Somewhere in the mass of dull-tipped plastic swords and homemade chakrams, wedged neatly in the intermission of a TV soundtrack on a loop at the Burbank Marriott’s ballroom, a spirited party reunited friends around a certain warrior princess.
Last weekend saw the 18th running of the official Xena Convention in Burbank. It’s at an awkward age now — old enough to vote but past its heyday. The people who keep it going — mostly women — do so because it’s at a transcendent point.
The event is no longer about its namesake, a syndicated cable program that saw its last bad guy slain in 2001. That is its greatest strength, and its greatest surprise: Though show stars Lucy Lawless and Renée O'Connor met with fans throughout the weekend, the convention has evolved into something almost too big to fail.
“The reason you come to the con is not to see the talent; the reason is to come to see your friends,” said Marilyn Edwards, sitting alongside partner Tiger Tyler who she met through an online Xena fan group.