Grammy Nominated Singer and songwriter Sara Bareilles makes her Broadway debut this week as Jenna in “Waitress“. Having written the music for Waitress, Sara will be tackling on her own show, and we couldn’t be more excited for her.
Broadway has seen many writers starring in their own shows recently. Most popular, has been Lin Manuel Miranda who starred as Alexander Hamilton in his smash hit Hamilton which he wrote. Sara Bareilles is guaranteed to please performing her own songs on stage. The acting though, is something almost new we’ll be seeing from Sara. With the Waitress social media team uploading teasers of Sara in a few scenes, we get a quick glimpse at her take on the character of Jenna.
Following the same plot as the 2007 film Waitress, the story revolves around Jenna Hunterson, who works as a waitress and pie maker at Joe’s Diner. Jenna lives with an abusive husband, and is overall unhappy. Then she finds herself pregnant, which only makes matters worse. With the help of her crazy fellow waitresses, and a new doctor she’s smitten by, Jenna regains her strength and courage against her husband, and struggles with trying to find happiness in her unborn child. What she finds is that she can truly make an of her emotions into a delicious pie.
The role of Jenna is quite southern, and demands a strong accent. Jessie Mueller originated the role on Broadway, having previously won a Tony Award back in 2014 for Beautiful. Jenna’s accent was well done, and Sara’s has the potential of being just as in point. We’ve heard a few seconds of her accent in some of the clips released, and it almost mirrors Jessie Mueller’s. Jessie Mueller brought a great taste of Jenna, literally. You felt as though she was really making actual pies on stage, after all. Jessie is a Tony award winning actress for a reason, and if last year’s Tony competition had not been so tough, it is very likely she could have won again.
There are a few numbers Bareilles fans can look forward to, which are some of her popular songs. These include “What Baking Can Do”, “Opening Up”, and the big show stopper “She Used to Be Mine”. Sara will have to tackle on the difficulty of bringing her songs into the form of a Broadway plot, where they actually intertwine with the plot, instead of just singing them in a concert. You can already hear her sing the songs of Waitress, as she made an album for a preview almost two years ago.
Sara was nominated for a Grammy for writing the music for Waitress, and although she lost, she was a very popular nominee. It’s no doubt that the show mirrors Sara’s style of music, and it can be a fun and new show all throughout. Though there are some slower ballads in the show, it’ll be interesting to see how well Sara connects with the character. Fans can hope that she will make a wonderful replacement on Broadway. Although Waitress has had some major success on Broadway, Sara Bareilles could also be the show’s saving grace. Jessie Mueller for over a year now, has been the face of Jenna, and she has gotten rave reviews, along with another Tony nomination last year. Sara stepping in for Jessie will surely make ticket sales skyrocket, and it’ll guarantee a much longer run for the show. Though, audiences everywhere seem to love the show, and they have recently announced tour stops for a touring production. No casting has been announced yet.
Fans know Sara Bareilles will bring a new take on Jenna, and in a great way. She makes history as her very first Broadway debut AND in her own musical. Sara begins performances starting March 31st through early June at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City.