Jessie Mueller Waitress 2

** 1/2

I have to admit: WAITRESS, BRIGHT STAR and SHE LOVES ME are pretty much a Romantic-Musical-Comedy blur to me. The specific joys of WAITRESS are the wonderful score by Sara Bareilles which include some sophisticated lyrics and tunes with strong pop hooks, the handsome and adept physical comedian Drew Gehling as the inappropriate love interest, the always delightful scene stealer Christopher Fitzgerald and the big-hearted, wide open soul with a voice that soars, Jessie Mueller.

What it’s missing is a decent sound design. I lost about 1/3rd of the lyrics to muffled sound (I was sitting in the 8th row, center orchestra). I found it even more disconcerting because the cast all wear those little round mouth mics (think 1990’s Madonna) instead of the usual tiny mics in their wigs. So much for the Tony Committee deciding that Sound Design isn’t important enough to be recognized.

My other big problem is that, for a musical touted as having a landmark all-female creative team*, the resolution to the Waitress’ financial problems comes by way of a gift from a MAN.  I understand that they are mirroring the movie, but with that many “sisters” in control, why wouldn’t they fix this glaring stroke of misogyny?

FaceBook Page: Reinstate the Tony for Sound Design

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*BTW – All but one of the designers is male. 



Cynthia Erivo in THE COLOR PURPLE, photo by Matthew Murphy


John Doyle‘s production of THE COLOR PURPLE starring Cynthia Erivo, Danielle Brooks and Heather Headley is a peak theatrical experience and you are being foolish if you don’t stop reading this immediately and go buy your tickets.

Why are you still here? Do I need to tell you that the cast draws every character with such economy and theatricality that they are not just recognizable, but they radiate their humanity off the stage?  Do I need to tell you that the vocal arrangements are so glorious that they are easily the best I have ever heard on Broadway?  Do I really need to tell you that Cynthia Erivo gets a show-stopping standing ovation where the audience goes so crazy she has to hush them?

I never realized before how THE COLOR PURPLE lives in a world where all kinds of troubled souls are allowed to grow and evolve and when they do, they come together to praise God for his compassion in a beautiful polyphony of choral glorification.

I hope you bought your tickets.

Let Laura read this to you;


A gorgeous clip from the show:

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