Miranda Sings actress Colleen Ballinger is trading her garishly-overdrawn red lipstick and signature crazy-eyed stare for a diner apron and hairline mic to portray Dawn Williams on the Broadway stage in Sara Bareilles’ hit musical Waitress.
Ballinger shared the big news in a YouTube video Friday after teasing an announcement the day prior with various social media posts and a countdown. The YouTube personality and Haters Back Off star was in tears as she finally revealed the news — which she said she’s been keeping secret for “so long” — with her more than 8.5 million YouTube followers.
Ballinger’s video opened with a clip of her on Playbill’s The Broadway Cast podcast in 2017 sharing that it’s been her goal since childhood to be on Broadway. “That was always the ultimate dream.” The exchange cuts to a reel of home videos that show her portraying a myriad of roles in amateur musical theater productions throughout her life. Then, it transitions to a beaming Ballinger who breathlessly squeals, “I’m going to be on Broadway!”
“I’ve been obsessed [with Waitress] since it came out,” Ballinger said in her YouTube address. “Every day I would put on repeat ‘When He Sees Me,’ which is the song sung by the character Dawn. I love that character, it’s right up my ally.”
Dawn, originated on Broadway by Kimiko Glenn in 2016, is a sheltered, shy waitress with a Southern accent — the youngest and only single one of the bunch — at the diner where show’s pregnant, pie-baking protagonist Jenna Hunterson works. Glee star Jenna Ushkowitz and Scandal‘s Katie Lowes have also had turns playing Dawn in the Broadway show.
Ballinger has portrayed the character of Miranda Sings on YouTube since 2008, as well as written two books in character, landed her own two-season Netflix series Haters Back Off, and dropped her own Netflix special Miranda Sings Live… Your Welcome earlier this week. She was also the very pregnant cheerleader in Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” music video.
Ballinger’s Broadway run is set for August 20 to September 15. Watch her full announcement video above.
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