​Sara Bareilles, Jessie Mueller on serving up "Waitress"

Pop music is changing the landscape of Broadway, but it's not just songs you already know by heart.

More and more artists are composing original songs for the stage, like pop star Sara Bareilles, who has earned a Tony nomination for Best Original Score for "Waitress."

"Waitress" has become one of the hottest musical tickets on Broadway, and it just happens to be the very first musical composed by the singer-songwriter.

"It's been the most difficult thing I've ever done," she said.

But is it harder to create a Broadway show than to create an album?

"Yeah!" she laughed. "It's an incredible amount of work."

Bareilles is best known for her hits "Love Song" and "Brave." But growing up in Eureka, California, her heart belonged to Broadway.

"I grew up listening to so much musical theater, and theater was my first foray into performance at all," Bareilles said. "So, you know, besides singing on the fireplace hearth with my sisters, you know, we did community theater."

"So many pop stars who try to make their work fit in the world of Broadway feel completely out of place when they're asked to become theater people," CBS News contributor Jamie Wax said to Bareilles. "Are you saying you might be a theater person who felt a little out of place in the pop star world?"

"Completely," she laughed.

"Waitress" the musical is based on the cult 2007 film of the same name about life, love and pie. It was written and directed by Adrienne Shelley, who also co-stars in the movie.

Shelley was murdered before the film's release.

"I talk a lot to Adrienne Shelley in my writing and I invite her into the process," Bareilles said.

"Waitress" stars someone who knows all about pop stars and Broadway -- Jessie Mueller, who won a Tony for her portrayal of Carole King in the musical "Beautiful."

"I got sent early, early demos that Sara had done," she said. "I just had an emotional reaction to the music. And that doesn't always happen for me."

One of those songs was "She Used to be Mine." Mueller said when she first heard the song, "I was very taken with it. I was always fascinated by it and intimidated by it for a long time. Because it's such an epic moment in the course of the play and in the course of the character I play."

But Bareilles says it also comes from a personal place.

Wax asked if lines from the song apply to her: "She's imperfect, but she tries."

"Yeah."

"She is good, but she lies."

"Yeah."

"She is hard on herself."

"Yeah."

"She is broken and won't ask for help."

"Yeah. Do not make me cry!"

Bareilles says she's not through with Broadway -- behind the scenes and maybe on the stage. "I need some acting classes, y'all. That's what I need!" she laughed.

Any thought that she might perform in "Waitress" herself? "I wouldn't say there hasn't been talk, but I don't know. Following Jessie Mueller, that's so, so tough. I don't know. I guess never say never."

You could expect an appearance by Sara Bareilles and the cast of "Waitress" at the Tony Awards Sunday on CBS.

For a sample of "Waitress" click on the video player below.


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