What's it about?
Waitress: The Musical is based on the 2007 movie of the same name. The story revolves around Jenna, a waitress at Joe's Pie Diner and passionate pie maker who has big dreams of leaving her small town and her abusive marriage. Shocked by an unexpected curveball in her plans, Jenna is inspired by love and friendship to create a new and better life for herself.
What I experienced?
Let me just preface this entire thing by saying that I listened to both the musical soundtrack and Sara Bareilles' studio album for the show on repeat for at least six solid months before I had any desire to see this show. I knew the music and lyrics would floor me because, Sara, duh. But I really didn't know what to expect for the show itself. But when I found out that Sara, one of my favorite singer-songwriters of all time and composer and lyricist for the show itself, would be playing Jenna for a limited time this summer, I knew I had to see it! I legitimately begged anyone who would listen to get me a ticket before June 11th. Time was ticking and I was running out of people to persuade. As a graduation present from my lovely brother, my mom and I headed to the Brooks Atkinson theatre for a nice Wednesday matinee performance. I owe you big time, brother!
Walking into the theatre, I was shaking. I was so overwhelmed with excitement of seeing Sara perform, seeing the songs I had grown to love so much performed live and being able to experience a Broadway show with my mom for the first time in years. I ended up with more merchandise than ever before, including a mug I now use every single day and a t-shirt that I'm not embarrassed to say I wear at least once a week. As a regular theatre-goer, I can tell you that buying merch is just not something I ever do, this time being a rare and unexpected occurrence.
My overall experience of this show can be summed up in one word: EMOTIONAL. I shed lots and lots of tears. Happy tears. Sad tears. Excited tears. Grateful tears. I cried so much that by the time I exited the theatre, my face was swollen and blotchy like I had just heard the most horrific news ever. Not to mention, I sat next to two girls who cried so much, they had to fight the entire time to keep their sobbing low enough to not be heard. While looking at promos for this show can make it seem cheesy and very much like an onstage "chic-flick", I was so floored by the themes I saw. This show warmed my heart by its portrayal of dreams and aspirations, friendships, love between mother and daughter, sacrifice and the desire to leave your old life behind for a better one. Growing up with a single mother, watching the challenges she was forced to face and how she endured them for my brother and I - was completely reflected in this show. And getting to experience all of this with my mom right beside me was just the icing on the cake.
I found it so easy to connect to every single character in this production, including the very nerdy and almost borderline creepy Ogie (played by Christopher Fitzgerald). I kept watching him thinking to myself "it is so true what they say: there are no small parts, just small actors". He stood out to me so much and even though his part is relatively small, I noticed he got the loudest applause by final bow. Sara Bareilles. My goodness. Being a fan of hers since 2007, I can't even express how incredible it was to see her in this. I was not remotely disappointed. It has been weeks since I saw this and I'm still nearly moved to tears every time I think about this show and the amount of gratitude I have to have been able to experience this one.
The one thing that kinda dampened the experience for me was the fact that only three cast members came to the stage door to sign autographs. It's never fun to stand outside for an hour just to hear that the rest of the cast left before any of us could see or meet them. It's cool. I'm already over it. And already begging my next batch of people to see it again with Betsy Wolfe as Jenna and Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter. #UMYESPLEASE! #SUGARBUTTERFLOUR
Want to see it?
What did you experience?
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