Tony-nominated actor Will Swenson will be returning to the Broadway hit Waitress. September 12, he will once-again take over the role of Earl, currently played by Joe Tippet (who departs the show September 10). Swenson will play opposite Betsy Wolfe who will continue in the role of Jenna, originally portrayed by Jessie Mueller. He last appeared in Waitress from April 4 to June 11, 2017.
Swenson has been a popular mainstay of New York theatre for the last-decade, having appeared in several Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. On-Broadway he played Inspector Javert in the recent revival of Les Miserables. He was Tony-nominated for his turn as Berger in the Diane Paulus directed revival of Hair, and he appeared opposite his wife Audra McDonald in the Roundabout Theatre’s revival of 110 in the Shade. Other Broadway credits include The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Lestat, and Brooklyn: The Musical. Aside from his first stint in Waitress, Swenson’s last appearance in a Broadway musical was in Disaster! Off-Broadway credits include Little Miss Sunshine, Adrift in Macao, and Murder Ballad.
Waitress, which features a Tony-nominated score by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles, has been running at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre since April 24, 2016 where it opened to enthusiastic reviews. It was Tony-nominated in the Best Musical category, as well as in a handful of others. The musical features a book by Jessie Nelson which is based on Adrienne Shelly’s screenplay for the 2007 film. Waitress is directed by Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin).
The musical’s website describes the show as follows: “Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.”
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.