Waitress cast members perform to customers to celebrate the ‘Opening Up’ of PizzaExpress on The Strand


Diners in a PizzaExpress pizzeria were amazed when the team serving them turned out to be the cast of the hit West End musical, Waitress.

To mark the re-opening of the sociable pizzeria’s The Strand: Trafalgar Square location, diners in the 350-seater restaurant were treated to a highly spirited tableside performance.

The musical celebration included the aptly named song ‘Opening Up’ and was performed by cast members including Marisha Wallace and Evie Hoskins.

Marisha Wallace, who plays Becky in the show, said: “We had so much fun surprising diners with some of the show’s most recognisable songs. The look on everyone’s faces when we began was amazing – I’d love to do it all over again

Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, said: “Our sociable pizzeria ‘The Strand: Trafalgar Square’, is the latest in a number of locations to be transformed to showcase our fresh new look in what marks our 55th anniversary year. Live music and spirited performances have always been a big part of PizzaExpress’ history.”

The Waitress cast were joined by seven of the pizza-maker’s resident ‘pizzaiolos’, who flared dough in unison to the performance. 

The performers then descended upon Trafalgar Square to continue their celebratory performance outside, much to the delight of on-lookers and traffic who stopped in their tracks to find out what was going on.

Marisha Wallace continued: “Our show is all about the fun of baking, and is jam-packed with songs, which are truly good enough to eat. Even though our special surprise performance at PizzaExpress was a one off, we’re serving fully-baked performances down the road at the Adelphi Theatre until Saturday, 4 July before touring the rest of the UK. So, if you missed out, why not enjoy a slice or two of the UK’s favourite pizza before heading down the road to see our show!”

Waitress celebrated its official opening night at the Adelphi Theatre on 7 March 2019 and the Tony-nominated musical is now booking until 4 July 2020. The show has also just announced a new UK and Ireland tour which will open in Dublin in November 2020. Sara Bareilles and Gavin Creel will be appearing in the London production of Waitress until 21 March.

Sara Bareilles first achieved mainstream critical praise in 2007 with her widely successful hit Love Song, which reached No. 1 in 22 countries around the world from her debut album Little Voice. Since then, Sara has won a Grammy® Award this year, and previously received seven further Grammy® nominations, two Tony nominations and three Emmy nominations.  Her book, Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song, was released in the fall of 2015 by Simon & Schuster and is a New York Times bestseller. Making her Broadway debut, Sara composed the music and lyrics for Waitress, and made her Broadway acting debut in 2017 by stepping into the shows lead role.  Recently, Sara teamed up with Apple as an executive producer for Little Voice a 10-episode series, which she will create the original music for. On April 5, 2019 Sara released her fifth full-length and first album of original material since 2013, entitled Amidst The Chaos, to rave reviews.  For this latest body of work, she joined forces in the studio with legendary Academy® Award-winning producer T Bone Burnett.  As a result, the album spotlights her voice as a singer and storyteller like never before, while making an enduring statement. She recently completed her Amidst The Chaos North American tour.

Gavin Creel received a Tony Award for his performance as Cornelius Hackl in Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce. He made his Broadway debut originating the role of Jimmy Smith in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which he received his first Tony Award nomination. He has since created such memorable performances on Broadway as Claude in Hair, which earned him a second Tony Award nomination, Jean-Michel in La Cage Aux Folles, and Stephen Kodaly in the Roundabout Theater Company’s production of She Loves Me, which was filmed live and is available on BroadwayHD. No stranger to London audiences, Gavin most notably originated the role of Elder Price in the West End production of The Book of Mormon, for which he received the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He also starred as Bert in Disney’s Mary Poppins and reprised his performance as Claude in Hair. As well as starring opposite Sara Bareilles in the Broadway production of Waitress, his other stage credits include The Book of Mormon (on Broadway and originating the First National Tour), and the world premieres of Stephen Sondheim’s Bounce (at The Goodman Theatre and The Kennedy Center) and Prometheus Bound at A.R.T. On television, Gavin co-starred alongside Julie Andrews in ABC’s Eloise at the Plaza and Eloise at Christmastime. He has released three original albums GoodTimeNation, Quiet (which landed on Billboard’s Top Heat Seekers) and Get Out, and his single Noise raised money and awareness for marriage equality. Creel was a co-founder of Broadway Impact, the first and only grassroots organization to mobilize the nationwide theater community in support of marriage equality. A native of Findlay, Ohio, he is a proud graduate of University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams her way out of a loveless marriage. When a hot new doctor arrives in town, life gets complicated. With the support of her workmates Becky and Dawn, Jenna overcomes the challenges she faces and finds that laughter, love and friendship can provide the perfect recipe for happiness.

Brought to life by a ground breaking, female-led creative team, Waitress features an original score by seven-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (Love Song, Brave), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland) and choreography by Lorin Latarro. The production is also currently touring the US and Canada and has announced an Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre with further productions to open in Holland next year and Japan in 2021.

Waitress premiered on Broadway in March 2016 and has since become the longest running show in the history of the Brooks Atkinson Theater. The production is also currently touring the US and has announced an Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre with further productions to open in the Netherlands in September 2020, the UK and Ireland in November 2020 and in Japan in 2021.

On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award Nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk Nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.