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The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

‘Waitress’ proshot pulls at viewer’s heartstrings

Christiana Vucea
The Broadway production of “Waitress” ran from 2016 to 2020 with more than 1,500 performances and four Tony Award nominations.

A story about sugar, butter, flour and, above all, persistence. The proshot of “Waitress” is a piece of outstanding artistry. For those unaware, a proshot, or professionally shot, is a filmed version of a live stage show. The “Waitress” proshot is now available on Prime Video and Apple TV+. 

Following Jenna, a waitress and baker played by Sara Bareilles at a pie shop in small-town America, the show explores friendship, love and motherhood. Jenna has to face the trials of becoming a mother while navigating a chronically collapsing life. 

Waitress” is a musical that shines in its musical aspects. The show’s soundtrack, composed by Bareilles, is incredible. Songs like “When He Sees Me” are fun and sweet, giving the soundtrack so much joy and life. The songs are also super catchy due to Bareilles’ chops in writing pop music.

While easy to catch on to, the songs are still profoundly impactful. “When He Sees Me” explores Jenna’s friend and coworker, Dawn, and her overthinking in her romantic life. The exploration of this character through music was done exceptionally well in this particular production, as Caitlin Houlahan portrays the song in a more low-key manner. This emphasizes her getting in her head and fighting against perfectionism. Her internal struggle to overcome the self-doubt that stops her from finding love before she even looks for it, and even from loving herself, was portrayed earnestly.

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“Waitress” really excels in its more serious songs. The show’s second act is a masterclass in pulling at a viewer’s heartstrings and features some of my favorites from the show.

“You Matter To Me” is a conclusion to the show’s romantic plotline, and it is the end of that plotline. Jenna doesn’t end up with the kind-hearted doctor, Jim, and instead concludes that thread with something arguably more powerful: someone who cares. They’re just two people who need each other at a point in time, two people who can hold each other and care about each other with the understanding that they matter to one another.

In a show where the protagonist has felt helpless and like she hasn’t mattered for years, this means so much more than any romantic subplot coming to fruition. Unsurprisingly, this was the point in the show where the waterworks began as a viewer. 

The two-song run of “She Used to Be Mine” and “Everything Changes” is hands down the most compelling moment of “Waitress”. The run captures the most integral part of Jenna’s emotional journey and ends her motherhood plotline beautifully. 

“Everything Changes” is arguably the best from the soundtrack. The song shows Jenna finally getting her happy ending, which helped reduce the previous song’s heartache. Bareilles does an incredible job characterizing this moment in the show, and it was truly impactful for me.

Besides the music, other aspects of the production were also incredible. The set design did a great job at showcasing the small-town American atmosphere the show is set in, managing to place the audience anywhere from a diner to a hospital with ease. The costuming also worked quite well and added to the characters’ recognizability and importance in the show. 

“Waitress” was an emotional journey with the viewer genuinely invested in this slice-of-life story of a woman trying to find a better life for herself and her future daughter. It’s a gorgeous mix of authentic human relationships and experiences, all served in a perfect pie. The production is a must-watch, deserving a spot on everyone’s watch list. 

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About the Contributor
Christiana Vucea, Graphics Editor
Christiana Vucea is a senior and an editor for the graphics section this year! She has been doing graphics since freshman year and is excited for new features coming to the Tide this year. When she’s not doodling something, she can be found either sleeping or stressing over physics homework.