He’ll make his Broadway debut in a musical with songs written by Sara Bareilles, with whom he recorded the tunes “Bad Idea” and “You Matter to Me” on Bareilles’ 2015 album “What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress.” Mraz will play Dr. Pomatter, the love interest for the title character in the show about a woman who decides to follow her dream and participate in a pie-baking contest.
Pop stars have had a good track record on Broadway lately. Bareilles caused sales to spike at “Waitress” when she joined the cast in the spring, and over the summer, Brendon Urie, the frontman of Panic! at the Disco, gave a boost to the box office at “Kinky Boots.” In prior seasons, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong ratcheted up sales at “American Idiot” every time he joined that show’s cast.
Mraz will celebrate the 15th anniversary of his first major-label album, “Waiting For My Rocket to Come,” in October. He joins the cast “Waitress” Nov. 3, appearing in a show that currently stars actors including Betsy Wolfe and Will Swenson.
The addition of Mraz may point to a strategy for producers of “Waitress,” who could conceivably continue to draw on Bareilles’ connections to the pop world in order to bring a string of contemporary music stars — as well as their avid fan bases — into the theater.