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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Two local girls make their stage debut in ‘Waitress’

Two local girls will make their stage debut when the national tour of the Broadway hit “Waitress” comes to town next week.

They landed the coveted role of Lulu, the daughter of the production’s main character, Jenna, despite showing up for the audition sans résumés or professional headshots.

To be fair, Remy Reith, of Cheney, and Brooklyn Wells, Spokane, are only 4 years old, so it’s a bit difficult to amass much of a résumé.

“I had to do a lot of things,” said Remy, about the audition. “A girl made a funny face, and I had to laugh, and somebody pointed to a girl, and I had to run to her and say, ‘Hi Mama!’ and jump into her arms. Then she spun me around.”

Her mother, Jamie Reith, said Remy’s preschool teacher told her about the Nov. 20 audition at Spokane Civic Theatre.

“Remy loves to sing and loves to dance, so we thought why not,” Reith said.

The character of Lulu is cast locally in each city the tour visits. Two girls are chosen to share the role.

In Spokane, 20 girls vied for the part. No previous acting experience was required, but the girls had be shorter than 4-foot-2 and no older than 5 1/2.

“The auditions were presided over by Dayna Dantzler, who was previously a swing in the Broadway production of ‘Waitress’ in New York City,” said Danielle Witte, director of marketing for WestCoast Entertainment. “They learned the part, acted it and everything was recorded. The producers in New York selected the girls after watching the film and reading Dayna’s notes.”

Melissa Wells, Brooklyn’s mom, said her sister told her about the audition.

“She said Brooklyn would be perfect,” Wells said.

Brooklyn was unfazed by the audition process.

“A guy made a funny joke. I laughed and I danced,” she said.

Lulu appears at the very end of the show and of course in the curtain call.

“They have their own dressing room,” Witte said.

Christine Dwyer, who plays Jenna, said working with the different children in each city is quite fun.

“It’s really sweet,” Dwyer said in a recent phone interview. “They usually have a lot of fans. Usually they get the biggest applause at the bows. It’s really cute to watch these little girls walk out of the stage door and write their autographs on the program. Usually in big, block letters across the whole thing.”

Wells said Brooklyn will appear on Wednesday, Thursday and two performances Sunday, while Remy takes over the role on Friday and the two Saturday performances.

Despite her fondness for singing and dancing, those skills don’t feature in Brooklyn’s career aspirations.

“I’m going to be a farmer when I grow up,” she said.

Remy looked round-eyed at Brooklyn.

“I’m a farmer with my daddy!” she said.

Her handy father built her a small stage and a microphone.

“But the microphone broke,” Remy said.

When asked her favorite song, she said, “I make up my own songs.”

And in the mostly empty theater, she launched into a lengthy song, featuring a king, a dragon and a play.

“She asked if she could audition for ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ” said her mom.

They’re still thinking about that.

Meanwhile, she said her brother, Radley, 7, was surprised she landed the Lulu role.

“He said, ‘You got the part?’ He was silly about it,” said Remy.

Brooklyn didn’t get much of a reaction from her sibling.

“I just have a little sister, Charlotte. She’s 2,” Brooklyn explained.

As she and Remy skipped across the empty stage at First Interstate Center for the Arts, Brooklyn said, “I like the ‘Waitress.’ I’m really excited!”