A New Show Of Talent

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It’s an old-school show with a brand new bag. And nearly everyone on the East End will recognize its name: Hamptons Got Talent.

For the first time ever, on April 26, approximately 20 hopeful acts will compete against one another not just in a singing competition but now in the hottest, all-encompassing talent contest around, according to organizer Caprice Crippen, who is the recreation program planner for the Town of Southampton Youth Bureau. Gone are the days of “Hampton Idol,” she said, which had a successful seven-year run on the East End. Students wanted more. And that’s what they will give, during auditions on Fridays, February 28 and March 7, at the Hampton Bays Community Center.

“We’re trying this to see what response we get,” Ms. Crippen said last week during a telephone interview. “And if we see more talent. We know it’s here. We just want to see if they’ll come forth.”

Loosely based on the popular NBC television show, “America’s Got Talent,” students in grades 5 through 12—registered as solo acts or groups up to six—will have one night in the spotlight to either sing, dance, play an instrument, perform comedy, magic or poetry during the three-hour-long, revamped competition. But even though the competition arena has opened up, there will still be rules to abide, according to Ms. Crippen.

“We can’t allow anybody to burn anything or cut anybody in half. We won’t be as extreme as ‘America’s Got Talent,’” Ms. Crippen said. “And we won’t be doing all the rules. We won’t ‘X’ anybody out, or offer them their own act down the road.”

During auditions, each performance will be screened for profanity or offensive subject matter before making it into the show. For those who are turned away on February 28, they may have a second chance to try out on March 7, time and space permitting, Ms. Crippen said.

But at the Hampton Bays High School, on stage in front of their friends, family and four tough judges, the acts will only have one shot.

And only one will walk away with the title.

“Once they get past the fear, it allows them to have something they can be proud of,” Ms. Crippen said. “It’s like bragging rights. If we get enough people from auditions, the show will go on.”

The Southampton Town Youth Bureau will hold open auditions for its first-ever “Hamptons Got Talent” on Fridays, February 28 and March 7, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Community Center. Bring music without vocals. Finalists with compete on April 26 from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Hampton Bays High School. For more information, call 702-2432 or visit southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau.

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