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Sara Bareilles to Reprise ‘Waitress’ Role on Broadway in September

There is some big Broadway news today, Hollywooders!

Sara Bareilles announced this morning that not only will the hit musical Waitress return to Broadway on Thursday, September 2, but she will also reprise the lead role of Jenna Hunterson. 

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Sara Bareilles in Waitress: “Opening Up…!” 

As Broadway begins to reopen, Waitress fans have been waiting with bated breath to see if the hit musical would return too. Let the countdown to Thursday, September 2 begin! The musical will be reopening at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, relocating from its previous home at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with Sara Bareilles on center stage. The show’s producers, Barry Weissler and Fran Weissler, announced the delicious news that Sara Bareilles will star in the production for a limited engagement from its opening performance through Sunday, October 17. The show’s full run is currently slated to continue through January 9, 2022. 

Sara Bareilles’s replacement and additional cast members have yet to be announced. This will be the fourth Broadway run that Sara will have in the role of Jenna, having previously portrayed the role for limited engagements in March of 2017, January of 2018 (she starred for two weeks opposite friend and fellow singer/songwriter Jason Mraz), and in January 2019, for a four-week stint alongside musician Gavin Creel

Although the Broadway production of Waitress lowered its final curtain on Sunday, January 5, 2020, Sara Bareilles was performing as Jenna in the West End production of the show in March 2020 when production halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sara was forced to return to the United States due to travel restrictions. Her last performance at London’s Adelphi Theatre was on Monday, March 16, 2020, 4 days after the closure of all Broadway theaters in New York City. 

Sara Bareilles in Waitress: Sugar, Butter… Sara!

Producer Barry Weissler teased the idea of Sara Bareilles returning to the role upon the reopening of Broadway in a Wall Street Journal article published on May 5, but no hints or indications of another engagement in the production had been announced by Sara until today.

“I couldn’t miss the opportunity to be there when Broadway welcomes audiences back into theaters that have been sitting dark for over a year,” Sara said in a statement. “It is a gift to get to revisit the beautiful story of Waitress, centered around hope, resilience, and the support of our chosen family. It’s so special to be able to celebrate those same qualities at this moment in time within our theater family. Like so many people all over the world, this community has endured great loss and tremendous hardship, and we are all changed. But with this change comes powerful motivation to bring what we have learned and experienced this past year to make something even more beautiful and more intentional. 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.”

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Sara Bareilles in Waitress: “What’s inside?”

Waitress is based on a 2007 movie with the same title, written and directed by Adrienne Shelly. The show centers around Jenna Hunterson, a kind yet undervalued waitress at a roadside diner (and a devoted baker), who finds out that she is pregnant with her abusive husband’s child. When Jenna arrives for an initial check-up with her gynecologist, Dr. Pomatter, sparks fly and the two quickly fall into an illicit affair. Jenna hatches a plan to enter a baking contest with the hopes of winning a generous cash prize that would allow her to leave her life behind and start fresh, with a new baby and baking expertise in tow. 

While the show’s book was written by collaborator Jessie Nelson, Sara Bareilles penned the music and lyrics for the musical, marking her first foray into the world of musical theater. The show was a stunning commercial success, grossing over $137 million during its nearly four-year Broadway run from 2016 to early 2020. Waitress also garnered four Tony nominations in 2016 (including two for Sara Bareilles for Best Musical and Best Original Score), six Drama Desk nominations the same year (including Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics for Sara Bareilles), and a Grammy Award nomination in 2017 for Best Musical Theater Album in 2017. 

Sara Bareilles in Waitress: “You matter to” US!

As one might expect, fans of Bareilles and Broadway alike have welcomed the news with unbridled enthusiasm and an onslaught of advance ticket sales. 

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We here at Hollywood.com love to see a comeback, and this is one of the biggest comebacks we could imagine for Broadway’s reopening.

Break a leg, Sara! 

Buy Broadway tickets from Hollywood.com here!

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