Stage Mom Chronicles: The Carnegie Hall Experience

Back in January, when Marshall and I ventured to New York for Broadway Con we learned that he would be returning as one of sixty cast members from the Camp Broadway Kids Ensemble, to perform at the New York Pops 35th Birthday Celebration at Carnegie Hall, honoring Alan Menken.

Now listen as a parent your first instinct in these type of moments is OH MY GOD MY KID IS A STAR lol.  The second and more realistic thoughts are instant logistics.  For a lot of families with financial means that are plentiful this trip is no big deal.  For our family not so much.

Financial Planning

We immediately began planning for this trip.  We only had three months to make it happen.  We knew we had to file out income taxes, but we also had to pay off the BroadwayCon travel expenses on our travel card.  With our tax refund, we did both.  My husband and I decided not spend lavishly.  We ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly.  On a good week, we had turkey sandwiches.  I began shopping at Aldi.  I began following Amyirah over at Four Hats and Frugal to help me live my best life on a budget and I worked.  I took cake, cookie, cupcake and cake pop orders.  Every. Last. Single. One. that came through.  I executed them in excellence.


So my son takes voice and acting lessons from Mr. Byron Word at the Victory Spot.  He has progressed and excelled in these areas that he is now an assistant teacher at the Art of Confidence Arts Program as well as the Victory Spo.  His continued involvement with the Alliance teen ensemble has given his opportunities to explore his creative writing talents.  Through networking, he has gained a few mentors within the metro Atlanta area who continuously pour into his learning experience.

Time Commitment

The time commitment we have allowed our son to have is growing.  In preparation for this particular performance, the kids had two 8 hours rehearsal days to learn two pieces of music and choreography.  It was clearly not for the faint of heart.  On the third day (Monday) it was show day.  The kids were dropped off at Carnegie Hall at 10 am and we didn’t get them back until after the show was over.  Now if you read that right, my future star spent 3 days in New York in a studio rehearsing.  The reality of this amazing opportunity is that Marshall was working, this was not a vacation for him, the way it was for his sister and I.

Work/Life Balance

As previously stated, Marshall was very aware that he was “working” on this trip.  Granted he wasn’t paid in anything but experience but he loved every minute of this trip.  Now while this was work he did convince me to go to “lottery” for Once on this Island.  Let me explain what this means……

In New York, the Broadway theatres have lotteries which take place about an hour and a half before the show begins.  You input your name in a drawing and hope for the best.  Everyone in your party can enter, so naturally, we all entered, including my 12-year-old.  Then you wait and see if your name is called!  The tickets are reduced significantly and believe or not the seats are not bad!  Cherrie’s name was the final name called in the tickets for $49.99!  So boom, we’ve got two tickets!  At this point, I’m perfectly fine letting the kids see the show while I hang out in Times Square.  But now there is a lottery for $59,99 tickets and Marshall’s name is pulled first!  LOOK AT GOD!  Since I was paying for both price points the gentleman at the window was kind enough to put all the seats together.  We got to see a Broadway show sitting on the FOURTH row for under $160.00.  Let me explain how amazing of a deal that was.  Two hours before going to the lottery I looked online at tickets for this show and it was $500.00 for the 3 of us to see the exact same show!  Now that’s what I call a steal, so the next time you head to NYC be sure to try for a lottery ticket!

Carnegie Hall Performance

Like I said Marshall was at the performance hall all day.  Cherrie and I got all fancy, grabbed an uber and headed to Carnegie Hall.  Talk about your surreal experience.  The stairs….Oh, my Gosh.  So many stairs.  This amazing place had the most gorgeous staircases, but believe you me, it was a serious walk.  We went to the museum and gift shop.  We scored BIG on grabbing baseball caps for Marshall since he collects them at every show.

The New York Pops 35th Birthday Gala honored the music of Alan Menken.  If this name doesn’t sound familiar his music will.  He created the music for Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Hercules, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and countless others!  Many of the original Broadway stars that originated the roles of these iconic characters graced this stage.  The Camp Broadway Kids Ensemble did an amazing job singing “Seize the Day” from Newsies.  As my childhood came to life on this stage with all of these wonderful pieces a surprise guest set the audience in an uproar.  Angela Lansbury walked out on stage and sang “Beauty and the Beast.”  Y’all this was like Disney magic happening before my eyes!


In my wildest dreams, I never imagined being at Carnegie Hall, let alone being at Carnegie Hall to watch my son perform on stage.  There are moments in life we must cherish and fully live within those moments as they will never happen again.  This experience was once in a lifetime and worth everything we had to sacrifice for that moment.


To check out what happened while Marshall was in rehearsals check out this post on Cherrie’s adventures in NYC!



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