Jessie Mueller

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Jessie Mueller
Waitress IMG 8741.jpg
Jessie Mueller and Drew Gehling in Waitress
Born Jessica Ruth Mueller
(1983-02-20) February 20, 1983 (age 34)
Evanston, Illinois
Alma mater Syracuse University
Occupation Actress/Singer

Jessica Ruth "Jessie" Mueller (born February 20, 1983)[1] is an American actress and singer. She started her career in Chicago and won a Joseph Jefferson Award in 2008 for her role as Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel. In 2011, she moved to New York City to star in the Broadway revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. She won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the lead role of Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and played the lead role of Jenna in the musical Waitress on Broadway.

Early years[edit]

Mueller was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, the daughter of actors Jill (née Shellabarger) and Roger Mueller. Her two brothers Andrew and Matt along with sister Abby are all actors known for their work in the Chicago theatre community. Mueller is Lutheran.[2] She graduated from Evanston Township High School in 2001 and from Syracuse University in 2005.[3]

Career[edit]

After graduation, Mueller returned to Chicago and acted for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, traveling in 2006 to England to perform at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as Lady Mortimer in Henry IV. She followed this with various roles in the Chicago area including Lizzie Fields in Baby, Once Upon a Mattress as the Lady-In Waiting, and Esther in Meet Me in St. Louis. At the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois, she performed roles in Shout! The Mod Musical, Shenandoah, Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. In 2009 performed in two musicals at the Goodman Theatre, Animal Crackers as Grace/Mary and A Christmas Carol as Belle/Catherine.[4][5][6]

In 2011, she was named Actor of the Year by the Chicago Tribune and also was nominated for two Joseph Jefferson Awards, winning Best Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance as Amalia Balash in She Loves Me.[7][8][9][10][11]

Mueller made her Broadway debut in a revised revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever as Melinda Wells, a role originated by Barbara Harris. The musical opened in December 2011. Mueller received critical praise for her performance, with one reviewer commenting "...Her voice contains notes of Garland, but she’s no diva — this is a star of supreme self-possession".[12] For this role, Mueller was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.[13][14][15][16]

Mueller next was cast in the role of Helena Landless / Miss Janet Conover in Roundabout Theatre Company's 2012 revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award. Mueller portrayed Cinderella in a 2012 Public Theater production of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater. She then took over the role of Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, from March 29, 2013 until the show closed on June 15, 2013.[17] In 2013, she reprised her role as Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel at Lincoln Center in a staged concert production backed by the New York Philharmonic.

Mueller appeared in the musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014. She played the title role of Carole King. She had performed this role in the try-out in San Francisco in 2013. She won the Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She left the Broadway production on March 6, 2015.[18][19][20] On February 8, 2015, Mueller won a Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album (shared with Carole King (music and lyrics), and producers Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell & Billy Jay Stein).[21]

On April 27, 2015, Mueller was the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Sarah Siddons Society Award at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Illinois. The Sarah Siddons Society, founded in 1952 by prominent Chicago theater patrons determined to promote excellence in the art, presents its annual award (named after the 18th century Welsh actress), to an actor of outstanding achievement. Previous winners have included such legends as Audra McDonald, Barbara Cook, Helen Hayes, Geraldine Page, Carol Channing, Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Lauren Bacall, Julie Andrews, Chita Rivera, Patti LuPone and many more.[22]

Mueller reprised her role as Jenna in the musical adaption of the film Waitress on Broadway, having previously played the role in a workshop of the musical in late 2014.[23][24] With music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles and direction by Diane Paulus, the musical premiered at the American Repertory Theater in August 2015. [25]

Waitress opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 24, 2016. Mueller received critical praise for her performance, Charles Isherwood for the New York Times noted: "But it is when Ms. Mueller tears into the musical’s climactic number, 'She Used to Be Mine,' that her talents are most fully and movingly harnessed... Ms. Mueller’s vibrant performance of this gentle but wrenching song, featuring a melody that soars and then recedes in waves, is the high point of the show — and for that matter a high point of the Broadway season. Suddenly, a pleasant and polished but weightless musical comedy rises to transporting heights, and sweeps up your heart along with it."[26]

Mueller is expected to next portray the lead role of Julie Jordan in a Broadway revival of Carousel in the spring of 2018.[27]

