Adelphi Theatre, London
Possibly the most iconic and well-known line from Waitress is the list of ingredients “sugar, butter flour”, and I’m sure anyone knows that you cannot bake a successful cake without all three of these ingredients. Waitress is much the same as a good cake; it needs all its parts to make it a successful whole. There are so many aspects to the show that make it what it is, from each of the main women’s sub-storylines, some back stories and lovable secondary characters, Waitress is a wonderful show with lots of elements to enjoy.
When I first heard the soundtrack to Waitress I definitely wasn’t jumping up and down when it came to London. I’m not sure what it was, but it really didn’t appeal to me. However, slowly but surely the songs became stuck in my head, and when it came around to my birthday, I knew which show I wanted to see.
Overall, I’d say I was pleasantly surprised. Much like London’s recent Broadway transfer show Come From Away, Waitress had me belly laughing and crying laughing one minute, and then emotionally trying not to hold back tears the next.
Katharine McPhee is nothing short of phenomenal. She is likeable, vulnerable yet powerful, and I definitely saw myself in her – as I hope every woman in the audience did. Through a situation that she neither planned nor wanted, she grew in herself and became the strong woman I hope to be one day. McPhee’s voice is soft and subtle when needed, but strong also. ‘She Used To Be Mine’ is faultless and I will never forget the ongoing applause that followed.
Laura Baldwin as Dawn and Marisha Wallace as Becky are fantastic. As Jenna’s right-hand women, they are not secondary characters or sidekicks, they are leading ladies in their own right and the show would not function without either of them.
I found myself relating to the show on so many levels with this group of girlfriends. Every woman will remember their teenage years when their friend gets a first date as Dawn does, sharing the latest gossip as the three do together, and learning out who is dating who… It made me value my female friendships that have shaped me into the woman I am today and I found the whole show incredibly touching.
David Hunter as Dr Pomatter was the clumsy, likeable character
I was hoping for and Peter Hannahas Earl frightened me and hit home some
very hard realities of abusive relationships, which can only mean that he did a
fantastic job in this role. Mark Willshire on for this evening’s
performance as Caland Shaun Prendergast as Joe assisted in
carrying the show, and Jack McBrayer as Ogie was great.
Despite his total and utter lack of signing ability, Jack McBrayer (known mainly for his role in American TV show 30 Rock)gave excellent performances of Never Ever Getting Rid Of Me and I Love You Like A Table. His relationship with Laura Baldwin and Marisha Wallace especially were completely believable, and as such a funny actor, he had both the cast and audience in stitches, so much so that I was surprised the cast managed to keep it together – I truly thought Laura Baldwin was going to crack but somehow she held her own throughout the outroar of laughs shared by audience and cast members alike.
Jack McBrayer and Marisha Wallace in Waitress
Kelly Agbowu proves that there are no small parts,
only small actors, as every time she was on stage as the Nurse Norma, she made
an incredible impact, again having the audience roaring with laughter.
Amongst all these laughs, however, was a truly beautiful
story, put together by a wonderful soundtrack, with music and lyrics by Sara
Bareilles, and some stunning chorography, by Lorin Latarro, mixed in
with flour sprinkled on the stage and elegant movement.
Marisha Wallace, Katharine McPhee and Laura Baldwin in Waitress
Credit: Johan Persson
I left the theatre feeling truly touched by the story I had
just experienced and feeling confident in my abilities as a woman to achieve
great things with the right support and strength.
Waitress is a delicate show with powerful moments, laughs and tears that I have no doubt everyone will love.
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