A new crew at Waitress has clocked in for their first shift: The Broadway company welcomed several new cast members to the hit musical at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre October 19.
Country music favorite and longtime Broadway champion Jennifer Nettles stepped into the leading role of Jenna, succeeding fellow Grammy winner (and Tony-nominated Waitress composer) Sara Bareilles. The evening also marked the Broadway debut of Nik Dodani (Dear Evan Hansen movie), who joined the company as Ogie, as well as the return of Waitress alum Ben Thompson as Earl and Erich Bergen as Dr. Pomatter. Bergen fills in for Drew Gehling through October 24 and November 2–7.
The cast also features includes Eric Anderson as Cal, Ashley Blanchet as Dawn, Dakin Matthews as Joe, and Maiesha McQueen as Becky, alongside Tyrone Davis, Jr., Matt DeAngelis, Andrew Fitch, Henry Gottfried, Molly Jobe, Emily Koch, Max Kumangai, Anastacia McCleskey, Gerianne Pérez, Stephanie Torns, Hattie Cecelia Tutalo, Nyla Watson, and Nora Lincoln Weiner.
Nettles, lead vocalist of the country duo Sugarland, made her Broadway debut in 2015 as Roxie Hart in Chicago (produced, like Waitress, by Barry and Fran Weissler). She’s subsequently headlined Mamma Mia! at the Hollywood Bowl, collaborated with Wicked on the show’s #OutofOz series, and performed at MCC Theater’s famed Miscast gala. Earlier this year, she released the album Always Like New, featuring new arrangements of classic and contemporary Broadway showtunes.
Based on the 2007 film of the same name, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker, who is stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest in a nearby county offers her a chance at escape, Jenna must weigh her commitments against a rare shot at freedom and recognition.
The original Broadway production opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre April 24, 2016, making history as the first Broadway musical to have four women in the four top creative spots: composer Bareilles, book writer Jessie Nelson, director Diane Paulus, and choreographer Lorin Latarro. The production played 33 previews and 1,544 regular performances before closing January 5, 2020, earning four Tony nominations including Best Original Score and Best Musical.
Waitress features sets by Scott Pask, costumes by Suttirat Anne Larlarb, lighting by Tony Christopher Akerlind, and sound by Jonathan Deans. Nadia DiGiallonardo serves as music supervisor. Casting is by The Telsey Office. Visit the Playbill Vault for the complete cast and creative team.