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Waitress Musical | Review | Sunderland Empire


Waitress Review – Sunderland Empire

Sugar, butter, flour, brilliant…

Sara Bareilles musical Waitress is currently showing at the Sunderland Empire on its way around the UK and the cast of the touring production could not be more talented.  Lucie Jones blew me away as Jenna stole the show completely.

Matt Willis gave a confident performance as Doctor Pomatter but for me, the spotlight should completely be on Lucie’s performance.  The vocal range, the acting skills, the American accent, she absolutely blew me away.

Waitress was adapted from the 2007 Disney (yes, Disney) movie of the same name written and directed by Adrienne Shelley and oh my gosh, why didn’t it start its life as a musical.  Where the movie kind of chugs along there’s no moment of boredom in the musical, Sara Bareilles has nailed it, I’m a lifelong fan of Bareilles anyway, often to be heard singing “Love Song” (also released in 2007) at the top of my voice around the house.

My one question after last night was “why hadn’t I seen Waitress before this?” I’d certainly had some of the songs in my playlists for a while and “What Baking Can Do” “When he sees me” and “Opening Up” are probably some of my favourite musical theatre songs of all time.  I love an upbeat melody.

Mentions must be given to the wildly talented Evelyn Hoskins and Sandra Marvin playing the roles of Dawn and Becky, a great supporting double who visibly shine in their own numbers.

One of the things I love about Waitress is that the band are on the stage for most of the time, not hidden away in an orchestra pit.  I don’t why it works but it just does and I loved seeing them and actively joining in with the performance.

Waitress covers some really difficult topics which ordinarily you wouldn’t think you’d find in a musical like marital abuse but it does it in a really sensitive way and when Jenna sings “She Used to be Mine’ I doubt there’s ever a dry eye in the house, in fact by the time we reached the end of the performance I was an emotional wreck and I’m not complaining about that at all.

Musicals give us the ability to leave our own cares and worries at home, it gives us time and space to absorb ourselves in the stories of others through music and acting and as the great Judy Garland once said “Musicals make life better”

Waitress is playing at the Sunderland Empire until the 30th October and if you can get a spare ticket, grab it and go, just don’t forget to take the tissues because you will need them.

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