Sara Bareilles won’t be the only Waitress cast member with prior stage-diner experience when the musical reopens on Broadway in September: Producers announced today that Waitress vets Drew Gehling, Eric Anderson, Charity Angel Dawson, Christopher Fitzgerald, Caitlin Houlahan, Dakin Matthews and Joe Tippett will be back for at least part of the show’s limited engagement.
Producers Barry and Fran Weissler previously announced that Bareilles, the actress and the musical’s composer, will take the title role for a limited run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre from September 2 through October 17. The production will continue without Bareilles until January 9, 2022.
Exactly how long the other cast members will stay with the engagement wasn’t specified, but given their busy careers and other Broadway commitments, limited stays are more than likely. Fitzgerald, who will play Ogie, is expected to return to Broadway’s Company this fall, and Matthews, cast as Joe, plays the judge in To Kill A Mockinbird, which returns in October. Dawson (playing Becky) has been cast in Mrs. Doubtfire, set for Broadway in October, and Houlahan (Dawn) will rejoin Girl From The North Country that month.
Gehling returns to the role Dr. Pomatter. Like Anderson, Fitzgerald, Matthews and Dawson, Gehling was part of the original 2016 cast. The role of Earl, to be played by Tippett, was originally portrayed by Nick Cordero, who died last year of Covid-19.
The returns of the Waitress alumni, however temporary, will no doubt fuel (or refuel) speculation of a film capture of the musical. British press accounts of a possible filmed performance of the West End production starring Bareilles came to an abrupt halt last year with the Covid shutdown.
Any possible plans for a taping of the upcoming Broadway staging have not been revealed or confirmed.
Additional casting will be announced soon. Joining the principal players will be ensemble members Tyrone Davis, Jr., Matt DeAngelis, Andrew Fitch, Henry Gottfried, Molly Jobe, Emily Koch, Max Kumangai, Anastacia McCleskey, and Stephanie Torns.
The original Broadway run of of Waitress began in April 2016 and closed in January 2020 after more than 1,500 performances. The musical is produced on Broadway by Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick.