“Scorpion” star Katharine McPhee will step into the lead role of “Waitress” this summer, marking the Broadway debut of the “American Idol” contestant who’s been on the radar of theater fans since her starring role in the Broadway-centric NBC series “Smash.”
“Waitress” has had a run of good weeks at the box office lately, thanks to the draw of Sara Bareilles, the musician who wrote the songs for “Waitress” and is starring in the show through March 11. Sales were particularly robust in the weeks when Bareilles overlapped with Jason Mraz, another pop musician who helped boost traffic.
McPhee, who appeared on the fifth season of “American Idol,” has starred for the last four seasons in the CBS series “Scorpion.” She played one of the two central characters in “Smash,” the musical series about the making of a musical that was aiming for Broadway. That show-within-the-show, “Bombshell,” has taken on a bit of a life of its own, with cast members reuniting to do a concert version.
In “Waitress,” McPhee will play a woman who enters a pie-baking contest that she hopes will change her life. Based on the 2007 film, the musical has found a strong audience base in Broadway’s core female demo.
Bareilles exits the show’s lead role March 11, with McPhee stepping in a month later on April 10 for a run that ends June 17.