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A federal judge has dismissed a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against Macy's by a girl who won the department store's contest to star in the musical Annie, only to be cut from the cast two weeks before the show opened on Broadway.

U.S. District Judge James T. Giles ruled Wednesday that Joanna Pacitti of Philadelphia had won only a chance to audition and win a part in the musical -- not the producers' guarantee that she would appear on Broadway.

Casting for the Broadway production of Annie in 1996 drew attention nationwide when Macy's struck a deal with the show's producers to conduct "Macy's Search for Broadway's New Annie."

Joanna, then 12, became one of the five semifinalists. But in February 1997, just two weeks from the Broadway opening, the producers faxed Joanna and her family the news that she was being replaced in the show's lead role.

Joanna and her parents, Joseph and Stella Pacitti, sued Macy's, contending that it had made fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions about the auditions.

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