The National tour of “Waitress” is a pie sprinkled with loyal friendship and great music

469
Jisel Soleil Ayon wearing a waitress uniform with people holding pies around her.
Waitress: Jisel Soleil Ayon photo by Jeremy Daniel

The show is coming soon to State Theater New Jersey

David Socolar and Jisel Soleil Ayon sitting on a green park bench
Waitress: David Socolar and Jisel Soleil Ayon photo by Jeremy Daniel

Sugar. Butter. Flour. This production pie has a sprinkle of loyal friendship where women lift each other up blended with some challenging life decisions, a dose of physical comedy, an ounce of great music, and a special ingredient of cast chemistry, which makes the national tour of Waitress a must-have experience.

Waitress, featuring music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, puts the spotlight on Jenna (Jisel Soleil Ayon), a waitress and pie-maker at Joe’s Diner who creates delicious pies while emotionally escaping the turmoil of an abusive marriage and an unplanned pie in the oven. Pun intended!

Gabriella Marzetta in a waitress uniform and Brian Lundy sitting at a table offering flowers to Gabriella
Waitress: Gabriella Marzetta and Brian Lundy photo by Jeremy Daniel

Her gal pals that work alongside her at the diner are the adorable Dawn (Gabriella Marzetta) and the no-nonsense Becky (Dominique Kent). Jenna’s two best friends, who always have Jenna’s back, are also yearning for change in their own lives. Jenna’s messy situation becomes messier and more complicated when desires heat up between her and her doctor, the handsome yet goofy and charming Dr. Pomatter (David Socolar). Becoming aware enough to ask yourself whether you feel fulfilled and happy while shakily balancing between giving in to acceptance and chasing dreams run through this superbly created show, or shall I say, production “full of life” pie.

This amazing cast consists of stellar performers that can belt out outstanding vocals, and they know how to make you laugh with their banter, zingers, and comedic timing. Every joke cited from Jessie Nelson’s playbook rolls off their tongue with ease. They provide moments of glorious physical comedy, especially Brian Lundy and David Socolar.

Shawn W. Smith with his arms around Jisel Soleil Ayon
Waitress: Shawn W. Smith and Jisel Soleil Ayon photo by Jeremy Daniel

Gabriella Marzetta’s ‘When He Sees Me’ and Brian Lundy’s (Ogie) ‘Never Ever Getting Rid of Me’ are examples of hit-your-funny-bone kind of funny. ‘I Didn’t Plan It’ is performed by Dominique Kent’s Becky, giving you a very powerful and soulful sound in your ears. Michael R. Douglass’ zingers as diner-owner Joe, Jake Mills’ comic presence as diner cook Cal and Socolar’s doctors meant to look not-so-graceful physical comedy bring giggles to the audience every time they are on stage.

Comedy is only one ingredient in Waitress‘ successful triumph. Another element of the winning show revolves around the cast being able to pull off so much emotion and heart while showing the complications that are faced at the core of the show. Jisel Soleil Ayon has an endearing quality about her that works naturally for the character of Jenna. Ayon’s sultry voice has a comparison to the vocals of Sara Bareilles. Her ‘She Used to Be Mine’ had the audience stand, giving her all the applause that performance deserved. Her dark scenes with Shawn W. Smith (husband Earl) are as saddening and angering as her scenes with David Socolar are heartwarming and adorably sexy. I am sure that the “Its complicated” status would be checked off on Jenna’s profile if she had a social media account. The show’s serious moments are needed to balance out the loving moments.

A pinch of female empowerment, a sprinkle of loyal friendship, a dose of physical comedy, a dash of great music, and a special ingredient of cast chemistry are what makes the national tour of Waitress a must-see.

The national tour of Waitress took to the stage at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Cultural Campus Academy of Music on Tuesday, March 29th, where it is set to run through Sunday, April 3, and will also run at the State Theater New Jersey in New Brunswick from April 14-16.

kimmelculturalcampus.org | stnj.org