Thursday, 1 December, 2011 8:32 PM
It On: The Musical' keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire
credit: ©2011 Craig Schwartz
McLemore, Janet Krupin, Kate Rockwell and Taylor Louderman
in the national tour of "Bring It On: The Musical,"
which runs through Dec. 10 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los
LOS ANGELES --
just like the Bring It On movies, but better. I attended
the Nov. 10 performance of the brand new musical, which is making
its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Even
though the venue opened in 1967, it looks very modern inside, due
to its 1994 renovation. This musical has never been seen in any
other city before. The cast was very likeable and the story was
easy to follow along with. The lighting and sound were spot on.
I would encourage everyone to make it down to the Ahmanson to see
"Bring It On: The Musical" before it wraps up on Dec.
reveals the peer pressures that competitive cheerleaders face. For
some of them, life is not all rosy as it seems. You'll see the cheerleaders
deal with hazing, popularity contests, not fitting in and friendships
that don't work out.
It is four weeks until Jackson High School faces Truman High School
in the regional cheerleading competition. Taylor Louderman plays
the female lead named Campbell. It is not until Campbell get redistricted
to Jackson High and talks Danielle into turning her dance crew into
a cheer squad that they actually compete against Truman. So the
plot timeline is Campbell is entering her senior year at Truman
High when her dreams all get derailed when she gets redistricted
to the more urban Jackson High School. After learning that Jackson
does not have a cheer squad she tries to talk Danielle into creating
a new squad with her hip-hop dance crew. She gets turned down at
first but Campbell lies about all the fame and fortune that come
with winning the national title and Danielle falls for it. After
Jackson loses at regionals, but earns enough points to go to nationals,
Danielle learns of Campbell’s lies and confronts her –
as well as disbands the Jackson cheer squad.
"I think the audience
will be surprised at how different the stage musical is from the
movies," said actress Janet Krupin, who plays Kylar in the
musical. "The movies kicked off a tradition of dark comedy,
witty satire, and of course epic cheer performances, but our show
really takes off it's a direction entirely its own. The live musical
medium, more so than film, allows for us to really intimately know
these young people, cheerleaders, who are so passionate about what
they do. And what they do is really, really, fun to watch. And it's
LIVE... there are absolutely no wires involved. How many shows with
aerial components can say that?"
In the meantime, over
at Truman High the sophomore upstart, Eva, has become the captain
of the squad and is running the show. Campbell has now learned through
Bridget (who was also redistricted to Jackson) that it was Eva who
concocted the plan to have Campbell ousted from Truman High by having
her mother (who is on the school board) do the redistricting move
that got Campbell out of the picture. Danielle, who works nights
at the Burger Pagoda, has an encounter with Eva one night and learns
of her “evil plan” and makes up with Campbell. The two
decide to put the squad back together and practice for nationals.
"Bring It On: The
Musical" ran for two hours and 20 minutes with a 15-minute
intermission in the middle. The cast was dressed in cheerleading
uniforms for about half of the musical and street clothes for the
remainder of it. The set changes several times. In one scene, it
was a bedroom set while it featured lunch tables and lockers in
another scene. In addition, the stage looked like a burger restaurant
for a different scene.
The cheerleaders performed
all types of stunts. They did the toe touch basket toss, handstand
pyramid and a back tuck basket toss. There was no mat – so
it was extremely dangerous.
My favorite scene was
the one that featured the song "Cross The Line." It was
basically Truman High School's cheer tryouts for the finals competition.
The cast put on an amazing performance that left the audience speechless.
One of the actors mentioned
that NBA star Michael Jordan was once a cheerleader. However, he
was one of the lies that Campbell tells Danielle to talk the character
Cameron into joining the squad. Her point was the fact that cheerleaders
can be popular and yes, it is a true sport.
This musical will keep
you wondering which team is going to take first place at the regionals?
Which team is going to win the finals? The cheerleaders learn an
important lesson about life. You'll have to see "Bring It On:
The Musical" to find out what that is.
"Well, I went to
college for musical theater, so that part is exactly what I studied
and trained for," said actress Kate Rockwell, who plays the
role of Skylar. "The cheerleading, however, is a whole other
story. I've never cheered, and I'm not much of a dancer either (we
call my type a "strong mover" in New York), so there were
giant hills to climb for me when I started working with this show.
I remember the first day I ran in to catch a falling stunt and thought
to myself, 'I'm a real cheerleader!!!' I've been with it for almost
two years now and I can still say I'm blown away by the incredible
physical feats my cast pulls off every night. And I can also say
I am very very happy I was hired as a singer/actor who gets to mostly
just watch those feats!!"
"Bring It On: The
Musical" is directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler.
Kristin Caskey and Mike Isaacson are the executive producers. The
music was written by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda while the lyrics
are by Amanda Green & Lin-Manuel Miranda. Louderman and Adrienne
Warren are the main stars. Also starring in this new musical are
Jason Gotay, Elle McLemore, Ryann Redmond and more.
I would recommend this
musical for everyone. If you have seen the Bring It On
movies, then you have a little more background than others. However,
if you haven't seen the movies, you will still be able to follow
along just fine. It is very family friendly, so be sure to bring
Ticket Prices: $20
- $120 (Ticket prices are subject to change.) Tickets are available
by calling Center Theatre Group Audience Services at (213) 972-4400,
in person at the Center Theatre Group box office or on-line at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.
Hot Tix: $20 each may be purchased in advance or, subject to availability,
on the day of performance at the box office (no checks). Groups:
(213) 972-7231. Deaf community: Information & charge, TDD (213)
680-4017. The Ahmanson Theatre is located at 135 N. Grand Avenue
in downtown Los Angeles, 90012.
It On: The Musical' to premiere at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre on Oct.
credit: ©2011 Craig Schwartz
The cast of the national tour of "Bring It On: The Musical,"
which continues through Dec. 10 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.