Drabinsky's Canadian Talent Search, "Triple Sensation," Gets Star Power of Rivera and Grey

By Kenneth Jones
July 5, 2007

Broadway legends Chita Rivera and Joel Grey will be guest lecturers in Toronto master classes July 9 as part of "Triple Sensation," Ragtime producer Garth Drabinsky's new performing arts competition.



The televised series will bow Oct. 7 at 8 PM on CBC-TV.

"Triple Sensation" is a "nation-wide search for Canada's most talented young actor/singer/dancers who will compete for a shot at a dream-come-true $150,000 scholarship prize to study at one of the best theatrical training institutions in the world," according to production notes.

Drabinsky, the impresario behind Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, Barrymore, Fosse, Seussical and more, worked with Tony Award winner Rivera on Kiss of the Spider Woman (for which she won the Tony), and with Grey in the original Ragtime workshop.

Rivera (West Side Story, Chicago) and Grey (Cabaret, George M!) are considered triple threats: To acclaim, they act, sing and dance.

On July 9 "they will share their experience, knowledge and anecdotes on their legendary careers in a private session with the 12 'Triple Sensation' finalists from across Canada that are participating in the month-long Master Class at the National Ballet School from June 27 to July 23."

"Triple Sensation" will follow "hopeful contestants through the national open call auditions to the nail-biting tension of the Marquee Panel sessions, where the semi-finalists must prove their talents to a stellar group of international theatre legends: Adrian Noble, former artistic director of England's Royal Shakespeare Company; Cynthia Dale, leading lady of Canada's renowned Stratford Festival; Sergio Trujillo, the acclaimed Canadian choreographer of Jersey Boys on Broadway; Marvin Hamlisch, the internationally recognized multi-award-winning composer; and the show's creator and executive producer, multiple Tony Award-winning Canadian theatre impresario Garth Drabinsky."

Only a handful will make it to Master Class, billed as "a grueling month-long intensive study program with an international faculty of instructors from the most prestigious theatre training institutes in the world, including Canada's leading actress Diane D'Aquila, comedic actor Joe Flaherty, Hollywood star voice teacher Larry Moss, the Metropolitan Opera's Marlena Malas, internationally acclaimed voice and language teacher Patsy Rodenburg, and Stratford Festival's head of voice, Janine Pearson, among others."

The finalists will then go on to elimination rounds where only one young future star will be named Canada's "Triple Sensation."

The program, hosted by CBC personality Andrew Craig, makes its broadcast premiere Oct. 7 from 8-10 PM, followed by Episode Two Oct. 14 at 8 PM, and the Final Episode Oct. 21 at 8 PM.

More information on Triple Sensation can be found on the show's official website: www.cbc.ca/triplesensation.