WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE? Adelphi Theatre RUNTIME: 2 hours and 30 minutes (including 20-minute interval)
WHEN? 26/6/19 (matinee), booking until 7/12/19
This Tony-nominated musical opened in the West End in February, recently refreshed 2 of its 3 leads and so we decided to check whether it was to our taste.
- Read on for reasons including how Eurovision’s Lucie Jones makes a likeable lead
Laura Baldwin 1st came to our attention in Eugenius, our Best New Musical of last year, and she is 1 of the 2 leads who recently left the show alongside Katharine McPhee.
We mention this because there was a backlash on social media that Baldwin was to be replaced over the summer by former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts as unlucky-in-love fellow waitress Dawn.
It’s an odd decision because, despite giving it her best shot, Roberts is horribly miscast and doesn’t convince as the American Revolution re-enactment fan. Former star of TV’s The Inbetweeners Blake Harrison is spot-on though as her would-be beau Ogie and his physical comedy is the best reason to see this.
We’d not seen McPhee but we’d heard what a brilliant singer she was and Lucie Jones is certainly technically proficient although we weren’t quite as enchanted by her kindness as we expected we were supposed to be.
Waitress is based on the 2007 film of the same name in which the titular Jenna works in a diner making amazing pies based on her mother’s recipes which are appreciated by her customers including the store’s owner.
However, Jenna’s unhappily married and when she finds she’s unexpectedly pregnant she embarks on an affair with her also-married gynaecologist. The story has promise and in other hands could have been a kitchen-based Thelma and Louise but we didn’t really find the sweet and quirky ingredients combined into anything approaching substantial.
We’d listened to the score by Sara Bareilles before our visit and hadn’t really found much to enjoy/empathise with there either and so it proved during the actual show.
If you’re planning to see Waitress, we’d advise waiting for Laura Baldwin’s return to make the most of this rather undercooked offering.