Thursday, April 29, 2021

At This Performance: Stephanie Torns in Waitress

 At This Performance:
Stephanie Torns in Waitress

I'm a Jessie Mueller fan. Often, she's not just the best person in the show she's in, she's the only good thing about she's in. So, I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed when the white slip of doom fell out of my Waitress Playbill. "At this performance the role of Jenna usually played by Jessie Mueller will be played by Stephanie Torns." "Who knows? Maybe she'll be great, and I'll have discovered a new talent to follow," I thought.

The lights dimmed. 🎶 Sugar...butter...flour...🎶 In less than five minutes, I was sold. What a talent! Her performance was a heady mix of confidence and vulnerability. Smart and funny, Ms. Torns held the audience in the palm of her flour-dusted hands.

The highlight of the evening was when we got to "She Used to Be Mine." You could sense the audience pulling for her to nail the show's signature tune. Boy, did she deliver! The sustained applause when she finished was electric. I hope she felt our support. I mean, I know that it's her job to do just that, but still, it is a real accomplishment. I don't feel like I missed out on anything with her heading the company.

She delivered the kind of star turn theater lovers live for - the chance to brag that "I saw Stephanie Torns in Waitress." Apparently, I'm not alone in this adoration. The producers saw fit to give her her own stint as the above-the-title star of the show. One thing I know for sure: the next time she's cast in a show, I'll be sure to see it.


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