Deliciously Performed, Waitress Gave Central New York Reasons to Savor The Night

March 24, 2022

Deliciously Performed, Waitress Gave Central New York Reasons to Savor The Night


Broadway Utica’s latest premier of Waitress left guests wrapped in a musical confection of sweet airy notes, tart-like topics, laughter, and the mouth-watering aroma of fresh-baked pie. 

“Sugar. Butter. Flour.” Those three words washed over the audience as Jisel Soleil Ayon, who played Jenna, the hard-working waitress looking to bake her way out of a bad marriage, stepped on stage and opened the door inside her mind. Stirring in a dash of deep shit, mixed with overcooked bacon, and bitter blueberries, it became evident that Jenna’s pies  would be served with a side of sticky emotions designed to keep the audience glued to her side. 

Set in “a small town off Highway 27,”  under the neon lights of ‘Joe’s Diner’, Waitress displayed 27 different pies, all baked by Jenna. The wit and ingredients are quick, “one stupid night and a sparkly red dress” and blended into creative concoctions like “Betrayed My Eggs Pie,” which is ‘soaked in beer and sealed to trap the moisture inside forever.’  

The power of Waitress’s all-female creative musical team could be seen and felt throughout the performance as the restorative power of female friendship, the silent female humor, awkward moments, and emotional ties graced the stage. Heavy sighs of acceptance shot like waves across the velvety rows as Bareilles’ show-stopping song, “She Used To Be Mine,”  crooned like a lullaby.

Most days I don’t recognize me,” she sang. “She’s imperfect but she tries…she is good but she lies…she is hard on herself..she is broken and won’t ask for help…she is messy but she’s kind…she is lonely most of the time…she is all of this mixed up, and baked in a beautiful pie.”

The ballad baked a melodic pie filled with brutal self-reflection, which sent a white flag of tissues down the aisles, as the raw lyrics seeped into the audience’s soul. An ode that every woman, and mother, seemed to relate to, the song touched on change and what it’s like to lose your former self, and your childlike aspirations, along life’s path.  

An ideal prelude to Waitress’s true love story is the relationship between Jenna, Becky, and Dawn, who relay the coveted female secret – that a solid female friendship and a slice of pie is all you need to get through life. 

Not just Jenna’s story, Waitress showcased amazing performers as Dominique Kent, who plays Becky, delivered perfectly stylized staccato that executed the perfect sass, and humor. Her comedic chops held strong as she belted her solo, “I Didn’t Plan It,” and offered witty bits when her boss Cal told her she was pushing his buttons and she asks him “which button is mute?”  Meanwhile, the painfully shy Gabriella Marzetta, who plays Dawn, takes the opposite role, as she hides away from the world in a mousy character who fights love with her nerdy suitor Ogie, brilliantly played by Brian Lundy, as she asks the question: “What if I give myself away, to only get it given back?” in her “When He Sees Me” solo. 

Baked from the heart, Waitress shined a light on the messy perfection that often hovers around every woman. However, they execute it in a hilariously dynamic, exaggerated, slapstick comedy, which even caused a snort or two from Utica theatre-goer Kimberly Koscinski. Concluding with a wedding, a baby, and a strong female empowerment hug that delivered a swift, hard jab at toxic masculinity, Waitress had the audience exiting the Stanley Theatre in a sea of laughter and funny outtakes they couldn’t wait to dive into. 

There’s no doubt about it, Broadway Utica served up the pie and left everyone eager to see what’s next.


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