Mothers and Sons, four-time Tony winner Terrence McNally’s new play about changing attitudes towards gay families, is now playing at the Golden Theatre. Tony and Emmy winner Tyne Daly (Gypsy, Cagney and Lacey) stars as Katherine, a Dallas widow paying a surprise visit to the Upper West Side apartment of Cal (Frederick Weller), the former lover of her son Andre, who died of AIDS twenty years ago. Cal is now married to Will (Bobby Steggert), a much younger man, and they have a son named Bud (Grayson Taylor). Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall) directs the play which had its world premiere at the Buck County Playhouse in Pennsylvania last year. This is a sequel to McNally’s short play Andre’s Mother which he expanded into an Emmy-winning teleplay starring Sada Thompson and Richard Thomas. Here are five reasons to pay a visit to this modern family.
Tyne Daly Shines
All the critics agree that Daly delivers an insightful and heartbreaking performance as the conflicted Katherine. The New York Times cheered that she “again proves herself one of our most formidable stage actresses.”
Comedy and Drama Combine
McNally has won four Tony Awards—ffor his plays Master Class and Love! Valour! Compassion! and the musical books for Ragtime and Kiss of the Spiderman. He’s an expert at depicting the overlap of humor and tragedy in everyday lives. You’ll be laughing one minute and sobbing the next.
The Play Makes History
This is the first Broadway show to depict a legally married same-sex couple. Previous Broadway plays and musicals depicting gays in long-term relationships include Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage Aux Folles, Falsettos, Angels in America, and McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion! In earlier decades, gays were usually off-stage (as in A Streetcar Named Desire) or depicted as lonely, loveless victims in such works as The Children’s Hour and Tea and Sympathy.
Frederick Weller and Bobby Steggert Click
Frederick Weller has appeared on Broadway as a lizard in Seascape, a racist, homophobic baseball player in Take Me Out, and a cutthroat sales manager in Glengarry Glen Ross. Bobby Steggert has starred in such musicals as Big Fish, Giant, and Ragtime. Here they are in totally new roles and totally convincing as the married couple forging a life together despite their different ages and varying attitudes toward being gay.
Grayson Taylor is Adorable
Playing six-year-old Bud, Grayson Taylor is remarkably self-possessed and intelligent child actor. He is cute and cuddly as the couple’s precocious son without being cloying or overly sentimental.