Start with a story of friendship and romance. Mix in some singing and dancing. Add a dash of magic. It's the winning recipe for the musical Waitress at Seattle's Paramount Theatre.
Actress Desi Oakley shines on stage in the lead role of Jenna.
"Jenna is a fighter. Her friends call her the queen of kindness and goodness," explains Oakley. "She's been through a lot. but she wouldn't tell you that she's been through a lot, and she breaks my heart on stage...she doesn't realize her potential."
Trapped in a loveless marriage, Jenna dreams about 'baking her way' to a better life.
"She's an expert pie maker, she works at a pie diner," says Oakley. "She is a really down to earth woman she is someone we can all relate to. She kind of buries her realities in her pies."
This story originally graced the silver screen in film starring Keri Russell. But the musical version has a few secret ingredients.
According to Oakley, "The people that loved the movie will love the musical but it's a different entity. You know Keri Russell doesn't sing in the film you know so there are all these other elements that really make the musical so special."
Speaking of music, the score features songs by Sara Bareilles of 'Love Song' fame. Oakley is a fan. "Sara is such a witty writer so it's quick it's very tongue in cheek but it's so easy to hear and easy to listen to so it's really serves the story well." She continues, "The music is incredible."
Waitress has all the essential elements of a hit show. But what makes this heartwarming story unique is that it's served up with a slice of inspiration.
"Leaning on friends. Believing in yourself. Taking ownership over our actions-- things like that," states Oakley. "I mean they're really serious serious things but then all together it's like this lighthearted story, so I think audiences take away those big themes while having a feel good musical."
From the Paramount Theatre Website: STG & Broadway at The Paramount present WAITRESS at The Paramount Theatre September 11-16, 2018.
Inspired by Adrienne Shelly's beloved film, WAITRESS tells the story of Jenna - a waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town's new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life