Sara Bareilles in ‘Waitress.’ (Photo: Jeremy Daniel)
Sugar, butter, ticket sales! Broadway performances have resumed, and while the Delta variant of the coronavirus may be keeping some tourists and ticket buyers away, many shows are enjoying a surge as audiences rush back to their happy place: the theater. Waitress recently set a single-performance box office record — on Friday, September 3, the indie-flick-turned-musical grossed $197,878 in tickets sales. This figure shattered the Ethel Barrymore Theatre’s previous single-performance house record (set in 2013 at $184,476 thanks to a starry revival of Betrayal starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz).
The box office record may be a good sign for an industry in need of a lift. The Tony-nominated production opened on Broadway in 2016, was shuttered during COVID, and returned to sold-out performances starting September 2. This production is now enjoying a limited return engagement, running through January 9, 2022. The boost in ticket sales may be more than just Broadway fever: the show’s composer and lyricist, Grammy winner and Emmy nominee Sara Bareilles reopened the production and is starring in the show as waitress Jenna through October 17.
Also starring in the production are original cast members Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter and Tony nominee Christopher Fitzgerald. Joining them are Caitlin Houlahan as Dawn, Dakin Matthews as Joe, Charity Angel Dawson as Becky, Eric Anderson as Cal, and Joe Tippett as Earl.
In Waitress, Jenna is out of love and out of luck: she’s pregnant and married to an abusive man and is stuck in a dead-end job creating unique pies as a form of financial and emotional escape. With the help of her fellow waitresses, Jenna fights to reclaim a long-forgotten part of herself. Unexpected romances, obstacles, and triumphs give Jenna the strength to make her dreams a reality in this story about ambition, independence, and female friendship. Tickets are now on sale for this Broadway smash playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.