Waitress the Musical premiered in Japanese at the Nissay Theatre last night, making it the first production of the show to open since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions on travel and other logistics, some members of the show’s creative team went to Japan and quarantined before rehearsals began. Other designers and technicians had to work remotely from thousands of miles away. The associate director oversaw rehearsals with a video link to London. Lighting, sound and production supervision for technical rehearsals was run out of New York City.

“Over the course of our show’s history, we have often said, ‘where there’s a whisk, there’s a way.’ That motto has never been more true. Each department has had to reach back in their cupboards to discover new ingredients, not long-forgotten, but ones we never knew we had. We are so grateful to the international effort of this incredible team, scattered across the globe, navigating multiple time zones and technological platforms, who in the face of unprecedented challenges in an ongoing global pandemic has managed to still find the way,” producer Barry Weissler said in a statement.

The Japanese cast of Waitress is led by Mitsuki Takahata as Jenna, Mamoru Miyano as Dr. Pomatter, Emma Miyazawa as Dawn and LiLiCo and Rinko Urashima alternating in the role of Becky. The musical is presented in Japan by Toho, Fuji TV, and Kyodo Tokyo in association with Barry and Fran Weissler.