‘‘Waitress’ tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town, who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a new life, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes to happiness. But Jenna must find the courage and strength within herself to rebuild her life’.
Tony Award-nominated smash hit musical ‘Waitress’ will premiere in the UK’s West End in the spring of 2019. Now in its third year on Broadway, the production is currently touring the US, and has recently announced it will premiere in Australia at the Sydney Lyric Theatre in 2020.
‘Waitress’ is the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, and will serve up the first all-female creative team on a West End musical.
Iinspired by the 2007 motion picture of the same name (written and directed by Adrienne Shelly), the musical has a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson, and features direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, choreography by Lorin Latarro, and music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award-nominee Sara Bareilles, who received for ‘Waitress’ a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics, an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Score, and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. In addition, the creative posts of costume design and musical direction are held by women.
Regarding this groundbreaking all female team, Sara Bareilles stated, “It’s really fun to be an example of the way it can look. We’re a bunch of women who are deeply committed to finding a way to build a unified vision.”
‘Waitress’ is produced by Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick, with the UK cast to be announced in due course.
On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award Nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk Nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.
The musical tells the story of waitress Jenna Hunterson, who is trapped in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl. When Jenna unexpectedly becomes pregnant she begins an affair with Dr. Jim Pomatter. She sees a pie contest, and its grand prize, as her way out.
Katharine McPhee will make her West End debut starring as Jenna in the UK premiere of Waitress, having played the role on Broadway earlier this year. Since finding international fame on American Idol – Season 5, Katharine has become a successful recording artist, landing numerous songs and albums on Billboard’s pop, jazz, holiday and adult-contemporary charts in her native US. As an acclaimed actress, she was the breakout star of the 2013 NBC-TV musical series ‘Smash’, Executive Produced by Steven Spielberg with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray). She recently starred in the hit CBS dramatic series ‘Scorpion’.
Emmy nominee Jack McBrayer – best known as Kenneth Parcell in the multi-award winning and critically acclaimed NBC series ’30 Rock’ – will make his West End debut as Ogie.
His other credits include ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’, ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby’, ‘The Campaign’ (opposite Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis), ‘The To Do List’ for CBS Films (opposite Bill Hader); and ‘They Came Together’ opposite Paul Rudd and directed by David Wain for Lionsgate.
McBrayer can also be seen appearing on ABC’s ‘The Middle’, Comedy Central’s ‘Drunk History’ and USA’s ‘Playing House’. He can be heard voicing the lead role of Fix-It Felix in ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ for Disney. His other animated film voice credits include ‘Despicable Me’ for Universal and ‘The Simpsons’ on Fox.
Further casting is to include Marisha Wallace (Becky), Laura Baldwin (Dawn), Peter Hannah (Earl) and David Hunter (Dr Pomatter), Kelly Agbowu, Piers Bate, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Michael Hamway, Peter Hannah, Stephen Leask, Chris McGuigan, Olivia Moore, Nathaniel Morrison, Sarah O’Connor, Leanne Pinder, Shaun Prendergast and Charlotte Riby.
Time Out New York said of the Broadway production, “‘Waitress’ has an excellent ratio of sweet to tart; supporting characters who provide crustiness… and flakiness; and cooked-to-perfection staging by Diane Paulus. The whole dish is… love at first bite.”
This “sweet, sassy, passionate and delightful” (New York Magazine) musical, this “treat for all the senses (New York Post), is “a fresh, emotionally satisfying tale of self-liberation” (Time Out New York).
“An empowering musical of the highest order!” (Chicago Tribune), “a monumental contribution to Broadway!” (Marie Claire), “‘Waitress’ is a little slice of heaven!” (Entertainment Weekly).
“‘Waitress’ is a fairy tale that’s not simply about getting Prince Charming, but also getting its heroine to clean up her own messes, take action and discover her worth” (Variety).
Concerning the show’s UK transfer, composer and lyricist Sara Bareilles said: “I cannot contain my excitement that we will be bringing Waitress to the West End!! This is a dream come true! And I must say, to be hosted in a theatre co-owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the Nederlander Group makes this very sweet moment even sweeter. 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.”
‘Don’t miss this uplifting musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie’.
‘Waitress’ will play at the Adelphi Theatre from February 2019. Tickets will go on sale this fall.