August 27, 2018

Waitress the Musical at Pantages Theatre

Hooray for Hollywood and the Pantages Theater and the Broadway musical Waitress!  There was a lot to anticipate on this DayTripper Tour. Forty-seven theater-loving passengers climbed on our luxury motor coach driven by fan-favorite, Ernesto and headed for La La Land.  Traffic was a breeze on the trip north. We arrived at Hollywood and Highland, the $650 million retail, dining and entertainment complex 15 minutes early which gave everyone a little extra time not only to dine on our own, but to explore.  And there is a lot to explore! The central courtyard is flanked by a pair of trumpeting elephants replicated from the 1916 movie “Intolerance.”  H&H is also home to the 3300-seat Dolby Theater, home of the Academy Award telecast and America’s Got Talent.

Next door is TCL Chinese Theaters, which many remember as Grauman’s Chinese Theater, built in 1927 by showman Sid Grauman. Legend has it that Norma Talmadge accidentally stepped into the wet cement in front of it, inspiring Sid Grauman to round up Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to repeat the trick with their hands and feet, thus inaugurating the world’s largest autograph album.  I had fun finding Marilyn Monroe’s hand-prints. Across the street is the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel which has been restored to its 1927 glory and was the site of the first Academy Award ceremony and former social hub of the movie colony.  Soon it was time to re-board the bus for the short drive down Hollywood Blvd. to the historic Pantages Theater. Some call it the most stunning of all the restored showplaces on Hollywood Blvd.—even more so than the El Capitan Theatre or the Egyptian Theatre which are pretty spectacular themselves!

The Pantages was once a movie palace built at the height of the Roaring ’20’s with live vaudeville acts between the features.  The interior dazzles with walls and ceiling gilded with more than 84,000 feet of brass, aluminum, and copper leafing. There was plenty to gaze at before the show even began! The Academy Awards were held here from 1950 to 1960, and Howard Hughes once occupied offices upstairs.  Now, on the same stage where once Humphrey Bogart, Vivian Leigh, Frank Sinatra and Yul Brynner accepted their Oscars, we were about to see “Waitress.”  Entertainment Weekly calls it “a little slice of heaven,” while Marie Claire says it is “a monumental contribution to Broadway!”  As soon as the lights dimmed and the lyrics, “sugar, butter, flour” filled the Pantages, we knew we were in for a delightful, delicious musical story. The cast was fabulous, headed by Desi Oakley playing Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of getting out of her small town and out of her loveless marriage.  There were a few twists and turns along the way and plenty of laughs, but in the end, with the help of amusingly named pies she concocted, Jenna finds the courage to make tough decisions to start life anew. We left the theater feeling empowered and happy that WE made the decision to go on another uplifting Daytripper Tour!

– Pat Brown
DayTripper Tour Manager
Tour: Waitress the Musical at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood
Date: August 25, 2018



Categories: Blog