A Legend in the Baking: Waitress Comes to Fort Collins

Sugar. Butter. Flour. Like a good pie, Waitress has all the ingredients to make for a really good time. In perfect proportions, Tony-winner Diane Paulus’ buttery smooth direction, lead actress Jisel Soleil Ayon’s sugary sweet portrayal, and Grammy-winner Sara Bareilles’ flour-like key ingredient songs all combine to make one perfectly tasty treat!

Jenna Hunterson, played by Jisel Soleil Ayon, is a waitress in a controlling and abusive marriage in the national Broadway tour coming to The Lincoln Center for four performances January 6-8. Jenna finds solace in making pies with quirky names like “Kick in the Pants Pie” and “I Hate My Husband Pie”. She dreams of escaping her marriage, but when she discovers she’s pregnant, her life takes some even more unexpected turns.

“This show has so much heart and humanity, and audiences feel that,” says Ayon. “It’s why people continue to come back to this show. People can see a little bit of themselves in each character.”

Jenna’s best friends are fellow waitresses Becky and Dawn, each with their own challenges in their love life. Nerdy and insecure, Dawn struggles with an overly amorous suitor and her fear of being left. Becky, in a loveless marriage with an older man, is desperate to just feel anything.

“Two of the central themes of this show are community and friendship,” continues Ayon. “These are two things that everyone understands and can really feel when they watch the show.”

Being cast in the show has been a fun experience for Ayon, especially after nearly two years of live shows being cancelled by the pandemic. “Words are not quite enough to express the deep gratitude I feel and the true magic that live theater holds,” says Ayon. “There is nothing else like it; so to have it ripped away from us with no knowledge of when it would come back was devastating. Which makes the return all the more joyous and exciting. Theatre is my home and I am back where I want to be and there is nothing more I can ask. I’m beyond thankful to be able to step out onto a stage almost every night and bring a room together through a living, breathing performance that is one of a kind to that moment in time. It’s exhilarating and just where I belong!”

Additionally, Ayon says, “I want audiences to know that we are so grateful you’re coming out to support live theater in Fort Collins and share in the one-of-a-kind moments that it creates. We hope you come in with open hearts and leave with them full to the brim, and possibly with a new view on life.”

Come enjoy the rich and delicious goodness of Waitress live on The Lincoln Center stage January 6–8. Tickets start at $20 and are available at LCtix.com or by phone at 970-221-6730.

Holiday Happenings

‘Tis the season for creating lasting holiday memories at The Lincoln Center. Don’t miss these upcoming festive shows.

40th Annual The Nutcracker | Canyon Concert Ballet
Dec 3–5

Twelfth Month | Dance Express
Dec 3–4

Clara and the Nutcracker | Contemporary Dance Academy
Dec 10–11

Nutcracker with a Twist | Mountain Dance
Dec 10–12

Rocky Mountain High Experience: A John Denver Christmas starring Rick Schuler | Emery Entertainment
Dec 12

Holiday Stocking | Rocky Mountain High School Performing Arts Department
Dec 13

The Holiday Spectacular | High Country Conservatory of Dance
Dec 17

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol | LC Live
Dec 18

The 4th Annual Improv for a Claus | The Parker Players
Dec 18

Let’s Do the Twist | Just for Kix
Dec 19

November Notes | LC Staff Picks

What better theme for the month of November than gratitude, gravy or good times? Enjoy these LC Staff picks about thankfulness, food fun and time spent with family and friends.

Read below to find out why our staff chose these songs then check out our Spotify playlist to listen on repeat.

●     ●     ●

Jack had extra fun with our theme this month, so to kick things off, here are his picks:

“Let’s get literal.”

