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Take the Stage with Broadway Stars: Interview with the Directors

Leslie Stifelman and Melissa Rae Mahon first met while working together on the musical Chicago. Now married with a child, the Broadway couple presents “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 Leslie and Melissa to talk about the upcoming concert, working together on Broadway, and living together as a family.

What are you most excited about for this production?

Leslie Stifelman: This is a very special concert for us because we have the incredible honor of making our Carnegie Hall debut together. In addition to that awesome distinction, we will be onstage with more than 40 of our favorite colleagues and best friends. We have a special connection with everyone on the stage, which will create quite a lot of excitement. Plus, Jessie Mueller will be performing with us and we are her biggest fans.

We saw that you share a Twitter handle called @BroadwayMoms. How has working together on Broadway affected your family life?

Melissa Rae Mahon: Truth be told, it’s all we’ve ever known so it seems completely normal. And we feel very lucky and grateful that we get to spend so much time together working on projects that we are so passionate about.

Which song from “Take the Stage with Broadway Stars” resonates most with your family?

LS: We both have a very strong connection to the song “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music. This was Melissa’s very first Broadway show, for which she served as the assistant choreographer and had the special responsibility of training the kids who played the von Trapp children. There is nothing like the first time you see the movie with Julie Andrews, or sing those songs. That experience is something you carry with you all your life.

"Do-Re-Mi" from the 1965 film of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music

How has having your own child influenced the creation of this family concert? Do you think your son will follow in your footsteps and work on Broadway?

MRM: As much as we love to perform and be onstage, we take so much pride in being teaching artists and helping kids of all ages realize their own potential and goals. We don’t know whether our son will ultimately be a performer, but seeing the effect music has on his early development confirms our belief that artistic education is paramount for young people. It is astounding how much music affects his world and helps him in almost every area of his life.

What do you want families to take away from this interactive concert experience on April 18?

LS: We both have had the privilege to do creative work through Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Many of those events leave both performers and audience members with a sense of community and family that is rarely found anywhere else. Families who sing together share a very special bond with each other, and hopefully they can bring that sense of community home with them. It may sound a little heady, but sharing music and dance in this way—with this special “you-can-do-it-too” participation—is a powerful motivator to make good things happen everywhere.

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.