Recently, we got to see Sara Bareilles perform, while making lots of pie, in Waitress on Broadway. Tickets were not cheap, but we rationalized that it was like seeing a Broadway show AND a concert so we ponied up the extra cash. And boy am I glad we did – thank you to Stacie and The NY Times for pushing me on this one.
If you know Sara, you are already aware that she has an amazing, chills inspiring voice. And you know she has an uncommonly amazing brain. A brain that can write music and lyrics (which she did for Waitress). A brain that she used to teach herself how to play the piano and other instruments. A brain she employed to write the book about her life that I just bought on Amazon. Some brain!! Well, it turns out she can act too. Which, if she were not so darn endearing, might make me hate her. But she is endearing and lovable in spades so I am opting for love.
You could tell the audience was a little bit anxious in anticipation of her performance. What if she couldn’t act? What if it was just her voice and her acting fell flat? Well let me tell you, there was nothing FLAT about her performance. She portrayed the highs and lows of being Jenna Hunterson with such heart and sincerity that we all fell in love with her that much more.
This show is a celebration of finding your place in the world, being seen, finding your path, while making pies and giving them fun names. It’s about the people around you who support you in this quest and believe in you before you believe in yourself. I was particularly struck by the support generously bestowed on Jenna by her fellow waitresses at the diner. These women were everything to one another. With patience, kindness, and love each helped the other become better versions of themselves by the end of the show.
This made me think of the many wonderful women that I am fortunate to have in my life who offer me that same support every day and I sent a quiet thank you in their direction. I will say it again here now as they know who they are: thanks you guys! Your support means the world. Over the course of the two and half hours we laughed a lot and we shed some tears. At one point I was compelled to cover the children’s eyes. During intermission we ate pie. At the end we stood and we cheered and we beamed back at the beaming, bright star of Sara Bareilles. Shine on Sara! Shine on!
Her last show is on June 11th. So hurry! if you want to see her in this role.