Thanks to a good friend, I had the opportunity to catch the April 7 showing at the Creative Arts Center of West Virginia University (via WVU Arts & Entertainment).
As an aspiring playwright and poet with an appreciation for music, I'm growing more interested in the art of musicals (I'm interested in performance art that includes various combinations of dance, music, theater, poetry & story-telling).
To say "I GREATLY enjoyed this show," is an understatement. I LOVED it! (Taking it all in with a writer's eye, of course.)
"BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL" (inspired by the 2000 motion picture "Bring It On," written by JESSICA BENDINGER) surprised me with its thoughtful storyline and strong character development.
Not to give too much away here, but the story revolves around a teenage girl named Campbell (played by NADIA VYNNYTSKY) who is the captain of the Truman High School cheerleader squad. Campbell is faced with a challenge that completely disrupts her life. Through facing that challenge, Campbell has the opportunity to make/learn from mistakes. I found Campbell (and the other characters) to be 100 percent easy to relate to, complex enough to be believable, compelling.
The cheerleader costumes, acrobatics, music and dance grabs your attention right away. The cheerleader stunts are incredible! When you see beautiful girls flying at least two stories high in the air, what's not to like?
The male cast members are strong enough to lift these girls up and toss them, just like a real-life competitive cheerleader high school squad. There are high flying twists in the air, spins, back-flips and more.
These stunts are even more incredible when you consider they are all done on various stages on the tour; stages which are inherently limited spaces. The cast must be even more careful and thorough with the routines. I can't imagine the amount of work that has gone into getting this show right, but get it RIGHT they do!
The music rocks; it moves; it shakes you, and compliments the story perfectly. The lyrics of the songs are brilliant; shedding light and new dimensions on the story (the character's inner thoughts) that you wouldn't feel or know otherwise.
There's fun comedy in this production (Campbell gets the nickname "soup," for example). Likewise there are some great, hilarious lines, such as "You're serving junk in the trunk realness, baby," and "I want to carry her in my purse like a shih tzu." Other great lines, which attest to competitiveness include, "Being a cheerleader is like being a Marine. You sign your life away," and the limits of being competitive, "You're all about the rules when you can win, but friendship has rules too."
You can find out everything you need to know about "BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL" here at the official website, http://www.bringitonmusical.com/. There's a great video on the website that gives you a sense of the athletics, the tremendous amount of rehearsal, practice, skill and work that has gone into this production. Everyone involved is to be commended on their incredible achievement with this show.
The musical is directed and choreographed by ANDY BLANKENBUEHLER, withLibretto (original story) by JEFF WHITTY; Music by TOM KIT and LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA; Lyrics by AMANDA GREEN and LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA.
I'd love to name every member of the cast here by name, but the cast is so large, and I don't want to inadvertently leave anyone out. They're all wonderful! And, they're all listed on the "BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL" website, along with their photos. Go to the tab at top that says "Cast & Creative."
To those who are already familiar with the storyline, the other main characters/cast members are: Danielle is played by ZURI WASHINGTON; Randall is TYLER BERTOLONE; Eva is EMILY MITCHELL; Skylar, BAILEY PURVIS; Kylar, MIA WEINBERGER; Bridget, MAISE SALINGER; Steven, ANDY WHITE; Twig, ERIN L. FLEMING; Cameron, AJ LOCKHART; Nautica, JENNIFER GELLER; La Cienega, SHARROD WILLIAMS; Burger Pagoda Girls, VICTORIA CYZEWSKI, SARAH NATHAN.
Be sure to go to the Tour Dates tab at the top to see when the next show is (it's on tour at least through July, but you need to check the schedule; I highly encourage you to see this show if it's coming to your area).
Have you seen either the film or "BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL"? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments. And share this post!