"Having an actor like Tyne Daly in the role of Katharine Gerard, a role I wrote for her but with no guarantee that she would agree to play it, was my best bet that the play I heard in my head was the play that would be heard at the Golden," McNally wrote in a Playbill magazine feature. "It wasn't just Tyne's voice I was writing for: it was her sensibility and her soul, as well. I know what makes her laugh; I like to think I know what makes her deeply care, as well."
About Katharine, Daly told Playbill.com, "She's real, I know that. She's complicated. She's a product of her own time. She has a heart like a fist, in terms of how she's experienced personal grief. Grief has closed her down, and she's been holding onto it for a very long time... I love her."
Mothers and Sons had its world-premiere production at Bucks County, under the producing direction of Jed Bernstein, June 13-23, 2013. The Broadway incarnation is produced by Tom Kirdahy, Roy Furman, Paula Wagner and Debbie Bisno, and Barbara Freitag and Loraine Alterman Boyle.
The play, according to press notes, "is a timely and provocative new play that explores our evolving understanding of family in today's world. At turns funny and powerful, Mothers and Sons follows a woman (Daly) who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son's ex-partner (Weller), who is now married to another man (Steggert) and has a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and discovers a new connection she never expected."
Mothers and Sons marks McNally's 20th Broadway production and the 50th anniversary of his Broadway debut. His others include Bad Habits; The Ritz; The Rink; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Master Class; Ragtime; The Full Monty; and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.