Born in Eureka, California in 1979, Sara Bareilles is a Grammy Award-winning singer, composer and lyricist behind the musical hit Waitress, which has played both sides of the pond on Broadway and the West End.
Bareilles’ interest in music came to fruition as a high schooler, when she took part in the high school choir and a number of local theatre productions, such as playing Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. She studied communication studies at UCLA graduating in 2002, when she began performing in local clubs and bars, releasing her first solo album, Careful Confessions, in 2004. She landed opening slots on the bill of a number of acts touring the US, including Maroon 5, Paolo Nutini, James Blunt and Mika.
Her breakthrough came in 2007 when her single “Love Song” was featured as an iTunes free single of the week, with her album later shooting to number 1. The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 4. She had further hits with “Gravity” and “Bottle It Up”.
Her two follow-up albums came in 2010 with Kaleidoscope Heart and The Blessed Unrest in 2013, which was nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy Award.
In 2015, the Broadway production of Waitress opened at the American Repertory Theatre, with music and lyrics by Bareilles. She had worked with director Diane Paulus on adapting the 2007 by the late Adrienne Shelley about a small town waitress with relationship issues who sees a pie-making contest as her way to escape.
Following a successful opening, Bareilles herself took over in the lead role of Jenna, making her Broadway debut. She reprised her peformance in the West End, as she played Jenna alongside Broadway cast member Gavin Creel.