Waitress, the new Broadway musical based on the 2007 indie movie, is not your typical love story.
Set in the South, the plot swirls around a diner waitress and expert pie-baker named Jenna who, mired in a loveless marriage to an abusive husband and unexpectedly pregnant with his child, embarks on a torrid love affair with her married gynaecologist.
Then again, Sara Bareilles is not your traditional Broadway composer.
She is the singer-songwriter behind piano-driven hits such as Love Song and Brave, who earlier this month played what she – self- deprecatingly – calls her “mid-tempo ballads” at a White House state dinner honouring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But she is also part of a new twist in musical theatre, one of a handful of female singer-songwriters attempting to make the leap to Broadway songsmith, along with Edie Brickell, Sheryl Crow, Susan Werner and Erin McKeown. Plus, she can totally rock a Gibson 2016 Memphis Series.
In a career that has brought her a No. 1 album, five Grammy nominations and a celebrity judgeship on the NBC a cappella competition, The Sing-Off, Bareilles, 36, said she has never felt such a sense of reward working on the project.
The road to Broadway for Waitress, which opens on April 24 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, has taken nine years and cost US$12 million.