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Hear ‘Waitress’ Star Jessie Mueller’s Top 10 Sara Bareilles Tracks

Tony-winning actress shares her favorite songs by singer-songwriter of Broadway musical

Sara Bareilles; Jessie Mueller.; Waitress

Actress Jessie Mueller (left) and Sara Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for Broadway's 'Waitress.'

Pamela Hanson

Sara Bareilles first became aware of Jessie Mueller when she saw her on opening night of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, in which the actress played iconic King. "I left just so moved by her performance that I went back to the creative team of Waitress and said, 'You guys have to see this woman,'" Bareilles recently told Rolling Stone. "She is just stunning."

Bareilles was working on the score for the musical adaptation of the 2007 indie film of the same name about a pie-baking waitress named Jenna who is dealing with trying to gain independence in her small-town life. Mueller, who won the Tony for her performance in Beautiful, was interested in playing Jenna, and she ended up being the first to be cast for the Broadway show, which opened this spring and has now been nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score for Bareilles and Best Performance by an Actress for Mueller.

"I don’t want to sound like her, but I wanted to sound like her music," Mueller, a fan of the singer-songwriter's previous albums, explains. Here, she picks her 10 favorite Bareilles songs from the past and present.

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Pamela Hanson

“Islands”

"It's the build: haunting and personal and so her," says Mueller. Another song featured on the album The Blessed Unrest, Bareilles once again sings about giving up on love, with lyrics such as: "You must become an island/And see for yourself that that's what I am."

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Pamela Hanson

“Kaleidoscope Heart” and “Uncharted”

"This one's a bit of cheat, but the vocal harmonies make my heart vibrate. The string part in the beginning: Love it!" The tracks were both featured on Bareilles' albumKaleidoscope Heart, which was released on September 7th, 2010, and debuted at Number One in the United States.

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Pamela Hanson

“I Didn’t Plan It”

"Such a powerhouse song," says Mueller, who sings it in Waitress with her co-star, Keala Settle. "Whether Sara or Keala is singing, you can't go wrong. It's a gut punch in all the best ways." Bareilles told Rolling Stone that she approached the music for the musical like any of her albums, and she released a preview of the show's music last year — titled What's Inside — with her own performances of the tracks with help from Jason Mraz, filling in as the romantic male lead. "I want to be proud of the material itself first and foremost, and I didn't know that on top of that I was going to get such a big pleasure from watching other people interpret my material."

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Pamela Hanson

“Between the Lines”

Bareilles released Between the Lines: Sara Bareilles Live at the Fillmore  on October 28th, 2008, and it was a document of her first headlining tour and the concert that took place at the legendary San Francisco locale. "This is probably the first song of hers I became obsessed with," says Mueller. "It was my breakup salve at the time. I had it on repeat."

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