NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tony Award-nominated musical “Waitress,” playing June 5-10 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall, will feature two local actresses sharing the role of “Lulu” during the Nashville engagement.
Olivia James Graves, 5-years-old of Bellevue, and Ellie James, 5-years-old of South Nashville, will alternate the role of “Lulu,” the daughter of the production’s main character, Jenna.
Both girls were chosen via an audition process held in March 2018 at TPAC. More than 40 girls participated in the auditions, which were presided over by members of the “Waitress” company. The character of “Lulu” is cast locally in each tour market, and two girls are chosen to share the role. Olivia James Graves and Ellie James will perform in four performances each during the engagement.
Olivia James Graves is a Nashville native who will start at Harpeth Valley Elementary school this fall. She has performed as a pianist and recently started violin lessons. This will be Olivia’s acting debut.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, but part of a large Nashville family, Eleanor "Ellie" James enjoys tumbling and soccer, and she currently attends St. Edward School. This is also Ellie’s acting debut.
The casting announcement of the Nashville Lulu’s took place at the Goo Goo Cluster shop downtown, where Goo Goo Cluster also revealed a new pie inspired by the show. The “Lulu Loves Goo Goo” pie is a layered chocolate and caramel cream pie with a marshmallow meringue, topped with roasted peanuts and a dark chocolate ganache that will be available at the shop from May 4 through mid-June.
Inspired by Adrienne Shelley’s beloved film, “Waitress” tells the story of Jenna – a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.
Brought to life by an all-female creative team, “Waitress” is the new hit featuring original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy Award nominee Sara Bareilles (“Brave,” “Love Song”), book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (“I Am Sam”) and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (“Finding Neverland,” “Pippin,” “Hair”).
Tickets for Waitress are available at www.TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040, and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick St. For groups of 10 or more, call 615-782-4060.
“Waitress” is the seventh production featured in the 2017-18 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC season and presented locally by Nashville Originals. Performance schedule, prices, and cast are subject to change without notice. The Broadway season is supported by the HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals, and NewsChannel 5 is the media sponsor for the season. Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America and Coca-Cola. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission.
TPAC is an accessible facility that provides a variety of services including wheelchair accommodations, accessible parking, and assistive listening devices. Open captioning, American Sign Language, audio description, and large print and Braille programs are offered at the Sunday matinee performance of each Broadway series and Broadway special engagement. For more information about accessible services, contact Access@TPAC.org or 615-782-4087.
TPAC reminds ticket buyers that the only official place to buy tickets online is www.TPAC.org.
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