★★★★★ | Waitress – ‘a stirring mix of joy, fun and sadness, with a topping of hope’.
Where: Adelphi Theatre
Review date: Thursday 7th March 2019
About the Show:
Katharine McPhee (Waitress on Broadway, Smash) joins the Waitress London cast to play Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as ‘The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie’ and ‘Betrayed By My Eggs Pie’. When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying run-in with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it. Change is on the menu, as long as Jenna can write her own perfectly personal recipe for happiness.
Encore Rating Factor:
Standing Ovation: ★★★★☆
Waitress, based on the 2007 film, centres on a woman named Jenna, played by Katharine McPhee. Jenna is a waitress at Joe’s Pie Diner, where she is responsible for baking 27 pies a day including a daily special that she gets to name (so when she becomes pregnant by her rotten husband, the specials board reads ‘Betrayed by My Eggs pie’!)
The at times morally dubious storyline elements, a gynaecology doctor sleeping with his patient, are masterfully saved by the lovable Dr Pomatter who is played by David Hunter. His warmth and clumsiness are a complete contrast to Jenna’s husband Earl played by Peter Hannah. As an audience member no matter how immoral the situation is you are praying for Jenna’s happy ending.
Marisha Wallace (fresh from Dreamgirls) powerfully delivers her solo number – ‘I didn’t Plan It’. It is a perfect way to start the second act and for us, this was the stand out solo performance of the evening.
Laura Baldwin’s Dawn and Jack McBrayer’s Ogie provide a much-needed and humorous contrast to the more serious relationship storylines. Together they prove, that, there is the perfect someone, for everyone.
Katharine McPhee’s heartbreaking rendition of ‘She Used To Be Mine’ – is one of our show highlights. McPhee pulls the audience into Jenna’s search for liberation from her abusive marriage, asking what happened to ‘the girl that I knew’ who now ‘gets used by a man who can’t love’.
Choreographer Lorin Latarro impressively blends artful and understated sequences that beautifully compliment the superb pop and country-style songs by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.
Waitress is a stirring mix of joy, fun and sadness, with a topping of hope. You will laugh (a lot) and you may even cry at this thoroughly enjoyable evening at the theatre.
Waitress now booking to 19 October at the Adelphi Theatre.