Melissa Anelli may be known for her love of all things Harry (Potter), but this pop culture fan’s event company Mischief Management has their hand in numerous conventions. Next up is BroadwayCon, which will be held at the Javits Center January 27-29. In its second year, BroadwayCon is bigger and better than ever (and hopefully blizzard-free!) We spoke to Anelli over the phone and discussed BroadwayCon, her favorite musicals, online harassment, and so much more.
Tamar: I am really happy to speak with you, and I just wanted to hear how did BroadwayCon get started?
It started as an idea that we had in our company Mischief Management and once we had the idea, we went to my friend Anthony Rapp about it. I have known him since I was 16 and he knew my event company. He knew the conventions that we put on and we said, “now that you see what we do in person, what do you think about doing this for Broadway?” And he just said, “whatever you need, I am in.” And that kind of buy-in gave us the confidence to go forth and say okay, “let’s book.”
T: Have you always been interested in Broadway? Because I know you as a Harry Potter person, but you said you knew Anthony Rapp since you were 16.
Yes. Oh, yes. I was one of the original like sleep outside the Nederlander people back in ’96. Yes, I am a hardcore theater fan. It’s not just that we found that opportunity to make something amazing. It’s just that we really do love Broadway.
T: Well, don’t we all? And I know that there is a new venue for BroadwayCon this year, so what else are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to expanding on the community that we started to build last year. The community around these events is incredible; people come and they realize that they are not alone, that loving things as intensely as they do is never a bad thing, and we get to celebrate that together at these events. It’s just so special.
T: Did last year’s BroadwayCon exceed your expectations? Was it what you envisioned?
Yes, it was what I anticipated it being. I never can quite expect the level of amazing that happens when people get together and are open and good and passionate and communicative about the things they love, and I am never quite prepared for seeing thousands of people come together and celebrate in the way that only can happen at these conventions.