Monday, September 10, 2012

Remember Them From Herald Square (Television Review: Broadway Or Bust, PBS)

Finally, a reality talent competition show with a lot of class. Actually, if we must be strict about it, "Broadway Or Bust," on PBS,  is more a documentary than a reality show. But nowadays, the lines are blurred. This show focuses on 60 students who have been chosen and won regional contests to be the best, and they are sent to New York City for four days to rehearse and star in a two and a half hour show. These young men and women are the creme de la creme of young Broadway aspirants, and I am amazed, very pleasantly surprised by the raw talent displayed. This is not the sector of Kardashian-obsessed youth, to them Sutton Foster is the better role mode. It makes me believe there is still hope for mankind. They are mentored (by among, others, Liz Callaway, Telly Leung and Michael Feinstein) by some of the theater community's bests. I loved the segment when Mr. Feinstein does an impromptu class and a young man volunteers to sing "They Can't Take That Away From Me," and he gets top notch advise about lyrical interpretation (I hope he listened and took it to heart)  I am also impressed by their song selections, although they run more towards pop theater than classic. But then again, that's where the young start to appreciate Broadway anyway. I wasn't expecting - and didn't see - thespian talent, but as I said these are all raw, formable young men and women, and they can only get better. And probably, the series will only get more and more interesting as the weeks go by. I am so hooked.

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