Being a mother can make it hard to get things done — like finishing that book or getting that haircut or… you know… taking a shower. A night out on Broadway can be a real treat for a busy mom, which is why we asked these five famous mamas to tell Broadway Spin about their first time taking in a show on the Great White Way.
The Broadway vet and mother of Suri Cruise remembered her first Broadway show fondly. “I believe it was Chicago. I was here with my sisters and I loved dancing, so we wanted to see a dance-heavy show,” the Dead Accounts alum shared. “I was already a working actress at the time and very young. I remember how incredible the dancers were and it was a great show!”
“There might have been something before, but the one that really resonated with me was Rent,” the How I Met Your Mother alum and mother of Shaelyn Killam revealed. (ICYMI, her husband, Taran Killam had a stint on Broadway himself in Hamilton as King George.) “I saw the original cast and was 16. I lived in Vancouver and it was the first musical that I saw that affected me. I didn’t really understand a lot of what was going on, but it affected me in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. I was so moved by it. I became obsessed with the soundtrack and the characters,” Smulders added. It was really the music and it was a new sound. The show was a really new thing. The things I had heard before were more operatic. But this felt a bit grittier, and more rock and roll.”
“I grew up in New Jersey. Because we were close to New York City my family and I would come in, spend the day, and get standing room tickets or even just second-act shows,” the She Loves Me star and mother of one revealed.
“One of the great memories I have, I think I was eight-years-old. I was sitting around the third row at Chicago and the cast was Jerry Orbach, Chita Rivera, and Gwen Verdon,” the Tony winner said. “My eyes were as large as flying saucers. I remember watching those women and the legendary Jerry Orbach and being in absolute awe. At that day I thought, ‘This is what I want to do. I know it.’ But I never thought there ever a possibility to make it there. I’ll never forget because at the last song at the curtain call both of the women get bouquets of roses and they throw the roses into the audience. Chita Rivera looked me right in the eye, perhaps because I was the only eight-year-old in the first ten rows. And she threw a rose right to me. I never forgot that moment. Then skip ahead many, many years later I got to perform with Chita Rivera in Nine. So it was a full circle dream come true.”
“I was around seven when my aunt took me to see Peter Pan. I didn’t want to leave the theater. I think we were the last people to leave,” Rhea Perlman recalled. We would go to a play maybe once a year. It was truly my favorite experience as a kid. We saw The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie. It was always a musical and it always great.” The mother, who shares three children with Danny DeVito, added, “Any time since then that I’ve seen Peter Pan I am bawling through the whole thing.”
The mother of two (and Ashton Kutcher’s better-half) snuck in to her first Broadway show! The Spy Who Dumped Me star recalled, “My friend and I snuck in 16 or 17 years ago to see Rent. We just walked in like we belonged. I don’t want to get in trouble, but we totally snuck in. The show was sold-out and we were standing in the back. Rent had just come out. It was one of those shows that everybody was talking about and we were saying, ‘Yeah, let’s go see Rent.’ We had to see it, so we did!”