Waitress starts serving pie

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JOANNA AMPIL plays Jenna in Waitress.

ATLANTIS Theatrical Entertainment Group this week will open a sweet musical — literally and figuratively — about the bitter realities of abusive relationships and the stresses of the everyday life. The Broadway musical Waitress will feature lots of pies, singing, and a whole lot of positive attitude.

“It’s a magical place to be part of. It’s so sunny and positive,” said Joanna Ampil who will headline the musical.

There was an open rehearsal on Oct. 29 and BusinessWorld was invited to take a peek and speak to the cast.

Opening on Nov. 9 and running until Dec. 2 at the RCBC Plaza in Makati, Waitress tells the story of Jenna (Ms. Ampil), a waitress at a diner that specializes in pie. Stuck in an abusive marriage with Earl (George Schulze), Jenna takes to baking as an escape from the stresses of her life and as a form of therapy. After learning that she’s pregnant, she starts an affair with her gynecologist Dr. Jim Pomatter (Bibo Reyes). She then learns about a pie contest and sees its grand prize as her chance to sort out her life.

Ms. Ampil said of the story: “It’s not just about women empowerment, it’s about Jenna trying to get her strength back. The audience will see themselves in some of the [musical’s] characters who are very accessible.”

The music is catchy, she added. It features songs by American singer-songwriter, actress and author Sara Bareilles, which she wrote for the production.

Ms. Ampil described the music as “tough” to learn and “vocally challenging.”

“It’s my first time to do something like this where the rhythm is difficult to follow. It’s good in a way that I’m learning. The lyrics are uplifting, it’s such an honor [to sing Ms. Bareilles’ songs].”

Playing Jenna’s best friends and fellow waitresses Dawn and Becky are Maronne Cruz and Bituin Escalante. Also in the cast are Dean Rosen, Steven Conde, Luigi Quesada, Gerhard Krysstopher, Luis Marcelo, Emeline Celis Guinid, Teetin Villanueva, Sarah Facuri, and Jillian Ita-as.

Waitress is directed by Bobby Garcia and choreographed by Cecile Martinez.

For details visit Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group at For tickets, contact Ticketworld at 891-9999 or visit — NFPG