Tony Award nominee Will Swenson, most recently on Broadway in Disaster!, will join the cast of the Broadway musical Waitress March 31 in the role of Earl, the ne’er-do-well husband of the show’s leading character, Jenna, who will be played by composer Sara Bareilles beginning that same day.
Also joining the company March 31 is the previously announced Chris Diamantopoulos, who will take over the role of Dr. Pomatter.
The role of Earl is currently played by William Popp, who will play his final performance March 30. Tony winner Jessie Mueller, who currently portrays Jenna, will play her final performance March 26.
Prior to Disaster!, Swenson starred on Broadway as Javert in the hit revival of Les Miserables and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Drama League nomination). He received Tony, Drama League, and Drama Desk nominations for his performance as Berger in the Broadway revival of Hair. He also played the role on London’s West End. Other Broadway credits include 110 in the Shade, Lestat, and Brooklyn: the Musical. His screen credits include The Switch, Gods Behaving Badly, This is Where I Leave You, and the upcoming The Greatest Showman. Swenson is also a filmmaker: His first film, Sons of Provo, about a clueless Mormon boy-band, which he directed, co-wrote and starred in, won several film festivals. He is married to six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald.
Waitress announced last month that it recouped its $12 million investment in less than 10 months on Broadway. The musical opened April 24, 2016, at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th Street).
Based on the 2007 motion picture written by Adrienne Shelly, Waitress has a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by six-time Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro, and direction by Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus. The musical will begin its U.S. national tour at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square this October.
Waitress, according to press notes, “tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker in a small town, who dreams of a way out of her loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a new life, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes to happiness. But Jenna must find the courage and strength within herself to rebuild her life. This new American musical celebrates friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.”
Waitress is produced on Broadway by Barry and Fran Weissler and Norton and Elayne Herrick.