Why are so many Broadway shows about bad mothers? Take Gypsy for instance, a musical where a woman pushes her daughter into a life as a stripper so she can live out her own dreams of fame. Or August: Osage County, where a mom's "truth-telling" (and pill-popping) literally destroys her family. Offstage, however, we should all be thankful for our moms. As Stew says in the musical Passing Strange, "Your mother's love might seem insane…It's cause she really knows everything." So celebrate your mom today. After all, you wouldn't want one of these, would you?
1. Madame, the Wicked Stepmother — Cinderella
Look, the word "Wicked" is in her name, so it's pretty clear she's not great. Fran Drescher may be impossible to hate, but when that iconic voice delivers one of Douglas Carter Beane's one-liners (insert one-liner here)… it cuts right into your soul.
2. Donna Sheridan — Mamma Mia!
Donna Sheridan has the best of intentions: She just wants her daughter, Sophie, to be happy. But that doesn't take away from the fact that in the summer of 1979, Donna slept with three different guys, kept it a secret from her daughter, and left poor Sophie to figure it all out by herself on the eve of her wedding. Mamma Mia!
3. Mrs. Wormwood — Matilda The Musical
Despite the fact that she has a precocious daughter with super powers, all Mrs. Wormwood cares about is dancing. It's one thing to have outside interests, but sometimes you've got to take a moment to notice that your kid is literally moving things with her mind.
4. Sally Bowles' mother — Cabaret
Sally Bowles' mother doesn't actually appear in Cabaret, but we hear a lot about her. For example, she thinks her daughter is living in a secluded little convent in the southern part of France. Also, she doesn't even have an inkling that her daughter is working in a nightclub in a pair of lacy pants. She's not a bad mom, per se, but she's certainly oblivious.
5. Hedwig Schmidt — Hedwig and the Angry Inch
This brusque German woman gave her "slip of a girly boy" son Hansel her name and convinced him to have a sex-change operation, so he could marry an American soldier and leave East Germany forever. Sure, the forward thinking that she demonstrated is fairly admirable, but the doctor she found botched the surgery, leaving her now-daughter, also named Hedwig, with a scarred inch-long mound of flesh between her legs. That's gotta be considered at least gross negligence on her part.