Not Just for Kids

 Vol. 10, No. 30

July 25-31, 2002

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Taylor Rector and Matt Keffer
The Talented Kids of the Talent Machine
by Ariel Brumbaugh

As an actor, I’ve huddled in the dark behind many a curtain, waiting my turn to shine on the stage. I’ve swallowed fear and uncertainty only to be blinded by lights shinning overhead, music charging past. I’ve kicked myself in disappointment and glowed in congratulations.

As a spectator, I have watched, listened and felt many productions. I have sat in countless auditorium seats as other actors bathed me in entertainment.

I was on the audience side of the lights as The Talent Machine’s cast of some 50 kids brought Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun back to life —

Annie Get Your Gun Is a Winner
The kids of The Talent Machine have fashioned a winner from Irving Berlin’s old-fashioned Annie Get Your Gun.

Annie and gang: From the back, Taylor Rector, David Grindrod, Samantha Curbelo and Ben Dean.
Back-country girl Annie Oakley (Taylor Rector) is a dead-shot with a rugged, unrefined nature. She stumbles into a small town, where she is put in a contest against Frank Butler (Matt Keffer) a famous gunman. She falls in love immediately, only to discover “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun.”
When Annie beats Frank and is offered a position in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, she achieves fame and fortune. But she loses love, as Frank is intimidated by her abilities. With one final match to decide who is the absolute best, Annie discovers that to get Frank Butler, she has to lose the competition.

Even the play’s outdated themes don’t interfere with the edge-of-your-seat anticipation in this production. With such familiar and high-spirited songs as “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Anything You Can Do,” the auditorium is filled with energy and the audience falls in love with these young actors, who keep us captive with relentless Talent Machine enthusiasm.

Playing thru July 28 at 7:30pm Th-Sa; 2pm & 6:30pm Su @ Key Auditorium, St. John’s College, off Calvert St., Annapolis. $10; kids $8: 410/956-0512.

Backstage …
“Your social life is pretty much being at rehearsal,” says Ross Koenig, 13, of working with The Talent Machine this summer to recreate Annie Get Your Gun. Ross plays Charlie Davenport.

The cast’s dedication and hours of rehearsals paid off, for this show is played with spirit and brilliance.

Twelve-year-old Taylor Rector said Annie Oakley was her first main part and she is loving it. Getting into Annie’s character was hard, she said. But the hardest part was falling in love. Matt Keffer, age 14, who plays Frank Butler, agreed love was hard to stage, but he found getting into character was fun.

This weekend is your last chance to see the production Taylor-Annie calls “one of those shows you never want to end.” But starting next week, Talent Machine will be back with another well-loved play full of famous songs, Cole Porter’s Anything Goes. Matt-Frank will also be appearing in Anything Goes, Talent Machine’s “older” show. Like Matt, most actors in that cast of 26 are between 14 and 18 years old. Anything Goes promises to be an awesome show,
highly entertaining both in story line and music.

Anything Goes plays August 2-18 at 7:30pm Th-Sa; 2pm & 6:30pm Su @ Key Auditorium, St. John’s College off Calvert St., Annapolis. $10; kids $8: 410/956-0512.

Kids Stuff

Thursday, July 25
Summer Book Club
4th-6th graders, bring your folks to hear Frindle by Andrew Clements and take a free copy home. 7pm @ Calvert Library, Duke St. off Solomons Island Rd., Prince Frederick; Fairview Branch, Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Rd., Owings: 410/535-0291.

Friday, July 26
Go Fish
Grab your pole and head for the pier. Fish for fun and prizes. Bait provided, but bring a beverage and a snack.
8:30-11:30am @ Kings Landing Park, Huntingtown. $3; rsvp: 410/535-5327 • [email protected]

Saturday, July 27
Pigskin Pirates
Kids 5-14, this is your last chance to register for Beach Buccaneer football. New participants need birth certificates and proof of address.
10am-2pm @ Chesapeake Beach Town Hall: 301/855-7704 • [email protected]

Tuesday, July 30
African Afternoon
Kids 6-10, explore the folklore of Africa with the Chesapeake Children’s Museum. Hear tales, make a bottle shekere and dance to drumming. Sign up at the Information Desk. 1:30pm @ Borders Books, Annapolis Mall: 410/571-9420.

Wednesday, July 31
Potter Party
Don your best robe to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday. Sort into Wizards and Muggles, answer Rawlings riddles, make a Wizard’s hat and decorate a Hogwarts cake. 7pm @ Borders Books, Annapolis Mall. Rsvp: 410/571-9420.

Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly