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Kids take on theater classic Featuring a cast of 50, ages 7 to 14, this classic Irving Berlin retelling of the Annie Oakley story opens July 12 and runs through July 28 at Key Auditorium at St. John's College in Annapolis. The Talent Machine is a youth performance group started by dancer choreographer Bobbi Smith in 1968 with a variety show of the same title to spread the message that kids can do anything they think they can do. Under Discount Oakley the founder's direction, the Talent Machine offered high energy, fast paced shows featuring performers no older than 18 who consistently delivered highly professional performances. After Smith's death in January of last year, her daughter Lea Capps decided to keep the Talent Machine Company going for at least a little while. Last summer, the troupe returned to its roots with successful performances of the original Talent Machine variety show under Capps' direction, followed in December by their traditionalWholesale Oakley Sunglasses holiday variety show, Frosty Follies. Both shows Fake Oakley featured a number of teen age Talent Machine veterans. With Annie Get Your Gun, director Capps and her troupe are facing a much greater challenge. "This is the first show I've directed using kids just 14 and under," said Capps. "We have many veterans, but nearly half of the cast is made up of newcomers who auditioned for the show and learned later how large a commitment it takes to be in a show requiring dancing, singing and acting. "I tell them, I expect you to do everything at the same time, and you can really do it,' and they surely can. They're so good with each other, and they're bringing their own special energy and talent to the group." At age 12, Taylor Rector already a six year veteran singer and dancer with the troupe is taking on her first leading role, as Annie. Capps describes Taylor's voice as "spectacular, and she looks right for the part." Matt Keffer, a Crofton 14 year old who joined the company two years ago, will play the role of Cheap Oakley sale Frank Butler, the sharpshooter that Annie falls in love with and defeats in a vaudeville shooting competition. Other leads will be played by Hana Thornhill, 13, of Bowie; Edward Hartman, 14, of Pasadena; Jordan Klein, 14, of Annapolis; Scott Simpson, 10, of Millersville; and Ross Koenig, 13, Kyle Sweeney, 14, and Griffin Palmer, 13, all of Crofton. Bobby Smith, a former dancer at Toby's Dinner Theatre in Columbia, serves as choreographer. Having recently returned to the area after enjoying a successful professional stage Fake Oakley Sunglasses career, the choreographer remembers learning to clog from the other Bobbi Smith. The music director is Nicole Roblyer, a former Talent Machine member and performer who has served as music director for at least two previous shows. The musical includes such Irving Berlin songs as "There's No Business Like Show Business," "They Say It's Wonderful" and "Anything You Can Do."

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