Last night Neva, Xene , Lochlan and I went along to the opening night of Waitress Musical , currently appearing at Norwich Theatre Royal until 20th August 2022.
It only seems like yesterday Neva was telling me about this new musical coming to Broadway and wouldn’t it be great if it did a UK Tour!
We have been listening to the soundtrack for what seems like forever, originally the show was due to take place during 2020, but like everything else in the theatre world it ground to a halt, then it got postponed for a second time.
We were finally able to see it yesterday, since the delay Lochlan has finished university and is back home, so he was keen to see it too, thankfully there was a seat available on the row in front! Which meant we all got to experience this epic show.
What is Waitress The Musical All About ?
Meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of some happiness in her life. When a hot new doctor arrives in town, life gets complicated. With the support of her workmates Becky and Dawn, Jenna overcomes the challenges she faces and finds that laughter, love and friendship can provide the perfect recipe for happiness.
Brought to life by a ground-breaking, female-led creative team, this hit features score by the Grammy award-winning Sara Bareilles(Love Song, Brave)a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson(I Am Sam)and direction by Tony® Award-winner Diane Paulus(Pippin, Finding Neverland).
Age recommendation: 13+ (Waitress deals with some adult content and themes, including domestic abuse. Discretion is advised for parents bringing children under age 13.)
Waitress Musical Cast
Chelsea Halfpenny was outstanding as Jenna, the power in her voice was unbelievable, and it did make me question if it was the same person who had starred in Byker Grove, Emmerdale and Casualty, I felt sure that she would have been starring in musicals her entire career! She manages to combine the fragility of an abused wife with the defiant optimism of a dreamer who never gives up.
David Hunter played Dr. Pomatter to perfection, his slightly nervous, quirky ways merged beautifully with Jenna’s vulnerability during the pregnancy, and his love of her pies was evident! Although he was technically a two timing creep, it was hard to ever think of him in a negative way, he was just adorable.
The friendship trio of Jenna, Dawn and Becky was evident throughout, a real sisterhood, that would be there for each other, no matter what, Wendy Mae Brown as Becky was perfect, she has her own ‘stuff’ to deal with but was always on hand to support her two friends and plenty of funny quips, and not forgetting her behind the counter action with their boss Cal (Christopher D. Hunt) who acted like a tough boss, but was really a big softy! Although I am struggling to unsee their romp with the spatulas!!
Evelyn Hoskins as Dawn was absolutely hilarious, we follow her journey through dating and finding Mr Right, in the form of Ogie (George Crawford), one of my favourite characters, he was soooo funny, from the moment he turned up at the Diner declaring his undying love for Dawn, after their first 5 minute date!! Definitely one to watch in the future.
The owner of the Pie Shop Joe first came across as a grumpy old man, but as the story progressed, you saw a man that genuinely cared and was on hand to offer some old man wisdom, he had a real presence, and it was only when I checked the program did I realise that it was Michael Starke, which explained it all!
Although a rather unlikeable character, Jenna’s husband Earl is played by Tamlyn Henderson, i’m sure he’s a really lovely guy IRL, but as the husband he was simply awful! (In the sense of a crappy husband, not a bad actor!!)
And not forgetting the rest of the ensemble, who sang, danced and ate their way through huge amounts of pie.
Our Thoughts on Waitress
Waitress is a story of love, hope, friendship, togetherness and lots of pies…..
Although two-thirds of the romance is based on extra-marital affairs, there is a real sense of genuine caring love between so many of the characters.
This story looks at so many different types of relationships, from loyal friends, the genuine care and warmth from an old man who is in the latter years of his life, the slightly uncomfortable controlling and coercive husband, which he genuinely believes is love, the back story of Jenna’s own parents relationship
When you read the overall story of a lady pregnant with her abusive husbands child that starts an affair with her doctor, it doesn’t really scream funny! But OMG this show is HILARIOUS!!!!
The soundtrack is brilliant, we listened to it all the way home, its funny because when you listen to the songs they don’t give the impression that its going to be a comedy, and when you read about affairs, unwanted pregnancy, domestic abuse, it certainly doesn’t read like it’s going to be funny, which is the beauty of this show, it deals with dark issues but is ultimately side splittingly funny!!
It was So good, Neva has already booked tickets to go and see it again on Wednesday!
If you have not booked your tickets then DO IT NOW!
If you are not local to Norwich, then check out Waitress The Musical for new dates and locations to be announced