The latest customer at the diner in the Broadway musical Waitress will be Ben Thompson as the character “Earl.” Thompson joins the production on February 27, 2018, playing opposite one of the show’s creators, Sara Bareilles (as Jenna) who wrote the musical’s Tony-nominated music and lyrics. Thompson portrays Jenna’s husband, the two struggling in a loveless marriage.
Ben Thompson is no stranger to the New York stage, having played Miss Trunchbull in Matilda (Broadway), Griffy in Holler if Ya Hear Me (Broadway), Carrie (Off-Broadway), Rent (Off-Broadway), and American Idiot (Broadway). Thompson will play Yakov in the forthcoming film The Seagull with Saoirse Ronan, Elizabeth Moss, and Annette Bening. Other film appearances include The Greatest Showman and Freedom. Television credits include Law & Order: SVU and Daredevil.
Waitress stars Sara Bareilles as Jenna, with Benny Elledge (Cal), Tony Award nominee Christopher Fitzgerald (Ogie), Drew Gehling (Dr. Pomatter), Caitlin Houlahan (Dawn), Ben Thompson (Earl), Lee Wilkof (Joe), NaTasha Yvette Williams (Becky), Victoria Collett, Dayna Jarae Dantzler, Kayla Davion, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Matt DeAngelis, Law Terrell Dunford, Andrew Fitch, Kate Grober, Molly Hager, Molly Jobe, Brandon Kalm, Anastacia McCleskey, and Stephanie Torns.
Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town, who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage with her husband Earl. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new physician, Dr. Pomatter, may offer her a chance at a new life, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes to happiness. But Jenna must find the courage and strength within herself to rebuild her life. This new American musical celebrates friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.”
Waitress features a score by Grammy and Tony-nominated composer Bareilles, a book by Jessie Nelson, adapted from 2007 screenplay by Adrienne Shelly. The musical opened at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre in April of 2016. Diane Paulus (Pippin, Hair) directed the show with choreography by Chase Brock.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.