“It is nerve-racking and completely exhilarating,” says Sara Bareilles, who is about to make her Broadway acting debut on March 31 in “Waitress,” whose score she composed. “I so look forward to that first night of getting to revel in the work that has gone into this moment. From the time that this show came into my life, I had no idea it was going to basically reorient my entire existence. It’s been such an incredible gift.”
Bareilles talked to Playbill about preparing to take the stage in the show she helped create, and how singing these songs in character affects her appreciation of them. “It makes me think about the songs differently, reexamining the material in a way that feels really good and fulfilling.” But she won’t be alone. She’ll be joined be two other new cast members, Will Swenson and Chris Diamantopoulos.
“Waitress,” which is adapted from a 2007 indie film of the same name, is about the title character, who is torn between her abusive husband and the town’s new physician. The musical version debuted on Broadway in April 2016 with Tony winner Jessie Mueller (“Beautiful”) in the leading role. It earned four Tony nominations, including Best Actress in a Musical for Mueller, Best Score for Bareilles, and Best Musical (losing to “Hamilton”). And the cast recording was subsequently nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album (losing to “The Color Purple”).
Mueller’s last performance in the show is scheduled for Sunday, March 26, a year and a day after the show’s first preview on March 25, 2016. Bareilles then steps in on Friday, March 31. Watch her, Swenson and Diamantopoulos talk about the show below, and discuss this and more with your fellow theater fans in our fourms.