Although one of the most popular songs from Waitress is called Bad Idea, here are several reasons why going to see Waitress London is a great idea!
For those who do not know the story of Waitress, it is a story that centers around the main character Jenna (Played by Katharine McPhee) as she battles through a toxic relationship, a job she both hates and loves, all whilst being pregnant. It also follows the stories of Jenna’s friends Dawn (played by Laura Baldwin) and Becky (played by understudy Kelly Agbowu) as well as Dr. Pottamer (David Hunter). Waitress is an upbeat and happy musical that will no doubt leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside! As will the pies they serve in reception!
I will be the first to admit I was late to the Waitress hype train (the only bits I had heard before buying the soundtrack was “Sugar, Butter, Flour” which I honestly found a bit cheesy) but after listening to She Used To Be Mine at the Tony Awards one year, I fell in love with that song and decided to get the soundtrack and fell in love with the musical! The musical is written by pop goddess Sara Bareilles (Love Song, Brave and Gravity being her main hits), you can definitely hear her influences throughout the music especially the songs She Used To Be Mine and You Matter To Me.
Ok, Katharine McPhee is a goddess! Her vocals in this musical are outstanding! I’m so happy I got to see her before she leaves the show on June 15th! I fully get everyone’s obsession with this girl! This was my first introduction to Kat as I have never watched SMASH (I know, trust me I’ve added it to the list before all you musical theatre fans come for me 😂 ) and I was amazed by her vocals! Not only her vocals but her acting as well! You felt EVERY WORD of her version of She Used To Be Mine. You rooted for her Jenna to have the happiness that she so badly deserves. Mcphee sang with such grace and meaning, I feel honoured that I got to see the original London Jenna! Her chemistry with David (Dr. Pottamer) as well as Peter Hannah (Earl) was undeniable as well as her friendships with Laura and Kelly (Dawn and Kelly), you forgot you were watching a musical with McPhee and felt like it was her actual life, the role seemed to come naturally to her
I was lucky enough to have seen the debut of Kelly Agbowu as Becky! Let me just tell you…Kelly KILLED it! Kelly normally plays the lovable Nurse Norma but she got the time to shine as Becky! Her performance of I Didn’t Plan It was INCREDIBLE it honestly made me forget that I was watching an understudy perform in a role rather than the prinicpal performer. She everything I had imagined a Becky being…full of sass! She fitted with McPhee and Baldwin with ease! I also loved her chemistry and scenes she had with Stephen Leask who plays Cal, All the little bickers and remarks those two had together cracked me up! If you see that Kelly is on (as Becky), don’t be disappointed! I cannot tell you how amazing she was as Becky! You will be amazed!
Laura Baldwin as Dawn was one of my favourite performances of the night! She was the most adorable character! I love Dawn’s main song When He Sees Me from the cast recording but I loved it even more seeing and hearing it live. You wanted her to find someone who appreciates her many quirks as much as you root for Jenna’s happiness! You either know a Dawn or you are the Dawn…in my case, I am the Dawn, which probably makes me love and cheer for the character as much as I do. Without giving too much away but her and Jack McBrayer were some of the purest things (and un-purest in Bad Idea’s reprise) in the whole musical! They made me smile so much! Although Ashley Roberts will be taking over the role of Dawn over the summer, Laura will be back!
David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter was another favourite to see! From the moment we met his Dr. Pomatter I knew I was going to love this role! Dr. P is one of the sweetest characters in the musical, he really wants the best for Jenna. Like McPhee, I also forgot that I was watching an actor because I felt that the role of Dr. P came easily to David. One of the best Dr. P moments in the musical at least, in my opinion, is the song It Only Takes A Taste with McPhee, you get an insight into Dr. Ps life and gives you an insight as to what type of man that he is and then again in You Matter To Me, in those two songs you couldn’t deny the chemistry that him and McPhee have in their roles. Although the musical centers around Jenna, I wish we could have had just one Dr. P solo song because David would have killed it!
Jack McBrayer as Ogie was hilarious! He brought such joy and laughter to the show! You couldn’t help but smile during his scenes. I loved his solo song (Never Ever Getting Rid Of Me), it’s a song I wouldn’t normally listen to if I was listening to the soundtrack, but seeing it live gave me a love for it I didn’t know I had. His chemistry with Laura’s character Dawn, as I said earlier they are the purest and sometimes not so pure characters in the show. Like Carlotta and Piangi in the Phantom of the Opera I would 100% watch a musical of just Ogie and Dawn’s adventures! Also Hi Dad I’ve got a photo with someone who was in The Middle! 😂
Moving on to the 3 smaller guy roles! First up we have Shaun Prendergast who played Joe (who the Diner for 95% of the musical is named after and owned by) whilst it is a small role I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially his song Take It From An Old Man, which is a nice reflection song and was incredibly well sung!
Moving on to Stephen Leask who played Cal the diners tough no nonsense boss, apart from his scenes with Kelly (Becky) he doesn’t really have much to do in the musical apart from being the mean boss figure, which is great and all but I would love to get to see more of this character and Stephen!
Lastly Peter Hannah who plays Jenna’s abusive husband Earl, okay vocals come through!! This mans rocky vocals in You Will Still Be Mine were perfect for the role, although his character like Cal isn’t the greatest, I would have loved to have seen more of his character…maybe more on his and Jenna’s history rather than just that one song!
One final note on the cast….Arabella Duffy is the cutest kid I have seen!
Overall I loved this upbeat and happy musical! Would 100% recommend going and seeing it!
Heres some photos from my trip!