Following a nearly four-year run, Waitress hangs up its Broadway apron for the final time January 5. With the January 5 performance, the musical has played 33 previews and 1,544 regular performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Upon opening April 24, 2016, Waitress made history as the first Broadway musical to have four women in the four top creative spots: composer Sara Bareilles, book writer Jessie Nelson, director Diane Paulus, and choreographer Lorin Latarro. Bareilles earned Tony and Grammy nominations for her work on the score.
Based on the 2007 film by the late Adrienne Shelly, the musical follows Jenna, a small-town diner employee who dreams up an escape from her abusive marriage through therapeutic baking (and a fling with her OBGYN). After premiering at the American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts, the musical headed to Broadway before a subsequent national tour launch and an engagement in London's West End. A Netherlands production will open in September.
Smash and American Idol alum Katharine McPhee plays Jenna in the final company, having made her Broadway debut in the musical last year and opening the London staging. She is joined by original cast members Drew Gehling and Christopher Fitzgerald as Dr. Pomatter and Ogie, respectively, as well as Caitlin Houlahan as Dawn, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Becky, Ben Thompson as Earl, Larry Marshall as Joe, and Benny Elledge as Cal.
When the musical opened, Tony winner Jessie Mueller took center stage as Jenna, earning a Tony nomination. Since then, the role has been played on Broadway by such performers as Shoshana Bean, Nicolette Robinson, Betsy Wolfe, and Jordin Sparks, as well as Bareilles herself for multiple stints. Other replacements have included Gavin Creel and Jason Mraz as Dr. Pomatter, Al Roker and June Squibb as Joe (the latter adopting the name Josie), Todrick Hall and Noah Galvin as Ogie, and Colleen Ballinger and Jenna Ushkowitz as Dawn.
Rounding out the final cast are Dayna Jarae Dantzler, Tyrone Davis Jr., Andrew Fitch, Henry Gottfried, Molly Hager, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, David Hughey, Arica Jackson, Molly Jobe, Brandon Kalm, Delaney Quinn, Scarlett Sher, and Stephanie Torns.