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A Recipe for Success: 7 Actors Who Could Star in ‘Waitress’

Category Broadway

|by Marshall W. Mabry IV |


Here’s who we think could play the next Jenna & friends

Having recently celebrated its 3rd anniversary, Waitress continues to serve up its signature musical sweetness to audiences, with the help of some stellar cast members. Broadway’s favorite diner has hosted Tony, Grammy and Emmy winners, with composer Sara Bareilles, Gavin Creel (The Book of Mormon) and now Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block and Shoshanna Bean of Wicked fame taking spins in the lead roles. Given these creative castings, we started thinking about some other stars we’d like to see “Opening Up” Joe’s Diner soon.

Gavin Creel and Sara Bareilles recently starred in ‘Waitress’ on Broadway (Photo: Shervin Lainez)

Gavin Creel and Sara Bareilles recently starred in ‘Waitress’ on Broadway (Photo: Shervin Lainez)

Gizel Jimenez as Dawn (Avenue Q)
Gizel Jimenez is one of New York’s hidden treasures. She has starred in Miss You Like Hell and Avenue Q Off-Broadway, and will be making her Broadway debut in Wicked this year. Her comedic timing is impeccable, and would be perfect for Dawn’s character. Her “When He Sees Me” would be adorable, hilarious and everything this song was written to be.

Mykal Kilgore as Becky (Songs for a New World, Motown)
Gender swap? Yes indeed! The Songs for a New World star has been very open about his desire to star in Waitress, and we’re here for it. Mykal posted a clip of “I Didn’t Plan It,” and immediately after it was released received an incredible amount of support from fans. Mykal’s voice is next-level, and his presence in the show would only bring more depth to the piece.

Eden Espinosa as Jenna (Wicked, Falsettos)
This casting is a no-brainer. She’s been belting and acting on Broadway for more than 16 years because she brings a new life and light to every piece she’s in. There’s no other actress that embodies a role in the way she does, and that’s why she’s so adored by Broadway fans. On top of that, her voice is perfect. She could make the ABC’s sound flawless, so why not “She Used to Be Mine”? 

Carrie Underwood as Jenna
It’s next to impossible to listen to ‘She Used to Be Mine” and not hear the country music likeness. Carrie Underwood’s voice belongs in this type of music, and the Sound of Music Live star isn’t new to the stage in the slightest. She’s performed across the world for millions, making her prepared in the best way possible. A Waitress starring Carrie is nearly guaranteed to sell out immediately. 

Lilli Cooper as Jenna (SpongeBob SquarePants, Tootsie)
Lilli Cooper is the leading woman Broadway deserves. From Wicked to Tootsie, she’s consistently given incredible performances. Not only is she one of musical theatre’s biggest talents but she’s one of Broadway’s most talented actors. She’d create a Jenna we’ve never seen before.

Jeremy Jordan as Dr. Pomatter (Newsies, American Son)
I don’t think there’s one person that Twitter has wanted to see in this role more than Jeremy Jordan. Since Newsies, he’s been Broadway’s favorite tenor. Jeremy delivers whenever he’s onstage, and his comedic timing is golden. Dr. Pomatter is a huge physical comedy role and we’d love to see him take a crack at it.

Adam Levine as Dr. Pomatter
Sara Bareilles, Jason Mraz and Joey McIntyre have all been in Waitress, and we think the Maroon 5 front man should give it a shot. The “Moves like Jagger” singer has the range for the role, and a bit of acting experience as well. If he ever joined the show with Sara as Jenna, it would be the best early 2000s concert the Brooks Atkinson Theatre would ever see.

For more of the best of Broadway, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in February 2019

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