Tony Awards: ‘Waitress’ Honors Original Cast Member Nick Cordero With Special Pie Tribute

The Broadway cast of Waitress has honored original cast member Nick Cordero with a special pie tribute. The musical, which received four Tony nominations in 2016, re-opened on Broadway after a closure of 18 months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Cordero was one of the first public faces of the virus, losing his battle in July 2020.

Nick Cordero was honored by the cast of "Waitress" with his own pie upon the musical's Broadway reopen.
Nick Cordero, Dakin Matthews, Keala Settle, Jessie Mueller, Claire Keane, Kimiko Glenn, Christopher Fitzgerald, Drew Gehling, Eric Anderson, and the cast during the Broadway Opening Night performance Curtain Call for ‘Waitress’ at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 24, 2016, in New York City | Walter McBride/Getty Images

Nick Cordero was a beloved Broadway actor

Cordero was beloved by fans of The Great White Way. His booming baritone voice and magnetic stage presence won over New York audiences.

Cordero made his stage debut in the title role of the off-Broadway play The Toxic Avenger.

He originated roles in the musicals A Bronx Tale (as Sonny), Waitress (Earl), and Bullets Over Broadway (Cheech). Cordero also portrayed Record Company Man and Dennis in Rock of Ages.

Cordero’s performance garnered a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical, and a Drama Desk Award in the same category for his performance Bullets Over Broadway reported Broadway World. Cordero won an Outer Critics Circle Award in the category of Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a Theatre World Award for the same role.

For A Bronx Tale, Cordero received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical nomination in 2017.

Cordero also played Victor Lugo in a recurring role on CBS’ Blue Bloods.

Cordero’s wife is ‘DWTS’ contestant Amanda Kloots

Nick Cordero and Amanda Kloots met during the production of "Bullets Over Broadway."
Nick Cordero and Amanda Kloots and the cast of ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ perform onstage during the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014, in New York City | Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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Cordero met Amanda Kloots, a dancer and his co-star in the production of Bullets Over Broadway in 2014. She is currently a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.

Cordero and Kloots were friends first. Their relationship eventually turned romantic. The couple wed in 2017 and welcomed their son Elvis in 2019.

Less than a year after Elvis was born, Cordero fell ill. He was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA in March 2020 for what doctors initially believed to be pneumonia. It was later reported Cordero contracted the virus.

People Magazine reported the performer suffered from numerous complications, including lung infections and septic shock. Cordero also had to have his right leg amputated and received a pacemaker for his heart. Cordero died of complications from the virus on July 5, 2020.

‘Waitress’ honored Cordero upon the show’s Broadway re-opening

Amanda Kloots and the cast of Waitress celebrate Nick Cordero with a "Life Your Life" pie.
(L-R) Charity Angel Dawson, Sara Bareilles, Amanda Kloots, Caitlin Houlahan and Christopher Fitzgerald during the curtain call at “Waitress” on Broadway as the musical re-opens on Broadway after the pandemic shutdown | Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

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The cast of Waitress, including the show’s composer and star Sara Bareilles, honored Cordero upon the show’s re-opening on Broadway.

Waitress is the story of Jenna Hunterson, an expert pie maker at a small-town diner who is in a terrible marriage to Earl. After Jenna unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she begins an affair with her doctor, Jim Pomatter.

One of the critical sets of the musical is the pie shop where Jenna and her fellow waitresses work. In each show, pies are for sale on the diner’s chalkboard.

A ‘Live Your Life’ pie honoring Cordero is featured on stage for every performance. This honor will be present not only on the Broadway stage but in every production of Waitress across the country.

New York City declared September 17 “Nick Cordero Day” to honor the late Broadway performer on his 43rd birthday.

Audra McDonald and Leslie Odom Jr. host this year’s Tony Awards ceremony.

McDonald helms the live broadcast of the 74th Annual Tony Awards at 7 p.m. EST on Paramount+. Odom Jr. serves as host for The Tony Awards Present Broadway’s Back!, the live concert event celebrating Broadway’s return at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.