WAITRESS Begins Final Six Months at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre

The producers of Broadway’s sweetest hit musical, Waitressannounced today that the show will finish a triumphant, record-breaking run of 33 previews and 1544 performances on January 5, 2020 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th Street).

Waitress is the longest-running musical at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre and one of the longest-running shows in recent Broadway history, surpassing the lengthy engagements of DreamgirlsMameFunny Girl, and The Sound of Music, among many other legendary titles.

 Waitress opened on Broadway on April 24, 2016. In less than 10 months on Broadway, the show recouped its $12 million investment, making Waitress and Hamilton the only two new musicals from the 2015-2016 Broadway season still running that went into profit.

In addition to the Broadway engagement, Waitress is now playing in London’s West End at the Adelphi Theatre, on a North American tour, and is planning to open in Australia and Holland in 2020, and Japan in 2021. The show’s producers are also in talks with over 20 international markets about future productions. The Waitress tour is currently playing a 6-week run in Toronto at the Mirvish Theatre as it approaches a hugely successful 2-years on the road—currently extended to continue into 2021.

Based upon the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly, Waitress is the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, with a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by seven-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus.

Composer and lyricist Sara Bareilles said, “It is such a bittersweet moment to say goodbye to our home on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, but I am reflecting upon this enormously magical time with a tremendous amount of gratitude…and smiling through tears.  I am in awe of the tireless energy and devotion of our company, our crew, our band, and most especially our fans. The warmth and love they have showered upon our show in all its iterations is truly a miracle, and the impact this experience has had on my life has been profound and unforgettable.  Thank you to my dear collaborators and producers, the entirety of our wildly passionate Waitress company, band and crew members (past and present), our beloved staff at the Brooks, and a very special thank you to our Waitress fans and believers who have made this chapter as sweet as it ever could have been.  The run of Waitress on Broadway has far surpassed my expectations and I am so very proud of what we were able to create here in New York City, but I am still so moved and delighted by the knowledge that our show will continue to have a big, beautiful life in other cities around the world, and on tour.  Alas… everything changes. Sugar, Butter, Thank you.”

Producer Barry Weissler, speaking for his co producer and wife Fran and himself, said “When Fran and I saw Adrienne Shelly’s beautiful movie in 2007, we knew immediately that it could be a great stage musical.  It had everything: wit, romance, drama and comedy.  The musical would require the same perfect touch – with Diane Paulus at the helm we gathered a brilliant team – Sara Bareilles, Jessie Nelson, and Lorin Latarro – who worked together seamlessly to create the musical gem that Waitress is.

“Watching Sara Bareilles take her innate skills as a brilliant pop singer and songwriter and to also become a natural Broadway composer/lyricist has been especially rewarding to observe.  The show’s success as it continues to roll out across the globe, is a tribute to that combined vision of this remarkable group of artists – and a great deal of pie.  We could not be prouder of the brilliant actors who continue to keep the show as fresh as the day we opened.  I look forward to celebrating that spirit every day for the next six months on Broadway.”

 Composer and lyricist Sara Bareilles has described her life as “before Waitress and after Waitress.” Following her concept album, Waitress became an immediate sensation when the show premiered at A.R.T. in Boston. After the New York opening, which marked Sara’s debut as a Broadway lyricist and composer, she received a Tony nomination for her score, made her Broadway stage debut in the show, starred in an acclaimed TV production of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” for which she received an Emmy Award nomination, and hosted The Tony Awards with her good friend, Josh Groban. Sara is embarking on an arena tour in support of her new album “Amidst the Chaos.” She is also collaborating with J.J. Abrams as a co-executive producer on “Little Voice,” a half hour series for Apple. Keeping it in the Waitress family, the musical’s book writer Jessie Nelson will write, executive produce, direct the first episode, and serve as showrunner.

Waitress has left its mark on popular culture too: The musical’s showstopping 11 o’clock number, “She Used to be Mine,” became an instant classic and has inspired countless covers by performers of all genders and ages across the world, from well-known theatrical stars and musicians to young viral sensations. It was also parodied on “Saturday Night Live” in a tribute to Theresa Mays’ failed Brexit strategy.

Some of the notable talent who have been or will be in Waitress include Adam Shapiro, Al Roker, Betsy Wolfe, Christopher FitzgeraldColleen Ballinger, Dakin Matthews, Drew Gehling, Eddie Jemison (who played Ogie in the film), Erich Bergen, Gavin Creel, Jason Mraz, Jenna Ushkowitz, Jeremy Jordan, Jessie Mueller, Joey MacIntyre, John Cullum, June Squibb (who played the role of Josie – formerly Joe), Katharine McPhee, Katie Lowes, Keala Settle, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolette Robinson, Noah Galvin, Sara Bareilles (in her Broadway stage debut), Shoshana BeanTodrick Hall, Will Swenson, and eight five-year-old girls who played Lulu.

Waitress is the first show in Broadway history to have a credited Pie Consultant in the Playbill. Baker Stacy Donnelly bakes the pies that the cast eats on stage, as well as the mini Mason Jar pies which concessionaires in waitress uniforms sell at the show. Ms. Donnelly also coached the leading actors in how to handle the ingredients and the dough.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the show brought attention to the cause by changing the waitresses’ iconic blue uniforms to pink uniforms during the month of October.

The show’s producers also want audiences to sense the Waitress experience in every way possible, so an actual pie bakes in a convection oven as they enter the theatre, filling the space with the mouthwatering aroma of apples and cinnamon.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “​The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed By My Eggs Pie.” When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying run-in with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it. Change is on the menu, as long as Jenna can write her own perfectly personal recipe for happiness.

The Broadway cast of Waitress currently features Shoshana Bean, Charity Angel Dawson, Caitlin Houlahan, Erich Bergen, Ben Thompson, Larry Marshall, Benny Elledge, Noah Galvin, Melody A. Betts, Tyrone Davis Jr., Andrew Fitch, Molly Hager, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Arica Jackson, Molly Jobe, Brandon Kalm, Max Kumangai, Tess Murphy, Everleigh Rotunno, Stephanie Torns and Dan Tracy.

 Waitress is produced on Broadway by Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick.

Tickets are available through January 5, 2020 by visiting the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th Street), calling Ticketmaster at 877-250-2929 or online at Ticketmaster.com.