Successfully Unsubscribed

Please allow up to 10 days for your unsubscription request to be processed.

Waitress The Musical (2023) - Movie Review

Movies & TV

By Lily H.

- Dec 11, 2023

A Broadway musical adaptation based on the cherished 2007 movie, mesmerises from the first to the final note, unraveling the compelling story of strength, change and resilience. This tremendously loved musical saw Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion in the lead roles in the original film.

The protagonist Jenna, is portrayed by the versatile Sara Bareilles, who also holds the credits for the musical's touching composition and lyrics. Jenna serves up happiness in a small Southern eatery with her exquisite pies. Through her crafting of flavorsome pies lays her only escape from a life where she often feels entangled. She utilizes her knack for formulating new mixes, concocting a myriad of emotional expression through her delightful pies.

An unexpected pregnancy through her oppressive husband, Earl (Joe Tippett), leads to a bitter-sweet turn, metaphorically expressed through her next pastry creation pudently entitled "Betrayed by My Eggs Pie".

The production play is gracefully crafted with a responsive audience, striking theatrical nodes, and streamlined transitions between sets. With a raft of straightforward settings including Jenna's humble home, a diner, and doctor's office, the stage captures the essence of setting effortlessly.

Jenna's journey takes a dramatic turn in an emotional musical number where her surroundings slide away, leaving her isolated on an almost-empty stage, a thoughtful depiction of her increasing sense of dislocation and prospects. Upon her visit to the doctor's office, she is greeted with the song "Club Knock-up" by an endearing trio of expectant ladies.

Waitress The Musical (2023) - Movie Review

The diner is managed by a curmudgeonly older chap Joe (Dakin Matthews) and operated by the equally short-tempered cook, Cal (Eric Anderson). Jenna's earnings are wholly pocketed by her husband Earl, whose response to her pregnancy, is a sadistic insistence that she will always place him above her unborn child.

Her solace is found in pie crafting, strengthened by the support she receives from the two other waitresses, the reserved Dawn (Caitlin Houlahan), and the frank spoken Becky (Charity Angél Dawson).

The amusingly clumsy Dr. James "Jim" Pomatter (Drew Gehling) is Jenna's doctor, who is incidentally new in town. His clumsiness and Jenna's charm creates an unexpected bond leading to an unexpected connection.

The musical also announces the romantic episodes of the other waitresses as a connected narrative. Dawn's path crosses with Ogie played by scene grabber Christopher Fitzgerald, a fellow Revolutionary War re-enactor with a knack for spontaneous poetry. His passionate song "Never Ever Getting Rid of Me” exuberates ardor without feeling intimidating or possessive, owing to his undeniable charm.

The moving lyrics by Sara Bareilles, her melodious voice, shows us that the way Jim sees her, the possibility of winning a local pie baking contest, and her aspiration to be the mother to her child that her mother was to her, all add to Jenna's growing sense of emotional empowerment and change. The film fondly and importantly ends with a dedication to Adrienne Shelly, the original Dawn, and Nick Cordero, original Broadway's Earl, both of whom were victims in their journey of life, inspiring audiences to chase their dreams without waiting.


7 / 10

Witness the empowering story spiral out of a Southern café in a heartwarming musical showcasing the strength and resilience of a woman, her delicious pies, and the lives around it.