‘Waitress: The Musical’ review: Sara Bareilles serves up a zoomed in view of the Broadway hit

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CNN
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Nothing produces a tingle up the backbone fairly like reside theater, and “Waitress: The Musical” joins the listing of filmed musicals which have preserved their stage qualities whereas giving viewers the perfect seat in the home. Sara Bareilles headlines this adaptation for which she wrote the lilting songs, in a present that manages to be alternately candy and foolish, touching and raunchy.

Primarily based on the 2007 film starring Keri Russell, “Waitress” loaded up a full tray’s price of Tony Award nominations in 2016, solely to expertise the unlucky timing of getting shot down by operating into the “Hamilton” buzzsaw. Appropriately, the latter’s manufacturing on Disney+ kicked off a pandemic wave of filmed musicals and performs coming to streaming providers, which additionally included Apple’s “Come From Away,” each glittering examples of the shape.

Receiving a five-day theatrical window, the filmed model of the musical “Waitress” doesn’t climb to these heights, nevertheless it comes lots shut, and soars in moments. Bareilles, for instance, earns (and deserves) a mid-show standing ovation after belting out “She Used to Be Mine,” a tune that defines the musical’s emotional core.

Mentioned core comes from Bareilles’ Jenna, whose bond along with her coworkers (Charity Angél Dawson, Caitlin Houlahan) on the native diner sustains her within the face of an sad residence life along with her abusive lout of a husband (Joe Tippett).

Jenna is thus horrified to find that she is likely to be pregnant – the byproduct of a drunken night time – although the unwelcome growth does convey her into contact with an ungainly physician (Drew Gehling), with whom she begins an affair. Add that to her roster of questionable selections, which the 2 acknowledge head-on in a tune titled “Dangerous Thought.”

Jenna additionally possesses a knack for pie-making courtesy of her late mom, a ability that she hopes to make use of to obtain her freedom, planning to enter a contest and use the prize cash to run away. If that looks like a skinny thread upon which to hold her hopes, it’s emblematic of the desperation that makes “Waitress” so poignant.

The extra theatrical facets of the musical, comparable to Christopher Fitzgerald’s eccentric suitor, are clearly designed for an in-person setting, and threat feeling just a little too large blown up for the display screen.

Nonetheless, in a month that brings two film musicals in “The Colour Purple” (additionally a film was a musical) and “Wonka,” the present makes the transition with most of its charms – and Bareilles’ golden set of singing pipes – very a lot intact. And whereas “Waitress” continues to be in all probability a dish greatest served reside, like “Hamilton” and “Come From Away,” seeing this occasion presentation looks like a good suggestion.

“Waitress: The Musical” will play December 7-11 in US theaters.

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