BWW Review: Fresh Passion and Fresh Pies Served Up in WAITRESS at Murat Theatre
We had the privilege of interviewing Steven Good, who plays Dr. Pomatter in the upcoming tour of Waitress coming through Indianapolis. We had to ask him what this musical is able to serve up, other than pies, and he had some great insight to share with us about this fun and touching musical.
To know where you're going, you have to know where you've been, and Steven has been all over. He began as a musician, studied opera in undergrad, went to graduate school for acting, then headed West to try his hand at TV and film in L.A. However, he proclaims "New York was always in the cards for me." He had already gotten a taste for Broadway in a production of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE, but that didn't satisfy his hunger for musical theater. That is when Waitress came into his life.
WAITRESS the musical was born from a film, so naturally we wondered how much that influenced Steven's portrayal of his character. When asked if he'd seen the film, he said "four or five times" because "I feel like I should see the film that it's based on." That could make audiences wonder why bother with the musical when you can watch the film. Steven has an answer for that as well: "It's really elevated with the music, the added dimension of music." We suppose you could say the musical adds its own flair and flavor. And Steven is quite the champion of the music in this production, pointing to its creative team as the source of its especial resonance. Steven credits them with making the musical "be like a pop concert," something fun for all.
We next delved into Steven Good's favorite moments within the musical. He really struggled to pick just one because, as he describes it, "It's a very, very rich piece of material." He does find himself connecting to the peak moments in the life of the main character in the show, Jenna, but he could not be effusive enough about the musical as a whole. Some of his most impassioned words were, "It's so sweet and tender and honest and genuine." He went on to add, "It's so well-balanced between this tragedy, this deep heart, and humor." Overall, it serves up something for everyone.
Steven Good clearly enjoys his role, and says, "It's kind of fun to play the fish out of water." Dr. Pomatter is the only one not from the small Southern town in which the musical takes place. He has to learn what makes this place unique and get used to the "welcoming Southern vibe." He also likes that the doctor is "in some ways [a] dorky character," which makes him a great presence on the stage.
Another point of interest for us when interviewing Steven was how he handled portraying a doctor who has an affair and the difficulty of relating to him as a character. Steven responded, "I think a lot of the work is done within the script. He's been given a lot of comedy. If you can laugh with a character, you find you can like the character." This lens for viewing Dr. Pomatter is also what he wants audience members to experience. Instead of him being a villain, he wants audiences to be able to "disassociate from the negative parts" and instead see a "lovable dork." For him, his character should resonate with viewers because he embodies the old adage that we all make mistakes. Just like many of us, "He's kind, he's well-intentioned, and he kind of falls into this flawed situation."
In the end, Steven has something clear to say to us all: "Come hang out with us at the diner!" He wants to share everything Waitress has to offer, so don't miss your chance to enjoy some sweet pies and even sweeter storytelling light up the stage soon from April 23rd - April 28th.