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Waitress Dances its Way into the Hearts of Many

Autumn Smith, Reporter

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Waitress the musical first premiered in August 2015 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. Not long after, in 2016, the musical moved to Broadway. I saw the musical at the Hippodrome theater February 3.

 

The musical follows a waitress who works in a diner making pies in a small town in the southern United States, Jenna Hunterson (portrayed by Desi Oakley in 2017 national tour of the musical). Jenna finds herself pregnant with her deadbeat husband Earl’s (Nick Bailey) child.

 

Filled with dread because she does not want the baby, Jenna goes to her gynecologist only to find that her original doctor retired and Dr. Pomatter (Bryan Fenkart) replaced him.

 

To distract herself from her troubles, Jenna becomes invested in the love lives of her coworkers Becky (Charity Angel Dawson) and Dawn (Lenne Klingaman), specifically Dawn’s.

 

After repeatedly seeing Dr. Pomatter through her appointments, the two of them become closer, flirting until they cross the line and start an affair.

 

The guilt consumes Jenna, but she brushes it under the table in favor of focusing on her own happiness.

 

Joe (Larry Marshall), the elderly owner of the diner she works in, encourages Jenna to enter the pie making competition being held a few counties over. Jenna begins to hide away money to enter, so she can use the prize money to start anew with her child.

 

Eventually, Jenna’s husband finds the money, and she resolves to stay with Earl, unhappy and stuck because she can no longer fund her participation in the competition.

 

Jenna soon realizes that she wants more for her daughter because she has become a woman she doesn’t recognize nor does she see herself as fit to mother her child.

 

Not long after, Jenna goes into labor and finds herself in the awkward situation of giving birth with her husband, Dr. Pomatter, and Dr. Pomatter’s wife all in the room.

 

After looking at her daughter’s face for the first time, Jenna immediately tells Earl she is leaving him and taking their daughter and shortly after, realizes that the affair was also a mistake and breaks it off with Dr. Pomatter.

 

At a loss, without the money to survive on her own, Jenna receives a card from Joe only to find that, in his poor health, he has left her the diner she previously worked in.

 

Overall, it is a very good musical. The Slice-of-Life style plot leaves the heart feeling warm and full, despite the bumps in the road along the way.

 

It is a lovely blend of comedy, heartache, and pure joy. The musical brings tears to your eye as it comes to an unexpected but fulfilling close.

 

The musical is a combination of pop and country music with lovely modern choreography and an overall pleasant message.

 

However, the musical is definitely intended for adults as there are some sexual scenes that feed off of the raunchy undertones set within the musical.

 

There is also a median amount of foul language throughout the musical.

Despite the slightly sexual themes, Waitress is definitely worth going to see in person to get the full experience of on-stage southern charm.

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Waitress Dances its Way into the Hearts of Many