Sugar, butter, flour, drama, love, pregnancy, cheating, leaving and a pie shop make the recipe for a sweet and poignant musical. Those are the ingredients for “Waitress,” along with music and lyrics by singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles.
The Broadway show is launching a national tour this fall, and stops include the Durham Performing Arts Center in May. In New York, “Waitress” is on stage at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre and stars Betsy Wolfe as Jenna.
Based on the 2007 film of the same name starring Keri Russell, the character of Jenna is married to a jerk and newly pregnant. Her escape is in her job as a waitress at a pie shop, and also an affair with her obstetrician.
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At the pie shop, her best friends are co-workers Becky (Charity Angel Dawson) and Dawn (Caitlin Houlahan), each with her own drama and spicy love life. In the Broadway production, Dawn’s boyfriend Ogie (Christopher Fitzgerald) gets the most laughs and nearly steals the show as a quirky and lovable goof who is perfect for her.
For the New York stage, a real pie is baked to get the aroma-setting mood of a pie shop. The pre-show curtain on stage is an image of the top of a berry pie with criss-cross crust, and on the sides of the stage two cases of rotating “pies.” The rotating pie display could be difficult to transfer for the road, but the rest of the set’s moving pieces should work for the tour. We’ll find out when it comes to Durham the first week in May. It’s more play than musical, and will be a nice DPAC Broadway season-ender with a mixture of laughs and tears.
When DPAC announced its 2017-18 season in February, Stephanie Torns from the Broadway cast came and sang “She Used to Be Mine” from the musical. Torns told The Herald-Sun then that “Waitress” is small and quaint, which keeps it “baked from the heart.” For the tour, the role of Jenna will be played by actress Desi Oakley. From the Broadway production, Dawson will reprise her role as the waitress Becky on the tour, too.
HOW TO BUY DPAC BROADWAY TICKETS:
Season seat membership sales for 2017-18 have ended, but you can still get tickets for individual shows this season at dpacnc.com or the DPAC box office at 123 Vivian St. in downtown Durham. In early 2018, the 2018-19 season will be announced. The Broadway smash “Hamilton” has already been announced as coming to DPAC in 2018 as part of that season.
Here’s the schedule of Broadway tours coming to DPAC:
▪ “Circus 1903” Sept. 26-Oct. 1
▪ “The Little Mermaid” Oct. 17-22
▪ “Love Never Dies” Oct. 31-Nov. 5
▪ “School of Rock” Nov. 28-Dec. 3
▪ “On Your Feet!” Jan. 2-7
▪ “Les Miserables” Jan. 30-Feb. 4
▪ “RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles” Feb. 23-24
▪ “The Phantom of the Opera” Feb. 28-March 11
▪ “The Color Purple” April 3-8
▪ “The Sound of Music” April 20-22
▪ “Waitress” May 1-6
GO & DO:
WHEN: May 1-6
123 Vivian St., Durham