By Amelia Narducci
In January, as my Christmas gift, my mom and I went to New York City and stood in line at TKTS to try to get discounted tickets for a show that afternoon. After an hour or so of waiting in the horribly cold weather, we were able to score front row tickets to Waitress for 30% off! Maybe it wasn’t the cheapest deal, but Waitress was a show we have wanted to see for a while and the seats were close enough to spot the pores on the actors’ faces. Best of all, it was something to do that was not outside in the freezing cold.
After yet another long wait outside to eat at Ellen’s Stardust Diner (in which we cheated on our diet), my mother and I decided to walk down to the theater. We arrived early to the show so that we could find our seats before the lights flickered for a five-minute warning. I decided to go use the bathroom so that I would not have to hold it in half way through act one. As usual, the women could not figure out how to be efficient in the bathroom. Therefore, I waited in a line that was the length of the theater’s back wall while I jealously watched the men wonder in and out of their bathroom without a wait. As suggested to me by the McGarrey girls, I bought a pie and waited to eat it during intermission so that I wasn’t rude to my neighbors. The lights lowered and a song about turning off cell phones began to play so I turned mine off and tucked it in my bag.
The actual show was wonderful. The musicians were located on the stage in the café as opposed to in a pit or off to the side. In between songs, they would interact in the café, which really made the show come to life. The dancers were mesmerizing as they moved perfectly with both the music and each other. Their choreography was worked into the scenes so fluidly, making an interesting dynamic to the play without the awkwardness of their popping-up-onto-tables-awkwardly-and-breaking-into-song. The sets moved on and off the stage with the same fluidity as the dancers had as well; a conveyor belt helped with some of the sets, but not all of them. I never spotted someone who seemed to be a member of stage crew or even remember how some of the sets were moved because the actors continued to act: I was not distracted by the change in sets. The songs were written and sung beautifully and I still continue to hum them as they ring in my ears.
As for the actual acting, I was taken away. I forgot that the actors were real people with completely different lives off that stage. I was taken away into the story with their body movements, facial expressions, and rage of emotions. They made me laugh, and they made me cry. The way Jenna, the main character, reacted in her hard times broke my heart. The way she reacted was so real, and I can only imagine her acting came from a real experience. The way she looked at her child when she was born was absolutely convincing. Her husband, as well, was also convincing in his abusive treatment towards Jenna. In fact, it was so convincing that instead of clapping for him, the audience booed him during curtain call. I, on the other hand, knew that his work was truly amazing because he was so convincing and cheered him on.
Overall, the use of music, dance, acting, and visual art in the musical mixed together to create entertainment that made me laugh and cry.