For the 2021-22 season finale of Broadway in Jacksonville, the musical Waitress came for one night – and one night only!
I’ll be honest – I didn’t originally buy tickets for this show. They were pretty pricey and I’d already conceded to the fact that Anastasia would be my last show of the season… but then, the Monday before the show, I got an email. Tickets for the Friday showing of Waitress were on sale for $25. Well, don’t have to tell me twice! And wow, I would have regretted not going!
I’ve listened to the Waitress soundtrack for the past few years – there’s a few songs that I adore – and I love the songwriter, Sara Bareilles , who wrote the lyrics and music for the show.
The show is based on the book by Jessie Nelson and 2007 film of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly. It goes through the story of Jenna Hunterson, a baker and waitress in an abusive relationship with her husband.
*story spoilers in next paragraph, I’ll let you know when spoilers are over*
Jenna and her friends, Becky and Dawn, work as waitresses at a diner in a small town with zero prospects of “going anywhere” – re: being “successful.” Jenna is in a loveless, abusive marriage; Becky is married to a man whom she loves but is a caregiver to; Dawn is quite quirky and single. By the end of the show, Becky is in an affair with their boss, Cal; Dawn gets married to an equally quirky and awkward man, and is pregnant by the end of the show; and Jenna gets pregnant early in the show, has an affair with her doctor, and once her baby is born, finds the courage to leave her abusive husband, Earl, to take care of her baby. She is given the diner by the former owner, a rich and rude old man who Jenna befriends, who dies. All is well and everyone is happy.
In this show, the band is right on stage in the back corner and the stage goes through 3 or 4 scene changes, which are really cool. One of the most popular songs in the show “She Used to Be Mine” is so perfect and incredible, it moved many to tears.
There is one moment in the show that I particularly adored that may have upset some. While this show is lacking in queer representation, there’s a moment when a rainbow American flag is brought out and the entire production goes rainbow. It lasts less than a minute, but much of the crowd (myself included) erupted into applause and cheering. Such a small and seemingly insignificant moment in the musical, but it really meant a lot to the LGBTQIA+ community in attendance.
If you’re planning on going with children, I’m not sure how much they’ll actually understand of the story. It’s very adult and covers quite a few inappropriate themes – abuse, affairs, sex, loveless relationships.
The performers were incredible and played their parts perfectly. It was emotional, hilarious, and kept the audience entertained at all times. While this musical was top 10 before, I think that it has upgraded to top 5. It was that good.
If you get the chance to see Waitress, please go see it! It’s incredible.
Thank you for reading! Have you ever seen Waitress or have I convinced you to see it? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!