Review: Waitress

5 star rating
Look no further if you want a sassy, sweet and funny show to see. Katharine McPhee sings and bakes up a storm in this small-town American drama-comedy.
Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre

Image: Adelphi Theatre



Closes: No date available

Author:
Jessie Nelson

Composer:
Sara Bareilles

Lyricist:
Sara Bareilles

Director:
Diane Paulus

Cast:

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)


Synopsis


Inspired by Adrienne Shelly's beloved film, 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 in a nearby county 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.


Trailer



ActDrop reviews


Claire Heaven

Performance date: Wednesday 17 April 2019
Review star rating image

Anyone for a slice of pie?


Look no further if you want a sassy, sweet and funny show to see.


Waitress is one the latest musicals in London, featuring Katharine McPhee of American Idol and Smash fame.


She sings and bakes up a storm in this small-town American drama-comedy.


The story is based around Jenna, a waitress and pie maker whose skills in creating crazy desserts (like Betrayed by My Eggs Pie) give way to her dreaming of entering a baking contest and getting out of her rocky marriage.


The songs and melodies are upbeat and poignant, suited to McPhee's sweet, clear voice.


Each time she sings, the theatre holds its breath as she weaves her musical tale.


After every song, Ms McPhee receives well-deserved thunderous applause.


Her easy-going acting style suits Jenna's sweet nature and Ms McPhee carries you through the story with ease.


Jenna has two 'love interests' - her husband played by Peter Hannah and a doctor played by David Hunter.


Both play their characters well, with Peter Hannah being the weakest of all the actors musically.


But he only sings part of one song, so it's not very noticeable.


And he acts his part very well, so much so that he received very loud boo's at the end of the show I saw!


McPhee's female costars Marisha Wallace (Becky) and Laura Baldwin (Dawn) are equal parts hilarious and sassy, with good voices to boot.


Jenna, Becky and Dawn form a strong friendship, and it is a joy to watch them interact on stage.


There's a fantastic turn by Jack McBrayer as Dawn's love interest, Ogie (you may recognize him from the comedy TV series 30 Rock).


Yes, he totally panders to the crowd, but his comedic timing is so spot on, you only want to egg him on.


The set design is fun, moving between the diner where Jenna works, to a doctor's office, to Jenna's home.


The set designs complement the story, and while colourful, don't take away from the action on the stage.


The only minor challenge I found on the night I went to see Waitress was with the sound.


On the higher notes, there is just a little bit of feedback - it's enough to make you wince once or twice.


But not enough to take away from this wonderful show.


I think the sound just needs to be adjusted to fit the space of the theatre more effectively.


I've seen a fair share of musicals in my time and this is one of the better ones.


Go and see it while you can.



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