Producers of the Broadway musical Waitress have announced that two of the show’s current stars will extend their stay with the production. Today Show weatherman and featured reporter Al Roker, who made his Broadway debut as “Old Joe” in the show on October 5, and Nicolette Robinson, who is currently playing the show’s lead Jenna, will now stay with Waitress through November 18, 2018. Robinson is making her Broadway debut as well. Mr. Roker will not be in performances on November 9, 10, and 11.
Sara Bareilles, the show’s composer and lyricist, offered this praise of Robinson, “The poise, grace, humor, fire, quiet generosity, and insane vocals THAT GOT APPLAUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF SONGS… Nicolette is the real deal. Don’t miss this jewel who is telling this story with such truth and grit. We are so lucky. May YOU all be so lucky”.
Al Roker quipped, “The cast and crew at the Brooks Atkinson are obviously gluttons for punishment or have a sadistic streak, so they asked me to stick around for another week.”
Waitress currently stars Nicolette Robinson, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Lenne Klingaman, Drew Gehling, Ben Thompson, Al Roker, Benny Elledge, Alex Wyse, Mariam Bedigian,Tyrone Davis, Jr., Law Terrell Dunford, Andrew Fitch, London Skye Gilliam, Molly Hager, Tiffany Denise Hobbs, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Molly Jobe, Brandon Kalm, Anastacia McCleskey, Stephanie Torns and Dan Tracy.
Waitress, which just celebrated its second anniversary on Broadway, features a score by Sara Bareilles, 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.
“Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town, who dreams of a way out of a loveless marriage with her husband Earl. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor 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.”
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.