MOMS NIGHT OUT: Mothers and Sons: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman
Tony® and Emmy® Award winner Tyne Daly, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Frederick Weller and Tony® Award nominee Bobby Steggert star in the Broadway production of Mothers and Sons from 4-time Tony® Award winner Terrence McNally. Mothers and Sons marks Mr. McNally’s 20th Broadway show, and is directed by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall). It’s at the John Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street).
Powerful, poignant and funny, Mothers and Sons follows Katharine, a tight-lipped widower (Daly) from rural Texas who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of Cal, her late son’s ex-partner (Weller). She brings along her son Alex’s journal..she hasn’t been able to bring herself to crack the binding, and thought Cal might like to have it. Cal is now happily married to to Will (Steggert) who he met online eight years after Alex’s passing , and they have a six year old son (Grayson Taylor). Alex died at age 29 of AIDS, and he and Katharine had little contact, especially during his illness, as she struggled to accept his lifestyle, and was never able to come to terms with the choices he made that felt like a rejection she took personally. She can’t quite process that Cal has moved forward with his life to create a family unit, and her son in her mind was “murdered” too young by whomever he contracted AIDS from.
The play is as much about gay rights as it is about how we love our children, what we expect as parents, what we hope for fur them, and the challenges, disappointments, etc…and all that potentially arises along the way. Love, loss, forgiveness and how we all cope is thought-provokingly woven throughout.
Weller has a compassionate and genuine presence. At times his voice doesn’t carry and lacks strength, but he is delivers during his emotional outbursts.
Steggert is likeable, playful and affecting.
Grayson is adorable and endearing as the young Bud who is enthralled with Oreos and the prospect of having a grandma.
The performances are riveting. The set is richly detailed. We feel like we are right there bearing witness to a pivotal moment in time for all of them, with the suggestion that Katharine might be there as a grandma figure for Grayson, if he lets her, and she’s able to let herself.
Mothers and Sons is a tribute to those we’ve lost to AIDS and those currently suffering and how far gay rights have come, and the show is raising money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Mr. McNally’s other works for Broadway include Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; The Full Monty; Ragtime; Master Class; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Kiss of the Spider Woman; The Rink; The Ritz; and Bad Habits.
Visit www.MothersAndSonsBroadway.com. The show is 90 minutes, no intermission.