“Waitress” Musical Review

Story posted March 16, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Erell Williams

The “Waitress” musical tour made a stop at Penn State’s Eisenhower Theatre.

The musical centers on Jenna, a waitress with a knack for pie making and big dreams to escape her circumstances. With support from her friends, Becky and Dawn, her town and attention from a potential new lover, Jenna continues to work through her struggles and does her best to live a better life.

It is the very first Broadway musical to have four women in the lead spots of the creative team, it’s exciting to see how amazing the performance went.

The all-female team included Grammy award winner Sara Bareilles, the author of the book Jessie Nelson, original director Diane Paulus and original choreographer Lorin Latarro. The tour direction and choreography were recreated by women as well.

Naturally, the music was outstanding. The changes made to the music were unique and pushed the performance to stand apart from previous ones.

New voices made the music feel different, but just as strong which is hard to achieve especially when it comes to Broadway musicals.

The Waitress Band once again presented wonderful live orchestration that added a lot of flair to the presentation of the musical. Instead of placing the band in the pit, as most musicals do, the members remained on stage occasionally acting and almost forming themselves as a part of the ensemble.

This idea added to the uniqueness of the performance and was an exciting addition.

When it came to the visual presentation, the sets were beautiful and the set changes were smooth, hilarious and innovative.

Although it’s expected for a professionally produced musical to look good, the aesthetics this time around introduced a new and softer aspect to the performance.

In terms of the characters, the performers truly made each character matter. The developments of all of the supporting cast had audible effects on the audience and the energy was engrossing.

Not only were supporting characters enjoyable to see, but characters like Ogie appeared to be audience favorites receiving several extended applause throughout the show.

It was especially amazing to see Jisel Soleil Ayon as the first casted African American LatinX Jenna. Her ability to fulfill the role of Jenna was astounding and it was a lovely opportunity to see a woman from a diverse background stand in the role of the female lead.

The show was truly a wonderful experience and received a wholesome well-deserved standing ovation by the end of it. The only thing anyone could say negatively about the performance is that one would wish there was more to see.

All in all, every piece of the show came together to tell such a fun and lovable story in a brand new way and when it comes to the theater that is all one can ask for.

For those who are looking to see any other performances, the tour will continue for about 50 more stops and there is no doubt that this fantastic tale will be revered by all viewers.

Erell Williams is a first-year majoring in broadcasting journalism. To contact her, email exw5303@psu.edu.

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Erell Williams

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Erell Williams is a first-year student, and her intended majors are Broadcasting Journalism and Chinese. She grew up in Douglassville, Pennsylvania. She is a member of the CommRadio News and Arts department. To contact her, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).