We haven't seen any snow yet and very little frost so far this season, but it's time to think cool thoughts. The latest version of the Talent Machine Company's annual variety show, "Frosty Follies 2001," should help.
An established Anne Arundel County holiday tradition, the show features a large cast of talented 6- to 17-year-olds performing holidays songs and dances.
But for only the second time in its history, the Talent Machine will run without founder and director Bobbi Smith, who died in January. The Talent Machine is now run by Smith's daughter, Lea Capps, a performer, choreographer and teacher.
Capps directed this summer's successful show and is determined to keep the 11-year-old nonprofit organization alive so children will continue to have an opportunity to participate in musical theater.
Right now, though, Capps is thinking only of the coming show. She says the organization's leaders "will take one step at a time, and for now our immediate plans are to produce the best holiday show we possibly can. In the future we'd like to do a summer show, but because of scheduled renovations [at St. John's College Key Auditorium], we're not sure about performance space next summer."
Capps will have help from Talent Machine alumni such as Nicole Roblyer, an original member of the company who will provide the music direction.
This year's dance captains are Amy Sonntag, a 17-year-old from Annapolis; Karley Willocks, a 15-year-old from West River; and 14-year-old Cassia Martens of Severna Park. And for the first time, the boys will have their own dance captains: 16-year-olds Andrew Sonntag of Annapolis and Steve Love of Bowie.
All five dancers have performed most of the holiday numbers hundreds of times during previous Frosty Follies shows.
Younger cast members will bring new life to such Talent Machine classics as "I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas," "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."
Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and Santa will make appearances on stage.
Older cast members will perform "Dance of the Soldiers," featuring six male dancers. They'll also sing Talent Machine's traditional "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Let There Be Peace on Earth."
Also promised is a new dance number featuring older cast members and another for younger members. "These dances are going to be spectacular," spokeswoman Donna Arbogast said. "Everyone is working hard to make this show a hit."
Shows are scheduled on weekends from Dec. 14 through Dec. 23, with matinee and evening performances. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for children 5 and younger. All shows are at St. John's College Key Auditorium in Annapolis.
For more information and to order tickets, call 410-956-0512.