The Broadway musical Waitress is resurrecting after its closure in January 2020, and its creator, Sara Bareilles, is leading the way as the show's star.
The singer-songwriter of “Brave” and “Love Song” will play the lead role of Jenna Hunterson in the musical's post-pandemic revival. Waitress will have a new home in the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, and Bareilles will reprise her role from Sept. 2 through Oct. 17. Producers Barry and Fran Weissler also noted in the announcement that the production will run until Jan. 9, 2022.
Adapted from a 2007 film starring Keri Russell, Waitress tells the story of a waitress and pie maker trapped in a small-town diner and an abusive marriage. Sara Bareilles penned the music and lyrics while Jessie Nelson handled the book. The role of Jenna Hunterson was originated by Jessie Mueller in 2016 when Waitress played at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. She received a Tony Nomination for Best Actress, and the show was also nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Actor (Christopher Fitzgerald), Best Original Score, and Best Musical.
Bareilles has had three stints as Jenna during the show's four years on Broadway. She's also released her versions of the musical’s songs in What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress, including the standout single “She Used to Be Mine.”
“Broadway is grit and grace, magic and mayhem, and I can’t wait to feel the electricity that pulses through all of us as the curtains rise once again,” Bareilles said in a statement Wednesday (July 7).
With her appearance in Waitress, Bareilles joins other composers who have starred in their own Broadway shows, such as Sting in The Last Ship, Green Day’s frontman Billie Joe Armstrong in American Idiot, and even Lin-Manuel Miranda in the knockout shows Hamilton and In the Heights. Bareilles' Broadway return also comes on the back of her role on the Peacock TV show Girls5eva, which was recently renewed for a second season.
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