12 May 2017
- So much amazing singing. As a singer, I’m often disappointed in the singing when I go to musicals. Usually there’s one or two singers that are great and even then they aren’t always given the material to really shine. I really loved the writing, both script and music. ‘Waitress’ was a dream for singers. Singer after singer blew me away. Sara Bareilles’ voice was breathtakingly beautiful and emotional. Caitlin Houlahan as ‘Dawn’, Charity Angel Dawson as ‘Becky’, Chris Diamantopoulos as ‘Dr. Pomatter’, and Christopher Fitzgerald as ‘Ogie’ all gave stand-out vocal performances that gave me chills. I was high on gorgeous voices by the time it was over.
- Vocal harmony and orchestration. The musical is full of beautiful vocal harmony and sparsely orchestrated for rhythm section rather than orchestra. It really created a clean beautiful background that allowed the vocals to encompass the audience and soar.
- Those Skies! Backdrops of gorgeous skies complete with power lines behind each internal building scene transported me in a way that just having the internal rooms could have never accomplished. I believe it’s supposed to be set in the south but it could just as easily be the midwest in the summer. I felt my heart skip a beat as I missed my own midwest skies.
- The Pie! Jenna experiences her life through every pie concoction she imagines and bakes. It holds all her dreams, feelings and connection to others. The first song is called ‘What’s Inside’ which highlights the way that Jenna is closed on the outside but has all these rich feelings she keeps hidden inside. Maybe my connection to this was made even stronger by own memories of learning about baking and life from my own grandmother just like Jenna learns from her mom. Added bonus: They pumped pie-smell throughout the theater for extra effect!
- Lovable Characters and Dialogue. Almost every character got huge applause at the end because they each had a moment where you get to know them and love their quirkiness, personality and humour. The only actor who didn’t get a lot of applause at the end was poor Earl. I gave him a few shouts. He deserved it for a job well done of making the audience dislike him and forget that this is an actor playing an unlikable guy named Earl. Come on people, Will Swenson deserves some props here!