Jennifer Nettles to follow Sara Bareilles in 'Waitress' on Broadway

Nettles will play the leading role of Jenna after Bareilles departs on October 17.

Jennifer Nettles

UPDATE: In addition to Nettles, McQueen, and Blanchet, two new casting announcements have been made. Nik Dodani and Ben Thompson will take over the roles of Ogie and Earl, respectively, beginning October 19.

Everything changes — including Jennas! Waitress has announced that Jennifer Nettles will step into the musical's leading role from October 19. She follows Waitress composer/lyricist Sara Bareilles, who is currently playing the role of Jenna in a limited engagement through October 17.

Three-time Grammy Award winner Nettles has had a successful career as the lead singer of the country music duo Sugarland. The pair has released six studio albums, four of which have been certified platinum. She has also released two solo albums and an EP. Her song “Stay” earned her two Grammys for best country song and best country performance by a duo or group with Sugarland. She won her third Grammy for the song "Who Says You Can't Go Home," a duet with Bon Jovi.

As an actress, Nettles plays Aimee-Leigh Gemstone on HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones and recently performed in Focus Features’ Harriet Tubman biopic. Nettles made her Broadway debut in 2015 as Roxie Hart in Chicago and has also starred as Donna in the Hollywood Bowl’s production of Mamma Mia! in 2017.

Before Nettles's arrival, two other new cast members will join Waitress on October 5. Maeisha McQueen and Ashley Blanchet will assume the roles of Becky and Dawn, respectively. Current cast members Charity Angél Dawson and Caitlin Houlahan will play their final performances in their respective roles on October 3.

Waitress follows a small-town pie chef who aims to bake her way to a better life for herself and her unborn child. The show originally played the Brooks Atkinson Theatre from 2016 until its closing in 2020, and it reopened at the Barrymore Theatre on September 2, 2021.

Waitress tickets are on sale now.