get a ticket to see Wicked’ than bumping into a flying monkey roaming the city! (Plus, if we are super lucky it could lead to a very successful television comedy like The Big Bang Theory)