Bailey McCall, who plays Jenna in the current touring producing of Waitress, spoke to the Herald-Tribune in Florida ahead of the diner opening in Sarasota on Friday for five shows. The Broadway touring production will be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, where pies will be on sale in the lobby.

“Throughout the show, we see her go through a lot of ups and downs in trying to figure out what she’s going to do. We see her friends sort of encourage her and uplift her and she does the same for them. We see them sort of step into their power and become the best versions of themselves.”

The role of Jenna is taxing both physically and vocally, McCall said. Instead of addressing her problems, Jenna pours her heart and energy into her superb pie-baking, She rolls out creations like “I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby Pie” and “Betrayed by My Eggs Pie.”

“There’s a line where Becky says to her, ‘I don’t want you worrying about nothing but baking yourself a better life’. I just think it’s such an inspiring and empowering story.”

In real life, Bailey said her favourite pies are pumpkin, followed closely by apple. But in Waitress she favours a meatier creation.

“There’s a pie called ‘My Husband’s a Jerk Chicken Pot Pie’. I really like that. I get to let out a lot of anger in that pie. It’s also the first time you see Jenna really dreaming of leaving and choosing something else for herself.”

“I feel like the music sort of expresses all the things that they’re thinking and feeling underneath that maybe we wouldn’t see in the movie or if it was just a play. Sara does that so beautifully. I think as an audience member you feel that, too.

“The show is hilarious. Besides all of the other stuff that has so much heart in it and is super serious, it’s also just a fun, hilarious show.”

While the storyline is timeless and timely, McCall said it was an honor to get to tell Jenna’s story. Audience members who are moved by the show sometimes meet the actors at the stage door to share their real-life stories, as well.

“It’s an amazing role. Jenna is just so raw and vulnerable, but even in her brokenness, just the kindest and most generous person. I think it’s such an inspiring story to tell. I feel lucky to be able to play this and to get to share a story that I think is so important for a lot of people to hear.”