Betsy Wolfe On Starring In The Hit Musical Waitress and Co-Star Jason Mraz
By Jeryl Brunner
In the hit musical Waitress Jenna is an ace pie maker desperate to escape her loveless marriage and find the courage to live her dreams. Based on the 2007 film Waitress, Sara Bareilles wrote the life affirming show’s music and lyrics. Bareilles had not written a Broadway musical before but the joy of working on the show was endless. “I grew up listening to musical theater and performing in musical theater and community theater,” says Bareilles. “It has been a really interesting homecoming for me and a lot of discovery stepping into a new medium that is near and dear to my heart.”
The experience has also been a joyful one for Betsy Wolfe who stars as Jenna. A veteran of several Broadway musicals including Falsettos, Bullets over Broadway and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Wolfe was drawn to the show’s heart and humor. “Different shows bring different experiences and this one has it all. And that’s not just a talking point. You are going to laugh and feel your heart being pulled in crazy places. Some moments you will cry with laughter and then you will cry because it’s gut wrenchingly beautiful,” says Wolfe. “The show resonates because you can identify yourself in all of these characters. It gives you hope.”
Wolfe shared more with Parade.com.
What qualities in Jenna do you admire?
She is a fighter. I don’t like to see her at all as a victim. She is just like all of us, but one day she finds herself having stepped down a road maybe a little bit too far. It is inspiring to watch her dig herself out of this hole. She has to rediscover herself and her own spirit that she lost along the way. It’s her heart that makes her so compelling.
When did you know you had to be a performer?
My mom will tell you probably second grade. I saw my sister performing. She was doing a local production of a show called Kiddly Winks. I remember her being onstage. I loved feeling the energy of how the audience was responding. So for me it sparked from being in the audience and loving so much what I was watching and how that changed me. I thought if I could do that for somebody that would be really cool. I said, ‘I want to do that!’