It’s impossible to resist another visit to Joe’s Diner as Sara Bareilles and Gavin Creel begin their limited run in Waitress at the Adelphi Theatre
“I’ll slice and serve my worries away”
I wasn’t going to go back to Waitress, having enjoyed both my previous visits to the Adelphi Theatre where I was blown away by Katharine McPhee and then Lucie Jones in the leading role of Jenna. But then a genius casting move (surely this doesn’t count as stunt casting? who knows…?) saw the show’s composer and lyricist Sara Bareilles and Olivier and Tony Award winner Gavin Creel announced for a limited run and so I couldn’t help but book myself in for another slice of pie.
Both of them appeared in the show on Broadway so they’re clearly au fait with their roles but more significantly, they clearly share a special connection and so their electricity as Jenna and Dr Pomatter is off the charts. The shenanigans in the doctor’s surgery are always fun but here, they’re fricking hilarious as Creel and Bareilles bounce off each other while having the time of their lives and almost, almost, making you forget the slight ickiness of the boundaries that their incipient relationship crosses.
Also new to the cast is Evelyn Hoskins’ Dawn who, along with Joel Montague’s Ogie, is doing a great job of stretching the interpretation of her character. Hoskins brings a slightly more manic, even unhinged, aspect to Dawn that pairs well with Montague’s more nuanced take on Ogie, both suggesting a bolder approach to neurodiversity without sacrificing any of the laughs.
And then there’s an unalloyed pleasure of getting to see and hear Bareilles inhabit a character she knows so very well. A slightly more confident take on Jenna than I think I’ve seen before, she clicks in perfectly to all of the comic beats of Jessie Nelson’s book and boy when she sings ‘She Used To Be Mine’, I was torn between mid-show-ovating and getting my phone out to book another ticket right there and then! This pie has spent just long enough in the oven, it’s the perfect time to see Waitress.