BWW Review: WAITRESS at Morrison Center

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BWW Review: WAITRESS at Morrison Center

Opening Velma V Morrison Center's 2019-2020 season is Waitress.

Based on a 2007 film by the late Adriene Shelly. Waitress began its pre-Broadway run in 2015 at the ART ( American Repertory Theatre). It opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on August 15, 2016. The score includes numbers such as Opening Up, When He Sees Me and She Used to Be Mine; it appeals to those who like classic show tunes, and those who prefer pop. With music from seven-time Grammy® nominee, Sara Bareilles, a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson, and choreography originally by Lorin Latarrom, but recreated for this tour by Abbey O'Brien.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie baker working at a local diner. When Jenna hears of a pie contest in a nearby town, she chooses to compete to get away from her loveless marriage and to start a new life for herself and for her daughter. This heartwarming show brings the diner to The Morrison Center for a limited engagement November 7th through the 9th.

The show, in one word, is Breathtaking. The characters are relatable. No matter where you are in life, there's a character in this show for you. The cast did an amazing job showcasing the realness. The music was honest and sincere; definitely one of Sara Barellies' finest works. There is so much you can say in terms of music, and she said it all. For those times in life when you're anxious and unsure, When He Sees Me offers a message of comfort and reassurance. If you're a dreamer, look no further than A Soft Place To Land. As a long time fan of the show, I knew I would be blown away by it all. It was magical seeing it performed live.

The sets were wonderful. The Morrison Center was truly transformed into a little pie shop in the South. The choreography while fun and clever had a familiarness to it.

Moving onto the cast, Bailey McCall as Jenna, there aren't enough positive things I could say about her in this role. She showcased a light onto the role that you could see from miles away. Her interpretation of She Used to Be Mine left me breathless, she doesn't simply perform it. She puts down layer after layer and doesn't let you go until the song is through. Jenna takes an interesting journey throughout the show. McCall not only takes the audience along with her but gives us a look at what's inside Jenna's head. Kennedy Salters as Becky was fiery and feisty. This woman loves, she loves with all her heart. She serves as a voice of reason for our main heroine. She is the friend everyone needs in their life.

The Act Two opener song had me on the edge of my seat as we got to hear Becky's thoughts on life, and what was happening. Gabriella Marzetta took on the role of Dawn. Her act one number, When He Sees Me is the thoughts that go through everyone's head before a first date. She turned the awkward and adorable character into something relatable and honest. Mix her together with Brian Lundy as Ogie and you have a perfect pair. Lundy as Ogie was one of the best parts of the show. He brought humor and adorableness to the role. His Ogie was unpredictable and extremely bright. Clayton Howe's Earl was the perfect musical theatre antagonist. Manipulative and abusive, played terrifically by Howe. His number You Will Still Be Mine showcased his voice and truly made us see what was going on in his head. David Socolar as Pomatter was perfect. Socolar gave us so much from the awkward first encounter he shares with McCall's Jenna, to the real and sweet You Matter to Me. The character was the perfect yet unlikely romantic interest for Jenna. Jake Mills as Cal, his comedic timing was perfect, bold and something truly spectacular. Paired with Salter's Becky you could feel the sexual tension between the characters. Michael R. Douglass as Joe, though a cranky character, there was so much heart and caring. The number Take It From an Old Man was one of the many highlights of the show.

The ensemble wraps up with Julia Bain, Ryan Ballard, Meagan Chieppor, Jerica Exum, Stephanie Feeback, M. Justise Hayward, Kelly Krauter, Olivia London, Trey McCoy, Shawn W. Smith, and Ryan Washington. Each member brought something new to their character. Each one had their own personality, there was a story in all the individuals. One thing I loved and definitely took note of was that not only were they the people of the town, but a representation of Jenna's inner thoughts. From handing her ingredients, to playing small characters in her journey in regaining her fire.

One of the most notable parts of the show was the heart. From the way, the actors and actresses interacted while on stage. To the storylines and songs. Each part of this truly made it amazing "What Baking Can Do." If you can see this show while on its current tour, definitely take advantage of the opportunity. Everything about the tour was seemingly perfect. Sitting in the audience I could tell the show is in good hands.



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From This Author Jessa moore