Waitress what a recipe
Back on course after disappointing postponements Waitress the Musical comes to Edinburgh this week at the Edinburgh Playhouse. A good time romantic comedy and already a smash hit from previous reviews the show stars Aimee Fisher as Jenna while the other waitresses are Wendy Mae Brown as Becky and Evelyn Hoskins as Dawn. The part of Dr Pomatter for this tour is played by understudy Liam McHugh.
Based on the 2007 movie written by Adrienne Shelly the strength of the stage version owes so much to the songs written by Grammy winner Sara Bareilles and thus completing a rare all-woman production team. It first came to the stage in August 2015 in Massachusetts before opening on Broadway a year later. West End debut at the Adelphi was 2019 and a post-lockdown revival on Broadway in September 2021 saw Sara herself play Jenna for a limited engagement and the first to open after to all the enforced closures. What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress became her fifth Top Ten album in the US. She first came to prominence with her debut album Little Voice which had the single Love Song and a No 1 hit in 22 countries. Currently she is a producer with Apple to make a 10-episode series with her music and called Little Voice as well.
The story here though surrounds waitress & master pie maker Jenna Hunterson from Joes Pie Diner in an abusive relationship with her husband Earl (played by Donal Brennan). She begins an affair with her doctor (Dr Pomatter played by Liam McHugh) before entering a pie making contest to see her out of her troubles and earn some money. Meantime she has all the support and kindness from her fellow waitresses Becky and Dawn to conclude that laughter and friendship can overcome all the hardships of a loveless marriage.
There are a few amusing little side stories too with Jenna’s boss at the diner, regular customer Joe (Michael Starke) and waitress Dawn’s romantic encounters (Evelyn Hoskins). The songs are immense here and each waitress has her moment for solo performance. The joyous ending of Everything Changes and the full company reprising Opening Up is an ovation moment and after the turns and misfortunes a relief and welcomed surprise when we see Lulu’s Diner – I will say no more except the pies throughout made me hungry. This short run ends on Saturday. The production moves south to Oxford next week then off to Liverpool, Cardiff and Dublin ending up in Theatre Royal Norwich in August.
Waitress at Edinburgh Playhouse until April 23 Tickets HERE