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Theatre
2011-2012 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Melinda Wells St. James Theatre
2012 Into The Woods Cinderella The Public Theater
2012-2013 The Mystery of Edwin Drood Miss Janet Conover / Helena Landless Studio 54
2013 Carousel Carrie Pipperidge Avery Fisher Hall
2013 Nice Work If You Can Get It Billie Bendix (Replacement) Imperial Theatre
2013 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Carole King Curran Theatre
2013-2015 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Carole King The Stephen Sondheim Theatre
2015 Waitress Jenna Hunterson American Repertory Theater
2016-2017 Waitress Jenna Hunterson Brooks Atkinson Theatre
2018 Carousel Julie Jordan TBA

Television[edit]

Year Title Role
2016 The Family Fran

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2008 Joseph Jefferson Award Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Carousel Won
2011 Actress in a Principal Role in a Musical Guys and Dolls Nominated
She Loves Me Won
2012 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical On a Clear Day You Can See Forever Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Theatre World Award Honoree
2013 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood Nominated
2014 Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Won
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
2015 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
2016 Tony Award Best Actress in a Musical Waitress Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Musical Nominated
2017 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QJGX-K9FL Date of birth, familysearch.org; accessed June 4, 2014.
  2. ^ "Jessie Mueller as Herself After a Starry Night" The New York Times, June 10, 2014
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew. "DIVA TALK: Chatting With 'On a Clear Day' Star Jessie Mueller", Playbill, January 20, 2012, accessed May 29, 2016
  4. ^ " 'Animal Crackers' Listing", goodmantheatre.org, accessed May 29, 2016
  5. ^ " 'A Christmas Carol' Listing", goodmantheatre.org, accessed May 29, 2016
  6. ^ "Jessie Mueller biography", writers theatre, January 2014, accessed May 29, 2016
  7. ^ Jones, Chris (22 December 2011). "Theater Chicagoan of the Year is Jessie Mueller: A glass slipper, a crystalline voice". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Abarbanel, Jonathan (2010-10-01). "Chicago’s New Shining Stars". Footlights.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  9. ^ Jessie Mueller. "Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire". Marriotttheatre.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  10. ^ "Chicago Shakespeare Theater - Bio - Mueller". Chicagoshakes.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  11. ^ "Where you've seen Jessie Mueller". Chicago Tribune. May 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ Brown, Scott (December 12, 2011). "Theater Review: Unfogging On a Clear Day You Can See Forever". Vulture. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  13. ^ "Nominee Reactions: ON A CLEAR DAY's Jessie Mueller - 'I Really Wasn't Expecting It...'". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  14. ^ "Jessie Mueller – Broadway’s New Star | How to Sing Like You Speak with Sally Morgan". Singlikeyouspeak.com. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  15. ^ "Jessie Mueller « Here She Is Boys". Heresheisboys.com. 2011-11-22. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  16. ^ "Jessie Mueller scores in B'way debut; local troupes move north". Wbez.org. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  17. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Jessie Mueller, John Treacy Egan and Conrad John Schuck Love a Gershwin Tune; They Join 'Nice Work' March 29" playbill.com, March 29, 2013
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew. "68th Annual Tony Awards Nominations Announced; 'Gentleman's Guide' Leads the Pack" Archived 2014-05-30 at the Wayback Machine. Playbill, April 29, 2014
  19. ^ Ferri, Josh. "Jessie Mueller Will Star as Carole King in the New Musical 'Beautiful'; Broadway Dates Announced" broadway.com, August 12, 2013
  20. ^ Blank, Matthew. "Photo call: 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical', starring Jessie Mueller, opens on Broadway; Red carpet arrivals, curtain call and cast party" Playbill, January 14, 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2014
  21. ^ "Grammy Awards Complete Coverage" The Washington Post. February 8, 2015
  22. ^ "Sarah Siddons Society Honors Jessie Mueller" suntimes.com
  23. ^ "Jessie Mueller to Star in Sara Bareilles 'Waitress'" gulfnews.com
  24. ^ " 'Waitress' Workshop" playbill.com
  25. ^ "Sara Bareilles 'Waitress' Musical" billboard.com
  26. ^ Isherwood, Charles (April 24, 2016). "Review: Jessie Mueller Serves a Slice of Life (With Pie) in Sara Bareilles’s ‘Waitress’". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Henry, Alan. "Breaking: Jessie Mueller, Joshua Henry, Renée Fleming to Star in 'Carousel' on Broadway", BroadwayWorld.com, April 16, 2017, accessed April 16, 2017

External links[edit]