ORDER UP!: RiverPark Hosts National Tour of Broadway Monday ‘WAITER’ | characteristics
WAITRESS’ second national tour will serve up a dose of musical theater on Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the RiverPark Center.
Based on the 2007 film of the same name, starring Keri Russell, the musical premiered on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in April 2016 and was nominated for and received four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, at the 70th Annual Tony Awards a nomination for Best Musical Theater Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.
The show’s book was written by Jessie Nelson, best known for her film I Am Sam, with music and lyrics by Grammy-winning songwriter Sara Bareilles and directed by Tony Award-winning actress Diane Paulus.
Dominique Kent, who plays the role of Becky, said she and the cast are excited about coming to Owensboro, while Kent emphasizes that she’ll be able to travel places she’s never dared to go.
“We’re super excited,” said Kent. “I really see a lot of the country for the first time, especially the south and the middle of the country. I’m from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and live in Los Angeles so these are probably the two places I know best…. I look forward to seeing different cities and seeing what each city and culture brings….”
The show revolves around Jenna (played by Jisel Soleil Ayon) who makes a living as a waitress at a diner while in a tumultuous relationship with her husband Earl (Shawn W. Smith) and unexpectedly finds out she’s pregnant. Jenna finds escapism and joy in baking her own cakes while working alongside her friends Becky (Kent) and Dawn (Gabriella Marzetta) and forming a relationship with someone new.
Kent believes that audiences will be able to narrate the content of the show in some way while at the same time enjoying themselves.
“(The audience can) expect to have a great time. …It’s like a musical, a comedy, a dramedy…” Kent said. “The audience can definitely expect to actually see themselves on stage. Our show is fun and joyful…but at the same time it tells the story of Jenna who really doesn’t have the easiest life…and doesn’t really know herself and embarks on this journey of self-love and self-love. Worth being shown off by her two best friends, Becky and Dawn, as well as an unexpected relationship with her gynecologist. They really show her that she is worth more than she thinks. I think that’s definitely a lesson everyone will learn from our show.”
The tour began in October 2021 and the production cast looks forward to getting back to doing what they do best, which is in the spotlight, as this tour marks Kent’s debut national touring show.
“It was a hurricane,” Kent said. “It’s a little bit of everything I expected when I was learning about national touring at school, and at the same time nothing like it; just because of the last two years with COVID… but it’s been amazing. I’m having the time of my life…”
Kent said returning to performing after being unable to perform due to the coronavirus pandemic was “surreal”.
“…When theaters closed due to COVID, there was no idea what was going to happen next to live theater because Broadway was closed for such a long period of time,” Kent said. “With live theater comes live audiences and coming face to face with each other…. It feels absolutely surreal that I get to do that…”
For Monday’s performance, the production cast looks forward to sharing their talents, the live band and the story, while showcasing the “nuances of the theatre.”
“It’s going to be a time of cheering and roaring, and it’s definitely a show not to be missed,” said Kent. “(It’s) very happy and it’s going to be an amazing night to just escape from the world around her and fully immerse myself in this other world.”