EXETER — For a few minutes after school on a recent Tuesday, it almost looked as if 17-year-old Emily Uritz had a split personality.
“I can shoot a partridge with a single cartridge,” she sang in the cafeteria at Wyoming Area Secondary Center, deepening her voice to sound like a baritone.
“I can shoot a sparrow with a bow and arrow,” she continued at a higher, more feminine pitch.
The boasting went on as Uritz stepped from side to side, the better to portray both Annie Oakley and Frank Butler from the Broadway musical “Annie Get Your Gun” in a humorous game of verbal one-upmanship.
When “Frank” maintained he could live on bread and cheese, “Annie” ridiculed him: “Only on that? So can a rat!”
Then “Frank” declared he could open any safe. “Without getting caught?” his rival responded. “That’s what I thought … you crook!”
Just as a reporter was thinking Uritz was doing a great job portraying two people — and it would surely be a hit if she sang that way at the Wyoming Area Key Club Talent Show — Uritz turned to four judges from the Wyoming Area Key Club and told them, “There’s another person in that.”
Actually, Uritz explained later, she and a fellow alto performed “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” as a duet at last year’s talent show, and she sang it at this year’s auditions to remind the judges of what she and her friend can do. They may well sing a different song at this year’s show, set for 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 in the secondary center auditorium.
This year’s duet will be welcome, the four judges assured Uritz. In fact, everyone who showed up for the recent audition got a green light to participate.
“This isn’t like ‘American Idol’ ” said Morgan Coolbaugh, one of four Key Club members watching from a judges’ table. “We’re not really critiquing; we’re just making sure everything is appropriate.”
As the auditions progressed, 15-year-old cheerleader Madi Resciniti sailed across the floor doing handstands, somersaults and high kicks; 12-year-old Gianna Colella sang “Hallelujah” as her friend Ryan Dietrich, also 12, strummed an electric guitar; and 16-year-old Lacey Fassett accompanied herself and Antonio Rivera, 18, on ukulele.
“I used to play it long ago,” Fassett said of the instrument. “I just started again.”
For her part, Nina Minnelli showed the evolution of dance through the ages, kicking up her heels to “Cotton-Eye Joe,” making her arms look stiffly mechanical during a measure of “Mr. Roboto” and inserting a Michael Jackson-style sequence somewhere between The Twist and The Macarena.
She’s been working on the routine for years, Minnelli said, constantly adding and subtracting different dance steps.
By the time two days of auditions are complete, the Key Club members said, they expect to have about 20 acts for the second annual talent show, which will be held in conjunction with a bake sale and basket raffle. Talent show tickets cost $5, with proceeds benefiting early childhood education. Doors open 5 p.m. Feb. 20.
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT