‘Waitress’ company pays tribute to Nick Cordero on opening night

Cordero, an original cast member in the show, died in 2020 due to Covid-19 complications.

Nick Cordero

Waitress became one of the first musicals to reopen Broadway last night, with its first performance at the Barrymore Theatre dedicated to the memory of original cast member Nick Cordero. Cordero was a Broadway actor and musician who died in July 2020 of complications from Covid-19.

Cordero originated the role of Earl when Waitress first premiered on Broadway in 2016. Earl is the loveless husband of the lead character, Jenna, a waitress at a diner. In honor of Cordero, the diner menu board now includes “A Big Ol Slice of Live Your Life Pie,” named after Cordero’s original song, “Live Your Life.”

The show’s composer/lyricist and current Jenna, Sara Bareilles, said in a post-curtain call speech that the pie would be featured on the menu boards at all productions of Waitress worldwide.

“He is still a beautiful spirit and a beautiful soul, and we hold him very near and dear to our hearts,” Bareilles said.

Amanda Kloots, Cordero’s wife, attended the performance, writing on Instagram beforehand, “Thank you to the whole @waitressmusical cast and crew for this special invite and tribute to the original Earl. I’m pretty confident that I will cry through the entire show but I can’t wait to be there.”

After last night’s curtain call, Kloots and Bareilles led a singalong of “Live Your Life,” inviting the audience to join in.

“Nick loved Broadway, and he loved music, and he loved acting, and I think he’ll be with me every day, but I think he’ll be with y’all every night,” Kloots said onstage to the cast.

Waitress tickets are on sale now.