The hit Broadway musical Waitress opened this weekend at The Hollywood Pantages Theatre and I was happy to be invited to the premiere. Sara Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for the hit Broadway show, walked the red carpet and talked to the audience after the show.
Bareilles lived in Los Angeles for 15 years and graduated from UCLA. She said she was happy to bring the musical to Los Angeles with such an amazing cast.
“It is the thrill of a lifetime to sit and watch this show come to life,” she said to the audience.
It was pretty thrilling for me to watch it as well. The production was delightful. The show, which premiered on Broadway two years ago and is still running, is about Jenna (Desi Oakley), a pie-making waitress in an abusive marriage.
She works at a diner in the deep south. The only things that bring her joy are baking pies and talking to her two best friends and fellow waitresses, Becky (Charity Angél Dawson) and Dawn (Lenne Klingman).
Oakley was fantastic as Jenna. I wondered how her voice would compare to Jessie Mueller who is on the Broadway cast album and Oakley sang beautifully. Dawson and Klingman were hilarious and Jeremy Morse stole the show as Ogie, Dawn’s boyfriend who bursts into spontaneous poetry and movement when he sees her.
Jenna’s world is rocked when she learns she’s pregnant and realizes she has to find a way out of her bad marriage. To complicate things even more, she starts up a fling with her adorable (and married!) OBGYN played by Bryan Fenkart. Their scenes are fun, but the most moving parts of the show are when Oakley is alone belting out beautiful songs or when she’s with Dawson and Klingman.
Waitress is a fun show for adults or for families with older kids. It’s recommended for ages 12 and up and children under 5 won’t be admitted into the theatre. There is some swearing, sex talk and funny sex scenes, but nothing graphic and Jenna is pushed around and threatened by her husband.
No matter who you go with, the show will have you thinking about pie. Jenna makes pie, people eat pie and she’s constantly coming up with pie recipes to mirror what is happening in her life. Thankfully, they were selling small jars of pie in the Pantages lobby.
Waitress is playing now through August 26, 2018. Performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm. Individual tickets start at $49. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Disclosure: I was a guest of the Hollywood Pantages for the show. All opinions are my own.