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5 Questions With Jordin Sparks, Broadway's New Head Waitress

Sparks returns to Broadway for the first time since 2010 to lead the Sara Bareilles musical Waitress at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

Jordin Sparks made her Broadway debut in 2010 in what was also Lin-Manuel Miranda's very own Broadway debut, In the Heights. Only a few years off her winning season of American Idol, she took over the role of Nina, a Stanford student struggling with her status as the first in her family to go to college. Nine years later, she's back on Broadway in Waitress and portraying a different phase of life as Jenna, an unhappily married woman who reflects on her life choices (and dreams them into pies) over the course of an unplanned pregnancy.

For Sparks, trips to the Great White Way seem to come once a decade — so as she set up shop at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (she'll be performing through October 27), we asked her a few questions about her Broadway homecoming and where she might like the spotlight to follow her next.

Jordin Sparks stars as Jenna in Waitress on Broadway through October 27.
(© Matt Murphy)

1. How does it feel to come back to Broadway after all these years?
Just like the first time! Excited, a little nervous, but thrilled to be back!

2. What did you learn from your experience in In the Heights that you're excited to bring to your performance in Waitress?
I love being in front of a live audience and what I learned from that experience is whether in concert or being on a Broadway stage, the secret sauce is be in the moment.

3. If you were to comfort-bake any item, what would it be, and why?
I know my character in the show bakes pies but I just love the joy a cupcake brings! I have baked many and I always love to see the joy it brings to people's faces!

4. Other than singing, is there another kind of contest (akin to Jenna's pie-baking contest) that you fantasize about winning the grand prize in?
Fantasy Football!

5. If you made your next Broadway return 10 years from now, what would your dream role be?
I would love to play any of the women in Smokey Joe's Café. I hope they bring it back to Broadway and I hope I get a chance to be in it!!

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