I wrote a review of Waitress the Musical last June after I had seen it for the second time (access it here), and my opinions of the overall show are more or less the same. However, this third time around was really something special.
Thursday night I headed into Manhattan again to see Waitress for the third time. I believe there is only one other musical I can say I saw more than twice, and that’s Spamalot. Waitress is in good standing to beat that one out, because I absolutely love it, and would definitely see it a fourth time.
However, I am veering from the main purpose of this post. The reason for round three was the fact that Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz were starring as Jenna Hunterson and Dr. Pomatter, and I just couldn’t miss that experience! I was so amped about it that I even signed up for an American Express card so I could get tickets during the presale. I paid a small fortune for third row center orchestra tickets, but I have absolutely no regrets. It was, as it had been the other two times I saw it, brilliant and funny and touching and everything I want in a musical.
I met my mom after work and we headed into the city, where we had dinner at the Glass House Tavern, which turned out to be right next to the theater. I chose it because it was different from Marseille, my favorite pre-theater restaurant (for some reason I felt it important to branch out). Two awesome cocktails and a nice seafood paella later, we headed into the theater, and found out that it was Cast Album Karaoke night, hosted by Bareilles and Mraz! My mom and I both signed up to be in the drawing to get a chance to sing on stage with them, her with Everything Changes and me with What Baking Can Do (spoiler alert: neither of us got chosen to sing, but we still stuck around and enjoyed the experience).
The show was AWESOME. Seeing Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz together, after hearing their renditions of many of the songs, was almost surreal and I enjoyed every moment of it. I had seen Bareilles play the part of Jenna before, but I thought this second time around she really embodied the character. Mraz was just the right mix of awkward that was needed to play Dr. Pommater. But truth be told, even if their performance had been less-than-stellar, it was all worth it to listen to them sing live.
I have long wanted to experience a Cast Album karaoke night, but this is the first time they had one when I was in attendance. Basically, audience members can put their names into a drawing to sing a song onstage with the band. I took a shot, despite the fact that the only time I sing is alone in my car while driving. But for the chance to get on stage with Sara Bareilles and Jason Mraz was too good to pass up. Sadly (or perhaps thankfully, I can’t really decide!), I was not called up. However, it was a really fun thing to be a part of. The people who did get called up were an eclectic mix, all with different levels of singing ability, and the audience welcomed every single one of them with open arms.
After the show, I convinced my mom to stand by the stage door, something I never really do, especially at shows with people who are famous outside of Broadway. I tend to find the experience a little bit too people claustrophobic, but we happened to find a good place to stand right at the barrier near the stage door. It was freezing, and my fingers went numb from holding my phone camera ready and waiting.
Worth it? Yes. Why? Cause I now have a picture of me and Sara Bareilles to add to my very small collection of pictures of me with famous people I’m a fan of (the other is John Krazinski).
All in all, a really fun night!