Broadway – Restaging

Waitress the Musical opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre from 25 March 2016 to 5 January 2020, and was restaged at the Barrymore Theatre from 2 September 2021 through to 20 December 2021.

In March 2020, Broadway theatres ‘went dark’ and closed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic; Waitress had officially closed on 5 January. However, as the pandemic continued, it became apparent that some shows would not be reopening when theatres were allowed to reopen in September 2021. Barry and Fran Weissler expressed an interest in re-opening Waitress the Musical for a limited run.

On 8 July 2021, it was officially announced that Waitress the Musical would be reopening on Broadway at the Barrymore Theatre on 2 September 2021, starring Sara Bareilles through to 17 October. On-stage rehearsals began on Saturday 21 August. The show became the first Broadway show to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic, following strict COVID-19 protocols.

All of the original cast members have previously starred in Waitress on Broadway, with the exception of the two actresses playing Lulu, and Nyla Watson, who joins the cast in the ensemble (as well as understudy Becky and understudy Nurse Norma), making her Broadway debut. Unlike the original staging, the restaging did not use any automation, much like the UK and Ireland tour, and second US National Tour.

The show was due to close on 9 January 2022, but due to the rapid spread of the more infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19, and positive cases detected in the company and crew, the show cancelled three performances (21, 22 and 23 December), and then posted early closure, meaning the show played its last performance on 20 December 2021. The show closed with people of colour starring in nearly all of the major lead roles – Ciara Renée as Jenna, Joshua Henry as Dr. Pomatter, Maiesha McQueen as Becky, Ashley Blanchet as Dawn, and Tyrone Davis, Jr as Ogie.


TheatreBarrymore Theatre
Opening2 September 2021
Closed20 December 2021

Cast Changes

COVID-19 Protocols

As part of Broadway’s reopening, additional safety policies were put in place for the re-staging of Waitress, including the wearing of CDC-approved face coverings at all times in the theatre, except for when eating and drinking in designated locations. Guests at the diner also have to provide evidence of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (at least 14 days after your second dose of a two-dose FDA/WHO approved vaccine) or, if exempt, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours or a rapid antigen (lateral flow) test taken within 6 hours of the performance, plus photo ID.

Scenery and Tribute to Nick Cordero

The show’s Broadway restaging included newly remade scenery and props, following a lot of the show’s collateral being placed into large bins outside of the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, when it closed in 2020. A new cherry pie print curtain was painted by Scenic Art Studio, and Joe’s Pie Diner menu board was recreated. The menu board includes a new pie, ‘A Big Ol’ Slice Of Live Your Life Pie,’ dedicated to Nick Cordero, who passed away in 2020 of COVID-19, and his song, ‘Live Your Life‘.

The show opened on 2 September, and, at curtain call, Nick’s wife, Amanda Kloots joined the cast on stage as they dedicated the show to him, and performed ‘Live Your Life‘ together.

On-Sale Pies

The show’s tradition of selling mini Pie Jars was continued at the restaging; however, due to the COVID-19 protocols meaning that eating and drinking has to take place in designated locations, the pie jars were not available pre-show or during the interval. Instead, a chocolate salted caramel pie jar was available for purchase or collection outside of the Barrymore Theatre at the end of the show.

You Matter To Me Day

On 7 October 2021, the show celebrated You Matter To Me day by giving out 400 custom pop-up greetings cards to patrons who visited the diner that night. The 3D cherry pie cards were designed by Lovepop.