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GOOD MORNING BROADWAY FANS!! We are celebrating the best of the Great Bright Way returning to the Big Apple. Broadway’s biggest night is just 9 DAYS from now….. The 74th Annual Tony Awards. We at New York Broadway Tours are keeping you entertained each morning playing you our favorite performances on our TOP 50 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
At # 9 on our countdown, things are about to get very delicious. We make our way over to a local diner somewhere in the south where a pregnant pie maker is trying to escape her abusive husband and start her life over. This is Waitress. Based on the 2007 film of the same name by Adrienne Shelly, the show was written by Grammy nominated superstar Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson (Shelly’s wife).
From the 2016 telecast, Tony winner Jessie Mueller, Tony nominee Keala Settle as “Becky”, Kimiko Glenn as “Dawn” and the original Broadway cast plus a special appearance by Sara Bareilles sing a medley of 2 of the beloved songs from the show….. OPENING UP and the 11:00 heartbreaking emotional anthem SHE USED TO BE MINE.
WAITRESS was first conceived around early 2012 by husband and wife Broadway producing duo Barry and Fran Weissler who secured the rights early to the 2014 film of the same name. It went through numerous years of readings and workshops before officially having its world premiere at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA in the Summer of 2015.
With the triumphant success of its Cambridge run, the show officially transferred to Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre where it ran for 33 previews and 1,544 regular performances. By the time it closed, the show held the record of being the Brooks Atkinson Theatre’s longest running show. Under the direction of Diane Paulus, the cast is led by….
Jessie Mueller (later Stephanie Torns, Sara Bareilles, Betsy Wolfe, Nicolette Robinson, Shoshana Bean, Allison Luff, Jordin Sparks, and Katherine McPhee) as “Jenna”,
Drew Gehling (later Chris Diamantopoulos, Jason Mraz, Erich Bergen, Joey McIntyre, Jeremy Jordan, and Mark Evans) as “Dr. Pomatter”,
Keala Settle (later Charity Angél Dawson, Maia Nkenge Wilson, and Natasha Yvette Williams) as “Becky”,
Kimiko Glenn (later Jenna Ushkowitz , Caitlin Houlahan, Katie Lowes, Lenne Klingaman, and Colleen Ballinger) as “Dawn”,
the late Tony nominee Nick Cordero (later William Popp, Will Swenson, Joe Tippett, Matt DeAngelis, and Ben Thompson) as “Earl”,
Christopher Fitzgerald (later Adam Shapiro, Alex Wyse, Eddie Jemison, Noah Galvin, and Todrick Hall) as “Ogie”,
and so much more.
WAITRESS was nominated for Tony Awards in 2016 including BEST MUSICAL but lost all the categories. The cast album was also nominated for a Grammy for BEST MUSICAL THEATRE ALBUM.
With the success of the Broadway company, Waitress went on to launch numerous tasty companies all around the world. Several productions including 2 North American National Tours (set to return with a Non-Equity company this Fall) and more.
Some of its productions including the Non-Equity North American Tour and London’s West End were abruptly shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, it’s on a UK National Tour.
In addition most recently, WAITRESS has returned to Broadway as part of the community’s triumphant comeback after an 18 1/2 month long intermission. It’s currently back on the Great Bright Way for a strictly limited engagement at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre which will continue to run till January 9th, 2022. With the same creative team led by Diane Paulus, the cast is led by….
Sara Bareilles reprising her portrayal of “Jenna”,
Drew Gehling reprising his original performance of “Dr. Pomatter”,
Charity Angél Dawson reprising her portrayal as “Becky”,
Bareilles’ real life BF Joe Tippett reprising his portrayal as “Earl”,
Christopher Fitzgerald reprising his Tony nominated performance as “Ogie”,
and more.
WAITRESS is truly one of the most powerful and delicious pieces of Musical Theatre ever written.
How tasty was that?!!!
Mike Haber
Author: Mike Haber

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