Waitress – Review of the Broadway Production

Petra Shepherd likes what’s on the menu at this sassy and upbeat musical

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If you’re a musical theatre fan, no trip to New York would be complete without taking in a show on Broadway and I was fortunate enough to get tickets to Waitress on a recent visit.   Although Waitress is also currently wowing audiences in the West End, nothing quite beats seeing an American musical in its rightful home. Waitress serves up slices of romance, heart and friendship on the Broadway stage at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre telling the story of a small town expert pie baker looking for a fresh start and a way out of her loveless marriage.  Upon hearing of a baking contest in a nearby county, Jenna must bake her way to the heart of the town’s new doctor, who may offer the key to her chance for a new life.  While her follow waitresses dream of their own paths to happiness, Jenna must follow her heart and find the courage within herself to rebuild her life.  Jenna pours her heart into her pies, crafting desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “The Key (lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed by My Eggs Pie” I bought a copy of the recipe book (available to buy in the foyer) as an alternative souvenir to take home.

Five-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-song writer Sara Bareilles made her Broadway creative debut as both producer and composer.  Bareilles also made history by selecting an all-female creative team for the first time ever in a Broadway musical production.

Going to see a mainstream musical on Broadway is quite a different experience than in London.  I’ve experienced some enthusiastic audiences in my time but nothing quite like the cheers, whoops and sheer delight from the mainly female audience when Jeremy Jordan appeared on stage as Dr Pomatter. I have to be honest I’d never heard of Jeremy Jordan but judging by the audience reaction, the American TV star was something of a heart throb and their enthusiasm for him was infectious.  For me it was the supporting characters that really shone particularly film star Eddie Jemison who bought the adorable character of Ogie to life on screen in the 2007 film Waitress and I remembered fondly from his roles in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen.  It’s all good heart-warming fun, quite naughty at times, I’m not sure what my 85 year old guest thought of some of the saucier scenes, this is no Rogers and Hammerstein love story (although it’s still all about getting Prince Charming). However, she tells me she thought it was delightful, the score sassy and the show altogether uplifting. Waitress is part of The Broadway Collection, a group of New York City’s most highly regarded musicals and shows, selected for their popularity with international audiences. I’d recommend looking at their website when planning what to see on “The Great White Way” and if you’re Big Apple bound this summer, then Waitress is a delicious treat.

Brooks Atkinson Theatre
256 W 47th St
New York
NY 20036