Bring It On the Musical

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Bring It On
Bring It On Playbill.png
Official Playbill for the Broadway production
Music Lin-Manuel Miranda
Tom Kitt
Lyrics Amanda Green
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book Jeff Whitty
Basis 2000 film Bring It On
Productions 2011 National Tour
2012 Broadway

Bring It On: The Musical is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green and book by Jeff Whitty.[1][2][3] The story is loosely based on the 2000 film of the same name and focuses on the competitive world of cheerleading and over-the-top team rivalries.

Bring It On premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2011. The cast included Amanda LaVergne as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle, Nick Blaemire as Randall, Ryann Redmond as Bridget, and "award-winning competitive cheerleaders from across the country".[1] A national tour of the musical played in major U.S. cities from November 2011 to June 2012.

The touring stage production began previews on Broadway in July 2012 at the St. James Theatre, before opening for a limited engagement on August 1, 2012 to December 30, 2012.[4][5]

Plot[edit]

Act I

On her last day of junior year, Campbell Davis prays to be named captain of the Truman High School cheerleading squad ("What I Was Born To Do"). She gets the job, and her first duty is to replace the graduating members. Her friend Skylar looks forward to "Tryouts". Nerdy, chubby outcast Bridget doesn't make the cut, but Campbell takes a risk on adorable freshman Eva. As the rest of the squad heads off to celebrate, Campbell reflects on the difficulties to come, and dreams of "One Perfect Moment".

At summer Cheer Camp, Eva's nervousness threatens the squad's chance to win the coveted Spirit Stick, an honor that indicates an upcoming Nationals win. To boost Eva's confidence, Campbell takes her aside and names her the Sophomore Spirit Leader -- which means if Campbell were to lose her position, Eva would be third in the "line of succession" after Skylar and Kylar. After Campbell lifts Eva's spirits, Truman triumphs and celebrates their Spirit Stick win. Two weeks before the end of summer Campbell receives a letter with terrible news: she's been redistricted to inner-city Jackson High School. A horrified Kylar informs her that "they don't even have a squad!" Despite her attempts to stay at Truman, Campbell's fate is sealed. Her dream is gone. Even her puppy-dog boyfriend Steven cannot console her.

Campbell arrives ("Welcome to Jackson") and discovers that Bridget has been redistricted as well. Intimidated and amazed, the pair is wowed by an impromptu performance by Jackson's resident dance crew ("Do Your Own Thing"). Campbell and Bridget meet the Queen Bees of Jackson High: Nautica, La Cienega and the head of the crew, Danielle. Bridget is an unexpected hit at Jackson -- especially with the hormonal Twig who loves her curves. Campbell offers her talents to the crew, but a verbal slip-up turns the Jackson women against her. Danielle firmly explains that "We Ain't No Cheerleaders" -- and lets Bridget in the crew.

Later, Bridget consoles a discouraged Campbell and takes her to the Burger Pagoda where Danielle works. Campbell tries to make amends, but Danielle is unmoved. As she's leaving the Pagoda, Campbell confronts a pair of entitled rich girls harassing Danielle. Impressed and amused by Campbell's fire, Danielle reconsiders and offers Campbell a one-time chance to dance with the crew, dressed in an old leprechaun mascot suit ("Friday Night, Jackson"). After a shaky start, Campbell kills it as the leprechaun -- and catches the eye of Randall, the smooth school D.J. An impressed Danielle gives Campbell an official spot on the Jackson crew.

Later that night, Skylar and Kylar share shocking news, a slip-up in Skylar's grades means she can't be captain, and Kylar has contracted mono. By the rules of succession, Eva is now captain. Campbell suspects that "Something Isn't Right Here" -- and a visit to Eva's house seems to confirm her suspicions. Eva has taken on Campbell's appearance, and Campbell discovers Steven 'studying' there as well. Unconvinced by their explanations, Campbell breaks up with Steven and feverishly goes to Skylar and Kylar, who accuse her of paranoia and jealousy. Assessing the situation with Bridget, Campbell learns that Eva's mother is on the school board that decided on the redistricting. Outraged and certain of a conspiracy, Campbell decides to get Eva back by assembling a squad at Jackson and crushing her at Nationals. It's time to "Bring it On".

Act II

Campbell approaches a reluctant Danielle about creating a cheerleading squad at Jackson. When Campbell reveals that a Nationals win includes college scholarships for each winning member, Danielle agrees to join her and assemble a squad ("It's All Happening"). Weeks later at the Regional Competition, Truman watches Jackson perform. While Eva, Steven, and Kylar are wowed, Skylar is smugly convinced that Truman is "Better". Though Jackson wins enough points for a Nationals slot, they take second to Truman.

Back at school, Twig asks Bridget on a date and Bridget shyly declines. This calls for an intervention from Nautica and La Cienega, who argue that "It Ain't No Thing" when it comes to her insecurities. Her self- esteem boosted, Bridget chases after Twig. Randall asks Campbell on a picnic date on the cliffs above their town. She happily accepts, but moments later runs into a furious Jackson crew. Danielle has discovered that Campbell lied about the college scholarships as a Nationals prize. Danielle breaks up the squad. It’s over, and so is their friendship.

