By Bob Evans
Get ready for fulfilling overindulgence of sugar, butter, flour and all the inner workings of fresh made pies, created and baked daily, for the Joe’s Pie Diner crowd, as Broadway Across America rollers into town for a one week stop at Kansas City’s Music Hall Theatre as part of Theater League’s Broadway Series, opening Nov. 14.
“Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Dangereuse Liasons, Waiting For Godot) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin, Finding Neverland),” a spokesman said.
The musical was adapted from Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, Waitress, and tells the story of a waitress and pie maker, Jenna wants to escape her drab life in a small town and the mistreatment of her overly ovnoxious, controlling husband. A nearby baking contest with a top prize of $20,000 beckons but the contest coincides with the due date of her first child.
“Waitress” speaks to the idea of women becoming empowered and strong against abusive relationships and the feeling that they deserve only what they already have The dreams once held never materialize for these women unless they take control of their lives and destiny. Such is the universal message in “Waitress.”
The lead Jenna, works in a small diner and creates a new pie of the day each day. She confides in the two co-workers and the three women cavort with their personal lives sliced up for public consumption. Each has different needs and different takes on her life. The story revolved predominately around Jenna and her planned marriage escape, but the most interesting characters in the show are all the men who come into the diner. Their characters are better written and give better opportunity for the male actors to sweeten the plot.
Each of the men possess a strong stage presence. While the women are all good, the characters written for them are not as colorful as the men. “Waitress” is a fun show from start to finish. Audiences will love it, and opening night created a standing ovation, even after a 10 minute stoppage of the play for a technical problem to resolve.
“Waitress” contains some adult language, but not a lot. It’s nothing school age children have not heard. The show continues at Kansas City, Missouri’s Music Hall Theatre inside Municipal Auditorium. The show is part of the Broadway Series of Theater League and is the national tour of “Waitress” that continues on Broadway. For tickets, contact Theater League of Kansas City.
Tags: Theater League of Kansas City, “Waitress”, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment