On January 5th, Waitress will have its final show at the Brooks Atkinson theater. Anyone who knows me knows that this is my absolute favorite show and to say I am disappointed about its closing is an understatement. In fact, when I spoke to my roommate about its closing, she commented about how she had seen me posting about its closing on multiple platforms. I figured adding an Odyssey article to the mix only seemed fitting.
My love for this show started with my love for the music.
I am also a huge Sara Bareilles fan and I actually unknowingly started listening to the soundtrack simply because I had put all of Sara Bareilles' albums on shuffle. Sophomore year me noticed it was strange how a large chunk of songs were about baking and seemed to be grouped with a common theme, but it took me a while to put two and two together and realize it was a soundtrack to a show.
Nevertheless, I was hooked and to this day, I only listen to Sara Bareilles' version of the music. Not that Jessie Mueller and the rest of the original cast aren't outrageously talented, it is just not the sound I grew to love. Each song is exquisitely hers, and tells the story in a way that makes listeners aware of the different emotions and internal conflict the main characters face throughout the show.
Being exposed to the soundtrack through Sara made it even more powerful to be able to see Sara perform in the role of Jenna the first time I saw it. To see her perform live all the songs I had listened to over and over, and to also see her bring to life through her acting the plot as a whole is something I will never forget.
There is such raw emotion and experience in the show. For me, at least, Waitress made me question morals and whether they should come into play in the name of love, why people act the way they do, and the different personalities and quirks that make people come together, or separate them.
Most of all, Waitress, to me, is a show of finding finding one's voice, power, and passion, and for creating a life one wants to live.
That takeaway is one that I hope all audience members realize and incorporate into their own lives. Just like Jenna, we may find times where we lose ourselves and are wary of what comes next. But just like Jenna, we can be strong enough to reinvent ourselves and leave toxic situations and go on to create something beautiful. It may come with mistakes and shortcomings, but we have power to move on.
I feel beyond grateful that I got to see this show not only once, but twice, while it was running on Broadway, and you already know I will be at least one of its performances as it goes on tour across the country.
So, readers, if you have the chance, I highly recommend seeing Waitress while it remains on Broadway or finding a tour date near you. Or just even listen to the soundtrack. You won't regret it.