Hundreds of orphan wannabes audition
Two Lower Hutt sisters came dressed with their best smile for the tough Annie audition judges in Wellington today.
Amelia Walshe, 11, and her sister Brontë, 9, were two out of 200 six to 14-year-old girls auditioning for either the role of Annie, or one of the 10 orphans.
They danced a short routine to the famous Annie tune, You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, at the St James Theatre and did enough to make it through to the next round of auditions in early March.
Amelia said she thought she had blown her chance.
"It was quite scary at first because everyone was staring at you and it was really intense.
"I was thinking I had stuffed it up and I wanted to do it again but then they said my number and I had got through."
Another who impressed the judges with her enthusiasm and bubbly personality was 8-year-old Molly Brown from Christchurch.
Front and centre during her audition, she lit the stage up with her dancing and mile-wide smile.
"It was exciting and fun but it was really nerve-racking at the same time," she said.
It would be a hard path to stardom for any of the budding young theatre stars, as 385 more young girls will be auditioning for the roles at the Aotea Centre in Auckland on Sunday.
From that pool of talent the judges would choose three Annies to perform on the tour, starting in Wellington on May 23.
After finishing the Wellington leg on June 8, the show then rolls on to Auckland from June 13 to July 6.
Two different sets of 10 orphans would perform in each of those shows.
The one surprise from the audition was a lack of red-haired girls for the Annie role, with not one easily seen in the crowd.
The organisers said this was no issue, as even if the girl chosen to be one of the three Annies was a red-head they would still need to wear a wig to maintain consistency.