London, West End Shows

Waitress on the West End Stage

It’s a rags to riches slightly better rags sort of story. Waitress is about a young woman and professional pie maker called Jenna. Ironically also, you’ve guess it, a waitress, her relationship with her husband Earl is somewhat abusive and she ends up pregnant and looking for a way out of her marriage. Before the pity party for poor, pregnant Jenna can begin though, she starts up an affair with her gynecologist, Dr Jim. With the heat of a tealight candle flickering on a rainy November night, this relationship is used as Jenna’s ‘wake up call’. With the affair over before it really begins, Jenna looks to a local county pie making contest with a big money prize as her only way out of her marriage once her baby arrives.

I found myself annoyed a lot of the time by the character of Jenna, which as the female protagonist in the show, I am guessing was not the intention of the creators. The relationship between Jenna and her female colleagues is the literal definition of what comes to mind when women say friendships with other women are ‘full of drama’. I had no patience for her or her pals. For me, the show tried too hard to be funny, which I think always comes across a little painful on a stage. I was obviously in the minority however, as the audience around me seemed to love the show.

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Fun loving and intended to be funny, I was disappointed with this show to say the least. I had been quite excited to see the show and was annoyed at myself for not catching Katherine McPhee in it when it opened earlier in the year, therefore I was super determined to catch Lucie Jones and Ashley Roberts in the show. To comparatively put it in pie terms, I found my slice a bit stale and undercooked. The musical has all of the ingredients to make the finest lemon meringue pie but comes out of the oven soggy in the middle and burnt around the edges.

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Photography was allowed in the theatre at the end of the show

The music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, sadly for me, there are no take away tracks from this musical. You know the one – when you come away from a musical production and have that one song in your head for at least the evening, if not into the following week. A Whole New World in Aladdin, a number or two from The Lion King, All That Jazz in Chicago or anything from Phantom… The list could go on and on. Regrettably the most memorable ear worm from this show is the ‘sugar-flour-butter’ murmurings throughout, which illustrate each moment the main character seems to have a bright idea or a deep thought, which adds to the remarkable tweeness of the production.

I was left feeling a bit disgruntled after the show and largely let down. I honestly don’t think that the cast were bad at all and the vocals were okay at best for a West End show, but the story line and music just did not work for my personal preferences. I am glad that I went to see it and added the program to my collection, but it is not something I would be rushing back to see.

Have you seen Waitress on the stage, or even the movie? Have you ever been really disappointed by a show you were excited to see?

31 thoughts on “Waitress on the West End Stage”

  1. I’ll probably get shot down in flames for this but I felt exactly the same after waiting years to see the lion king……bear with me here…..it was practically perfect in every way.
    Sets were stunning
    Cast were amazing
    Puppetry superb
    But……all a bit “meh”
    The audience politely applauded and left in silence…..Should we not have felt exhilarated and singing the songs????
    So I know exactly what you meanπŸ†πŸ…πŸ¦“πŸ’πŸ¦πŸ¦πŸ¦πŸ¦πŸ¦

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    1. I waited forever to see the Lion King and was fully expecting to want to see it again and again. I loved the show for sure but I don’t need to spend money on it again any time soon (thankfully). Waitress though, that was next level blahhhh πŸ˜‚

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  2. I’ve seen so much about this musical recently, but after singing Kinky Boots I kind of had the same feeling, I didn’t come out signing or humming anything – even though it was a fun show! Maybe one day I’ll see Waitress, but I think there are a few things that are higher up my list to see! I’m seeing The Lion King next week, and I’m so excited to see that.

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    1. I saw the Lion King for the first time back in June this year! I loved it so much (I also wrote about it if you wanna read?!) I didn’t get to Kinky Boots, I really wanted to see it but I heard so much mixed things about it! It sure is a shame I didn’t love Waitress as much as I thought I would! I’d recommend the Lion King for sure though and Aladdin! X

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      1. Oh did you, I’ll have a scroll later and find it! Yeah it is a shame. But yesss Aladdin is incredible, such a clever show!! ✨

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      2. Thank you so much πŸ’• The Lion King and Aladdin reviews are linked at the bottom of this post, save you scrolling 🀭 I’m seeing Joseph next week, so I hope that one is better! πŸ˜‚

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  3. Oh no I’m sorry you were disappointed with the show! I’ve heard so many good things about Waitress, everyone is raving about it, so I really wanted to see it but now I’m not sure. From your review it kind of sounds like how I felt when I saw the Legally Blonde musical, they were trying too hard to be funny, none of the songs were catchy and the accents were diabolical.

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    1. Oh is it? Wow, legally blonde the musical sounds like it would be so good but it just doesn’t work when they try too hard! I’d heard so many great things about Waitress too, I was so excited to see it. It pained me to not like it πŸ˜‚ I tried really hard but I just couldn’t! There’s some good deals on tickets so no regrets, maybe still worth a try and see what you think πŸ˜€ x

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  4. Oh no, I’m sorry you were disappointed with the show. I really liked it though, watched it 3 times with Katharine McPhee and Sara Bareilles herself on Broadway. But it’s good you saw it and now you know this show isn’t your cup of tea (or plate of pie). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinion! (:

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    1. Oh wow, that sounds so great – I really wanted to see Katharine in it here too but I just never got around to it 😦 I really wanted to like the show so much, I was so excited! Never mind, I am still glad I went to see it! x

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    1. I was so disappointed with it – I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. I have seen other not great ones since unfortunately but I am glad I have seen more shows that I loved than ones that I did not! x

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    1. Right!? I was just so disappointed with it. I also saw a comedy recently that was actually much worse than Waitress, to the point where I had to leave at the interval. More on that one coming soon! x

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  5. I have not seen Waitress on the stage, but I have seen plenty a film similar to this story, and love your honesty at seeing the drama between Jenna and her girl pals. I laughed because the feeling of not-quite-frustration is something I know well!

    I expect your review was more amusing to me than the show would ever be . . .

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    1. 🀭 Thank you for that, I think! I was disappointed in the show to say the least, I had really wanted to watch, I wanted to see the cast and my friends had hyped the show. I had mid level expectations but it failed even those 😦 Although since this show I have seen something worse, which I will be writing about soon! X

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting πŸ₯° It’s disappointing that it wasn’t my sort of show for sure, however since this I have seen a worse show where I couldn’t even stand staying past the interval! So Waitress isn’t that bad πŸ˜‚

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    1. Nah, it wasn’t my sort of thing – I didn’t find the story interesting at all and it was trying too hard to be funny in my opinion 😣 Not the worst show on the stage though! X

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  6. My friend was just telling me about Waitress the other day! I’ve not seen it myself, but it’s so intriguing to have heard two different perspectives on it. I also think it’s refreshing to hear constructive criticism on something of this nature. Thanks so much for an honest and open review! xx
    El // welshwanderer.com

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    1. Thank you for reading (and your understanding). I would never want to completely trash something because it is so important to respect the art and the people creating it. I had heard only great things about the show when I went, which I think put my expectations a little too high! x

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