Phil Willmott

What do we know about the Forthcoming West End Transfer of Waitress

It’s been announced that the popular Broadway musical Waitress will transfer to the Adelphi Theatre in the West End next year.

I’m a regular New York theatre goer but I must confess I’ve always found the show, described as “the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker trapped in an abusive relationship, who uses a baking contest as a chance for a new life” as highly resistance.

Waitress the Musical

But American theatre goers disagree and the show’s NYC run has survived several cast changes. I’ll be reviewing it for you in October but in the mean time what do we know about the show and its appeal?

I started by consulting our some-time Broadway critic Davor Golub and his 14 year old son Cory who I remembered had enjoyed it.

Davor tells me “It’s lovely to see see a show about real people in real life situations that also focussed on telling womens' stories. You really appreciated that this was the first Broadway musical created by an all female creative team”.

Cory added “I really enjoyed this show. The music by Sara Barrellies is great and it was full of humour”.

Here’s 10 more Waitress facts from the press release and the Internet.

  1. The show is based on the film of the same name by Adrienne Shelley, has music and lyrics by Bareilles, a book by Jessie Nelson and is directed by Diane Paulus, with choreography by Lorin Latarro.
  2. When it opens in London it will become the first musical in West End history to be helmed by an all-female team.
  3. On Broadway, the lead role was originated by Jessie Mueller. During its run, which is ongoing, it has also been played by Bareilles, Betsy Wolfe and Katharine McPhee.
  4. Casting for the London run, which is scheduled to begin in February, is yet to be announced.
  5. Bareilles has described transferring the show to London as “a dream come true.... We are so proud of this beautiful show, and can’t wait to share the story of Jenna with a whole new audience and welcome them into the world of Waitress with open arms and plenty of pie.”
  6. Wikipedia describes it as “the story of Jenna Hunterson, a waitress in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl. When Jenna unexpectedly becomes pregnant she begins an affair with her gynecologist Dr. Jim Pomatter. Looking for ways out she sees a pie contest and its grand prize as her chance”
  7. Waitress premiered on August 2, 2015, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before the official opening on August 19, 2015. Tickets for this world premiere production sold out.
  8. For the Broadway production Manhattan baker Stacy Donnelly was hired to ensure the baking scenes were realistic and she taught the cast how to crack eggs, sift flour and roll out dough on stage.
  9. To help immerse audiences, real pies are warming as they enter the theater, creating the aroma of a pie shop, with slices of pie on sale.

Suddenly I’m finding the prospect of reviewing it more mouthwatering!