A First on Broadway: Legally Married Gay Dads With Son
Terrence McNally’s new play “Mothers and Sons,” which opens on March 24 in New York City, features a first for Broadway, a married gay couple with a child. The play, set in contemporary Manhattan, explores gay issues and same-sex marriage though the eyes of the four main characters, the arch-conservative Katherine (played by Tyne Daley of “Cagney and Lacey,’ “Gypsy,” and “Judging Amy” fame), Cal (Frederick Weller), the former boyfriend of Katherine’s son Andre, who died of AIDS, Cal’s much younger husband Will (Bobby Steggert), and their 6-year-old son played by Grayson Taylor.
McNally (75) has written many groundbreaking plays, such as the Tony-award-winning “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” the controversial “Corpus Christi” (in which Jesus and his disciples are depicted as gay, and Jesus at one point officiates at the wedding of two apostles), and has book credits on many musicals, of which “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” Ragtime,” and “Catch Me If You Can” are the most popular.
In an interview with Playbill, Mr. McNally explains how his latest play came to be. In 1988, at the height of the AIDS crisis, he had written a play called “Andre’s Mother,” about a mother trying to deal with her son’s death from AIDS; in 1990 the play was reworked and expanded into an Emmy-winning teleplay for PBS as part of the American Playhouse series. More than two decades later, Mr. McNally decided to use the same principal characters of that play, Katherine and Cal, for this new theatrical production, “Mothers and Sons,” but, in recognition of the enormous societal changes since “Andre’s Mother,” added two new characters, Will and their son.
Excerpts from Playbill's interviews may be found below.