The streak is over.
No, I am not talking about Susan Lucci finally winning an Emmy or the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series after almost one hundred years.
I am taking about my appearance at a Broadway show for the first time in three years. This is the longest break I believe the theater and I had have ever since I we first began our love affair.
The last play I saw was a good one; Allegiance (https://bit.ly/2njzROI). It should be noted that it had absolutely nothing to do with why I stopped attending the theater. Rather, I had just found myself uninspired. There was nothing I had any interest in seeing and that is saying a lot for someone who once saw three plays in one week (https://bit.ly/2B1IGXp).
I have a great affinity for true stories especially when it comes to the arts (https://bit.ly/2njoQgo). In fact any time I see a movie or even a play, the story will more than likely have some factual materials within it or around it.
This is how I arrived with tickets to finally see Waitress the Musical.
Waitress is based on the story by Adrienne Shelly, just as the movie with the same name is. Normally I believe that once a story is told it should stay in that genre but I have a little wiggle room for that rule, especially when the cast currently features three of my favorite actors: Katharine McPhee, Erich Bergen, and Katie Lowes.
It should be noted that while not a great fan of the movie, I am a fan of Jonathan Larson (https://bit.ly/2OkPocN).
Confused? Don’t be.
Jonathan Larson is the playwright behind RENT; the show that has continued to reshape my life.
While Jonathan Larson had nothing to do with Waitress specifically, he like Ms. Shelly, did not live long enough to see their dreams become reality.
The story of Adrienne Shelly has long been on the list of Find Out Friday topics I planned to share, however I didn’t quite get there yet. So here I will share a brief version of her tragic story which seems ever more appropriate.
Adrienne Shelly was a wife, mother, actress, and writer on the verge of her big break. Sadly she was murdered by a man working in the building where she kept an apartment which she was using as an office. Ms. Shelly was hit over the head with a heavy object and then hung to make her death appear a suicide. The man responsible has said that she caught him trying to rob her purse and a struggle ensued. He is now behind bars serving a twenty-five year prison sentence. In her honor, her husband established the Adrienne Shelly Foundation which supports women filmmakers.
Despite her tragic death in November 2006, her final film; Waitress, did make it to the Sundance Film Festival and from there to the big screen. Now, the story she created has hit the Big White Way.
Waitress tells the story of the its main character Jenna, a creative pie maker, who finds herself pregnant and in the midst of a troubled marriage.
The show is mostly lighthearted but has a sprinkle of very adult moments which is why I was surprised to see a few children in the audience.
Jenna is now being played by Katharine McPhee (the future Mrs. David Foster for all you RHOBH fans). Her last show is August 19th. I am a great fan of Katharine’s. Her voice sends chills down your spine whether she is singing about pies or Marilyn Monroe, as she did on NBC’s Smash where I first fell in love with her. I still sort of wish the fictional play that was the premise of that television show was the one I was watching her in.
Jenna has two best friends whom aide her through her journey in Waitress. One of them is Dawn, who is now being portrayed by Katie Lowes. If any of you are fans of Shondaland you will recognize Ms. Lowes from her role as Quinn Perkins on Scandal. In the movie version of Waitress, Ms. Shelly played the role of Dawn.
In an uncanny twist, Ms. Lowe’s real life husband is playing her love interested in Waitress. Adam Shapiro is HYSTERICAL and delightful in his supporting role in this play. I found him even more charming when I met him later on at the stage door.
The last but certainly not least reason I purchased my ticket is a man by the name of Erich Bergen. He plays Tea Leoni’s assistant on Madam Secretary. However, please note his run ends SUNDAY.
Each of these actors as well as the rest of the cast was incredible.
The next part of my old self I needed to dust off was to happen at the stage door. Anyone who has ever had a conversation with me about the theater knows that the actual show is only part one. What happens at the stage door is part two, and arguably even more important than the show itself (https://bit.ly/2KACCnS). This is where I get to meet the talent I have just witnessed and add to my collection of autographed playbills.
The last time I was at a stage door was back in 2015 when I saw Beautiful; The Carole King Musical (https://bit.ly/2OOB9Ot). But that was very uneventful unless you are the one who got engaged there that awfully cold night.
On this night, everything went perfectly. Better than I evened hope for.
Despite the ridiculous amount of humidity in the air, and having a seat way up top, I managed to score a prime spot at the barricades. It only took about an half an hour for me to get everything I had come for.
The entire cast came out in quick succession and were so friendly. They took as many selfies as possible and managed to sign just about every playbill. Considering how famous they are, I wasn’t sure how they would “act” in real life. I have seen many celebrities behave like immature children when their fans approached them. However, the cast of Waitress, was simply delightful. It was the perfect ending to a great night.
As I finish writing this entry it occurs to me that yet another streak of mine has been broken: I am sharing a blog after a month long hiatus (due to my chronic migraine illness).
There was no better place to start than with my Broadway love affair back intact.
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