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ASU Gammage kicks off Broadway season with 'Waitress' pie contest

August 24, 2018

ASU Gammage is bringing in the exciting 2018–19 Broadway Season with a dash of sugar, butter and flour. 

Looking ahead to the premiere of "Waitress," local baking enthusiasts took part in a battle of the pies at ASU Gammage on Aug. 20.

ASU Gammage will host "Waitress" Oct. 2–7. The empowering musical showcases music by six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”) and takes the audience through the life of Jenna, a waitress and avid pie-maker who hopes to find happiness outside the confines of her small town and loveless marriage. 

In the spirit of the show, ASU Gammage welcomed all with a sweet tooth and an original recipe to enter a pie contest for a chance to win tickets to opening night. Dozens applied with their unique creations, but only three were chosen to have a panel of judges test their pies.  

Ultimately, it was Meghan Canty of Phoenix who stole the show with her pie, “Everything Was Peachy Keen Until Ginger Snapped.” Canty walked away with a grand prize of four tickets to opening night and the official "Waitress" cookbook, among other show merchandise. 

“(The contest) sounded like fun, and I like to bake, so it was just an opportunity to use my talents,” Canty said. 

The event was judged by Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Gammage and ASU vice president for cultural affairs; KNIX-FM host Tim Hattrick; Desert Financial senior copywriter and former food critic Wynter Holden, and KTVK-TV anchor Olivia Fierro. 

The winning pie, whose fun title the judges thought embodied the nature of "Waitress," wowed in the taste category with a gingersnap crust and a mountain of artfully placed peach slices. 

Canty said after the contest that “usually my signature pie is probably my pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving,” but this pie might be her new trademark.

ASU Gammage also awarded Melissa Kamel and Cathy Palmer, the two runners-up, each with two tickets to opening night for their delicious dessert. Kamel impressed the judges with the creativity of her Rapunzel-inspired “Pop-Up Pie,” while Palmer earned praise for the intricate crust on her “Yes Ma’am Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie.”

For anyone who wants a taste of Canty’s scrumptious winning pie, get out your aprons because the recipe will be published in the show’s Gammbill and inserted into the official "Waitress" cookbook, which will be on sale at ASU Gammage during the shows. 

But you don’t need to be a pie hobbyist to enjoy the show. Even if you simply prefer taste-testing, "Waitress" is sure to spark your appetite. 

Tickets to see "Waitress" are available at

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