Waitress, the 2007 cult movie has become a Broadway hit thanks to the work of an all female creative team, including songwriter Sara Bareilles. Luckily for Minnesotans the National Tour is at the Orpheum theater this holiday week.
The show focuses on Jenna, a waitress and pie maker at a local diner, who while in an unhappy and abusive marriage finds out that she is pregnant. While making pies as a way to emotionally process everything she also starts an affair with her gynecologist, the new doctor in town. The show also focuses on the love lifes of the other two waitresses at the shop and Jenna's good friends, Becky and Dawn. None of the romantic relationships are very traditional, multiple are extramarital relationships, but they are framed in such a light that is just as respectful as if they were traditional.
The direction of the show follows the campiness of the movie. There are many "cut away scenes", the lighting changes and prop pieces come in the frame the soliloquy. The method felt very unique and added to the comedy of the show.
The show's subject matter is serious, but the show is funny. Some of the humor is dark and some of it is over the top, but all well balanced thanks to book writer Jessie Nelson.
The performances by the cast were all top notch. Many people may of been drawn to the show because of Sara Bareilles' music and I don't think they will be disappointed. The music like the comedy is well balanced with a mix of ballads and upbeat numbers, and songs that allow all of the central characters to have their moment in the spotlight.
Desi Oakley as Jenna proves herself to be a vocal powerhouse in the song "She Used to Be Mine" and was a warm heart at the center of the show. Charity Angél Dawson feels like the mama bear of the show as Becky, and her performance of "I Didn't Plan It" was powerful. Lenne Klingman is so much fun to watch as Dawn, she channels her character's nervous energy into one of my favorite songs from the show "When He Sees Me". Finally Jeremy Morse as Ogie performed the highest energy number song in the show and might have gotten the biggest applause with "Never Ever Getting Rid of Me."
I don't think there could be a better week than Thanksgiving for this show to come through town. It is a show about pies, about love and relationships, and about being yourself and knowing when to say no to relationships.
If you get a chance take a break from all the holiday stress this year and escape with Waitress.
It is playing at the Orpheum Theater until November 26th.
Click here to find out more information about the show including how to get tickets
*Photo by Joan Marcus