NewsStage

Jessie Mueller to Star in A.R.T’s ‘Waitress’

By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor

Jessie Mueller poses in an office at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York, NY. Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune
Jessie Mueller poses in an office at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York, NY. Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

It’s been months and months of speculation but it was finally confirmed that 2014 Tony Award winner Jessie Mueller will star in American Repertory Theater’s production of Waitress this coming fall.

Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a pregnant waitress living in the south. Jenna is trapped in an abusive marriage and is looking for her happy ending. She eventually finds relief by making creatively-titled pies and forming a romance with Dr. Joe Pomatter, a newcomer to town. Waitress is based on the 2007 movie starring Keri Russell (The Americans) and Nathan Fillion (Castle). The musical is written by  Jessie Nelson and includes music and lyric by Grammy Award nominee Sara Bareilles.

Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com.
Jessie Mueller in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Broadway.com.

Jessie Mueller starred as Jenna in a December 2014  workshop of the new musical Waitress and she will officially reprise her performance at the world premiere at A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus, who has helmed several successful production at A.R.T like Pippin, Porgy and Bess and recently Finding Neverland. Waitress is scheduled to begin performances on August 1, 2015.

In addition to her remarkable performances as Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which earned her a 2014 Drama and Tony Awards, she has also appeared on Broadway in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Nice Work If You Can Get It and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. This past year, Mueller took Broadway by storm as Carole King and she left her imprint. Her voice has become that of a generation of new Broadway performers and it will be interesting to watch her transform her voice once again for this role.

Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller at the workshop for Waitress in December 2014. Photo Credit: Broadwayworld.com
Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller at the workshop for Waitress in December 2014. Photo Credit: Broadwayworld.com

Mueller talked to Broadway.com about working with Sara Bareilles and she spoke to her incredible devotion to the project. Mueller said, “Sara’s music is exceptional… She’s been as involved in the process as the rest of us were. It was very refreshing to see her changing her world along with what we were doing- whether it was an acting moment that changed the lyric or vice versa.”

More casting is sure to be released in the coming months but now with Jessie Mueller officially attached to the project, could more member from the December reading come aboard? Others who joined Mueller at the reading were Broadway stars Barrett Wilbert Weed, Bryce Pinkham and Keala Settle. Until more casting is announced in the coming months, fans of Mueller and Bareilles can sit back and anxiously await this duo’s sure to be legendary collaboration.

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