From Broadway to the Galaxy Beyond : A Moment with Anthony Rapp

From Broadway to the Galaxy Beyond : A Moment with Anthony Rapp

Chris Peterson

OnStage Founder

Aside from being one of the most widely respected Broadway performers today, Anthony Rapp's career is a textbook in versatility and striking those right roles at the right time. Whether it's Tony in the film Dazed and Confused or Mark in the generation defining musical Rent, Anthony Rapp is just one of those actors that seems right for every role he's in. 

Now, with news breaking that he's been cast in the new Star Trek TV show titled,  Star Trek: Discovery, Mr. Rapp will be reaching a whole new audience. 

I had a chance to talk to Mr. Rapp about what it means to be joining the Star trek family.

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"I feel like it's this crazy gift that fell from the sky, no pun intended", he said. "I'm getting to be apart of something that has such an iconic status and meaning for so many people around the world. To be able to take that journey, after everything I've done, feels like an incredible bonus."

"I had to keep it a secret for a couple of weeks before the news broke", he said. "That was one of the hardest things I had to do ever."

Reportedly, Mr. Rapp will be playing the role of Lieutenant Stamets, a science Officer specializing in astromycology (the study of fungi in space). Stamets is the first Star Trek lead character to be conceived and announced as gay.

With his inclusion in the Star Trek fandom, what surely will follow is a slew of "Trekkie Conventions", but Mr. Rapp is ready for that, especially given his experience with BroadwayCon. 

As one of the founding organizers of the event, Mr. Rapp, along with Mischief Management's Melissa Anelli  and Programming Director David Alpert, they created a truly spectacular event that will no doubt become an annual New York City fixture.

Last year's inaugural event was almost derailed by one of the worst blizzards New York City had seen in decades. I asked Mr. Rapp what surprised him the most about the event.

"It was really great to see that in the face of this blizzard, so many people showed up and participated. That was really gratifying."

With the amount of changes that the event had to go through to combat the weather, it led to some really fun spontaneous programming. One of the ideas from David Alpert was to pool contacts on Melissa and Anthony's phones to see who they could call and include in the weekend. Among the folks they ran were Idina Menzel, Patti LuPone and Harvey Fierstein. I asked Mr. Rapp how that idea came about. 

"David Alpert, that was his brainchild. That we could pool our contacts and call people. It was a spur of the moment, joyful moment of expression that was in the spirit of everything."

Anthony Rapp at BroadwayCon

Anthony Rapp at BroadwayCon

The road to BroadwayCon was long and there was plenty of doubt surrounding how successful it could be. But for 2017, the event is getting a major upgrade. It's moving from the New York Midtown Hilton to the Jacob Javits Center, the main convention center for NYC. Needless to say, if BroadwayCon is moving there, it's going to be big. 

So far the event is schedule to include a special presentation by the cast and creators of Broadway’s a cappella musical In Transit (January 28), as well as Josh Groban and the cast of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (January 27).

Here’s a look at the confirmed talent: Kelli O’Hara, Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Danny Burstein, Christopher Jackson, Jonathan Groff, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Lena Hall, Christine Ebersole, Santino Fontana, Norm Lewis, Ana Gasteyer, LaChanze, Daisy Eagan, Josh Young, Adam Kantor, Joe DiPietro, George Takei, Carolee Carmello, Okieriete Onaodowan, Reed Birney, Julia Murney, Tina Landau, Ben Cameron, Ryann Redmond, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Melissa Errico, David Henry Hwang, Tim Federle, Eric Anderson, Des McAnuff, Seth Rudetsky, Lisa Howard, Lorin Latarro, Laura Osnes, Lesli Margherita, Alex Brightman, Jenn Colella, Christopher Gattelli, Marc Kudisch, Geneva Carr, Beowulf Boritt, Kathleen Marshall, Max von Essen, Jeremy Jordan, Tony Yazbeck, Rob McClure, Ann Harada, John Cameron Mitchell, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Javier Muñoz, Fredi Walker-Browne, and Rebecca Luker. 

That's quite the lineup and they're not even done scheduling yet. 

And don't worry, Anthony Rapp will be there as well. 

"One of the first things I made sure to do, was to get the BroadwayCon dates cleared from my schedule. I'll be there the whole time. We've got some fun groovy things cooking."

BroadwayCon takes play January 27-29. 

Available ticket packages follow:

A $250 full-weekend general pass will provide access to all BroadwayCon programming (panels, performances, keynotes, discussions and more), as well as guaranteed seating at MainStage events and special guest autograph and photo opportunities. This pass also includes the official program book (printed by Playbill), a registration swag bag and access to the BroadwayCon Marketplace.

The $95 Day Pass provides day-only access to BroadwayCon programming (panels, performances, keynotes, discussions). This pass also includes the official program book and access to the BroadwayCon Marketplace.

You can purchase tickets at www.eventbrite.com

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