REVIEW: Waitress ★★★★ – Adelphi Theatre

“…a heart-warming tale of love, hope, and dreams


West End Theatre Guide

Waitress is a musical by Jessie Nelson, with music by Sara Bareilles, based on the 2007 film written and directed by Adrienne Shelley which was her last screen appearance before her murder. The show debuted in Cambridge, Massachusetts in August 2015 and, during this run, it was announced the production would transfer to Broadway from March 2016.

The musical follows the story of waitress and master pie-maker, Jenna Hunterson, and her bid to escape the rut she’s trapped in whereby she’s forced to hand over her pay to an abusive husband. When she discovers she’s pregnant, she begins an affair with her doctor, and this secret relationship sparks her desire for freedom, which is only realised when, upon holding her daughter for the first time, Jenna summons the courage to leave her husband, end the affair with her married doctor, and begin to build a better life for herself and her child.

This old-fashioned “little woman with bad marriage bakes pies as a distraction” story is simple and, coupled with the main character’s endlessly good heart, sweet disposition and the unwanted pregnancy, the elements are very familiar from many other books and movies. What elevates this story though and gives the musical its zest are Jenna’s fellow waitresses, the sassy, sarcastic Becky, and the awkward, mousy Dawn. These supporting characters add flavour and comedy to an otherwise rather stereotypical and predictable story.

Katharine McPhee (American Idol (TV)) starred as Jenna and gave a heart-warming, beautiful rendition of the musical’s standout number, ‘She Used To Be Mine’. Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls, Something Rotten, Aladdin) gave a powerhouse performance as Becky, and Lauren Baldwin (Eugenius, Big Fish, The Little Beasts) impressed as Dawn.

Waitress is a heart-warming tale of love, hope, and dreams which comes to a predictable, yet satisfying ending where dreams triumph, chains are broken and love wins out.

Waitress is currently showing at the Adelphi Theatre until 19th October (to book tickets, click here). For more information on your visit to the Adelphi, read our guide.