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Talent Machine

NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer | July 7, 1992
"Talent is like shad," said Mrs. Edgar Leventritt, the sponsor of the prestigious piano and violin competition that once bore her name. "When it runs, it runs."Indeed, there is a great deal of young theatrical talent running over at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater, where "The Talent Machine" is already off and running in its fifth consecutive season.Like its predecessors, the 1992 version takes the singing and dancing talents of young performers from our area and weaves them into a show-biz revue that revolves around the now-familiar Norman Vincent Peale-Wizard of Oz plot.
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NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | December 19, 1995
The season's jazziest, fizziest, show-bizziest Christmas show, "Santa's Frosty Follies," is being presented by choreographer Bobbi Smith's Talent Machine Co. this week in Annapolis.As with all Bobbi Smith shows, this Yuletide revue features strong dancing and prodigious stage presence from the young and very young, plus lots and lots of shtick, color and pizazz.Elegant tuxedos, full-length gowns, ornately dressed toy soldiers, cuddly little pandas, human Christmas trees, a major snowfall, and a certain red-nosed reindeer who shall remain nameless were just a few of the things eliciting non-stop oohs and aahs from Sunday afternoon's large Key Auditorium audience.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 21, 2000
Talent Machine Company changed the name of its annual holiday show from "Santa's Frosty Follies" to "Holiday Magic 2000," and it seems an apt title. This year's production has pulled off genuine magic by topping last season's superb show. Sixty energetic children, ranging from age 3 to 16, have been lighting up the stage at St. John's College's Francis Scott Key Auditorium for the past two weekends and will continue to do so through Saturday. In addition to spectacular talent, the show features 30 brilliantly choreographed musical numbers that are lightning-paced and electrifying.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 12, 1997
Young members of the Talent Machine Company are rehearsing daily for their June 19-22 variety show.Last Saturday, cast members, who range in age from 5 to 14, were at St. Mary's gym and, without props, scenery, costumes, or lighting, managed through sheer energy and talent to transform that gymnasium into a pulsating stage.The Talent Machine Company is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to developing performance skills in young people. The name is derived from a "talent machine" that has figured in the plot of nine variety shows dating back to 1988.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 21, 2001
A cast of 45 Talent Machine Company members is in final rehearsals for the June 28 opening of a variety show - the company's first without founder and director Bobbi Smith, who died five months ago. TMC returns to its origins by presenting "The Talent Machine," a show written by Michael Gillis and Steve Evans with Bobbi Smith, who developed it as a vehicle for her young performers in 1987. By my count, the latest production makes an even dozen of this show that debuted in 1987 at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 25, 2002
A cruise ship filled with colorful passengers, including Wall Street moguls, debutantes, escaped convicts, noblemen and a former nightclub singer turned evangelist - accompanied by her own group of guardian angels - will dock at Key Auditorium at St. John's College on Aug. 2. These characters from composer Cole Porter's 1934 hit musical Anything Goes will be brought to life by the 14- to 18-year-old Talent Machine cast, a 26-member troupe of familiar favorites...
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 26, 2003
Each summer for about the past 15 years, theater in Annapolis has entered the machine age. That's machine as in Talent Machine, of course. The brainchild of the late Bobbi Smith, the demanding, dynamic director-choreographer who had hundreds of kids hoofing with primal energy and immense joy during her remarkable career, Talent Machine has become an integral part of Annapolis' summer season in the arts. What a proud legacy this appropriately named ensemble has bequeathed to its audiences over the years.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 22, 1999
Expect a "42nd Street" paved with talent when the young cast of Talent Machine Company dances in July 29 for a three-weekend run at St. John's College. Talent Machine is known for imaginative choreography and high-voltage energy -- exactly what this show needs.This musical began life as a 1933 Busby Berkeley movie. Berkeley was known for his imaginative filming of elaborate Hollywood production numbers. Twenty-seven years later, another legendary dance man -- Gower Champion, a choreographer, director and dancer -- revived it on Broadway.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | July 20, 2007
Hello, Dolly! was a big hit on Broadway in the 1960s, shedding its light on the Great White Way alongside the likes of Mame, Funny Girl and Fiddler on the Roof. But while the latter three get trotted out regularly by theater companies, Dolly's appearances are less frequent. Jerry Herman's musical score, after all, is more modest than the others, and the show's dramatics less riveting. But the story of Dolly Levi, the irrepressible matchmaker who overcomes loneliness and loss to take New York by storm, is a charmer.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 19, 1997
Combine 49 young dynamos, brimming over with singing and dancing ability, and you have the ingredients for a sensational show called "The Talent Machine."Now in at least its 10th version, the show has a message that remains constant: If the young performers work hard, they can win the talent competition. A Wizard of Oz-like "talent machine" reinforces the message.We have some extraordinarily talented youngsters here in Anne Arundel County. Clearly they are motivated by their love of performing and their loving respect for director Bobbi Smith, a dance teacher at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.
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