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15 Women of Color We’d Love to See Star as Jenna in Waitress

December 8th, 2017 by

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15 Women of Color We’d Love to See Star as Jenna in Waitress

Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Tony nominee Sara Bareilles rejoins her hit Broadway musical Waitress on January 16, taking over from BBox fave Betsy Wolfe as Jenna, opposite Jason Mraz.


Sara, Betsy, and original Tony-nominated star Jessie Mueller have each brought something completely new and exciting to the role of Jenna (a gifted pie maker stuck in an unhappy marriage who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant), but we can’t help what the show, role, and score could gain by casting a woman of color as the next, fourth Jenna after Bareilles ends her shift on February 25. Scroll on as BroadwayBox shares our top picks of Broadway actresses we’d love to (realistically) see in Waitress.

Rebecca Naomi Jones


Put me down for a pair of prems. The Murder Ballad, American Idiot, Passing Strange, Hedwig, Love’s Labour’s Lost, etc etc showstopper can sell a lyric like nobody’s business, she is a fine actress, and she's radiant on stage.

Amber Iman


Amber Iman should be a big star by now and I’m tired of waiting for the role that will bring her to the next level. She’d sing this score to death. They'd have to release a supplement album Brooke Shields in Wonderful Town style.

Saycon Sengbloh


This Tony-nominated queen and former Elphaba would bring the drama and the vocals. I’d have to be carried out of the Brooks on a stretcher after hearing her do “She Used to Be Mine”.

Syesha Mercado


The standout replacement star of The Book of Mormon should return to Broadway in a role that lets her talent fully shine.

Jasmine Cephas Jones


Anything to bring the Hamilton star back to Broadway but especially this.

Eva Noblezada


She might be young, but who cares when she opens her mouth to sing?! Eva is a star and stars are ageless.

Ana Villafañe


She’d bring such a joy to Jenna (much like Betsy Wolfe does), and it makes all the difference to have a luminous Jenna at the musical’s center.

Patrice Covington


If I’m still thinking about her Squeak nearly a year later—imagine what this Color Purple standout could do with a big, leading role?!

Nicolette Robinson


Legit wild to me she’s never made her Broadway debut. What a talent! Someone give her a “star-is-born” opportunity.

Gina Rodriguez


The Jane the Virgin star would bring in a whole new audiences to Waitress. She's so lovable on screen and we'd love to see her bring that to the stage.

Barrett Doss


The Groundhog Day leading lady can clearly handle complicated material and make a big Broadway audience fall in love with her (over and over again).

Ciara Renee


Come on! The Pippin, Hunchback, and Tick, Tick…BOOM! star is a no brainer.

Krystal Joy Brown


We have not seen Krystal Joy on Broadway since her sensational turn as Diana Ross in Motown and that should change ASAP.

Joaquina Kalukango


The warmth and vocals she brought to The Color Purple and The Wild Party landed Joaquina a spot on our Waitress wish list. She would bring this to the next level.

Nicole Scherzinger


Keeping with Waitress’ casting of music industry stars, this would be a big Broadway debut for the West End Cats Olivier and Grammy nominee.

Check out 'Waitress' at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre.