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Arts & Culture
These articles were excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

Meet the two young girls captivating Charlotte audiences in 'Waitress'

Cross_Emmons.jpg
Nick de la Canal
/
WFAE
Heidi Cross (left) and Bethany Emmons alternate the role of Lulu in 'Waitress,' playing at the Booth Playhouse through May 22.

Audiences attending the Broadway show "Waitress" in uptown Charlotte this month are getting treated to some local talent.

The Tony-nominated musical tells the story of a small-town waitress who becomes pregnant and tries to leave an abusive relationship, and at the end of each show — (spoiler alert!) — audiences get to see the baby, grown to about preschool age.

Alternating in the role are two budding local actresses: 3-year-old Heidi Cross of Salisbury and 4-year-old Bethany Emmons of Charlotte.

Both were cast from a group of 40 local girls who signed up to audition for the part in March. In an interview with WFAE, Cross recounted where she was the moment she found out she got the role of Lulu.

“It was at a playground,” she said. “I have a playground at my house, and it has a yellow slide.”

The news instilled such joy, she said, “I climbed up the steps and went off the ramp.”

The girls appear each night during the show’s finale. Audiences gasp and gush as the girls shout two lines, perform a high-kick dance step and hand off a prop pie. They spend much of the rest of the number on the hip of the actress playing their mother.

Both girls said they’re “glad” to be in the show and never get nervous. When asked where they see themselves in five years, Emmons guessed school. Cross said, "in the mirror."

As for when they grow up, Cross said she might like to be an ambulance driver, and Emmons said she’d like to be an actress.

The show’s limited engagement in Charlotte ends May 22. Emmons and Cross said the biggest thing they’ll miss is performing their “kick dance” in the final number.

On the plus side, both girls will return home with an impressive credit on their acting resumes and more time to watch "Paw Patrol."