“Gratitude” by Beastie Boys

“Pure Gravy” by Deep Banana Blackout

Good Times Theme Song

“Be Thankful For What You Got” by William DeVaughn

“Seriously, though if there is a song for Thanksgiving I would go with ‘Be Thankful For What You Got’ by William DeVaughn.” —Jack

“Stand By Me” by Florence + The Machine

“My feel-good gratitude song is ‘Stand By Me’ by Florence + The Machine. I love this song and I love Florence’s voice covering it. It makes me think of love and family and never giving up on each other no matter what.” —Todd

“Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler

“Totally dating myself here, but Adam Sandler’s ‘Thanksgiving Song’ is one of my faves! That early 90s SNL cast was amazing and each week my high school friends and I would soak in the show. Sandler’s silly songs usually became our spoof of the week.” —Victoria

“Bread and Butter” by The Newbeats

“Also, I’m throwing in ‘Bread and Butter’ by The Newbeats. What’s not to love? There’s bread. There’s butter. There’s heartbreak…which is a good reminder to us all to make sure we’re thankful for the good things we’ve got.” —Victoria

“Eyes of the World” by Grateful Dead

“A song for me that invokes beauty, bliss and togetherness from the very first note.” —Ben

“Turkey Lurkey Time” from Promises, Promises

“So the song is technically about Christmas BUT one of its main hooks (and the title!) is about turkey, and for me and my family, it’s not Thanksgiving without gathering around one!” —Taylor

“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie

“This one is easy. ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ by Arlo Guthrie! It is a decades-old tradition for Carl and me to listen to it, usually on a local radio station on Thanksgiving Day as we are driving to see and celebrate with family.

We know all the lyrics, even using them as we joke in other times of the year.” —Deedee

“It’s not Thanksgiving at my household without my dad putting on ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’ by Arlo Guthrie, an 18-minute song that is emphatically not about Thanksgiving, but a strange radio tradition. You can read about how it became associated with it here.” —Alison

“Thank U” by Alanis Morissette

⚠️: Video contains mature content.

“Beautifully sung. Beautiful poignant lyrics. Conveys a deeper, spiritual level of gratitude which can result in a personal release and liberation.”—Peter

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Soundtrack – Original Score by Vince Guaraldi Quintet

“I like the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Soundtrack. It is jazzy and is a great precursor to Christmas. I like it in the background when I am making the turkey, etc.” —Liz

●     ●     ●

⚠️: Playlist contains songs with mature content.

The Meow-sical Mr. Mistoffelees

Have you ever wondered if there ever was a cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees?

If anyone knows the answer to that question, it would be Paul Giarratano, the man—or should we say cat—himself. Set to perform on The Lincoln Center stage November 11–13, Giarratano will be playing the part of this extraordinary cat who can produce seven kittens straight out of a hat!

“I am so grateful to be a part of this legendary show!” says Giarratano. It is his first time performing in CATS, but playing this role on the national tour is a natural fit for his talents. “I love to dance, so being a part of a show like CATS that has so much dancing in it is just a dream come true for me!”

Based on a series of poems by T.S. Eliot about the secret lives of cats, CATS is a unique show filled with whimsy and glamor. CATS is one of the longest-running musicals in the storied histories of both Broadway and London’s West End. CATS is also one of the most decorated musicals ever, receiving the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design, amongst others.

“One of my favorite parts of the show is the opening, ‘Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats,’” says Giarratano. “I think it is such a powerful moment and really sets the stage for the audience that they are in for an experience unlike any other.”

It may have been nearly forty years since the initial production, but none of the allure has worn off this fabulous show. “A favorite element of mine are the costumes, wigs, and makeup,” says Giarratano. “Seeing everyone literally transform into a cat every night is just so breathtaking and it is not possible without some really awesome people doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes.”

The show, however, is far more than just amazing costumes and toe-tappingly fun songs. “I think that the audience will really resonate with the journey that Grizabella goes on throughout the show,” says Giarratano. “From being pushed aside and outcast, to coming to be accepted by the tribe, it is something that a lot of people can relate to very closely.”

After a year of not being able to perform due to COVID, Giarratano is just as eager to entertain as the audience is to be entertained. “It truly feels so magical. I feel honored that I get to do what I love every day on stage while being surrounded by such talented and creative individuals. I do not take it for granted by any means.”

As for coming to Fort Collins, Giarratano can’t wait! “We are so grateful to perform for you all and we hope to see you at the Jellicle Ball! Come one, come all!

Experience the magic yourself live from The Lincoln Center’s stage Nov 11–13. Tickets start at $20 and are available at LCtix.com or by phone at 970-221-6730.