Miller Auditorium looks to cast local talent for daughter in "Waitress" play

Hazel JenElise Davis as Lulu and Bailey McCall as Jenna in the National Tour of WAITRESS_ Photo credit Jeremy Daniel.JPG
WMU's Miller Auditorium is casting a local girl to play 4-year-old Lulu in the Broadway musical "Waitress". (WWMT/Miller Auditorium/Jeremy Daniel).{ }

The Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo launched a search for the role of Lulu, the charismatic, 4-year-old daughter featured in the Tony-nominated musical “Waitress."

In an effort to recruit local talent to play the character, organizers are hosting an open casting call for young girls, ages 4-5, in the Kalamazoo area on Jan. 27, 2020. Thom Cooper, associate marketing director at Miller Auditorium, said, infusing local flair in the renowned production typically makes for a more engaging performance.

"I definitely think it’s a great thing. You have all the different people that want to come and see a local girl get her shot or local talent get their shot in a show," Cooper said.

The auditions offer West Michigan children a chance to perform in the Broadway show, which premiers at Western Michigan University’s theater March 27-29.

To reflect the light-hearted and youthful Lulu character, Cooper said they’re looking for "outgoing, bubbly, and energetic" young girls, shorter than 4-feet 2-inches in height and no older than five years and three months.

The play’s premise centers around Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. Her salvation comes in the form of her daughter, Lulu, who appears in the production’s finale scene.

Parents can sign up for auditions online and space is limited to the first 60 applicants. Organizers are hosting “The Search for Lulu” at the Miller Auditorium Grand Tier East Lounge.

“Waitress” is part of the Zhang Financial Broadway in West Michigan series, which brings a range of classic musicals to the Kalamazoo area.

Opening in 2016 at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre, “Waitress” made history as the first production of its kind to have four women dominating top, creative team spots.

The play is based on a book by Jessie Nelson and features music by Grammy Award-nominated singer Sara Bareilles, choreography by Lorin Latarro and direction by Diane Paulus, who has won a Tony Award.