A few months ago, Atlantis Theatrical announced that Bituin Escalante and Maronne Cruz have been cast in the company’s production of Waitress, where they will be playing Becky and Dawn respectively.
Scored by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, and based on the 2007 movie of the same name, Waitress tells the story of expert baker Jenna Hunterson who is disillusioned with her life and reckons with herself through the simple magic of baking. Accompanied by her friends Dawn and Becky, Jenna finds the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
After months of anticipation, Atlantis Theatrical has officially announced that acclaimed musical theater actress Joanna Ampil will be playing the lead role of Jenna. Ampil has performed in the West End in musicals such as Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Avenue Q, to name a few, and continues to perform as Grizabella in the World Tour of Cats. She also played the role of Nellie Forbush in Resort World Manila’s South Pacific: in Concert and Frances in Atlantis Theatrical’s The Bridges of Madison County. She recently won the MMFF and Gawad Urian Awards for Best Actress for her critically acclaimed portrayal of Candida in the movie musical Ang Larawan.
“I am beyond thrilled to have been asked by Bobby Garcia to play this highly coveted role,” says Ampil. “I’m a big Sara Bareilles fan. I heard that people were dying to play this part in Manila. After doing some research on the role, I realized that this woman is ultimately a survivor and manages to cope with whatever life throws her way. I suppose I can somehow relate to that. It will be an exciting challenge. But the idea of being directed by Bobby once again truly excites me. I had a wonderful experience working with him on The Bridges of Madison County and this new show came as a wonderful gift and surprise.”
Bobby Garcia, who directs the highly anticipated production says, “I always wanted Joanna to play Jenna, but I wasn’t sure that we would be able to get her as she is still touring the world in Cats. But once again, the universe conspired to give us what we wanted and we were able to workout getting her to Manila in time for rehearsals. Joanna is one of the finest musical theatre performers we have in the country. And it is always a joy to come into rehearsals and work with her on creating a character and telling a story. I suspect she will, once again, be unforgettable.”
The role of Jenna was originally played on Broadway by Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller. Bareilles herself also played the role for limited engagements.
Waitress opens on November 9 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.
Tickets will be available soon! You can check back HERE.