Mother’s Day is a special occasion allowing us to honor and show appreciation for the remarkable women who have raised, nurtured, and shaped us into the individuals we are today. Whether one assumes the cherished role of a mother, desires to offer a memorable gift to their own mother, or simply seeks to explore new and captivating theatrical productions that delve into the various dimensions of motherhood, the following list presents eleven exceptional plays and musicals that beautifully celebrate the profound essence of motherhood.
- A Kid Like Jake – This drama by Daniel Pearle explores the challenges and joys of raising a four-year-old son who prefers to dress up as princesses and fairy tale characters. Parents, Alex, and Greg must navigate the competitive world of private school admissions, as well as their own doubts and fears, while supporting their child’s unique identity. A Kid Like Jake is a study of intimacy and parenthood and the fantasies that accompany both.
- Motherhood Out Loud – This collection of short plays by 14 playwrights, including Beth Henley, Theresa Rebeck, and Cheryl L. West, shatters traditional notions about parenthood and unveils its inherent comedy and drama. Utterly unpredictable, Motherhood Out Loud shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy and celebrates the deeply personal truths that span and unite generations.
- Motherhood the Musical – This musical comedy by Sue Fabisch celebrates the joys and challenges of being a mom through catchy songs and relatable scenarios. The show follows four women with different backgrounds and personalities as they share their stories of pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, marriage, work-life balance, aging parents, empty nests, and more. Motherhood the Musical is a fun and uplifting tribute to mothers everywhere.
- The Mother – This dark comedy by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton, follows Anne, a woman in her fifties who is struggling with the departure of her grown-up children and the infidelity of her husband. As she spirals into paranoia and depression, she loses her grip on reality and confuses past and present. The Mother is a gripping and disturbing portrait of a woman who feels abandoned and betrayed by her family.
- Steel Magnolias – This classic play by Robert Harling is set in a small-town beauty salon in Louisiana, where six women bond over gossip, laughter, and tears. The play focuses on the relationship between M’Lynn and her daughter Shelby, who suffers from diabetes and decides to have a child despite the risks. Steel Magnolias is a tribute to the strength and resilience of women who face life’s challenges with grace and humor.
- Morning Sun – This play by Simon Stephens is set in Greenwich Village a generation or so ago, the city is alive. Joni Mitchell sings, friends and lovers come and go, and the regulars change at the White Horse Tavern. As fifty years pass, one woman’s life is revealed in all its complexity, mystery, and possibility in this enthralling piece about mothers and daughters.
- Auntie Mame – This fabulously successful hit hardly needs an introduction. Besides being the source for one of America’s most popular musicals, Auntie Mame set a standard for Broadway comedy that has been sought after ever since. “Auntie Mame was a handsome, sparkling, scatterbrained and warm-hearted lady who brightened the American landscape from 1928 to the immediate past by her whimsical gaiety, her slightly madcap adventures and her devotion to her young nephew, who grew up to be Patrick Dennis. Through fortunes that rose and fell and a pleasant but brief marriage to a likable Southerner, who had the bad luck to tumble down from the Matterhorn, Auntie Mame’s chief concern was that nephew, whom she raised… [the play’s] central figure is a woman of spirit, innate kindness, and undefeatable courage…” —NY Post. Auntie Mame is a hilarious and heartwarming celebration of individuality, adventure, and family.
- The Assembled Parties – This play by Richard Greenberg welcomes us to the world of the Bascovs, an Upper West Side Jewish family in 1980. In a sprawling Central Park West apartment, former movie star Julie Bascov and her sister-in-law Faye bring their families together for their traditional holiday dinner. But tonight, things are not usual. A houseguest has joined the festivities for the first time and he unwittingly—or perhaps by design—insinuates himself into the family drama. Twenty years later, as 2001 approaches, the Bascovs’ seemingly picture-perfect life may be about to crumble. A stunning play infused with humor; The Assembled Parties is an incisive portrait of a family grasping for stability at the dawn of a new millennium.
- Our Mother’s Brief Affair – This play also by Richard Greenberg revolves around Anna Cantor, a dying woman who confesses to her adult children that she had an affair many years ago with a man who was allegedly involved in a notorious spy scandal. As her children try to make sense of her revelation, they also confront their own secrets and regrets. Our Mother’s Brief Affair is a smart and surprising exploration of memory, history, love, and betrayal.
- Grey Gardens – This musical by Doug Wright, Scott Frankel, and Michael Korie is based on the documentary film of the same name, which depicts the lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (“Big Edie”) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”), relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The musical follows their journey from being wealthy socialites living in a luxurious mansion in East Hampton, New York, to becoming reclusive eccentrics living in squalor with dozens of cats. Grey Gardens is a fascinating and tragic portrait of two women who chose to live on their own terms.
- First Lady Suite – This musical by Michael John LaChiusa imagines the inner lives of four First Ladies: Jacqueline Kennedy, Mamie Eisenhower, Bess Truman, and Eleanor Roosevelt. The musical consists of four vignettes that explore their relationships with their husbands, their staff, their friends, and themselves. First Lady Suite is an inventive and provocative look at the women behind the men who shaped American history.
These are just some of the great shows that you can enjoy this Mother’s Day. Whether you prefer drama or comedy; realism or fantasy; play or musical; there is something for everyone on this list. Do not miss this opportunity to celebrate Mom with these amazing shows!