Musical theatre and reality television are not always a winning combination (think NBC shudder-fest Grease: You’re The One That I Want).
I was, however, glued to the 2007 season of CBC’s Triple Sensation. The reality show has performers, aged 16-26, vying for the title and a $150,000 scholarship towards the theatre school of the winner’s choice. The finalists are put through their paces in a weeks-long master class that spans everything from musical theatre to Shakespeare to clowning.
The first season boasted two young BC talents among the 12 finalists, Port Coquitlam’s Joel Ballard (Jesus Christ Superstar, TUTS) and Delta’s Kazumi Evans (West Side Story, RCMT).
There has been a lot of mixed reaction to Triple Sensation, much of it circling around the involvement of producer and former Livent impresario Garth Drabinsky (Ragtime, Show Boat). Drabinsky, who has been under a perpetual cloud of legal troubles since Livent went bankrupt in 1998, was convicted this March of fraud and forgery in Ontario and is currently awaiting a July sentencing.
This second season has already been filmed, so the show will go on, regardless if one of its judges ends up behind bars.
Along with Drabinsky, the judge’s panel includes actor Cynthia Dale (TV’s Street Legal), composer Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys), and director Adrian Noble (Royal Shakespeare Company).
Triple Sensation returns for a second season, Monday, June 22, with the first round of auditions taking place in Toronto. Make sure to pay special attention to next week’s Vancouver audition episode.
Triple Sensation airs in six parts, Mondays on CBC, through July 27th.