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Why ‘Waitress’ is My All-Time Favorite Musical

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Jefferson chapter.


This past week, I had the pleasure of seeing my all-time favorite musical, Waitress, at the Academy of Music in Center City, Philadelphia. This carefully crafted musical with its music and lyrics were written by Sara Bareilles has warmed my heart for years now. It centers around the main character Jenna Hudson, a waitress from a small town in Indiana, finding herself again after her abusive husband, Earl, gets her pregnant. Have I got you hooked yet? If not, let me tell you why this musical is a must-see Broadway hit!

  1. The plot

While Waitress mainly centers around the life of Jenna, there are also a few other plotlines that had me on the edge of my seat. Two of Jenna’s friends, Becky and Dawn, who also work at Joe’s Pie Diner, find themselves in love stories of their own. The dynamic of these three leading ladies’ friendship is certainly one to be jealous of. All three of these women stand by each other’s side in spite of all of the obstacles thrown their way.

  1. Character development

At the beginning of the show, Jenna is so worn down from the toxic relationship she finds herself in. She wishes she could run away from all of her troubles, including her baby. However, as the plot develops, so does she. By the end of this play, you find yourself so proud of Jenna and the woman that she has grown to become. Not only does she have her baby, but due to the immense love and care she has for her child, she is given enough courage to break free of her abusive marriage. 

  1. Joe 

Throughout the story, we learn that Jenna’s mother has passed away, and her father walked out on them when she was a young child. Jenna is still dealing with her mother’s death but feels a strong connection with her when she bakes pies. However, Jenna still has no parental figures in her life anymore, until Joe came along. Joe is the owner of Joe’s Pie Diner and forms a bond with our leading waitress. Although he is very meticulous and witty, you can see that he truly cares about Jenna. His character adds an essential dynamic to this story. Not only does he encourage Jenna to enter the pie contest so she can leave her husband, but he also ends up giving her his diner when he passes. His grandfather-like character will just bring you to tears. 

  1. The music

Last but certainly not least, the music! The lyrical stylings of Sara Bareilles are absolutely breathtaking. These songs make you feel the same exact emotions as the characters. I cannot tell you how many times She Used To Be Mine or Take It From An Old Man has made me cry. I love this soundtrack with all my heart. Even if you never get the chance to see this musical, please check out the soundtrack, you won’t regret it!

Jennifer Arden

Jefferson '25

Jenn is a second-year student in the Health Sciences: Pre-Nursing Program at Jefferson. She loves spending time with her friends and family, making Spotify playlists, and working towards her goals. Her passions include music, self-care, and self-love!