If you missed seeing “Waitress” on Broadway, or couldn’t afford an orchestra seat, or have seen it multiple times and want to see it again (for less money, so you can afford more pie)– you’re in luck!
Waitress: The Musical takes the same live stage recording approach that Hamilton did back in 2020– offering up a front-row seat to a popular show, complete with a brief intermission! Waitress: The Musical is a musical dramedy based on the 2007 indie film of the same name, written and directed by Adrienne Shelly. It stars the uber-talented composer-lyricist-actress-singer Sara Bareilles as Jenna, a small-town waitress and expert pie maker who’s trapped in an abusive marriage. When Jenna discovers she’s pregnant, she hatches a plan to enter a baking contest, with the hopes of using the winnings to escape the toxic relationship. She also falls in love with her OB.
Jenna’s plight drives the narrative but the supporting cast of characters all get their moments to shine, including Joe Tippett as the loser husband, Earl; Caitlan Houlahan and Charity Angel Dawson as Jenna’s sisterhood of coworkers, Dawn and Becky; Eric Anderson as their boss Cal; Christopher Fitzgerald as Dawn’s hilarious love interest Ogie; veteran actor Dakin Matthews as the diner’s owner ‘Old Joe’; and Drew Gehling as Jenna’s baby doc and romantic entanglement, Dr. Jim Pomatter.
I tend to see a lot of Broadway shows (mostly musicals) though Waitress somehow fell off my radar and I missed the chance to see it with Bareilles. Watching the stage production on film made for a satisfying, up-close-and-personal experience. You can hear all the words, see the actor’s expressions, and ogle the pie! Butter, sugar, flour. Key ingredients of a good pie, a good showtune, and a very good flick for anyone into musicals. The show delves into adult themes (hello, “Intermissionary Pie!”) so don’t be taking the kiddies to this one.
Waitress: The Musical hits theaters December 7 for an extremely limited run– 5 nights only! I hope it makes its way to streaming services in short order, so folks can enjoy the show while noshing on pie from the comfort of their couch.
Note: The end credits include a title card In Loving Memory of Adrienne Shelly, who was murdered in New York in 2006 just before the original Waitress film rolled out, and Broadway performer Nick Cordero who died of COVID-related complications in 2020.