Love, sacrifice, stress, care, encouragement -- just like real-life mothers, moms on Broadway go through a wide range of emotions and experiences. In honor of Mother’s Day we’re taking a look at some of our favorite mother figure moments which have played out before our very eyes on stage, and at times brought us to tears.
One of the purest relationships we see develop in Hamilton is the one between Eliza and her son Philip. At the beginning of “Take a Break” we see them sharing a tender moment on Philip’s ninth birthday as she attempts to give her son music lessons. In addition to raising Philip and her eight other children, we also find out she founded New York City’s first private orphanage where she was responsible for the care and education of 700+ orphans.
Now that’s what we call doing some serious WORK!
Although coming from different socio-economic backgrounds, these two moms find themselves with similar problems connecting to their teenage boys. Heidi’s son Evan experiences social anxiety and has a difficult time fitting in at school while Cynthia’s son Connor seems to be perpetually distant and despondent. We witness the struggles for both these women first-hand in “Does Anybody Have a Map?” as we see Heidi at her wits end trying to inject the smallest bit of happiness into her son’s life and Cynthia desperately trying to be the glue that keeps her family from falling apart.
Having gone through hardships in war-torn Vietnam, like many mothers, her sole focus has become providing a better life for her son, Tam. Having essentially given up on the dreams she had as a young girl, in ”I’d Give My Life for You” Kim makes it clear just how far she’ll go to realize her new dream of protecting Tam and his future.
Many mothers can likely relate to Golde and her husband, Tevye as their daughter, Tzeitel prepares for her wedding day. In “Sunrise, Sunset” they think about how quickly time has passed, the emotions they’ve shared and what the future may hold.
Although Abuela Claudia wasn’t technically related to anyone on her block in Washington Heights, she served as the neighborhood matriarch, impacting the lives of everyone in the barrio. According to Usnavi “this corner is her escuela.” In “Everything I Know” we learn that she was a positive influence on Nina’s early education; motivating her to continue her studies out west at Stanford.
Mary Jane’s story serves as a stark reminder that moms are people too. Dealing with her own internal struggles while trying to raise a family, in “Smiling” we see her reliving a day which was particularly difficult. For all the care our mother figures have provided throughout the years, remember to reciprocate that affection in their times of need.
One of the “plane people” in Come From Away that most mothers can relate to is Hannah O’Rourke, the mother of a Brooklyn firefighter desperately trying to connect with her son, Kevin in the aftermath of 9/11. In “I Am Here” we witness her anxiety and fears unfold as she refuses to leave the phone unattended in Gander’s Legion Hall holding out hope that she’ll hear Kevin’s voice on the other end of the line.
What are your favorite “Mother Figure” moments on Broadway? Tag us @playhousesquare and let us know!