Wildly popular Broadway show Waitress heads to Charleston this weekend, playing at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. You can catch the show on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Buy tickets online.
The story follows Jenna Hunterson, a waitress at a diner who struggles with an abusive husband, an unexpected pregnancy, and a chance to change her life by pursuing her passion: baking.
Based on the movie of the same name released in 2007, the Broadway show was written by popular singer-songwriter Sarah Bareilles and first opened in Massachusetts in 2015, making its Broadway debut in 2017.
The cast features an ensemble of various characters; some of the most interesting ones are the waitresses who work alongside Jenna in the diner, supporting her through the difficult choices she has to make.
One such waitress in the show is Dawn, a lovable, goofy character who is often the comic relief of the show played by actress Gabriella Marzetta.
Marzetta calls the role “an absolute dream come true."
“This has been my dream role and my dream show ever since they announced that Waitress was going to be a musical. I’ve been trying to get into the [audition] room for five years,” Marzetta says.
Marzetta’s path to her role in Waitress follows much of the same “never give up on your dreams” message that you'll find in the show. When she heard that the original person cast in the role of Dawn had dropped out she immediately sent an email to casting.
“I came up with everything I could to make sure that my email would end up in the right place,” Marzetta says, describing all the precautionary measures she took to ensure that her multiple messages wouldn’t fall prey to an email spam filter. The tale is funny enough to feel like a bit straight from the show itself.
"I got the role and one week later I had to quit all my jobs and go right into rehearsal," says Marzetta. "I had to completely abandon my life within a week’s notice, but it was totally worth it."
On tour Marzetta has been sharing the joy of her role as Dawn and her story of persistence to get there. “I always was able to relate to the character [Dawn] and hearing that people relate to her too. It’s such a privilege sharing that with everyone. I keep finding more of myself in her every time I perform.”
With heavy themes such as abuse and divorce the show is able to stay light with humor and hope, sending an overall positive message that personal dreams are worth taking a risk for.
As Marzetta says, “Come in with an open mind, be ready to laugh, get ready to have a good time, and remember to never give up on your dreams because that’s what the show is about.”