The former 'American Idol' contestant will replace Sara Bareilles

By Maureen Lee Lenker
February 14, 2018 at 10:25 AM EST
Andrew Chin/Getty Images; Inset: Jason Bell
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Sugar, butter, flour, Katharine McPhee.

The former Smash and American Idol star is finally set to make her Broadway debut this spring, taking over for Sara Bareilles in the lead role in Waitress, producers announced Wednesday.McPhee has long had an association with Broadway, beloved for her performances of show tunes on American Idol and starring as Broadway hopeful Karen Cartwright on NBC’s Smash.

The actress will begin performances on April 10 and will be in the show through June 17.

Though McPhee has made one-off appearances on the Great White Way, including a run as Marilyn Monroe in a special concert presentation of the musical-within-a TV show Bombshell from Smash, she has yet to officially make her Broadway debut.

McPhee will succeed Bareilles in March at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre as lead character Jenna, a young waitress struggling with a toxic marriage and her attraction to her cute, married OB-GYN. Jessie Mueller originated the role in 2016, but lately Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for the show, has been winning over audiences bringing her own songs to life.

Fans have been speculating for days that McPhee could be coming to Broadway this spring after an Instagram story revealed she’d be headed to the stage, without specifying which show.

Waitress (Broadway)

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  • Diane Paulus