Katharine McPhee Shares Emotional Farewell Before Final Performance of Broadway's 'Waitress'

Katharine McPhee's final performance on Waitress takes place on Jan. 5

Katharine McPhee is hanging up her apron after one final performance as Jenna on Broadway’s Waitress.

The actress, 35, shared an Instagram photo Sunday of herself changing into character at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City for her final performance on the show. In the caption, McPhee reflected on the impact Waitress has had her on her career and life.

“Like the song ‘Everything Changes’ at the end of the show — so much of my life has changed during the course of my time here on Broadway and also during the time in which I had the incredible honor to open the show in London,” she wrote. “I will always cherish my time here, both on and off the stage.”

McPhee continued, “I fell deeply in love with this show; I fell in love with my then-boyfriend and later got engaged during this show; I lost my father during this show; I lost my voice in between doing the show; and then I got married during this show. There have been so many highs and lows, and yet every night, coming to the theatre to tell this story has never failed me.”

“I have always been inspired and moved by it, by the people around me, and by the people in those seats,” she added. “May we all be so lucky. Thank you all, so much. ?.”

Several celebrities gave McPhee their best wishes in the comments section, including Lea Thompson, Marilu Henner, Betty Who, Zach Posen and Bethany Joy Lenz.

In October, PEOPLE exclusively confirmed that McPhee would reprise her role as Jenna for the last few weeks of the show’s run.

McPhee, who starred in the musical last April and made her West End debut in March 2019 for the U.K. premiere, lead the New York company at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre from Nov. 25, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020.

Katharine McPhee
Keith Mayhew/Getty Images

Waitress is the first Broadway musical ever to boast an all-female creative team. In addition to Sara Bareilles’ music and lyrics, the show features a book by Jessie Nelson, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction from Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus.

Based on the Adrienne Shelly’s 2007 movie of the same name, the musical tells the story of a waitress named Jenna in a small town who enters a pie contest in hopes of using the prize money to escape her unhappy marriage.

Katharine McPhee greets the press ahead of her return to Broadways "Waitress" at Sardi's on November 20, 2019 in New York City
Katharine McPhee. Slaven Vlasic/Getty

The role of Jenna was made famous by Keri Russell on the big screen and Tony winner Jessie Mueller, who originated the role on Broadway in 2016. Actresses Betsy Wolfe, Nicolette Robinson, Shoshana Bean, Alison Luff and Stephanie Torns have also played the part, as has Bareilles herself twice — first in her Broadway acting debut in March 2017 and then again back in January 2018.

“I’ve waited a long time to do Broadway mostly because I wanted it to be a show that I connected to,” McPhee told PEOPLE before her Broadway debut. “I felt Waitress was just that: really well-suited for me.”

“Being a fan of Sara for all of these years, I always hoped she’d write a musical,” McPhee said. “And now to be starring in her show that she wrote music and lyrics to is a total dream.”

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