‘Broadway Rave’ show tune dance party to hit Howard Theatre April 8

'Everyone gets to dress up, sing and dance along to show tunes without feeling judged or silly,' says cofounder Ethan Maccoby.

The Broadway Rave is coming to DC. The gist? It’s a dance party, but with your favorite show tunes — and costumes are encouraged. Imagine a theater kid-specialized Halloween dance club in the middle of April. Why hadn’t someone thought of this earlier?

Photo by Broadway Rave.

The Broadway Rave has been touring the United States and is making a stop in DC on April 8 at the Howard Theatre. I had a chance to connect with Broadway Rave cofounder Ethan Maccoby and send him some questions:

What brought about the idea for Broadway Rave?

Ethan Maccoby: Alex, my co-founder, and I love musical theater. We grew up together and have been best friends since we were about 2 years old. Throughout middle school and high school, we were in all the school musicals, and have always had a love for Broadway and the musical theater scene.

We love to party and go out but quickly realized that there are limited options in terms of going out to a club or bar and partying to show tunes. Therefore, Broadway Rave was started. A safe place where people from all backgrounds can come together, dress up, dance, and sing along (even get on stage!) and party to all their favorite Broadway and musical theater hits.

Say that someone wants to go to a Broadway Rave because it’s a rave, and not necessarily because of the Broadway part. Why should someone who’s neutral-positive on show tunes give Broadway Rave a try?

Honestly, the “Rave” part is a bit of a joke — this isn’t your typical club rave party. It’s more just like a dance party where everyone gets to dress up as their favorite character, sing and dance along to show tunes without feeling judged or silly! Someone that is JUST going for the “rave” aspect might be a bit disappointed. You also don’t have to be a Broadway expert in order to have a great time!

We hear feedback that people had the best night of their lives — met their boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, best friend! We have even had proposals! It’s just a fun time to let go, be yourself, and be surrounded by other people who love to have fun and celebrate great musicals.

Photo by Broadway Rave.

What’s been the most fun appearance of a special guest at a Broadway Rave that you can remember? Who have some of your favorite special guests been?

One of my most fun experiences was having Mary Kate Morrissey (who played Elphaba on the National Tour of Wicked) get on stage and belt “Defying Gravity.” It was amazing! Some of my other favorites include Chris McCarrell (Les Miserables and The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), Ryan McCartan (Heathers, The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Jonelyn Saxer (Mean Girls), and Matt Bennett (Victorious).

Any other special features or segments in a typical Broadway Rave that you’d like to point out?

Broadway Rave cofounder Ethan Maccoby

One of my favorite parts about the show is you never know who is going to show up on stage or be in the crowd. We’ve had many surprises by famous Broadway actors, both as performers at our shows and as attendees! Some will make their way on stage and perform a song, which is pretty amazing!

We also see people that don’t typically perform get super excited, get on stage, and show off their dance moves or belt their favorite tunes — it’s a very supportive and fun atmosphere. I also love that so many people dress up! We see people painted head to toe in green as Elphaba in Wicked, or as Hamilton, and more!

If a DC resident can’t make it on April 8, do you currently have any plans to come back to DC?

This will be our second DC show, and it definitely won’t be our last! Planning to come back hopefully on a regular basis.

What niche do you think DC occupies in the theater scene? (Pander to our readers for us!)

There are people all over the world that love theater, not just those in NYC! We had our first show in New York but of course wanted to spread the love so we could bring Broadway Rave to as many people as possible who were craving a night like this just like us — thus bringing it to DC.

What’s been your most fulfilling moment as a Broadway Rave co-founder?

Hearing the feedback after every show that this was the best night of people’s lives. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces, the appreciation for a safe space to just be yourself, go out, and have a great time with no judgment. Seeing people make new best friends. It’s been pretty incredible to be a part of it and I thank everyone so much for the support.

Broadway Rave will play April 8, 2023 (10 PM, doors open at 9 PM), presented by Broadway Wave performing at The Howard Theater, 620 T Street NW, Washington, DC. Purchase tickets ($20) online.

Running Time: 90+ minutes. Age 18+.

COVID Safety: Masks not required.

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