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The original Broadway production of Waitress (Photo: Joan Marcus)

The original Broadway production of Waitress (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Everything you need to know about Waitress

Carly-Ann Clements

By Carly-Ann Clements First Published 25 September 2018, Last Updated 26 September 2018

An award-winning story, plus a Grammy-winning songwriter, with a dash of fantasy. Sounds like a recipe for success to us! Broadway’s sweetest musical is headed to the West End in 2019. You’ve heard a lot of buzz about it, but how much do you really know about the hit musical that’s been warming the hearts of audiences of all ages? To get you ready to see the show, we’ve put together a list of must-know facts. From its creation to handy travel tips, here’s everything you need to know about Waitress.

The backstory

Back in 2007, Adrienne Shelly’s final independent film was released to much critical acclaim. With its whimsical cooking theme juxtaposed with its hard-hitting look at domestic abuse, it was calling for a stage adaptation; so the same year, the stage rights were acquired.

However, it took six years to form a creative team to bring the show to life. But it was worth the wait as chart-hitting songstress Sara Bareilles was brought on to write the songs and lyrics, while film director, producer and writer Jessie Nelson adapted the book.

In 2015, the show premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was directed by Diane Paulus, with choreography by Chase Brock. It starred Tony Award-winning actor Jessie Mueller as the lead, Jenna, which she went on to originate the role on Broadway which earned her a Tony Award nomination.

The Broadway transfer opened in March 2016 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. It received four Tony nominations and with Lorin Latarro replacing Chase as choreographer, it’s one of the few all-female creative teams to have produced a Broadway show.

In August 2018, it was announced that Waitress will be coming to the Adelphi Theatre in February 2019.

The original Broadway production of Waitress (Photo: Joan Marcus)

What’s the show about?

Jenna lives in two worlds. One is a magical place where she creates innovative and delicious pies inspired by the goings-on in the second world – a harsh reality where she works a dead-end job in a diner, where all her tips are handed directly to her possessive and abusive husband, Earl. Everybody loves Jenna’s pies which feeds her ambition to open her own pie shop – a dream that Earl squashes both emotionally and financially.

When Jenna finds herself pregnant, she meets a compassionate doctor and becomes determined to leave Earl. She plans to enter a pie contest in a nearby county which might be the answer to all her prayers. But will she be able to escape her reality for good?

The original Broadway production of Waitress (Photo: Joan Marcus)

How long is Waitress?

As the show hasn’t opened yet, we don’t have an official runtime. However, its Broadway production is 2 hours and 30 mins including one interval. Performances will normally be at 7.30pm Monday to Saturday, with matinee performances at 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturdays.

Where is it playing?

It will be playing at the Adelphi Theatre on The Strand. The nearest stations are Charing Cross (350m), Covent Garden (500m) and Embankment (500m).

Will it be touring?

Hold your horses! It hasn’t even opened in the West End yet.

Will I like it?

Pack your hanky and get ready to be hit hard in the feels because Waitress pulls at those heartstrings. It’s a beautiful and touching show that deals with real issues and relationships all set to an uplifting score. And it’s so much more than that, too. It’s funny. It’s clever. It’s joyful. And it’s really, really good. Just make sure you’ve plotted out the best dessert places in London for after the show. It’s going to leave you hungry!

Where can I buy tickets to Waitress?

Right here with us! Just visit the Official London Theatre Waitress page to find the best available tickets at great prices.


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