Sara Bareilles to star in the Broadway return of 'Waitress'

The Weissler-produced Broadway show is set to return later this year with the 'Love Song' singer and score-writer to play the lead role of Jenna Hutchinson.

Sara Bareilles to star in the Broadway return of 'Waitress'

The hit musical ‘Waitress’ is set to return to Broadway later this year with pop star Sara Bareilles to play the lead role of Jenna Hunterson.

As Broadway continues the slow return to normality after nearly 18 months out in the cold the production is set to return from 2 September at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre as part of a re-opening scheme.

The opening night proper, with Bareilles playing the lead role, will be held on 17 October and the musical will run until 9 January 2022, according to producers Barry and Fran Weissler.

Bareilles soared into public consciousness in 2007 with the hit single ‘Love Song’, which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and garnered two Grammy Award nominations. In June 2013 it was announced that she would be writing the score to ‘Waitress’, and helping to adapt it from the 2007 film of the same name.

She first took to the stage to play Jenna Hunterson in 2017 and enjoyed a 10-week engagement, followed by two shorter stints in both 2018 and 2019. After it was announced that Bareilles would be the lead for the show’s Broadway return, she released a statement saying she “couldn't miss the opportunity to be there when Broadway welcomes audiences back into theaters that have been sitting dark for over a year.”

She continued: "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.”

Waitress is a “prime example of resilience”

Producing duo the Weisslers had previously hinted at the possibility of an encore for ‘Waitress’ but this is the first confirmation that it will be returning to the stage. They described the show as “a prime example of resilience, in the same way that New Yorkers and all Americans have grown over that last year.”

They added that they hope that Broadway can be “the engine that drives New York City’s recovery, drawing audiences from around the world to be wowed, to celebrate, to cry and to laugh again.”

The show first debuted in 2016 and earnt the distinction of being the first Broadway musical to have four women in the four top creative roles. Initially Bareilles was providing music and lyrics, with Jessie Mueller playing the lead role.