Sprung to life by a completely female production team, “Waitress – The Musical” tells a story that many of us live, but few have the courage to resolve and fulfill. Created by talented Sara Bareilles, this musical takes a rather banal scene, a diner and turns it into a lovers tale location, when the main character gets in love with her gynecologist and tries to make sense of her future and what she can do about it. When in doubt, the story moves towards the only thing that matters: love, unconditional, but powerful love for which there is no treatment, no matter how much pie you can eat. Find the best tickets to “Waitress – The Musical” and all the information about the play right here!
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The plot follows the life of Jenna, a waitress and pie expert at a classic American diner. Failing to find love in her husband’s hands, to which she finds out she is pregnant with, Jenna tries to solve her problem the way she always does, by imagining all the parts of the situation as pie ingredients. Jenna gets to her gynecologist only to find out she is substituted by a young and sexy Dr Jim Pomatte who, although says he’s cutting on sugar, eats the whole pie that Jenna brings thinking she’s about to get a consultation from her old lady doctor and friend.
Trying to get out of the bad marriage and find true love, Jenna enters a pie contest in hopes that she’ll win and can afford to start fresh with the prize money. Meanwhile, things go South in her affair with Dr Pomatte, with whom she has sex in his office after an appointment. With her life turning to ways she’d never expected to, Jenna is going to high realms in order to find happiness, peace and love. With a baby on the way, no money and a lot on her plate, she is ready to put everything that she has into her passion to find true happiness and give her baby a good life.
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Past, Present, Future
The musical that tells Jenna’s story is based on the original 2007 indie movie of the same name, which although had a 1.5 million budget earned more than 25 million at the box offices worldwide. Seeing opportunity in the movie, producers Barry and Fran Weissler announced that they were working on a musical version of the film, with the book being written by talented Paula Vogel and followed by Jessie Nelson after the first resigned. Lyrics for the play were created by Sara Bareilles, which is also playing the leading role in the current Broadway production.
The first production was revealed at the “American Repertory Theater” in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with the official opening on August 19th, 2015 and running for just over a month. Director was Diane Paulus, leading choreographer Chase Brock, costumes and set designs Suttirat Anne Larlarb and Scott Pask. The first who played Jenna was actor Jessie Mueller.
Success followed shortly for the small Cambridge production, and it was soon announced that the musical will have its transfer to Broadway in March of 2016. Besides some changes to the production team, two new members were added to the creativity department, Stacy Donnelly and Dawn Mayo from “Everything Dawn Bakery Candles & Treats”, a small bakery in Manhattan. They were responsible for keeping the scene look as real as possible, but also to be teaching the cast how to roll and work pie dough as if they were actual bakers.
Not only that but, to make things even more realistic, the production team decided on having real pies baked inside the theater as the audience was entering the building, creating the perfect environment to encompass a bakery, with real pie slices available for purchase.
Official Broadway production began on April 24th, 2016 at the “Brooks Atkinson Theater” on 47th Street. The current cast includes Sara Bareilles as Jenna, Natasha Yvette Williams as Becky, Caitlin Houlahan as Dawn, Jason Mraz as Dr Pomatter and Joe Tippett as Earl. A US Tour is currently in production.
About the director
At 52 years of age, Diane Paulus is one of the most appreciated female directors in Broadway’s history. She is a Harvard University graduate and also a TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world nominee. In 2013, Paulus received the Tony Award for “Best Director of a Musical” for her revival of “Pippin”. She has made a name in the opera industry as well, being renowned for directing “The Magic Flute”, “Monteverdi” and “Don Giovanni”.
You can find the best tickets to “Waitress – The Musical” on the official website at www.waitressthemusical.com, where there’s a full schedule for the production. Ticket prices start at $79 at the Mezzanine and $159 at the Orchestra for a normal seat and can go up to $252 or higher for a premium seat.
Curtains are set for every day of the week except Mondays, with two productions on Saturdays and Sundays, 2:00 PM and 7:00/8:00 PM and one for the rest of the week, scheduled for 2:00 PM or 7:00 PM. Be sure to check sites like SeatGeek and StubHub for price comparison.
Facts about “Waitress – The Musical”
- The play has 22 musical pieces, 12 in the first act and 10 in the second;
- There’s only one other Broadway musical with an all-female lyrics, book, music, direction and choreography, the 1978 hit “Runaways”, a single woman job done by amazing writer Elizabeth Swados;
- Adrienne Shelly, who wrote and directed the original 2007 indie film was murdered just three months before the premiere, by an illegal immigrant who attacked her into her home and then made it look like she committed suicide by hanging.