The Missing Mother
This chapter examines examples in which the mother figure is absent in the lives of other characters or even as an agent in her own life. Those musicals include: Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, and Wicked, and Billy Eliot. In each of these successful plays, the mother figure, through her absence in the lives of her children, is shown as being the cause of their negative actions. This chapter advances the concept that commercial Broadway remains comfortable with the stereotype of the mother figure as the moral compass for her family but when that compass is absent in any way, the child’s ethical behavior is also compromised. The chapter will propose that what is needed are new presentations of motherhood that remove this moral burden.