Tony winner Jessie Mueller is in her final weeks over at the musical Waitress, and you really ought to catch her before she hangs up her apron as baking genius Jenna. However, a whole new audience may be stampeding the Brooks Atkinson Theatre with the news that Sara Bareilles, who wrote the Grammy-nominated score, steps into the lead starting March 31.
In the press release Sara Bareilles says: "Waitress has turned out to be one of the great, true loves of my life, and they simply can't get rid of me. :) I consider it an incredible honor to follow the masterful work of Jessie Mueller as she so gracefully brought the character of Jenna to life, and I am thrilled to continue to tell this story that has so much heart. This show changed my life in so many ways, and I feel great privilege in joining our beloved cast and crew who make me laugh and cry every time I watch the show. All I want is to keep sharing the love, and dear God please let me remember my lines."
Waitress announced last month that it recouped its $12 million investment in less than 10 months on Broadway, making it and Hamilton the only two new musicals from the last Broadway season (2015-2016) to go into profit. However, maintaining b.o. mojo is tough; last week the show only brought in $671K, significantly below its full potential. We’ll see if Bareilles’s special appearance will have the “Billie Joe” effect: In 2011, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong joined the cast of Broadway's American Idiot, causing that show’s ticket sales to surge.
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