Review “Waitress” (Broadway in Chicago): Flavorful Morsel of True Americana

Waitress the Musical

Broadway In Chicago presents WAITRESS.

Big slices of hometown charm are being served at Joe’s Pie Diner. The musical is inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s film, Waitress. The creative team of Sara Bareilles (music and lyrics) and Jessie Nelson (book) tell the story of a master baker stuck in both a bad marriage and a humdrum diner. The score and script have a soulful twang,  down-home humor and #metoo empowerment. Bareilles and Nelson’s girl power ode is aided by Director Diane Paulus and Choreographer Lorin Latarro. The dynamic all-female crew provide the perfect foundation for the waitress trio to redefine herstories in small town, USA.     

Waitress the Musical

The impressive Desi Oakley (Jenna) is believable as a woman trying to breakout of the ordinary with her knack for putting unusual ingredients together for extraordinary pies. She faces abrupt life twists by conjuring up unexpected pie combinations. Oakley’s voice continually transforms from matter-of-fact resignation to powerhouse songstress. Her support group, Becky (played by the solid Charity Angel Dawson) and Dawn ( played by the delightfully animated Lenne Klingaman), challenge her to pursue her baking dreams.

Waitress the Musical

Although the show is really ladies’ night, the gents add depth and romance to the storytelling. Jenna is conflicted over sharing a past with Earl (played by Nick Baily) and her lustful zest for Dr. Pomatter (played by Bryan Fenkart) The quirky Jeremy Morse (Ogie) wins over the audience and Dawn with his hilarious confidence and persistence. And Cal ( played by Ryan G. Dunkin), looming in the background, makes ongoing razor-sharp wisecracks from his grill. Yet, it will be the endearing Larry Marshall (Joe) that will be the slice of home goodness to remember.

WAITRESS isn’t a big blockbuster musical. It’s much more simple and complicated than that. It isn’t a fancy creme brulee. It’s real life pie! The storytelling and the acting combine for a flavorful morsel of true Americana.

Running Time: Two hours and thirty minutes includes an intermission

At Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s film, WAITRESS

Original music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles

Book by Jessie Nelson 

Direction by Diane Paulus

Tuesdays at 7:30PM

Wednesdays at 2:00PM & 7:30PM (No performances on July 4)

Thursdays at 7:30PM (Added 2:00PM matinee on July 5)

Fridays at 7:30PM

Saturdays at 2:00PM and 8:00PM

Sundays at 2:00PM (Added 7:30PM evening performance on July 8)

Thru July 22nd

Tickets at Broadway in Chicago


For more information and reviews on Chicago theatre, visit Theater in Chicago.

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