When the curtain rises on "Waitress," the next show at the Saenger Theater, a pair of Lulus will be familiar faces to the area.
Four-year-old Emma Jo Tassin of St. Bernard and 5-year-old Kinley Donaldson of Destrehan will take turns playing the daughter of the musical production's lead character. The show opens Tuesday and runs through June 17. It is part of the local acting house's Broadway in New Orleans series.
The local starlets were chosen through auditions in April at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. At each stop along the show's tour, young talents are selected to play the role of "Lulu," usually double-cast. Each plays the part four times during the run of the show.
More than 40 hopefuls participated in the auditions, with the two selected by members of the show's company.
The Tony-nominated show is the story of a pie baker who works at a local diner while she is stuck in a loveless marriage. "Jenna," played in the touring production by Desi Oakley, finds her salvation in the form of her daughter.
As the show progresses, Jenna dreams of leaving her small town and miserable marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county, plus the new doctor in town, offer her the chance to make a break with her past and get a fresh start. Her fellow waitresses offer her loads of sage advice.
The stage show is inspired by Adrienne Shelly's film.
The show is a product of the musical talents of six-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, with a book by Jessie Nelson and direction by Tony-winner Diane Paulus.
The "Lulus" are raring to see the curtains go up on the show.
"(Kinley) can't wait and has been wearing her hair in pigtails every day since she heard the news and calls it her signature 'do," said Tassin's mother, Kristy.
Emma Jo's parents are seeing the same from their musical munchkin.
“She has been singing and dancing along to the soundtrack on daily car rides. We cannot wait to meet the cast and crew, and we can’t wait to show them some New Orleans love,” said Lindsey Tassin.
Tickets for the show begin at $30.25 and up and are available at the Saenger box office at 1111 Canal St., New Orleans, (800) 982-2787 or BroadwayInNewOrleans.com.
When: June 12-17
Where: Saenger Theater New Orleans
1111 Canal St., New Orleans
Tickets: $30.25 and up. (800) 982-2787 or BroadwayInNewOrleans.com.