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Aspiring actresses auditioned to play Lulu in the upcoming production of "Waitress" on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the Artis—Naples Toni Stabile Education Building. Jon Austria, jaustria@gannett.com; 239-227-7803

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Two local girls are about to step into the sweet spotlight when "Waitress" serves up pie (metaphorically speaking) at Artis—Naples next week. 

Six-year-old Gianna Winton and Solei Bourgeois, 5, have been selected to play Lulu in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical touring the U.S. In each market, Lulu is cast locally and two girls are chosen to share the role. 

"This is a dream come true," Gianna said. While this will be her first time performing in a stage musical, she's not one to shy away from the spotlight. The homeschooler from Fort Myers is a competitive cheerleader and child model.

More: 'Waitress' tour stop at Artis—Naples to have part for two local girls; auditions Saturday

Solei, who attends Vineyards Elementary in North Naples, has already appeared in a couple of stage productions, including playing an orphan in "Annie." She also takes dance, voice and acting classes at the Naples Performing Arts Center. 

Gianna and Solei were among more than two dozen girls who auditioned for the role in January at Artis—Naples. They will alternate playing Lulu in the eight-show run from Feb. 19-24. All performances are sold out. 

The musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name starring Keri Russell. "Waitress" tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and passionate pie-maker at a diner who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county, a new love interest and a pregnancy may help Jenna find a fresh start. Lulu is Jenna's daughter, who appears as a child in the finale. 

"Waitress" features original music and lyrics by Tony- and Grammy-nominated artist Sara Bareilles, known for hit songs like "Love Song" and "Brave." Since its opening day on Broadway in 2015, the musical has featured a rotating cast of leads. Currently Stephanie Torns stars as Jenna and New Kids on the Block's Joey McIntyre plays her love interest, Dr. Jim Pomatter.

Gianna is excited to make her Naples Broadway debut opening night, Feb. 19.

"I can't wait. I'm not nervous at all," she said.

Gianna's New Year's resolution was to star on Broadway and she got pretty close. The aspiring actress originally auditioned for the role in Tampa about a year ago, and while she didn't get the part then, she never lost hope. 

Her mom, Crysta Winton, will be in the audience when her daughter takes center stage. 

"She's following right in my footsteps," said Winton, who appeared as a child in Broadway's "Les Misérables" and "The Who's Tommy."

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Solei was excited to land the role after a nerve-wracking audition process. It was her idea to audition in the first place.

"I was scared because it was my first time auditioning for a Broadway show," she said.

But she wowed at auditions, landing a role she hopes to do justice. Mom Tammy Bourgeois has no doubt she will.

"She's ready to go," Bourgeois said. "My husband and I told her to try her best. That's all she can do." 

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