The Broadway production of Waitress has found its new “Ogie”, which it turns out, is an old “Ogie”. Eddie Jemison, who played the character in the 2007 film version of Waitress, will reprise his film role in the hit musical playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Jemison, who is making his Broadway debut, begins performances on February 11 and will stay with Waitress through April 28, 2019.
A veteran of the Chicago Theatre scene, Jemison has appeared in Looking Glass Theatre’s 2017 production of Life Sucks. Other Chicago performances include Two Gentleman of Verona (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Only Kidding (Wisdom Bridge Theater) and Wizards of Quiz (National Jewish Theater—Jeff Award Nomination). Jemison has also appeared in film, including Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen, Waitress, The Punisher, and King of Herrings (New Orleans and Phoenix Film Festival Laurel Winner) which he wrote and co-directed. Eddie was a regular on HBO’s “Hung” and currently recurs on the CW series, “iZombie” as well as two seasons on the NBC hit series, “Chicago Med.”
“Waitress tells the story of 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.”
Featuring a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by six-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro, and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus, Waitress opened on Broadway on April 24, 2016. The musical was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Throughout its successful run, the production has seen a parade of well-known performers come through the diner including Jessie Mueller, Katharine McPhee, Al Roker, June Squibb and Gavin Creel.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.