It is announced today that the London production of Waitress has cast its youngest company members. At just four and six years old, Fifi Christophers and Arabella Duffy will make their West End debuts sharing the role of Lulu. The Tony-nominated musical by Sara Bareilles will have its official opening night on 7 March at the Adelphi Theatre.
Currently playing its third year on Broadway, Waitress brings with it an all-female lead creative team – a West End musical first. Waitress stars Katharine McPhee (Smash) as Jenna, Emmy-nominee Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) as Ogie, Marisha Wallace as Becky, Laura Baldwin as Dawn, Peter Hannah as Earl, David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter and Shaun Prendergast as Old Joe.
The full company includes Kelly Agbowu, Laura Baldwin, Piers Bate, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Michael Hamway, Peter Hannah, David Hunter, Stephen Leask, Jack McBrayer, Chris McGuigan, Katharine McPhee, Olivia Moore, Nathaniel Morrison, Sarah O’Connor, Leanne Pinder, Shaun Prendergast, Charlotte Riby, Marisha Wallace and Mark Willshire.
Meet 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.
Waitress also recently announced the first of its “Cast Album Karaoke” nights in London, meaning that theatre lovers who have always dreamt of singing on the West End stage will soon be able to make their dream a reality. The first ever karaoke nights will be held post-show on Tuesday 19 February and Monday 18 March 2019. For the chance to sing one minute of any song from the show – live on stage and accompanied by the show’s musical director Katharine Woolley – interested audience members just need to sign up in the theatre before the performance.
Waitress opened on 24 April 2016 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theater. Based on the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly, Waitress was the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, featuring original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (“Love Song”, “Brave”), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland) and choreography by Lorin Latarro. The production is currently touring the US and has also announced it will have its Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.
On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award Nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk Nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.
The Adelphi Theatre
London WC2R 0NS
Performances from Friday 8 February
Opening night: Thursday 7 March
Sara Bareilles (Music and Lyrics)
Sara made her debut with Little Voice in 2007, which reached #1 in 22 countries around the world. Since then, the international star has gone on to release a New York Times best-selling book, Sounds Like Me – My Life (so far) in Song, and five studio albums, including her most recent, What’s Inside: Songs from Waitress. For Waitress, she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Original Score, Drama Desk Award nominations for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics, an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Score, and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. Last year she received the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Awards for her success in Music and her championing of women everywhere at the United Nations. To add to her myriad successes, Sara has been Emmy nominated for this year’s Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in Jesus Christ Superstar Live!
Jessie Nelson (Book)
Jessie wrote, directed, and produced Corrina, Corrina with Whoopi Goldberg and I Am Sam with Sean Penn, who received an Academy Award nomination for his performance. Recently she directed an episode of Larry David’s latest series of Curb Your Enthusiasm and 2015’s Love the Coopers which starred Diane Keaton and John Goodman. Jessie is currently co-writing the sequel to Disney’s hugely popular musical fantasy Enchanted, humorously named Disenchanted. She co-wrote Step Mom and The Story of Us, and produced Danny Collins with Al Pacino and Annette Bening and Fred Claus with Vince Vaughn. Jessie co-wrote Alice By Heart with Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, which was developed at The National Theatre. She began her career in the theater working with Mabou Mines and The New York Shakespeare Festival. Jessie co-wrote the children’s book Labracadabra. She has been the Artistic Director of the Sundance Institute’s Writers Lab.
Diane Paulus (Director)
Diane is The Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director of the A.R.T. at Harvard University, and was selected for the 2014 TIME 100, TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Diane is the 2013 recipient of the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (Pippin). A.R.T.: Crossing, Finding Neverland (currently on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre), Witness Uganda, Pippin, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Prometheus Bound, Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, The Donkey Show. Her other recent work includes Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, currently on tour in Europe; The Public Theater’s Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway and London’s West End. As an opera director, her credits include The Magic Flute, the complete Monteverdi cycle, and Don Giovanni, among others. Diane is Professor of the Practice of Theater in Harvard University’s English Department. She was selected as one of Variety’s “Trailblazing Women in Entertainment for 2014” and Boston Magazine’s “50 Thought Leaders of 2014.”
Lorin Latarro (Choreographer)
Lorin recently choreographed Broadway's Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber, and Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and she is the Associate Choreographer of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and American Idiot. Her additional choreography includes Chess (The Kennedy Center); Lin-Manuel Miranda's 21 Chump Street for "This American Life" (Brooklyn Academy Of Music); The Public Theater's Twelfth Night and The Odyssey (Delacorte Theater); Queen of the Night (Diamond Horseshoe); Assassins; God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; and Fanny (City Center Encores!); Between the Lines (Kansas City Repertory Theatre); Beaches (Drury Lane Theatre) and A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre Center). Lorin is a Bucks County Playhouse Artistic Associate and a Juilliard School graduate. Her upcoming work includes Heart of Rock and Roll at Old Globe and La Traviata at The Metropolitan Opera.