Though every day should be Mother’s Day, we wanted to recognize the special individuals in our lives during the month where we set aside time to celebrate them. So, join us, and take a look at some of the moms who have guided, graced, and gifted their talents on our stages.
Falsettos (1994, 2019)
If anyone knows anything about life throwing you curveballs, it’s Trina. A housewife living in 1970’s New York City, Trina had her world turned upside down when her husband, Marvin, left her for another man. She had always worked hard to be a loving and supportive wife and mother, but when Marvin leaves, she finds solace with her psychiatrist, Mendel. At the heart of her world is her son, Jason, who struggles to accept the reality of life with separated parents. To help him, she takes him to her psychiatrist to find peace through conversation and therapy. By the end of the show, Trina finds empowerment in the love she holds for her son, her newfound lover, and even in Whizzer, Marvin’s lover who suffers from the AIDs epidemic. She realizes she had searched for validation in the traditional family, but a mother she will always be, and the love she has for her new, nontraditional family, is all she needs.
Mamma Mia! (2002)
This show is nothing without Donna—literally. Her daughter, Sophie, wants her father to walk her down the aisle, but they don’t know which of three men it really is! Her daughter writes to them without Donna’s knowledge, to figure it out. Donna is caring and fun and eventually helps Sophie to realize that family isn’t always about blood relations, but who you make it. For a show with “Mamma” in the title, though, a lot of it sure has to deal with dads!
The Color Purple (2007)
Celie became a mother at a young age—and is separated from her children very quickly. Celie gives birth to her second child at the start of the show, which then follows her journey of self-discovery and reunion with her children over 30 years. Despite the struggles she faces in the rural Southeast, she perseveres, showing audiences that they can tackle any challenges they may face, too.
The Baker’s Wife
Into the Woods (1989, 2002, 2023)
The Baker’s Wife wants nothing more than to have a child. She longs to be a mother so badly that she embarks on a journey into the woods with her husband to retrieve objects for a witch who will lift the curse on their household and allow them to start a family. If you haven’t seen the show—don’t read on! Come see Into the Woods this season at the Ahmanson this summer! If you have, then you know what happens next.
As a mother, Alma knows how important it is for her teenage daughter, Angel, to do well on the upcoming SATs. So, she helps her study by quizzing her on vocabulary for the exams. But on top of her motherly duties, Alma is preparing to take the U.S. Citizenship exam. For undocumented immigrants like Alma, the exam can be daunting, as it tests prospective citizens on the history of the country, as well as the political structure that governs the country in the present day. Though dreading the reality of loopholes and laws that must be acknowledged as an undocumented immigrant, Alma finds excitement in the future for both her and her daughter. As the pair study for their respective exams, they look for hope in the uncertainty ahead of them, as their futures lay in the hands of their tests.
Dear Evan Hansen (2022)
Motherhood can be a beautiful journey, but sometimes you can’t help but ask, “Does anybody have a map?” Heidi Hansen is a busy woman. She’s a single mom, raising her teenage son Evan, while working as a devoted nurse and taking night classes to become a paralegal. But even with a packed schedule, she tries her best to be there for her son, who struggles managing his social anxiety. It’s a lot to take in, but Heidi Hansen charges forward. And when her son needs her most, she knows exactly what to say in a ballad that leaves Evan and audiences choking back tears. When the world is feeling “So Big” and you’re feeling “So Small,” Heidi is there to remind you that mom isn’t going anywhere, she’s staying right here. No matter what, she’ll be there.