Review of Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre, London
Press night at the Adelphi Theatre London for the musical Waitress and they are going all out to make us feel welcome. I love it when a theatre gets involved and the Adelphi’s wonderful Front of House staff dressing up in waitress uniforms and selling pies, a photo-stand of Joe’s Diner for the audience to pose with and a comments notice board – they are really getting involved, which makes you feel very welcome as soon as you enter the theatre.
I loved the show. I had seen little snippets at the launch and was excited to see the full show and it surpassed all of my expectations. Central to the story is the relationship between three friends – Jenna, Becky and Dawn played by Katharine McPhee, Marisha Wallace and Laura Baldwin, who all work as waitresses in Joe’s Diner. For me, their distinct personalities and chemistry were instant and despite their flaws, they were very relatable and I was captivated by them and their relationship throughout the musical and wow can these girls sing!
The beautiful music is composed by Sara Bareilles who takes you through every emotion with her stunning writing from laughing at the lyrics like ‘time to pee on a stick’ to bawling my eyes out at ‘She Used to Be Mine’ this original score is the glue that makes this musical what it is.
I have to also commend the direction by Diane Paulus and choreographer Lorin Latarro – some of Jenna’s ‘in her head moments’ are so beautifully crafted making this, in my opinion, a very modern and contemporary work of art.
I may have only so far spoken about the women but the male cast were just as spellbinding with a stand-out performance from David Hunter as Dr Pomatter, who plays the part so well that we as an audience should hate him for his actions but we were won over by his quirky and charming character.
I cannot fault any of this cast as they were all a joy to watch, just like the pies that Jenna bakes in the story, all the ingredients are just right – making for one yummy show!
Brought to life by a ground-breaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (Brave, Love Song), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland).
WAITRESS tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.
KATHARINE McPHEE – Jenna
MARISHA WALLACE – Becky
LAURA BALDWIN – Dawn
DAVID HUNTER – Dr. Pomatter
PETER HANNAH – Earl
SHAUN PRENDERGAST – Joe
STEPHEN LEASK – Cal
JACK McBRAYER – Ogie
KELLY AGBOWU – Ensemble
PIERS BATE – Ensemble
NICOLE RAQUEL DENNIS – Ensemble
CHRIS McGUIGAN – Ensemble
OLIVIA MOORE – Ensemble
NATHANIEL MORRISON – Ensemble
CHARLOTTE RIBY – Ensemble
MICHAEL HAMWAY – Swing
SARAH O’CONNOR – Swing
LEANNE PINDER – Swing, Dance Captain
MARK WILLSHIRE – Swing
FIFI CHRISTOPHERS – Lulu (at certain performances)
ARABELLA DUFFY – Lulu (at certain performances)
THE CREATIVE TEAM
JESSIE NELSON – Book
SARA BAREILLES – Music & Lyrics
DIANE PAULUS – Director
LORIN LATARRO – Choreographer
ADRIENNE SHELLY – Film writer
NADIA DiGIALLONARDO – Music Supervision & Arrangements
THE WAITRESS BAND – Orchestrations
SCOTT PASK – Set Design
SUTTIRAT ANNE LARLARB – Costume Design
KEN BILLINGTON – Lighting Design
JONATHAN DEANS – Sound Design
RICHARD MAWBEY – Wig and Make-Up Design
NANCY HARRINGTON – Associate Director
ABBEY O’BRIEN – Assistant Choreographer
DAVID GRINDROD ASSOCIATES CDG – Casting
ROSAMUND CRANMER AT DAVID IAN PRODUCTIONS – General Manager
B.J. HOLT – International General Manager
STEVEN HILL – Orchestral
THE AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATRE – BARRY AND FRAN WEISSLER – Producers
NORTON AND ELAYNE HERRICK – Producer
ALECIA PARKER – Executive Producer
DAVID I. BERLEY – Producer
FESTE INVESTMENTS B.V. – Producer
PETER MAY – Executive Producer
EVAMERE ENTERTAINMENT – Producer
TAMAR CLIMAN – Producer
MICHAEL ROIFF – Producer
KEN SCHUR – Producer
42ND.CLUB – Producer
SQUARE 1 THEATRICS – Producer
JAM THEATRICALS – Producer
ADAM BLANSHAY PRODUCTIONS – Producer