Shalom Life | April 16, 2014

REVIEW: Bring It On: The Musical

Inspired by the 2000 film, Bring It On: The Musical back-flips into Ed Mirvish Theatre.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: May 5th, 2012 in Culture » Stage » Reviews

REVIEW: Bring It On: The Musical
Pomp-poms, deep-rooted rivalries, epic high-flying acrobatics – ah, the world of competitive varsity cheerleading. Toss in a pinch of the ol’ camp for good measure, and this was perfect fodder for 2000’s, Bring it On, starring Kirsten Dunst. The movie was decent enough, spawning a plethora of straight-to-video sequels, but musical worthy? In a word, yes! That said, if you were a fan of the original, be forewarned that Bring It On: The Musical, bears little resemblance to the film, and that’s why it works. A brief synopsis for those unfamiliar with the original film’s plot: bitter inter-school rivalries betwixt cheerleading squads, all driven by dreams of the coveted gold at Nationals, with a healthy dose of raging adolescent hormones tossed into the mix.

In Bring It On: The Musical, we see Truman High’s head cheerleader, Campbell (played by Taylor Louderman) “redistricted” o’er the tracks, so to speak, to the less affluent Jackson High. Rather than a cheer squad, the school has a hip-hop crew lead by Danielle (the phenomenal Adrienne Warren). Coming from different ends of the socio-economic spectrum, the pair initially butt heads, but Campbell finally wins over Danielle and the crew with her dance skills clad as a Leprechaun. The girls become “besties”, form a cheer squad, and head to Nationals.

Ultimately however, any plot components are overshadowed by the jaw-dropping choreographed sequences of jumps, flips, and back-flips, which are nothing short of sheer spectacle. An extremely talented group of actors has been assembled here, who combine incredible athleticism with some stellar dance moves – two brilliant standout performances are Ryann Redmond (Bridget), and Gregory Haney (La Cienega).

The creative team behind Bring It On: The Musical, is an exceedingly impressive list of Tony-award winning Broadway elite, including writer Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), composers Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights) and Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), and director/choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights).

Bring It On: The Musical is good, campy fun -- a definite must-see, if anything for the eye-popping cheerleading and light shows. It plays at Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly The Canon), 224 Victoria Street, until June 3rd. For more info, visit www.mirvish.com/shows/bringitonthemusical.
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