Waitress the Musical officially closed last night on Broadway, after 1,544 performances and 33 previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York.

The show, headlined by Katharine McPhee, who reprised her role as Jenna following her Broadway debut in 2018 and West End debut in 2019, featured emotional end-of-show bows and speeches by the creative team behind the show – director, Diane Paulus, book writer, Jessie Nelson, choreographer Lorin Latarro and composer, Sara Bareilles.

The show closed with a tearjerking rendition of “Everything Changes,” a group hug, and then each cast member left the stage at the Brooks Atkinson, for the final time.

Diane Paulus

“What an incredible night – unforgettable – and we just want to say a few words to mark this moment. This is a milestone and a closing of a chapter for the show, but I do want to acknowledge our sister companies around the world. We have Waitress in London, and Sara is heading to play Jenna there, we have our National Tour playing Ottawa, Canada this weekend, and we have companies opening in the Netherlands and Tokyo next year, so Waitress lives on. But tonight, we mark this moment of the closing of this beautiful chapter on Broadway.

“And there are just some people that we have to mention – we’ll pass the mic around. I’m going to quickly say, first of all, where the show all began I have to thank the great American Repertory Theatre. There would be no Waitress without that remarkable theatre, and them giving it a home and birthing it and we have our family from ART, who traveled in from Boston in the house tonight. Thank you ART. And moving to our gorgeous, wonderful home here at the Brooks Atkinson – thank you to every usher, every house staff, thank you to the box office staff and thank you to our incredible backstage crew. Anita, Tom, Becky, and every crew person – spotlights, wardrobe, props – there is an incredible team who have worked to keep the show running for four years here, thank you for all your hard work.


Image 1 of 17

“I know Sara is going to speak about them but I just have to salute and honour this extraordinary band. To the unbelievable Nadia DiGiallonardo and every single one of you in this band – you are an incredible artist. Your care for this show, what you’ve given – it’s unbelievable and unparalleled and you have made this production, created it and we are in your honour. And I always got my best notes from the band.

“And can we speak about this extraordinary company – what has been amazing Waitress is, I wanna call it the repertory company of Waitress, that has been developed over our five years from the ART to Broadway, an amazing roster of performers. I just have to shout out a few – you heard her ovation as Francine Pomatter, Stephanie Torns, she is the person on this stage who started out with us at the ART, five years ago, and has been at the show for the last five years. And above the many things, she has been an incredible Jenna in this production. And two other members who helped create the show – Chris Fitzgerland – do you remember the previews, when we were sitting on the stairs shooting the B-roll and you were pitching me ideas of how to do magic tricks for “Love You Like A Table” and I was like ‘enough, enough’. And the amazing Drew Gehling. Both actors who created these roles with the show. And Molly Hager, oh my God, the other company member who has been with the show for the four years on Broadway – thank you Molly. And to just round out the thanks to Patrick Goodman, Alicia Parker, Michael Roy, the original producer of the film of Waitress, thank you for your support. To all our producers who believed in this show and got us here. We truly would not be here if it weren’t for the legendary theatrical duo of Barry and Fran Weissler. Thank you for having this idea of having this film as a musical and for trusting us – thank you for everything you’ve given to this production.

“And to this incredibly creative team – the sisterhood and Scott. There’s no Waitress without the incredible men of Waitress. Lorin, to your choreography, Jessie Nelson for your wit and soul and dedication. And Sara Bareilles. Creating one of the most brilliant scores for the American musical theatre catalogue – just marvelling at her lyrics and melodies yet again, and not only did she write this score, but she performed in it. This woman has given so much for this production – her soul, her love, her care – day in, day out, there is no one like Sara Bareilles on Broadway.”

Lorin Latarro

“I just want to give a big shout out to all of you and to Sara, to be able to choreograph to your music has been a dream come true. It choreographed itself because the music is so beautiful (“it actually didn’t – you did!” – Sara Bareilles). I want to just talk about these things. The dance captain is with every new Jenna, every new person; the dance captain is responsible for these people. I want to give a big shout out to Max Kumangai, the dance captain. And the associate choreographer, Abbey O’Brien. There’s a lot of movement up here that came from you – you’re my co-pilot, thank you so much.”

Jessie Nelson

“I have something important to talk about. I want to take a moment to thank Diane, on behalf of Sara and I, we had never written anything for the theatre – we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing. And she sifted through and found the gems. As did Barry, for taking a chance on Sara and I. We are eternally grateful.

“I want to take a moment to talk about the fifth female on the team, and that’s Adrienne Shelly. Adrienne wrote, directed and was one of the stars of the movie Waitress and she died before the movie was bought at Sundance before she could experience how embraced her beautiful gem that she created was, this beautiful pie she created, and she wrote this movie before the ‘#MeToo’ movement, when stories about quiet bravery of women were deemed unimportant and they were impossible to get made and she got it made and she created this beautiful film.

“And tonight, her husband Andy is with us, and her beautiful daughter Sophie who was the original inspiration for Lulu so it’s incredibly meaningful they’re with us and we really appreciate you entrusting us with this precious gem and, to Adrienne, I think I speak for all of us when I say as we all look up, ‘thank you for taking us to the Moon, Moon Pie’.”

Sara Bareilles

“This is fucking hard and like, every Broadway show I write, closes. I just feel like it’s unfair! I want to take a quick moment and acknowledge this beautiful woman, Katharine McPhee, you’ve opened yourself up and have been a sweet team member here on Broadway and I don’t know how the fuck you got through that show. You are extraordinary and thank you for your beautiful storytelling and your magnificent voice. We are so grateful.

“And it’s my job to thank all of you – we would not be here without our incredible, enduring, undying fans. You guys have carried us for four years and change – well I mean we almost made it to four years on Broadway – we round up here at the Brooks!

“So, I had no idea the impact that this project was going to have and I sit on that little staircase and I watch you watch this and we watch you watch you and it’s the most magical experience. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart and to send you off yeah, right, am I going to sing by myself! You all are singing this, and you all are singing this. Everything changes and so will we.”