The best Broadway shows to see for Mother's Day

Treat your mom to a show that tells a mother/daughter or mother/son story, an emotional family drama about moms, or a fun musical with songs your mom will love.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Happy Mother's Day! Getting your mom a Mother's Day gift is always a good idea, but an even better idea is getting her an experience — something you and your mom — or your grandma, or your aunt, or all the mother figures in your life! — can enjoy together and make a lifelong memory. A Broadway show is a great way to do that.

There are Broadway shows to suit all kinds of tastes in entertainment: Get your mom tickets to a fun musical featuring songs she grow up with, or laugh and cry together at an emotional story about motherhood. We've rounded up some of the best Broadway shows for moms — get tickets for you and your mom to enjoy one (or more) on New York Theatre Guide.

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Mother Play

It's right there in the name — and seeing Mother Play with your own mom might make you extra grateful for her. Jessica Lange stars as Phyllis, a hellish mother to two teenage children (Jim Parsons and Celia Keenan-Bolger) who have to deal with the fact that none of their lives turned out like Phyllis thought they should.

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Hell's Kitchen

Alicia Keys's musical Hell's Kitchen is a mother/daughter story above all else. It's about a 17-year-old named Ali and her overprotective single mother, Jersey, loosely inspired by Keys and her own mother. Throughout the show, the headstrong Ali learns to accept her mother's tough love, and Jersey learns not to hurt others in the name of protecting Ali.

New York Theatre Guide's critic wrote, "Hell's Kitchen depicts mother/daughter relationships in all its love and messiness alike. (My mother, with whom I attended the show, teared up three separate times.)"

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& Juliet

In this unofficial sequel to Romeo & Juliet, in which Juliet doesn't die, her nurse, Angelique, acts as a kind of mother figure. Angelique shepherds Juliet as she travels the world in search of new friends and new loves — and even stumbles into a romance of her own.

That storyline notwithstanding, & Juliet is a fun show packed with pop hits that your mom will enjoy grooving along to, like "I Want It That Way," "Oops!...I Did It Again," and "Since U Been Gone."

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The Heart of Rock and Roll

Did your mom live through the '80s, and does she think that music is totally tubular? The Heart of Rock and Roll is the show for her. Packed wall-to-wall with the hits of Huey Lewis and the News, the romantic comedy musical tells the story of two corporate workers who help each other discover their true dreams. Prepare to feel the power of love and jazzercise.

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The Who's Tommy

Mrs. Walker, the mom of the title Tommy in The Who's rock opera, isn't the perfect mother, but she does go to great lengths to try and heal her son when he loses his senses after a traumatic experience. The Who's Tommy isn't just a mother/son story — it's a larger-than-life story about trauma, celebrity, and the talent of one "Pinball Wizard" — but it is one that all generations can rock out to.

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Mary Jane

In Amy Herzog's poignant play, Rachel McAdams plays the title single mother, who struggles to stay afloat while caring for a chronically ill child. The show alternates between heartbreaking and heartwarming, but all the way through, it celebrates the strength of mothers and of all women who make up their support systems.

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MJ The Musical

Among the many showstopping moments in MJ The Musical, about the life and artistry of Michael Jackson, is the number "I'll Be There." In the show, Jackson's mother sings it to remind him she'll always support him, even as the pressures of stardom and growing up increase. The rest of the time, your mom can rock out to all the other Michael Jackson hits she may have listened to in her own youth.

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Six is one of Broadway's best "girl's night" shows — so why can't that mean you and your mom? Six reimagines the six wives of Henry VIII as a girl group giving a concert, where they sing about their marriages — and themes like motherhood, childhood, and sisterhood — with pop flair. It's fun, it's energetic, and it's 80 minutes long, so your mom can get home early if she wants!

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A major theme of Suffs, about lesser-known trailblazers in the women's suffrage movement, is the unification (and, at times, infighting) of generations. Moms and daughters march for voting rights in the musical, while one character sings, "I want my great-granddaughter to know I was here." Suffs is the kind of musical that may make you feel more connected not just with your mom, but with the many generations of mothers that came before her.

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The Notebook

As a book by Nicholas Sparks and a fan-favorite film, The Notebook has made multiple generations love, laugh, and weep. The musical adaptation, like its predecessors, may mainly be about the romance between the poor Noah and rich Allie, but it is also a story about family. Allie's mother is, after all, the person who ultimately advises her daughter to follow her heart.

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