In April 2016, Waitress The Musical opened on Broadway. It features music by Sarah Barreiles, and is based on the 2007 film Waitress.
When Waitress was announced to open, my facebook feed was full of movie and musica fans alike, all saying how amazing the show will be. I wasn’t too sure on what Waitress was going to be. All that I knew was that it’s about a waitress who finds herself knocked up. I had to discover more.
The first step of discovering Waitress was to listen to the Original Broadway Cast recording.
The first track on the album is What’s Inside which is a lovely ballad style song, and builds upon three words: Sugar, Butter, Flour. This songs first shows our heroine Jenna; a brilliant pie chef, in the kitchen. Jenna is stuck in an abusive relationship with Earl, a hillbilly ex-rocker. Jenna is in a daydream, inventing a pie when her boss, Cal, interrupts her dreaming and encourages her to start work. The next song, Opening Up, demonstrates Jenna and her colleagues and friends, Dawn Rising and Becky, at work at Joe’s Pie Shop. I’m not gonna go over every song in Waitress, but I’ll cover the important events. In the next song, The Negative, Jenna takes a pregnancy test and finds out she’s pregnant. The next important song is Never Getting Rid Of Me, in which Dawn’s old date, Ogie (short for Oglahoma), proclaims his love to Dawn at the Pie Shop, to her dismay, but she soon falls in love with his awkward charm. The next song that you should know about is Bad Idea, in which Jenna decides to have an affair with her doctor, Doctor Pomatter. In the song You Matter To Me, Doctor Pomatter tells Jenna that he cares about her, even if Earl doesn’t. Everything Changes is Jenna’s realisation that she loves her baby, who she has named Lulu, and her, Baby Lulu, Dawn and Becky, go home. In the final song is Opening Up (Finale), Jenna has inherited the Pie Shop, and everything’s happy! Sugar, butter, flour! It’s a gorgeous cast recording, and although it’s very hard to pick up on the story, it really gives you a good feel for Sara Bareilles’ gorgeous score.
The second step of discovering Waitress is to actually watch the show. Now, I live in the UK so seeing it live isn’t a possibility (unless…!), so I resorted to many stagey’s worst nightmare…bootlegs.
Now, I do not condone bootleg recordings of shows. But, like many, I appreciate that they are huge life (and money) savers for people who, like myself, live in a country where the show isn’t playing and/or can’t afford to see the show. Kind of like…educational purposes. So I found the Waitress bootleg and gave it a watch.
First of all; the staging is absolutely gorgeous. The use of the ensemble members was genius! Their timing was so spot on; I couldn’t believe it. The cast take Diane Paulus’ direction and make magic with it. Jessie Mueller is absolutely perfect for Jenna, who was played by Keri Russell in the movie. Kimiko Glenn – who plays Dawn, is amazing at playing the socially awkward character. The whole show was perfect.
The set, the cast, the direction, the music, the all of it, was absolutely perfect!
I have no words for Waitress, other than go and see it!
WAITRESS IS BOOKING UNTIL JUNE 2017