Superhero, animation and gaming fans will soon converge on Utopia Parkway for a four-day celebration in a park-like setting.
St. John’s University will host BoroughCon, a new pop culture convention, over Memorial Day Weekend 2017, May 26-May 29. The event, which is expected to draw up to 20,000 attendees, will appeal to enthusiasts of heroic stories in film, television, gaming and graphic formats, as well as to those who enjoy anime and manga –animation and comics, respectively, in the Japanese tradition.
BoroughCon programming will include panels and autograph sessions with celebrities, gaming tournaments, screenings of both classic and as-yet unreleased films and TV shows, a vendors’ room and an artists’ alley. In addition to special programming for youth and children as well as their parents and grandparents, there will also be a cosplay competition.
“Cosplay is the performance art of creating costumes based on your favorite media characters, then embodying those characters for the audience,” BoroughCon CEO Matthew Goodison-Orr explains. “It has become a staple of these conventions, and cosplay is always one of the most popular draws.”
Media guests are currently being announced on BoroughCon.com and Goodison-Orr says, “BoroughCon will be able to deliver at least a couple of household names, as well as several actors well-known to everyone from all walks of life within the nerd community.”
Current guests include:
• Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, The Goonies)
• Khary Payton (The Walking Dead, Young Justice, Teen Titans)
• Dante Basco (Hook, American Dragon: Jake Long)
• Steven Blum (animated voice of Wolverine, record holder for most video game credits)
• Cree Summer (Codename: Kids Next Door, Inspector Gadget)
• Jess Harnell (Crash Bandicoot, Animaniacs)
• Grey DeLisle (Scooby-Doo, Avatar: The Last Airbender)
• Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Star Wars: Rebels, Ghost in the Shell)
• Chester Rushing (Stranger Things)
• Johnny Brennan (Jerky Boys, Family Guy)
• Grizz Chapman (30 Rock, The Lair)
The nerd community, he said, includes fans of comic books, manga, gaming, and science fiction/fantasy movies and television shows—and a great many self-professed nerds live in underserved neighborhoods of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. Comic creators appearing include Marv Wolfman (Teen Titans), Mike Grell (Green Arrow, Jon Sable), Tony Bedard (Supergirl, Birds of Prey) Mark McKenna (Combat Jacks, Exiles).
“Surprisingly, New York City and the surrounding area runs short of adequate event space despite the world-class sports and concert venues,” says Goodison-Orr, who, when he served three years as CEO of Orlando’s KnightroKon, catered to up to 40,000 fans a year. “None of the hotels have anywhere enough meeting space for a convention of BoroughCon’s size, and the Javits Center is already home to New York Comic Con, with which we have no desire to invite comparison. So my partners and I chose to focus on the Four Boroughs, and St. John’s became the clear choice.”
The decision to embrace the outer boroughs required very little persuasion.
“Queens has roughly the same population as Houston, and Brooklyn is almost the size of Chicago. Both those middle-American cities host multiple ‘cons’ annually. So why would we want to be the second-biggest-by-a-mile in Manhattan when we can build something new and different here?”
What will set BoroughCon apart, according to Goodison-Orr, is the degree to which fans will enjoy direct access to well-known guests.
“If you come to BoroughCon, you’ll get a chance to meet, shake hands with or get an autograph from someone whose work you admire,” he said. “BoroughCon will be for regular fans – the con for the rest of us.”
For up-to-date information, visit boroughcon.com.
Animaniacs, a mix of old-fashioned wit, slapstick, pop culture and music, fueled the animation renaissance of the late 1990s, with iconic voices, characters, an original score for every cartoon and an Emmy® Award-winning theme song. Now the hilarious ‘90s animated series starring the wacky Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister, Dot) is back in live form, as voice actors Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, and Jess Harnell reunite with original songwriter Randy Rogel for an unforgettable evening. The group will perform songs from the beloved show, in addition to several numbers that didn’t make the cut the first time around. A delightful show for all ages!
ANIMANIACS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros.
La Mirada Theatre
14900 La Mirada Boulevard La Mirada, CA 90638
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It’s time for Animaniacs! Join the amazing voice actors and stars of the hit animated Warner Bros cartoon show — Rob Paulsen (Yakko), Jess Harnell (Wakko) and Tress MacNeille (Dot), and songwriter Randy Rogel on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 1:00 PM for an afternoon of songs and stories that you won’t soon forget! Come sing-along with Yakko’s World, Wakko’s 50 State Capitols and a bevy of other beloved tunes! $30-$40 ($40 ticket includes Meet & Greet) All Ages Presented as part of SF Sketchfest!
Marines Memorial Theatre (MMT)
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
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Rachael MacFarlane (American Dad) performs with Tedd Firth and the BIG BAND at the Highline Ballroom on Monday, October 15, 2012. Tickets and details at the link.
Rachael MacFarlane is not just the younger sister of Fox’s billion dollar animation brain: Seth MacFarlane, she is one of the most accomplished voice-over actresses in Hollywood today. Currently she provides the voices for a multitude of animated characters including Hayley from American Dad; Mindy and Eris from the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy; and #362 from Codename: Kids Next Door. Rachael has sung on many animated series including the voice of Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, and Celine Dion among others.
Rachael MacFarlane grew up in Kent, Connecticut with her mother Perry, her father Ron, and her brother Seth. She lived on the campus of an all-boys private school where her father was a teacher. Ron was also a singer who performed in community centers and on occasion, 8 year old Rachael would duet with him on songs like “Marblehead Morning” and “You’ve Got A Friend.”
After dinner, singing on the back deck of the MacFarlane home had a great influence on Rachael’s studies. It was here that she listened to her father and mother harmonize with songs of the 60’s and 70’s from groups like Crosby Stills and Nash, and Simon and Garfunkel. She was also very involved in community musical theatre – playing in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, starring as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, and Nancy in Oliver, among others. In the High School Band she played French horn, and sang in both the school and the church choirs.
She attended college at the Boston Conservatory where she studied voice, acting, and dance.
In 1998, Rachael moved to NYC to hone her career – and after a year and half of auditioning, and earning a living as a nanny for a famous Broadway producer, she decided to vacation in California – where her brother had settled, and where he was experiencing the beginnings of his great success. That was in 1998, and Rachael still has the return ticket to NYC.
She joined the Cartoon Network as a PA, and was immediately tested as a voice over artist. Her first big role came during the first season of Family Guy – where she was cast as “Jennifer, the Cult Girl.” That triumph was quickly followed by roles in The Powder Puff Girls, Dexter’s Lab, and What’s New Scooby Doo? These all led up to her starring role as “Hayley” in American Dad.
And so Rachael MacFarlane has remained the “mystery girl’ behind the many animated voices for the beginning of her career – but that is soon to change in a big way. Concord Records is releasing her very first CD on September 25, 2012 entitled: “Hayley Sings” – which contains songs that Hayley Smith will sing on the American Dad series, as well as songs that Hayley would choose to sing – given her character and personality on the show. She is a child of the 60’s and 70’s living in the 21st century, and her music idols include Carole King, Paul McCartney, and Paul Simon – among others. Rachael has re-envisioned some of the great standards written by Hayley’s music heroes – and made them into unique new standards for the I-pod generation. The influence of both Ron and Perry can be heard in every note she sings.
431 W 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
between 9th & 10th Ave