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Waitress on Broadway

Waitress, a new musical based on the 2007 indie film of the same name, opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on April 24, 2016. The musical, which is set in a small southern town, tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and pie-baker who is pregnant and married to an abusive husband. She dreams of leaving him and begins an affair with her gynecologist, who is married. The musical stars Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller.

Waitress on Broadway Tickets

More Information about Waitress in Broadway

Producers Barry and Fran Weissler bought the theatrical rights to the movie right after it was released in 2007. The Weisslers worked with two creative teams, but things did not work out. They hired director Diane Paulus, with whom they had worked on the Tony Award-winning revival of “Pippin.” Paulus asked Sara Bareilles to collaborate on the project.

Bareilles wrote the piano-driven ballads for the play. She had a Number 1 album, five Grammy nominations, and a stint as a judge on “The Sing-Off,” an NBC a cappella competition, on her resume. Bareilles was ready for a change from touring and shooting “The Sing-Off.” She moved from Los Angeles to New York and decided to try her hand at musical theater.

Bareilles found making the leap to Broadway challenging and confusing. It was difficult for her to collaborate and accept the opinions of other people while she was working on her songs. She became more comfortable working with the creative team, including book writer Jessie Nelson. Bareilles said she feels more freedom writing for theater. She found the experience very rewarding, in part because of the amount of work involved.

Bareilles is one of several female singer-songwriters who are making the transition to composing for Broadway. The group also includes Cyndi Lauper, Edie Brickell, Sheryl Crow, Erin McKeown, and Susan Werner.

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