Before seeing the late-late performance of Hedwig… on Saturday night, we had purchased tickets via TDF for the matinee of Mothers and Sons. Another 90 minute show? Music to our ears. I’m not a huge Tyne Daly fan (she’s good, but I wouldn’t go see something just because she was in it) but I was excited to see Bobby Steggert.

The play, by Terrence McNally, was about a mother (Tyne Daly) dropping in on the partner (Frederick Weller) of her deceased son and how she reacts when she learns he has a new life, including a husband (Bobby Steggert) and a son (Grayson Taylor). Her son died 20 years prior (due to AIDS complications) though his former partner’s new life is still confusing to her. She’s also still in denial about her son and thinking that New York City “turned” him gay.

There were solid, great performances throughout and I was never once bored or checking my Playbill. This is definitely one I’d recommend (and, come on, it’s only 90 minutes).

Rant: Four cell phones went off in 90 minutes. FOUR. When Steggert was giving the BC/EFA speech, he called one out too, “And if your cell phone went off during the performance, feel free to give $75,000! Yes, sir, you!” Appropriate? Yes.

Last Saturday I was invited to see the new musical based on the movie Big Fish after winning a contest that was held on their website. I was incredibly excited because I remember liking the movie (when I saw it in theatres back in 2004!) and the cast was phenomenal: Norbert Leo Butz, Bobby Steggert, and Kate Baldwin. Tonight: Big Fish opens!

I didn’t really remember what the movie was about, but I heard it was a touching father/son story. A man who’s father has always told him phantasmagorical stories is dying and before he passes, he wants to find out the truth about his father’s past.

The first thing that stood out to me were the costumes (design by William Ivey Long) – they were gorgeous and somewhat magical. My next favorite aspect of the show? Norbert Leo Butz (and his dancing). He was fantastic in Catch Me If You Can, and he lives up to and surpasses every expectation in Big Fish. He weaved in and out of being a teenager and a dying old man with such ease. Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert also, of course, didn’t disappoint either. Baldwin weaved as easily from teenager to senior citizen as well, and Steggert has it easiest (as he never had to make any huge age leaps) but was still a joy to watch discover the truth about his father.

The score is enjoyable, the choreography fantastic, and supporting cast was lovable. Remember how I said this was a heartwarming father/son story? Well: it was. Everyone around me was crying at the end and I even choked back a tear.

I hope lots of legs are currently breaking at the Neil Simon and the reviewers are warm. Big Fish is definitely a welcomed addition to this Broadway season!