Those that have followed my blog know that I used to have a huge addiction to reality TV (and some times still do). It was something easy for me to drop into without truly investing my time, thoughts, or much of anything. I know these shows are produced because they are easy to do, but I've recently been seriously turned off by so many of them. I swear that the new one on the Food Network is using actors in the restaurants to offer up 'drama'. The Amish show that started on TLC Sunday night looks like these people came out of the reject pile from MTV's The Real World and they were given costumes and told to look somber for the camera. And don't get me started on this Honey Boo-Boo show.
But PBS has started a new show Broadway or Bust that while doesn't call itself a 'realty show', it is plenty full of the reality I enjoy. High school students who won local contests across the country in order to travel to NYC and be mentored by some of Broadway's best as the search for the next great talent. It is a three hour mini-documentary and I highly recommend it for those that love theater and all things Broadway. (It airs the next two Sunday nights.)
I can't help but wonder if they would have had that back in the 80s...yes, I'm certain I would have auditioned. And I know my high school choir teacher would have coached me all the way (she and I were actually chatting on Facebook after the first episode aired on PBS). I watched the show and could recall those exact feelings I had at that age. That musical theater was EVERYTHING to me. I knew by my junior year I would be heading off to NYC as soon as I graduated (even though my mother says she knew when we visited my freshman year and she saw it in my eyes). And I did. I left home at 18 to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (truth be known, only lasted there a year...but it DID get me to New York) and I loved witnessing that hope and promise in the eyes of the teens in this PBS special. I really look forward to seeing the journey these teens take and which names we'll be seeing in the near future.
I may have taken many paths in my life. Corporate America. Writing books. But musical theater is still in my blood and as Julian Marsh says in 42nd Street "I'm talking about musical comedy, the two most glorious words in the English language!"
I'd have to agree.