WAITRESS Charmes at Bass Concert Hall

WAITRESS is a 2015 musical with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and a book by Jessie Nelson, based on the 2007 film of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly. It tells the story of Jenna Hunterson (Christine Dwyer), a waitress in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl (Matt DeAngelis). When Jenna unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she begins an affair with her gynecologist, Dr. Jim Pomatter (Steven Good). Searching for a way out, she sees a pie contest and its twenty thousand dollar grand prize as her only chance.

WAITRESS is a charming romantic musical directed by Diane Paulus and choreographed by Lorin Latarro. The staging and choreography fit together perfectly and contain a really smart staging for the seated ensemble when they function as customers in the pie shop. Scott Pask’s set design is a technical marvel, with tables and counters floating on and off the stage and drops flying in and out, flanked by panels at the edge of the proscenium that switch from industrial metals to rotating pie displays. Ken Billington’s lighting does a wonderful job of bringing out the musical numbers and illuminating the backdrop of the skyline so that it sometimes appears to be a beautiful sunset. Suttirat Anne Larlarb’s costumes create this chic diner look perfectly.

Christine Dwyer is formidable as Jenna, possessing an original sense of timing and a glorious singing voice. Jessie Shelton is hilarious while Dawn and Maiesha McQueen are sassy with an attitude to spare as Becky, Jenna’s coworkers. Their trio on “The Negative” is very funny and contains beautiful harmonies for three voices. Ryan G. Dunkin is awesome as Boss Cal and Matt DeAngelis is suitably mischievous as a self-centered and abusive Earl. Steven Good has a nice romantic interest in Jenna as Dr. Pomatter; However, it’s Jeremy Morse, as Ogie, who stands out from society with his hysterically funny performance that steals just about every scene he’s found himself in with a winning physical comedy. Rheaume Crenshaw also has several great pieces of comedy like Nurse Norma.

WAITRESS is, in short, a charming new musical with great characters and catchy original music. While it reminds me of the old sitcom Alice, it still stands on its own as an original and fresh new musical.

WAITRESS, book by Jessie Nelson, music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, based on the notion of image written by Adrienne Shelly.
Duration: Approximately hours ago, including intermission.

WAITRESS, produced by Broadway in Austin at Bass Concert Hall (2350 Robert Dedman Drive on the University of Texas campus).

January 22 – 27, 2019. Tuesday to Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Sunday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

TICKETS: From $ 30. Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, texasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall box office, all Texas Box Office outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060. For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com

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