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Two local girls step into Broadway touring show in Pittsburgh

Kristine Sorensen
March08/ 2018

Two local girls are seeing their dreams come true.  They’re cast in the Broadway touring production of the musical “Waitress” while it plays here in Pittsburgh through Sunday.  The show tells the story of Jenna, who’s in a bad relationship with the father of her new baby, Lulu.  That baby grows up to be the little girl played by 4-year-old Ainsley Christof from Ben Avon and 6-year-old Camlyn Reace from Pine Township.

They auditioned with 60 local girls.  Christof says she wanted to do the show because “I thought it would be fun.”  Reace said, “because I thought it would be a dream for me.”  She says it’s her dream to sing, dance and act.

Once they got the role, they watched video of their part and memorized their two lines — “Hi momma” and “a lot”. Reace rehearsed with the cast for the very first time just a few hours before the show.  “It’s kind of hard,” she said before the rehearsal, “but I think it’s going to be easy for me… because I do a lot of singing and acting and dancing.”

Desi Oakley, who plays Lulu’s mom, loves acting with new girls from each city.  “Every little girl is so different, and they bring this element of youth and excitement to our show and newness,” she said.  Reace says she is, “super super super super excited!”.

Oakley says they guide the little actress on stage but that by the second show, she’s usually an expert.  “I think it’s exposing them to this world, and not lightly. This is a professional Broadway show. The caliber they are coming into is huge, so it’s definitely something I hope will shape their lives.  Whether they go into theater or not, it’s going to shape them for sure.”

She thinks this is probably just the beginning of a stage career for many of these little girls, and once they hear that applause, it’s easy to see why.

Even though the girls are in the show, “Waitress” is for mature audiences and not appropriate for most children, but if your child is interested in musical theater, Kidsburgh has many resources, including a Guide to 7 Time-Tested Pittsburgh Theaters.

Kristine Sorensen

I am proud to work at KDKA-TV -- anchoring the news, hosting Pittsburgh Today Live and doing special reports. I am married to KDKA reporter Marty Griffin and we have 3 children. I first moved to Pittsburgh in 1999 but I’ve lived in Dallas, Johnson City, Tenn., Chicago, Williamsburg, Va., Milwaukee and Winter Park, Fla. Pittsburgh is now the place I call home.

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