Friends School alumnus David Socolar ’12 has been named to the national touring production of the Sara Bareilles hit musical “Waitress.” The 26-year-old professional actor will play a lead role as Jim Pomatter, the conflicted OB/GYN physician of heroine-waitress Jenna. It’s a part, he says, that “jumped out at him” when he saw the show on Broadway two years ago.
“The humanity appealed to me, the music, the Sara Bareilles score is just so catchy and relatable…I was like, ‘man, I’d love to do that show.’ When my agent saw casting for this production [they] emailed me and said ‘we’re getting you an appointment for this. This one is yours.’”
Socolar arrived at Friends in 3rd grade (he was at an all-boys school the first two years) and credits the School, and its strong music and theater programs, for placing performance opportunities within his reach. “It all comes down to the environment,” he says. “Friends was always encouraging what you were interested in, it was inclusive."
“Growing up, I had always wanted to be on the sports teams and that was fine and fun, but in 8th grade, I had this self-renaissance. I was in ‘Guys and Dolls’ and it was kind of intoxicating. I owe it to Cecile [Audette] and Michael [McVey]. They grabbed on to this little thing they saw in me and really pulled me out of this shell.”
McVey has remained a mentor and friend throughout Socolar’s college and professional career. “I have just always felt encouragement from him,” he says. “He was my first voice lesson teacher.”
A graduate of Connecticut College, where he earned a B.A. in vocal performance and theater, Socolar received conservatory acting training at the British American Drama Academy of London and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Institute in Waterford Conn.
Since moving to New York City in September 2016 he has been sharpening his dance skills, meeting casting directors, and waiting tables, the latter of which he can happily bid adieu, at least for the next eight months. “One of the biggest perks of getting this role is not having to wait tables in between jobs!” he quips.
The “Waitress” tour officially opens in Vancouver, B.C., on November 12 and runs through June with virtually no breaks. “I’ve done an eight show-a-week schedule but never for this many months, or involving this much travel,” he says. It is a grueling schedule for a relative newcomer, but something tells us we’ll be seeing much more of this emerging Broadway star.
Most of the tour’s performance dates
are well beyond Maryland, but Friends fans can catch David’s “Waitress” performance in Hershey, Penn. (April 14-19) and in Philadelphia, Penn. (May 12-17).