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Sara Bareilles to star in 'Waitress,' her hit Broadway musical

Star Jessie Mueller, left, and composer Sara Bareilles

Star Jessie Mueller, left, and composer Sara Bareilles on the set of "Waitress." Credit: Pamela Hanson

Sara Bareilles, who earned Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for writing the music and lyrics of Broadway’s “Waitress,” is taking over the musical’s lead role, succeeding Jessie Mueller beginning March 31.

“Sugar, Butter, Broadway!!” Bareilles, 37, posted on social media alongside two photos of herself — one in costume for her upcoming Broadway debut, another of her youthful self in costume for one of the school and community-theater productions in which she acted while growing up in California. “It is with unabashed delight that I announce that my childhood dream is coming true and I’m gonna be on Broadway!!!!” Bareilles wrote. “I am joining the cast of WAITRESS!! (No pigtails this time.) In a few short weeks I will be stepping into the role of Jenna Hunterson, and I’m just beside myself!” she said, cueing the visual pun.

Bareilles tweeted that her run is for 10 weeks. The Broadway League’s Internet Broadway Database gives her last performance as June 11.

In a video accompanying the tweet, Bareilles, in costume in a dressing room, with jaunty music playing, says, “Alright, guys! So it’s official. And I’m gonna be really subtle here in my waitress uniform, but I’m guessing you put it together that my big announcement is that I’m joining the cast of ‘Waitress’ for a limited run starting March 31. So I have my Jenna nametag on, I am learning my lines and I am getting ready to share this beautiful story with you as a different kind of storyteller this time.”

The departing Mueller, who turns 34 on Monday, earned one of her three Tony nominations for “Waitress.” She won the 2014 award for her lead role in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

“Waitress,” which opened in April, is based on the 2007 film written and directed by Adrienne Shelly and starring Keri Russell as Jenna, a pregnant, unhappily married small-town waitress with a penchant for making pies.

“This show, the people who made it, and these characters have become more precious to me than I could ever say,” Bareilles wrote on Instagram. “It will be an incredible privilege to join the cast onstage and tell this beautiful story. Jessie Mueller has been an absolute dream come true in this role and I’m deeply honored to get to take a turn at embodying our beloved Jenna (and hopefully remember my lines along the way).”

She added jokingly, “Panic attacks available now.”

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