The Jewish Independent about uscontact ussearch
Shalom Dancers Dome of the Rock Street in Israel Graffiti Jewish Community Center Kids Wailing Wall
Serving British Columbia Since 1930
homethis week's storiesarchivescommunity calendarsubscribe

home > this week's story


special online features
about judaism
business & community directory
vancouver tourism tips

Search the Jewish Independent:




Dec. 8, 2006

The power of nice

A new Canadian series highlights young talent.

Picture this: a reality series that's basically a televised talent show, with the potential to vault winning contestants onto the public stage.

If you're thinking it sounds familiar, then you're right ... kind of. Unlike Canadian Idol or its American equivalent, the new CBC show Triple Sensation is seeking competitors with talent on three fronts: acting, singing and dancing.

And there's one other key difference, according to the show's creator, theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky: no one gets yelled at.

"I don't believe there has been a television show in recent times that has put talent in the right perspective," said Drabinsky in an e-mail interview with the Independent. "Triple Sensation will be infused with an inherent respect for each person who auditions. We are not interested in insulting anybody, but in honoring the courage of all those who come forth to share their talents."

Open to young Canadian performers between the ages of 16-26, Triple Sensation will, according to a release, "reveal aspiring young talent in a manner that demonstrates for the viewing audience a portrait of what it takes to be a performer: the struggle to connect with a role, to master vocal phrasing, to learn new choreography."

An open call audition process will soon be underway in six cities, including Vancouver. Six hundred entrants will be invited for a callback audition. Forty will be asked to audition for the judging panel, which includes Drabinsky, theatre director Adrian Noble, composer Marvin Hamlisch, choreographer Sergio Trujillo and actress Cynthia Dale.

As the show progresses, 12 participants will take part in a master class, studying with teachers from famed theatre schools around the world. During the final phase of the show, eight finalists will compete in themed elimination episodes until one is declared "Canada's triple sensation."

The prize for the winner is a $150,000 scholarship to one of a number of noted theatrical training schools, including the National Theatre School, Juilliard and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, with additional scholarships for runners-up.

"I hope that [the show] will help raise the level of discussion about the performing arts in Canada and ignite passion in a national audience," said Drabinsky, who rose to prominence in the Canadian and international theatre communities with his productions of major shows such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Fosse. All of the shows, produced by Drabinsky's company, Live Entertainment Inc., debuted in Toronto before transferring to international stages.

"While my business activities meant that I spent a huge amount of time in the United States and around the world, my first love was always Canada and my first desire was to benefit Canada," said Drabinsky.

He said that he had never experienced live theatre until high school. "I walked into a rehearsal of a play, I saw the actors at work and I realized that I wanted to be a part of it," he recalled.

He did, however, develop an early flair for the theatrical while attending synagogue services as a youngster. "I read Torah on a weekly basis at Beth Sholom Synagogue from 13-16," he said, "often in the main sanctuary. It provided me with enormous confidence to the equivalent of being an actor on stage."

Auditions for Triple Sensation will take place at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts, beginning on Jan. 16. For more information, visit