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Nik Dodani, Ben Thompson

Nik Dodani & Ben Thompson to Join Waitress on Broadway

One new and one returning face will be arriving at the diner! Today it was announced that Nik Dodani and Ben Thompson will be joining Waitress on October 19. The two will take on the roles of Ogie and Earl, respectively, replacing Christopher Fitzgerald and Joe Tippett.

Dodani makes his Broadway debut in Waitress, having just been seen in the film adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen. Thompson returns to the show after playing the role of Earl in the show’s previous run at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where he was a member of the closing cast.

The pair join the same night as previously announced Jennifer Nettles, who takes on the role of Jenna, replacing the show’s composer, Sara Bareilles. Bareilles, Fitzgerald, and Tippett play their final performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on October 17. Ashley Blanchet and Maiesha McQueen recently joined the cast as Dawn and Becky, respectively, on Tuesday, October 5.

The rest of the company includes Eric Anderson as Cal, Drew Gehling as Dr. Pomatter, and Dakin Matthews as Joe, 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.

Based on the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly, Waitress is the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the four top creative team spots, with a book by Jessie Nelson, music and lyrics by Grammy Winner and Tony and Emmy Award-nominated Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest in a nearby county offers her a chance at escape, Jenna fights to reclaim a long-forgotten part of herself. Through the support of her fellow waitresses and an unexpected romance, Jenna begins to find the courage to take a long-abandoned dream off the shelf. Waitress celebrates the power of friendship, dreams, the family we choose, and the beauty of a well-baked pie.

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