Sketching the Stars of Waitress Manila

Was supposed to title this “Between the Pies” but, that was a terrible attempt at making a pun.

It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve watched Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s production of Broadway hit musical Waitress. Except knowing that it was based from a film of the same name, I had no idea of what to expect storywise. I haven’t even heard the songs even if they are already available online. But I know that the musical garnered four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Well, the music and lyrics are by the 6-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles! And I have always loved her songs!

However, with Joanna Ampil and Bituin Escalante leading the casts as Jenna and Becky, respectively, I looked forward to superb singing and acting. 

Joanna Ampil as Jenna in Atlantis Theatrical's Waitress
Joanna Ampil leads the cast as Jenna in Atlantis Theatrical’s Waitress

I can still remember the chills I felt hearing Escalante’s I Didn’t Plan It and Ampil’s She Used to be Mine.

Bituin Escalante as Becky in Atlantis Theatrical's Waitress
Bituin Escalante stars as Becky

Well, they are not the only ones who gave brilliant performances. Marrone Cruz and Nino Alejandro who played Dawn and Ogie are charming and endearing. Bibo Reyes who took on the role  of adorably awkward Dr. Pomatter matched well with Ampil’s Jenna especially in Bad Idea

The story focuses on Jenna, a waitress in a diner who is facing hurdle after hurdle in her loveless marriage. Jenna also bakes the pies for the diner. It is worth mentioning that those between scenes, Jenna will talk of a pie recipe which reflected what was going on.  I wondered how those tasted.

Though the plot is fairly simple , the struggles and dilemmas the cast faced are very relatable and the lessons learned are empowering. Together with the brilliant acting, and moving songs, I left the theater very satisfied. A friend who watched with my sister and me even commented that it is comparable to the Broadway production! The moment I got home, I decided to start working on these sketches. I kept the style between the caricature and realism as I have been trying to do in my past portraits. Much that I want to sketch more characters but I lacked the time. 

Waitress runs until December 2 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. You can get your tickets at And yes, watching the show is a really really good idea.


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