BWW Review: WAITRESS at Popejoy Hall
Waitress baked up a delightful evening at the theatre during tonight's performance at Popejoy Hall. The Tony Award winning musical, with music and lyrics by Sara Bareillas and a book by Jessie Nelson, is based on the 2007 Adrienne Shelly movie of the same name starring Kerri Russell and Nathan Fillion. The National Tour of Waitress began its stay in Albuquerque on December 12, 2019 and runs until December 15th, 2019.
Waitress follows Jenna Hunterson, a waitress and pie-maker who dreams of finding a way out of her marriage and finally leaving her small town. Throughout the musical, Jenna creates pies that reflect what's currently going on in her life and her friends' lives, such as the "Betrayed By My Eggs Pie" when she finds out she's pregnant, and the "Fallin' in Love Chocolate Mousse Pie" Jenna makes for her friend and coworker to take on a first date. Jenna has a chance to achieve her dreams when she gets word of a baking contest in a nearby county and has a romantic encounter with someone new. All Jenna has to do is find the courage to take the chance on her fresh start.
The National Tour of Waitress offers a hilarious and heartwarming production that kept the audience laughing, cheering, and rooting for Jenna to take a chance on herself throughout the production. This is through no small feat of the cast itself, who all brought the musical to life with their phenomenal performances. As Jenna, Bailey McCall lights up the stage, allowing the audience to see the struggles Jenna goes through with her abusive marriage and the desire she has to change her path in life. Her performances of "What Baking Can Do" and "When She Was Mine" are particularly incredible, expressing the depth of emotions that the character is feeling flawlessly. As Dr. Pomatter, David Socolar, brings an air of awkwardness and humor that is endearing and likeable, particularly as the flirtation between Pomatter and Jenna grows ("It Only Takes a Taste", "Bad Idea"). Jenna's coworkers and friends, Becky (Kennedy Salters) and Dawn (Gabriella Marzetta) offer comic relief in a way that seems almost effortless, their comedic timing is just that perfect. As Earl, Clayton Howe does an admiral job with an incredibly unlikeable character, portraying the character's controlling nature, obliviousness, and obnoxious personality well. The entire company of Waitress is perfectly cast, making the show that much more enjoyable.
Waitress is at Popejoy Hall from December 12th - December 15th, with performances at 7:30 pm on Thursday and Friday, at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Saturday, and at 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets cost $48 - $93 and can be purchased online at popejoypresents.com or by calling (505) 925-5858. Tickets are also available at the UNM Box Office. Be sure and purchase tickets to this musical that will leave you smiling - and humming the music - on your way out of the theatre.
Image credit: Jeremy Daniel