Waitress may be shuttering this January, but that hasn’t stopped producers of the hit show from courting A-list talent for the hit Broadway musical. Their latest casting coupe will be Jordin Sparks, who will play the role of “Jenna” starting September 19, 2019 and staying with the show through October 27. Sparks made her Broadway debut in 2010 in the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights and Waitress will mark her return to the Great White Way since that appearance.
“I’ve missed the Broadway stage ever since I took my final bow in In the Heights in 2010, said Sparks. “I am so excited to be able to return to it and serve up some musical pie!”
Jordin Sparks gained worldwide attention at age 17 when she was crowned the season six winner of the reality competition TV series American Idol. Since then, she has become a Grammy nominated, multi-platinum, singer/songwriter and actress. Sparks’ popular singles have sold over 10 million digital tracks and she has received (to date) two BET Awards, one American Music Award, one BMI Songwriting Award, and one People’s Choice Award.
Waitress holds the distinction of having four women take the lead on the show’s creation and staging. The musical is written by Jessie Nelson (book) and Sara Bareilles, with direction by Diane Paulus and choreography by Lorin Latarro. Waitress draws its inspiration from 2007 film of the same name with a screenplay by Adrienne Shelly.
Waitress currently stars Alison Luff, Charity Angel Dawson, Caitlin Houlahan, Mark Evans, Ben Thompson, Larry Marshall, Benny Elledge, Noah Galvin, Melody A. Betts, Tyrone Davis Jr., Andrew Fitch, Molly Hager, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Arica Jackson, Molly Jobe, Brandon Kalm, Max Kumangai, Tess Murphy, Everleigh Rotunno, Stephanie Torns, and Dan Tracy.
“Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed by My Eggs Pie.” When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying run-in with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it. Change is on the menu, as long as Jenna can write her own perfectly personal recipe for happiness.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His forthcoming book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, will hit the shelves in October, 2019. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.