Talent Recap

Sara Bareilles Thinks Kelly Clarkson Should Star in ‘Waitress’

Sara Bareilles and Kelly Clarkson on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'Photo by: Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal

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Amid the end of her era in Waitress, Sara Bareilles knows a person who can portray her role, Jenna Hunterson. Waitress: The Musical is out on theaters for a five-day series of nationwide special-event screenings.

Sara Bareilles Wants Kelly Clarkson to Be The Next Waitress

During her appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Bareilles talked about Waitress: The Musical. Reflecting on the last time she’ll be playing the role of Jenna, the Tony nominee said Clarkson could be the next protagonist of the story.

“There is something kind of bittersweet about it. I think there’s a very real knowing that this will be the last time I’m on stage in that role, which doesn’t mean you can’t go on stage in that role,” she said.

Upon hearing the suggestion, Clarkson didn’t act coy. The “Stronger” hitmaker reacted positively to Bareilles’ comment, saying she wants the role. The audience also had the same bright reaction, erupting in applause.

It pays noting that while Clarkson is one of the most sought-after singers, she has yet to debut on Broadway at this time. She’s nonetheless done a powerful rendition of “She Used to Be Mine” from Waitress during her talk show’s Kellyoke segment.

“I closed my eyes for the entire thing because I hadn’t seen Waitress so I really didn’t know what I was walking into and that song is so beautiful,” Clarkson said. “It’s like the most amazing song. I got through it once and I was proud to get through it without just completely breaking down.”

In the interview, Bareilles revealed that she’s watched Clarkson’s cover “3000 times.


Based on Shelly’s 2007 film, Waitress debuted on Broadway in 2016. Then, it became one of the longest-running shows in recent Broadway history. Aside from its United States and United Kingdom tours, it the musical also had a West End run.

“At its heart, ‘Waitress’ is about resilience and hope and community and self-love,” Bareilles said. “It feels like comfort food right now, and I think there’s something really healing about that.”

She Talks Bringing the Story to the Big Screen

Elsewhere in the interview, Bareilles explained how they captured the film in a live stage. According to the actress, Waitress: The Musical is “very handmade.”

“It was kind of an all-star cast and we got back on stage and we took four days and we shot some with an audience and some that were just set up. So we got to bring the cameras really close to the action on stage and yeah, it’s very handmade. We’ve been working really really hard on this,” she said.

Reflecting on the creative process, Bareilles stated that Waitress has greatly changed her life.

“Nothing has changed my life in a more profound way than working on Waitress,” she said. “It’s re-oriented everything about me personally, professionally and I just really fell so grateful to be a part of the story of the show.”

The singer-songwriter then gushed about carrying on the legacy of Shelly.

“She’s no longer with us but we get to share this incredible story about empowerment and learning to love yourself. It’s just like an amazing story to be a part of so I feel so lucky. And it brought me back to the theater,” she said.

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