By Alison Baumgartner
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.