She’ll step into the role following the departure of Jessie Mueller, the Tony Award winner (“Beautiful”) who originated the part in the show based on Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 indie film. The musical, with a femme-centric storyline about a waitress who hopes to change her life through a pie-making contest, seems to hit a sweet spot with Broadway’s largely female demographic, and the production has become one of the successes of the 2015-16 season. Last month producers announced the show had recouped its $12 million capitalization.
The addition of Bareilles might give a boost to the show’s already healthy box office, as the singer-songwriter’s fans turn out to catch her in her Broadway acting debut. Bareilles has already released an album of her renditions of “Waitress” songs, and she’s been singing tunes from the show on tour.
Her stint in the production isn’t the first time a pop composer has stepped into a Broadway musical he or she has written. Sting appeared in “The Last Ship” a few seasons ago, and prior to that Billie Joe Armstrong had stints in “American Idiot.”
Bareilles’ ten-week engagement in “Waitress” runs March 31-June 11. Mueller exits March 26.