Bleecker Street Picks Up U.S. Rights To ‘Waitress: The Musical’; Sets December 7 Nationwide Release

Bleecker Street has picked up U.S. rights to hit musical production Waitress: The Musical, from composer-lyricist Sara Bareilles and Jessie Nelson following its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June. Bleecker Street is teaming with Fathom Events for a December 7, 2023 nationwide release of the Broadway show, which was captured live on stage in 2021 during its long stage run. 

Based on Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 indie feature, Waitress: The Musical stars Bareilles as Jenna Hunterson, a waitress and expert pie maker stuck in a small town and a loveless marriage. When a baking contest in nearby county offers her a chance at escape, Jenna fights to reclaim a long-forgotten part of herself. Through the support of her fellow waitresses and an unexpected romance, Jenna begins to find the courage to take a long-abandoned dream off the shelf. 

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The film was directed by Brett Sullivan while Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus directs for the stage with Nelson as creative advisor. It also stars Eric Anderson, Charity Angél Dawson, Christopher Fitzgerald, Drew Gehling, Caitlin Houlahan, Dakin Matthews and Joe Tippett. 

Michael Roiff, Barry and Fran Weissler, Bareilles, Nelson, and Paul Morphos serve as producers, with Alecia Parker as an executive producer. 

The film opened to rave reviews following its Tribeca premiere with Deadline’s Damon Wise calling it a “heartfelt reimagining” of Shelley’s film.

Debuting in April 2016, Waitress was the first Broadway musical in history to have four women in the top creative team spots, with a book by Nelson, music and lyrics by Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Paulus. The design team features sets by Tony Award-winner Scott Pask, costumes by Suttirat Anne Larlarb, lighting by Tony Award-winner Ken Billington, and sound by Tony Award-nominee Jonathan Deans. Music supervision by Nadia DiGiallonardo.

Waitress was one of the longest-running shows in recent Broadway history, playing more than 1500 performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The show returned for a limited engagement at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre to celebrate Broadway’s re-opening in the fall of 2021. Waitress was produced on Broadway by Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick. Night & Day Pictures’ Roiff produced the original feature film.

The deal was negotiated by Kent Sanderson, Miranda King, and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street with FilmNation Entertainment. It marks the second partnership with Bleecker Street and Fathom Events following Guy Nattiv’s Golda, which was released on August 23 in advance of its wider theatrical release on August 25. 

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