Disconsolate and disgusted with herself, Campbell shows up for the date with Randall. After some pointed and playful ribbing, he encourages her to look at life as long and to "Enjoy The Trip". In a private moment, having heard the news of Campbell’s fall, Eva celebrates the "Killer Instinct" she showed in creating her path to captain.

At Jackson, Bridget sports a hickey courtesy of her new boyfriend Twig. Campbell pulls Danielle aside and offers a profuse, pained apology. Danielle is still hurt by the lie, but acknowledges the joy their work brought her. Campbell explains that the experience changed her to the point where she no longer felt any ambition to go to Nationals -- their friendship should have always been paramount. Despite her conflicting feelings, Danielle decides to continue working together ("We're Not Done"). Nationals is back on.

At Nationals, Truman gives a "Legendary" performance of their routine. As the squad recovers, Eva runs into Campbell -- Jackson is on deck to perform. Shocked at Campbell’s presence, Eva tries to undermine her confidence. Eva’s efforts escalate as the rest of Jackson looks on. The conversation culminates with "Eva's Rant" as she reveals her villainous behavior.

Now on the mat, Jackson offers an exuberant, mind-blowing routine that breaks the rules of cheerleading, but inspires wild cheering from the arena ("Cross The Line"). The dream of victory, though, is quickly dashed. Truman wins Nationals. Jackson doesn’t even place.

Randall surprises Campbell, offering her his Pinewood Derby trophy from Cub Scouts, which he has repurposed with a Sharpie to credit her with “First place for everything that matters.” With Eva gone, the Truman and Jackson squads celebrate their true victory, friendship ("I Got You").

Principal roles and original national tour/Broadway cast[edit]

  • Campbell – Taylor Louderman
  • Danielle – Adrienne Warren
  • Bridget – Ryann Redmond
  • Nautica – Ariana DeBose
  • Kylar – Janet Krupin
  • Skylar – Kate Rockwell
  • Randall – Jason Gotay
  • Eva – Elle McLemore
  • La Cienega – Gregory Haney
  • Cameron – Dominique Johnson
  • Steven – Neil Haskell
  • Twig – Nick Womack

Musical numbers[edit]

Notes
† Does not appear on the cast recording.

Production history[edit]

Atlanta (2011)[edit]

The show premiered at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 2011, running until February 20, 2011.[6] The production was directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with set design by David Korins, costume design by Andrea Lauer, lighting design by Jason Lyons and sound design by Brian Ronan.[7] The original cast featured Amanda LaVergne as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle and Nick Blaemire as Randall, as well as many cheerleaders from across the country who were selected in collaboration with Varsity.[1][8]

National tour (2011)[edit]

After the Atlanta engagement, the musical embarked on a national tour, starting at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles in November 2011.[9][10] New cast members for the tour were Taylor Louderman as Campbell, Neil Haskell as Steven, Nick Womack as Twig, Elle McLemore as Eva, and Jason Gotay as Randall.

The cast of the show took part in a celebration to kick off the start of the national tour, featuring performances from the show as well as cheer and dance squads from across the country taking part in a competition.[11] Guest hosts for the celebration included KIIS FM's JoJo (not the pop star who starred in Aquamarine), Telemundo's Jorge Bernal and Hannah McIalwain of The Glee Project.

After travelling to Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, and Toronto, the tour closed on June 2, 2012.[12]

Broadway (2012)[edit]

The touring stage production premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on July 12, 2012 in previews and officially opened on August 1, 2012 for a limited engagement to October 7, 2012.[13] The tour cast appeared in the Broadway production.[13][14]

The production extended its run on Broadway[15] until December 30, 2012, closing after 21 previews and 173 performances.[16]

Non-Equity Tour (2014)[edit]

A Non-Equity National / International tour previewed in New Haven, Connecticut at the Shubert Theatre from January 16 to 18, 2014 and opened in Macon, Georgia at the Grand Opera House on January 21, 2014, and ended in Tokyo, from July 9 to 27, 2014. The tour featured Nadia Vynnytsky and Zuri Washington.[17]

Critical response[edit]

The musical received positive reviews, with the dance numbers being praised. The New York Times reviewer wrote that the opening number of the Ahmanson Theatre production "truly dazzles" and noted the cast's "impressive gymnastic prowess".[10] The News Observer review praised the cast of the musical and called the production a "high-energy stage spectacle".[18] The Charlotte Observer review noted the show's "witty dialogue, zingily clever songs and inventive visuals" and praised the "high-energy" performances by the cast.[19]

The Huffington Post positively reviewed the show, writing that it had been "a long time since [he] enjoyed a new musical quite as much as Bring It On: The Musical ". The review praised the musical's set and "sassy" libretto.[20] Entertainment Weekly gave a more mixed review of the musical, stating that while the performances are energetic, "none are particularly memorable". The reviewer did however note that the "acrobatic cast impressively manage to tumble, dance, and sing at the same time" and gave a "special nod" to Gregory Haney.[21]

