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By Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic
Here’s some bad news if you’re a fan of the winning 2000 comedy “Bring It On.” “Bring It On: The Musical” has little in common with the film, save for the cheerleading concept and some themes involving the culture clash between White and Black teenagers.
On the plus side: Who cares? The stage musical, which premiered on Broadway in 2012 and is now touring the United States, is an energetic, exhilarating blast. It’s sharp-witted and funny, and the acrobatic choreography continually threatens to stop the show.
Pretty blonde Campbell (ingratiating Nadia Vynnytsky) has just been named cheer captain at privileged Truman High School. Her life seems perfect. She’s got an adoring boyfriend (Andy White, hilarious) and a sophomore named Eva (Emily Mitchell) who idolizes her. There’s also a couple of “Mean Girls”-style pals, although Campbell is a decent, ambitious sort.
Suddenly, Campbell’s life is wildly upended. Thanks to redistricting, she winds up at an inner-city school, Jackson High. Eva goes all “All About Eve” on her (get it?), copying Campbell’s hairstyle, stealing her boyfriend and nabbing the cheer captain title.
Campbell’s new school initially scares her, as students walk through a metal detector to enter the building. Jackson doesn’t have a cheer squad but boasts a dance crew, led by hard-working Danielle (Zuri Washington). That’s not a big hurdle for Campbell, who cooks up some lies to transform the crew into a group of cheerleaders that is soon competing against Truman for a national title.
Obviously, the plot doesn’t involve a lot of heavy lifting, but is designed gleefully — and “Glee”-fully — to both satirize high-school life and offer a kind of reassurance to teens in the audience. An overweight girl gets a hot boyfriend, and the students quickly overcome their racial and economic hurdles. It’s sweet-natured but full of snark and sass to cut the sentiment. “Being a cheerleader is like being a Marine: You sign your life away,” goes one of the quips.
A lot of the credit for the show’s success must go to the impressive behind-the-scenes team. Director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler won a Tony Award for “In the Heights.” The score is by Lin-Manuel Miranda (another “In the Heights” vet) and Tom Kitt, who composed the Pulitzer-winning “Next to Normal.” “Bring It On” will never be considered groundbreaking like those shows, but it is great fun.
Thrilling, exciting, one of the top feel good productions of the Kansas City theatrical season best describes Bring It On: The Musical, now playing at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. The play inspired by Bring It On the movie opened on Tuesday February 11. The touring cast performs music by Tom Kit and Lin-Manuel Miranda, lyrics by Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda and libretto by Jeff Whitty. Andy Blankenbuehler directs and choreographs this high energy and entertaining spectacle.
The Tony nominee for Best Musical combines fantastic vocals and exciting aerobatics to tell the tale of friendship, deceit, purpose, and compassion. Half of the touring cast comes from theatrical backgrounds while the other half comes from competitive cheer leading backgrounds. (more…)
Television camera crews, radio and print still photographers are invited to cover the stunt call for Bring It On: The Musical, making its debut at The Morris Performing Arts Center Friday, February 7 through Saturday, February 8. Great seats for Bring It On: The Musical, starting at $33, are still available at the Box Office, morriscenter.org, Hammes Bookstore/Eddy Street Commons, O’Brien Recreation Center or by calling 574-235-9190.
The stunt call will be an exclusive opportunity to film the cast rehearsing & performing stunts they will do onstage during the performance.
Friday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m.
6:45 p.m. – camera arrival and set up
7:00 – 7:30 p.m.* – video shoot from the orchestra section only and interviews with two pre-selected cast members
Two cast members will be on hand to be interviewed while stunts are being rehearsed on the stage.
Stranahan Theater box office — a Broadway Theatre League representative will be there to escort you to the theater filming location.
RSVP: If you are planning to send a reporter, a camera crew or a photographer, please contact Reida York, firstname.lastname@example.org, 816-668-9321 by 5:00pm ET 2/4/14.
*please note that the exact time for the stunt rehearsal could vary by a few minutes.
IT PAYS TO BE A STUDENT | THURSDAY NIGHT IS STUDENT NIGHT AT THE ORPHEUM THEATRE
$25 Student tickets are available with a Student I.D. for all remaining seats for opening night of BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL, Thursday, February 20 at the Orpheum Theatre. (more…)
Truman vs. Jackson
Listen up, this is how it’s gonna go: Two rival schools are competing to become cheer champions in the upbeat hit musical Bring It On, and beginning January 16, the squad is officially back on the road! The new national touring cast will shake their pom-poms in Connecticut before traveling to Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and even Tokyo. Catch Campbell (Nadia Vynnytsky), Danielle (Zuri Washington) when they come to a city near you! Learn about this and more Broadway Buzz here!
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Two great Broadway shows– one a new musical, the other an American classic– made a recent trip to New York unforgettable. In between meetings with agents to line up Theater League’s 2014-15 seasons, it was a great way to spend two special evenings.
BIG FISH brings Tim Burton’s movie fantasy to the Broadway stage under the watchful eye and expert guidance of another great director– this time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. This touching tale of a father’s redemption in the eyes of the son he too often left behind bursts with the creative juice that Stroman brought to great musicals like THE PRODUCERS and the revival of CRAZY FOR YOU that made her top drawer reputation.
I liked Andrew Lippa’s score (you’ll hear more from him in our upcoming presentations of THE ADDAMS FAMILY). And Norbert Leo Butz, so great in CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS and everything else he does, scores another direct hit as Edward Bloom, the eponymous character who drives this great new Broadway show. That some of that big movie’s stories and emotional wallop don’t make the transition to this stage musical is a petty complaint.
It’s hard to follow a big musical like BIG FISH, but John Tiffany- director of the Tony Award winning Best Musical ONCE that’s just starting its national tour– does that and more with his brilliant revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic THE GLASS MENAGERIE. Broadway star Cherry Jones (best known as President Taylor on the TV series “24″) makes the role of faded Mississippi belle Amanda her own (not surprisingly, she’s a Southern gal herself). Zach Quinto (Spock in the recent “Star Trek” revivals) brings a beautiful melancholy to Tom, the stand-in for Mr. Williams.
But I think my favorite scene in this luminous production was the achingly painful exchange between Celia Kennan-Bolger as Laura and Brian J. Smith as her Gentleman Caller. I’ve seen a few productions of MENAGERIE, but I don’t remember ever being so pulled into this touching pas de deux. That’s the great thing about live theater– though you may know the characters and even how the play’s going to turn out, it can still take your breath take away.
- Mark Edelman, Theater League President
Go Behind-the-Scenes of the Tony Award-winning Play by Watching These Videos!
The Puppet Factory
The Story of War Horse
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is excited to be in Wichita for 3 performances ONLY! Visit the Wichita MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET page for more information.