For as long as I can remember I have never been a fan of Broadway. I mean ever. There was just something about the idea of actors talking then randomly busting out in song and jazz hands. That always freaked me out. I wanted no parts of their jazzy spirit fingers.
Although I will admit I was utterly enthralled with the CATS and Milford Plaza commercials in the 80’s. But that was as far as my excitement would take me. And when my 7th grade teacher made us listen to the CATS soundtrack in an effort to get us cultured. It confirmed how unmoved I truly was by it. I used that time to nap.
The next time in my life where I would feel a twinge of curiosity toward Broadway was when Lion King debuted. That twinge still hasn’t been enough to get me to the box office. Years later Hamilton exploded on the scene, and because I need both of my arms and legs I could not fork them over for tickets.
By this time, I had to pretty much be honest with myself and admit that deep down I knew while there was excitement I knew I would never make it to see either one of those shows. Why? Because if I really wanted to see them I’d put in the effort to plan a day, save the money, grab a friend and go. I decided right then there would never be a Broadway show to get me hyper than Beyonce coming to town.
That is, until a friend post a picture from Waitress the Musical on Facebook. I replied, “oh, there’s a movie with that name. It’s my favorite!” She said, “Yeah, Val, same thing.”
That was really my gut first reaction.
You don’t understand how much I love Waitress. I mean LOVE it! If you’ve never seen the movie (written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly) then you’re missing out. It’s a sweet but sad rom-com about a woman named Jenna at her wits trying to get out of her terrible marriage and leave her small town to make a better life for herself. She planned to do this by entering and winning a nearby pie baking competition. The prize money would be her escape. Only she finds out she’s pregnant and events that surround her pregnancy threaten to keep her from making that dream a reality, and the outta this world original pies she creates are a way of expressing her happiness and frustrations. The movie stars Kerri Russell, who I’ve loved since the 90’s – I mean, helloooo Felicity. (Oh, you can relive your youth and watch it on ABC. And don’t get me started on The Americans), Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto and Adrienne Shelly.
My sudden hatred for musicals and avoidance of Broadway vanished quicker than an the last Entenmann’s Apple Pie I bought. I went on a mission to snag tickets, and when I got them I was hype! Who would have thought, me, excited to get to Broadway.
When I arrived at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on a Wednesday night it was packed. I didn’t know what to expect when I got inside. In my mind I thought it would be very uptight, or maybe I’m thinking of the opera. But I’ll tell you I was shocked and excited to see they sold snacks and drinks to enjoy during the performance. This night was going to be better than I expected.
And I was right!
From the time the curtain went up from the time it went down Waitress the Musical was everything and then some. I am seriously having a hard time trying to decide which I enjoyed more, the movie or the musical. It was that GREAT!
The cast of Waitress the Musical was fantastic, and their voices were out of this world. They sang in a way that I could only dream of, and not a single person was out of breath. It was effortless. Tony Award Winner Jessie Mueller plays the lead made the role of Jenna Hunterson and absolutely made it her own. I completely forgot about Kerri Russell. Jessie had me captivated. Co-Stars Keala Settle as Becky, Kimiko Glenn as Dawn, Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter and Nick Cordero and Earl were all stellar! Their one-liners, sarcasm and antics captivated the entire audience, especially Dr. Pomatter’s quirky personality and seductive bedside manner.
Now I can’t talk about Broadway without talking about the music. Sara Bareilles, with her original music and lyrics earned her a Tony nomination for Best Original Score for “Waitress.” Her songs combined with the script is what really brings everything about Waitress the Musical together.
The show runs over two hours with a 15 minutes intermission. It seemed long but I honestly didn’t want it to end. For someone who really didn’t care for anything about Broadway prior to going I found myself loving every moment of it. I’m glad that my first introduction to Broadway was Waitress the Muscial and that it was so great that it left me looking into other shows.
Get your tickets today for Waitress the Musical, who knows you might even see me there cause I know I’m going back!
Watch the preview for Waitress the Musical below.
FYI: I was provided 2 complementary tickets to the show for the purpose of this review. Thoughts and opinions are always my own.