In honour of Mother’s Day, let’s talk about mothers in musical theatre. Stage moms may have a major role, or a supporting one. Sometimes they make us laugh, sometimes they make us cry. There are tragic heroines who sacrifice everything for the sake of their child (Fantine in Les Mis, Kim in Miss Saigon); moms who suffer the devastating loss of a child (Eliza in Hamilton, Hannah in Come From Away); struggling single moms (Heidi in Dear Evan Hansen); long-suffering moms (Helen Bechdel in Fun Home); and a mom who chooses responsibility and commitment to her family over a potential romance (Girl in Once). There are fun and funny moms too (Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia, Edna Turnblad in Hairspray) and then there’s the mother of all stage mothers in the role generally considered the greatest and most rewarding challenge for musical theatre actresses, Mama Rose in Gypsy.
Tell us about your favourite mom roles in musical theatre. Pick a question to answer from the list below, or answer all of them, or make up your own categories!
- Which is your favourite mother role in a musical and why?
- The most tragic mom role?
- The most fun/funniest?
- Which mother gets to sing the best song(s)?
- Is there a performer whose mom performance will stay with you forever?
- We know you already have the best mom in the whole world, but if you had to pick one from a musical, who would it be?
I’ll start us off by answering question no. 1.
My favourite mother role is Fantine in Les Mis. To be fair, Les Miserables is one of my all-time favourite musicals so it’s not surprising that Fantine is the first mom to spring to my mind. Her devotion to her daughter, her willingness to sacrifice everything for her sake, is wonderfully moving. And she gets to sing a couple of lovely songs to boot.
Share your thoughts below and invite your musical theatre-loving friends to participate as well!
We wish all the moms out there a happy, and musical, Mother’s Day.