'Waitress' Shows The Reality Of Being Trapped In An Abusive Relationship

'Waitress' Shows The Reality Of Being Trapped In An Abusive Relationship, But It Also Shows That There's Hope

Don't sleep on this musical.


If you are a big Broadway fan, then you most likely know of the show "Waitress." With songs written by Sara Bareilles, this show is one that has touched many lives and has largely affected my own.

The main character (Jenna) works at a diner. She finds out that she's pregnant with her husband's (Earl's) child. She goes to her doctor, only to find that her doctor is being replaced by a new (male) doctor — Dr. Pomatter. Jenna and Dr. Pomatter eventually fall into having an affair, and things just get messier along the way.

Here's the thing, though. Earl is majorly mentally and verbally abusive. He is manipulative, controlling and insecure, and he takes all of that out on Jenna. He's also an alcoholic and seems to have anger issues, putting Jenna in physical danger.

At one point during the show, Earl sings a song for Jenna, and that's when we get to see a bit more of how manipulative and degrading he is toward her. In his song, "You Will Still Be Mine," he says, "So much is happenin', but mostly to me... now promise me. Till the end of time, these are ties that bind. Till the sun don't shine, you will still be mine."

He makes sure that she knows that he is the one that things are happening to and that she's just there. He forces her to promise to be there forever.

That's just not healthy.

Jenna goes on to say in one of her duets with Dr. Pomatter ("You Matter To Me"): "It's addictive the minute you let yourself think. The things that I say just might matter to someone. All of this time I've been keeping my mind on the running away."

It's no surprise that Jenna wants to run away from her life with Earl. She spends a good majority of the show hiding money, trying to save enough to start her own life away from him.

Again, that is just not healthy.

So many people are in relationships like that nowadays. They stay in toxic relationships just because they are scared of being alone, or they're being threatened in some way. You cannot let others walk all over you, like a doormat.

Do not let someone talk down to you, manipulate you or control you — especially not someone that you're in a relationship with.

Jenna says in her solo, "She Used To Be Mine": "It's not simple to say, that most days I don't recognize me. I'm not anything like I used to be. I still remember that girl. If I'm honest, I know I would give it all back for a chance to start over and rewrite an ending or two for the girl that I knew... She is gone, but she used to be mine."

She lost herself. Earl took who she was and squashed it. Kept her from following her dreams and from being truly who she was. It was all about him, and what he could get from her. Using her to lift himself up.

Please, do not buy into that. You are not just there to lift someone up. You are your own person, so please do not ever let someone squash your dreams or your personality.

Now, while I do not agree with Jenna's affair with Dr. Pomatter at all (since they were both married), I will acknowledge that she grew through that.

I am NOT saying that if you are in a toxic relationship, you should go have an affair. But Dr. Pomatter showed Jenna who she truly was. He gave her her voice back. And by the end of the show, she (spoiler!) ends the affair and her relationship with Earl. She takes her baby and leaves that jerk!

Jenna found herself again, and she found her voice. She got back that girl that she lost.

So, if you have been or are currently in a toxic relationship, I hope you find your true worth. Whatever he or she is telling you to tear you down is not true.

I hope you find your voice. And I hope you find inspiration from not just this article, but from "Waitress" — which shows that even if you've lost yourself to an unhealthy relationship, and even if you feel you're in too deep and there's no way to leave, you can.

You have a voice and a choice. It's not too late to stand up for yourself and get help.

We can all learn from Jenna and take her story to heart.

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18 Broadway Songs That Will Make You Want To Choreograph Them

Get out your character shoes, it's time to dance

Ever hear a show tune and instantly want to choreograph a number to it? Ever staged an all ensemble dance number? Ever see yourself teaching choreo to the Broadway cast of "A Chorus Line?" Well then this list might be for you.

1. "La Vie Boheme" - Rent

Anyone else want to come up with staging and choreography for one of the most iconic numbers in musical theatre history?

2. "Big Fun" - Heathers the Musical

Though this musical never made it to Broadway, I know you are dancing to it anyway.

3. "Hair" - Hair

Hairography, anyone?

4. "Saturday Night In The City" - The Wedding Singer

High energy and just makes you wanna go out and show off.

5. Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show

6. "Mamma Mia" - Mamma Mia

Don't all theatre kids already know the choreo for this?

7. "Bend and Snap" - Legally Blonde the Musical

"Do it, and we'll go away." Seriously, bend and snap.

8. Staying Alive - Saturday Night Fever

No explanation needed here.

9. "Footloose" - Footloose

10. "Totally F****d" - Spring Awakening

Anyone else want to jump around on stage and curse like a sailor simultaneously?

11. "Brand New Day" - The Wiz

Anyone want to put a flash mob together with this song?!

12. "Do Your Own Thing" - Bring It On: The Musical

Tumbling and musical theatre in one musical is what this show is all about. Can we put every song on this list?

13. "Dancing Through Life" - Wicked

Time for the whole cast to dance together.

14. "Get Ready/Dancing in the Street" - Motown the Musical

This whole show is a throwback but the best blast to the past you could ask for.

15. "Revolting Children" - Matilda the Musical

These kids freaking kick ass in this number. It is insane.

16. "Money" - Cabaret

I can see it now.

17. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Rock of Ages

If New Directions can do it, we can too!

18. "Anything You Can Do" - Annie Get Your Gun

This number is basically a dance off.

Cover Image Credit: Bucks County Playhouse

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I Went To My First Broadway Show And It Was Tony-Worthy

To be clear, this was my first Broadway show on Broadway, and I loved almost every minute of it.


Let me just make the clarification now that this wasn't my first Broadway show I've seen. I've seen several at the Arizona Broadway Theater and also recently saw Wicked at ASU Gammage. However, this was my first ever Broadway show that I actually saw on Broadway. I was excited, to say the least. I knew it was at one of the smaller theaters on Broadway, but I was just as excited as I would have been for any of the other performances. It really all about the experience, and overall mine was great.

Deciding which show I was going to see was no small feat. I had a mini list that included Aladdin, Waitress, and Chicago. Deep down I really wanted to see Hamilton, but as a broke college student who recently started to make payments on their new car, Hamilton tickets were not even an idea. It really came down to what I could afford and what I would regret the most not seeing. So I chose Chicago. The ticket that I bought was relatively inexpensive since I sat in the far back of the theatre and would still have enough money left over for a commemorative t-shirt.

I was originally planning on going with one of my cousins that lives in New York, but her plans changed and I ended up going by myself. Some of you reading this are probably thinking, "aww that's so sad, going to the theatre by herself." Let me just squash that thought by saying how much I prefer going to things like that alone. I go to the movies alone more times than I go with someone else. That could be a whole other story on why I prefer my alone time, but in short: I'm an introvert. So I was fine seeing the musical by myself. My dad and I walked around Time Square before showtime. He dropped me off, and then we both went our separate ways for a few hours.

Like I said earlier, this was one of the smaller theaters on Broadway so it wasn't hard to find my seat. I bought my shirt before I went to my seat because I assumed there was going to be a line after the show. There wasn't, but I was still happy I got it earlier because then I could just leave after the show. My seat was literally four rows away from where the back wall of the theater was. Which was fine. I have great eyesight and I could see all of the stage clearly. That was until the large group of teenage girls sat directly in front of me and completely blocked my view of center stage.

During the first half of the musical, I was swaying side to side to get a view of the stage. I didn't want to yell at the girl and tell her to sit properly so the people behind her could see. Mainly because her mom was sitting next to her, and I didn't want that drama in the middle of the play. So during intermission, I moved seats. To my right, there were several empty rows of seats with no one for a few rows ahead of them so I thought "might as well." I made the decision to move because someone came and sat behind me about two songs into the music and started to complain that she couldn't see as well. So I took the liberty for both of us to have an experience and moved out of the way. The rest of the time was marvelous. I was able to see clearly. I sang along without having an older lady next to me judging my ability. It was fantastic.

The only thing that I wish would have happened, but I guess that only happens in lesser productions is when the audience gets to meet the cast and get an autograph. Of course, I didn't have a pen or sharpie with me so it was honestly for the best, but that would have been the cherry on top. Hopefully the next time I am in New York I have enough money to see another Broadway show. Maybe if I save up it could be Hamilton.

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