Bring It On: The Musical opened on The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts Stage on May 13 and will run through the 18.
If you attend this high flying musical, in hopes to hear the same favorite quotes from the original 2000 cult classic movie starring Kirsten Dunst, then you will be sadly disappointed. Upon entering the Ordway, I was expecting the same story line that made me fall in love with the movie, however it's quite different.
The plot line for Bring It On: The Musical is similar to the second movie Bring It On: All Or Nothing in which a transfer student must compete with a new inner-city school's cheer squad against her old high school. In this musical, Campbell is the shows protagonist. Due to the school board re-districting parts of the city, she is forced to attend Jackson High School. This is of course after she has been named cheer squad captain which is all she's ever wanted and is expressed in the shows opening song What I was Born to Do.
The show had it's ups and downs for me. First off I did love the choreography and vocals. The choreography has two different distinct feels. It opened with Truman High School, Campbell's original school, doing many flips and gymnastic styled moves. I guess it's hard to classify it as either choreography or gymnastics. However the students of Truman High School had plenty of bumping and grinding dance moves all across the stage that they integrated with their gymnastics for their final squad routine. During the final show-down, my friend Lexia and I jumped a few times in fear that someone wasn't going to be caught! It was the most memorable thing from the show and really set it apart from other musicals I've seen in the past. Believe me, I've seen a lot.
The vocals were remarkable as well. The performers were constantly belting out some really stellar songs while at the same time twerking, flipping and tumbling. The music was something that kept me interested through out the entire production. This is no surprise when I found out Tony award winners Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and Lin-Manual Miranda (In the Heights) both composed music for this show, as I am huge fans of both of their work. At times it was pop-like and sweet as the show opened, featuring Truman High School. However as the scenes transitioned into Jackson High School, the music shifted into music that had more hip-hop influence.
Now for what I did not care for. I thought the writing was in a word...cliche. It was funny and witty at times however I thought the story line progressed way to fast and really was completely unrealistic. Now we all know that in musical theatre, very rarely is anything realistic which is when the actors actual acting abilities come into play. This is when I am torn. Was the book just that poorly written that I did not believe it or was it the fact that the actors did not truly pull me into the story enough to make me believe it. I'll let you decide upon seeing the production.
Bring It On: The Musical plays at the Ordway through May 18.
Photography by Clint Tuccio.