Sugar, butter, flour! Waitress is Coming to Edmonton

Preview by Mariah Hess

In present-day Southern United States, a passionate pie-maker and waitress named Jenna brings joy into Joe’s Pie Diner. Her innovative pies are the ticket out of her small town and her abusive marriage. A baby is on the way.

Will you be having a slice of this coming week’s Broadway on Tour production? Presented by Broadway Across Canada, the hit musical, Waitress, will make its fourth stop of its North American tour in Edmonton at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium from November 26 to December 1, 2019.

It will have you laughing, it will have you crying, and it will most certainly leave you craving a freshly baked pie.

This musical theatre version of Adrienne Shelley’s 2007 comedy-drama film follows Jenna, who dreams of a new life for both herself and her soon-to-be born baby. She has pie-making down to an art, creating such desserts inspired by her own life as the “Deep (Shit) Dish Blueberry Pie,” the “Sweet Victory Pie,” and the “Betrayed By My Eggs Pie.” Jenna has her eye on the prize – $25,000 at a nearby county’s baking contest.

Jessie Shelton, Christine Dwyer, and Maiesha McQueen
Photo by Philicia-Endelman

With the support of her two best friends, a surprising new someone, and a grouchy old man, Jenna must realize her talent and potential in order to take a courageous leap. Will she escape the confinements of her small town? “Change is on the menu,” and this musical will leave you inspired to take charge of your own life and create your own recipes for happiness and success.

This Tony Award-nominated hit premiered in 2015 at the Repertory Theatre in Massachusetts and made its Broadway debut on April 24, 2016, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York. It was the first Broadway musical to be created by an all-female creative team, with original music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, direction by Diane Paulus, book written by Jessie Nelson, and choreography by Lorin Latarro.

Sara Bareilles is a well-known singer-songwriter who is a Tony nominee, seven-time Grammy nominee, and three-time Emmy nominee. Diane Paulus is a Tony award winner for her revival of Pippin. The original cast included Jessie Mueller and Keala Settle. Notable Broadway and West End revivals have featured Sara Bareilles, Jordin Sparks, Jason Mraz, as well as YouTubers Colleen Ballinger, Todrick Hall, and Joe Sugg.

The national touring production of Waitress for 2019-2020 brings along a cast with Bailey McCall as Jenna, who made her Off-Broadway debut as Penny in The Big Bang Theory: A Pop-Rock Musical Parody! Kennedy Salters, who plays Becky, is a recent Brenau University graduate with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Gabriella Marzetta plays Dawn, and has been working with the NYC-based children’s theatre company, Vital Theatre Company. The tour direction is re-created by Susanna Wolk and choreography is re-created by Abbey O’Brien.

Steven Good and Christine Dwyer
Photo by Philicia Endelman

The Chicago Tribune has called this production “an empowering musical of the highest order,” and Entertainment Weekly has praised it as “a little slice of heaven!” David Socolar, who plays Dr. Pomatter called the music “catchy,” saying that it “creates incredibly powerful connection moments.” The music can be described as a blend between current Disney and traditional Broadway.

When cast members were asked what ingredients make Waitress, they said: love, heart, dreams, laughter, female empowerment, bravery, and friendship.

Do you like the idea of hilariously-named pies being brought to life by a creative and driven woman, combined with the seamless integration of themes such as love, friendship, and empowerment? Grab your slice and cheer on Jenna as she chases her dreams in the midst of her difficult reality.

She’s got sugar, butter, and flour. All she needs is you.

November 26 – December 1

tickets ($45-$175) at ticketmaster

For more information about the tour, visit the tour’s website