Pie Jars

Pie jars are a staple at a performance of Waitress the Musical. As the foyer is filled with the smell of real baking pies, thanks to the pie ovens cooking pies that have been heavily seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg to create a strong, intoxicating scent, guests arriving can purchase a pie, before the show or during the interval.

History

Selling snacks and drinks to patrons is a standard part of the ‘theatre experience’, so the producers of Waitress at the American Repertory Theater, decided to create a tie in by selling ‘pies’ at the theatre. Local baker, Renée McLeod, owner of Petsi Pies, was approached to provide the theatre with mini pies, and came up with a Strawberry Rhubarb pie and a Pecan Pie. These mini pie jars were effectively pies cut and sold in glass mason jars, emblazoned with a Waitress sticker on the two-piece metal lid.

The pies at the ART were a huge hit with patrons, and so the producers of Waitress the Musical approached local bakeries in New York City to supply the Brooks Atkinson Theatre with mini pie jars, scaling up production to ensure a regular supply of fresh pies to the theatre. At the same time, the show was undergoing revisions, including the addition of a new choreographer, Lorin Latarro, and some new ‘dream sequences’ and more on-stage baking – this led to the producers also looking to work with a baking expert to ensure that the baking Jenna Hunterson does on stage is accurate and realistic.

Cute As Cake NYC founder Stacy Donnelly was appointed as the show’s ‘Pie Consultant’, and worked with Lorin on the choreography, whilst she and her team set about creating a range of mini pies that could be sold to guests. Stacy became a professional dancer at around age 16 and danced for various companies in New York until she turned 40, when an injury from a bad fall never quite recovered, so was a natural choice for the collaboration. Stacy had been been baking for family and friends and had established her business, selling pies and cakes for clients big and small.

Broadway

Cute As Cake NYC employ eight bakers who provide Waitress with 32 real pies for use on-stage each week, and up to 1400 mason jar pies a week, which are sold by apron-wearing ushers in the foyer and aisles of the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The pie team bakes from a pink-walled studio in Hell’s Kitchen outfitted with a handful of convection ovens that can produce four full-size pies, or 50 mini pie jars, at a time.

Cute As Cake NYC have produced a variety of different flavoured pies, including seasonal pies for Pride and for Christmas.

  • Apple Pie
  • Apple Pie – Gluten-Free
  • Chocolate Salted Caramel
  • Key Lime Pie

Seasonal Pies

  • Independence Pie
  • Halloween – Trick or Treat Pie
  • Autumn – Pumpkin Spice Pie
  • Pride – Rainbow Cheesecake
  • Christmas – Candy Cane Pie
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Pink Ribbon Pie

West End

The success of the Mini Pie Jars on Broadway led to producers following suit for the foyers at the Adelphi Theatre, based on the originals made by Cute As Cake in New York for the Broadway production. The original West End pie jars were created by The Theatre Café, London’s first ever theatre-themed coffee shop. Three pie jars were available:

  • Apple Crumble
  • Chocolate Salted Caramel
  • Banoffee

On 20 June 2019, a new partnership was announced with London bakery Bread Ahead, known for its Borough Market, Chelsea and Soho bakeries. Three revamped pie jars were available:

  • Apple Crumble
  • Chocolate Salted Caramel
  • Lemon and Raspberry

On-stage pies were provided by Marks and Spencer Food; fresh edible pies were provided for the cast to eat on stage, including an M&S apple pie (a slice of which is served to Earl, when he first visits the diner) and M&S jam tarts, which are the ‘pocket pies’ Jenna gives to Dr. Pomatter.