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Jessie Mueller Discusses Take the Stage with Broadway Stars

You may have heard Jessie Mueller’s name in recent headlines as the winner of a Tony Award for her role as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Joined by a talented cast of singers and musicians, and the Carnegie Hall student ambassadors, Jessie stars as special guest in Carnegie Hall’s upcoming Family Concert, “Take the Stage with Broadway Stars,” an interactive concert in which the audience is invited to learn the music and dance moves for favorite hits from Grease, Rent, Hairspray, and more.

We sat down with Jessie to talk about her experience on Broadway, her theatrically talented family, and her upcoming Carnegie Hall debut.


Congratulations on completing your run as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical! Since the musical begins and ends with Carole King’s solo concert at Carnegie Hall, how does it feel to perform songs from the musical at Carnegie Hall?

Jessie Mueller (circle)  

Jessie Mueller: It’s strangely meta, isn’t it? I keep having these moments in my life lately in which I think, “Thank you, Carole, this is all because of you.” I never thought I’d sing at Carnegie Hall. When I was in band in grade school, I wasn’t much of a “practicer.” (You know ... how do you get to Carnegie Hall?) I wanted to be great, but I never had the same passion for playing as I did for singing. When I went the musical theater route instead of pursuing a strictly classical career, I never thought I’d get to sing in a place like Carnegie Hall. But life can be surprising! It doesn’t hurt to dream big and believe in lots of wonderful possibilities, and most importantly, to be open to them.

Speaking of wonderful possibilities, further congratulations on your recent Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album (shared with Carole King). Can you tell us about that?

Jessie Mueller (circle)  

JM: Thank you! It was insanely cool. Like I said before, being exposed to Carole as a person and her amazing story has opened my life up to so many extraordinary things. And to have the cherry on top of being recognized with a Tony and Grammy is ... well, I still pinch myself.

Your sister Abby Mueller is also performing in this special Family Concert. Have you and Abby performed together before?

Jessie Mueller (circle)  

JM: We have done a few shows together in Chicago—a musical version of The Three Musketeers, Shenandoah, and Guys and Dolls. She makes me up my game! She’s a smart and savvy actress, as well as a phenomenal singer. It’s always fun performing with her.

We’ve heard the phrase “triple threat” when talking about Broadway. How do you feel this concept has impacted the musical theater landscape?

Jessie Mueller (circle)  

JM: It certainly has changed the way people are being trained for theater now. There are so many great programs out there that prepare professionals with a wide range of skills. True triple threats are rare, and when you find one, it’s incredible. Chita Rivera is the first person that comes to mind; I had the pleasure of working with her during the revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and she has the most amazing work ethic. And she is fun and positive and an inspiring person to be around. Can we coin that as the quadruple threat? Singing, acting, dancing, and being cool and fun to work with?

This upcoming Carnegie Hall concert also features you performing songs from The Sound of Music and Les Misérables. Can you tell us which song is your favorite and why?

Jessie Mueller (circle)  

JM: Oh, that’s a tricky one! I’ve always loved The Sound of Music because Julie Andrews reminds me of my mom. I don’t want to give anything away, but we’ll be singing some fun ones from that musical!


Take the Stage
 
  Saturday, April 18 at 3 PM
Carnegie Hall Family Concert:
Take the Stage with Broadway Stars


If being in a Broadway show is a dream of yours, then you and your family have an opportunity to make it come true. Come learn the music and dance moves for favorite hits from Grease, The Sound of Music, Rent, Les Misérables, Hairspray, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical with an amazing cast of Broadway all-stars led by Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller. You and your family may even get a chance to join the artists on the Carnegie Hall stage.