In his review of the Broadway production, Charles Isherwood of The New York Times wrote: "The cast of this alternately snarky and sentimental show about rival high school cheer squads often seems to be in constant motion, tumbling and flipping across the stage in elaborate routines that culminate in towering formations of human pyramids.... While it has its moments of memorable wit and some appealing rhythmic Broadway-pop songs, Bring It On is by no means in the same league as those musicals [Next to Normal], and has the feel of a daffy lark embarked upon as a summer-vacation goof."[22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Atlanta premiere production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2011 Suzi Bass Award[23] Best Production Nominated
Best World Premiere (Play or Musical) Won
Outstanding Director of a Musical Andy Blankenbuehler Nominated
Best Choreography Andy Blankenbuehler Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Ryann Redmond Nominated
Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical Andrea Lauer Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical Jason Lyons Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical Brian Ronan Won
Atlanta Theater Fan Award[24] Best Musical Won
Best Direction of a Musical Andy Blankenbuehler Nominated
Best Leading Actress in a Musical Adrienne Warren Nominated
Best Featured Actor in a Musical Gregory Haney Nominated
Best Featured Actor in a Musical Jon Rua Nominated
Best Featured Actress in a Musical Ryann Redmond Nominated
Best Choreography Andy Blankenbuehler Won
Best Costume Design Andrea Lauer Nominated
Best Lighting Design for a Musical Jason Lyons Nominated
Best Sound Design Brian Ronan Nominated

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2013 Tony Award[25] Best Musical Nominated
Best Choreography Andy Blankenbuehler Nominated [26]
Drama Desk Award[27] Outstanding Director of a Musical Andy Blankenbuehler Nominated
Outstanding Lyrics Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design Brian Ronan Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Andy Blankenbuehler Nominated
Outstanding Book of a Musical Jeff Whitty Nominated

In other media[edit]

On June 19, 2012 the cast performed "It's All Happening" and "It Ain't No Thing" on The Today Show.[28][29] The company performed "I Got You" in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012[30] and "Cross the Line" on America's Got Talent in August 2012.[31]

Recordings[edit]

On April 24, 2012 Sh-K-Boom Records released a three-song sampler from the national tour of the musical, including the songs "It's All Happening", "It Ain't No Thing" and "Enjoy the Trip". A full cast recording was released digitally on September 25, 2012. A CD was on sale in stores as of October 16, 2012.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jones, Kenneth and Hetrick, Adam. Something to Cheer About: Bring It On: The Musical Begins Atlanta Run Jan. 16 After Ice Delay", playbill.com, January 16, 2011
  2. ^ Rohter, Larry (October 27, 2010). "Lin-Manuel Miranda to Close Out Broadway Run of ‘In the Heights’- ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  3. ^ Listing, alliancetheatre.org, accessed November 10, 2010
  4. ^ Staff. "Three Cheers! Bring It On: The Musical Confirmed to Play Broadway This Summer" broadway.com, May 15, 2012
  5. ^ "Broadway's Bring It On Sets New December 2012 Closing Date", Theatermania.com, October 16, 2012
  6. ^ [1] Access Atlanta, January 10, 2011
  7. ^ [2] Situation Interactive, May 2012
  8. ^ Varsity is a cheerleading organization, see Varsity varsity.com
  9. ^ "'Bring It On: The Musical' to Launch National Tour at L.A.'s Ahmanson Theatre" Broadway.com, February 17, 2011
  10. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review:'Bring It On'. Power Struggles Over Pep and High School Popularity", The New York Times, November 22, 2011
  11. ^ "Stage Tube Highlights". BroadWayWorld.com, October 28, 2011
  12. ^ "Bring It On Musical to Kick Off National Tour At Ahmanson Theatre" Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2011
  13. ^ a b Hetrick, Adam. " 'It's All Happening': Bring It On: The Musical Begins Broadway Run July 12", Playbill.com, July 12, 2012
  14. ^ Blank, Matthew and Marzullo, Joseph. "'Bring It On: The Musical' Opens on Broadway; Red Carpet Arrivals, Curtain Call and Cast Party", Playbill, August 1, 2012
  15. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "'Bring It On: The Musical' Extends Broadway Run Into 2013", playbill.com, August 9, 2012
  16. ^ Gordon, David. "Broadway's Bring It On Sets New December 2012 Closing Date", theatermania.com, October 16, 2012
  17. ^ Gioia, Michael. "National Tour of Bring It On Relaunches Jan. 16 in New Haven; Nadia Vynnytsky and Zuri Washington Star", Playbill, January 16, 2014
  18. ^ McDonald, Glenn (2012-04-19). "Bring It On brings good cheers to Durham". News Observer. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  19. ^ Toppman, Lawrence (2012-04-12). "High-energy performance? Bring It On!". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  20. ^ Heymont, George (2012-01-19). "Girls on Top". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  21. ^ Stransky, Tanner (2011-11-13). "Bring It On: The Musical". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  22. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "'Bring It On: The Musical' at St. James Theater". The New York Times, August 1, 2012
  23. ^ "Suzi Bass Awards" Suziawards.org
  24. ^ "2011 Atlanta Theater Fan Award Winners And Nominations" atlantatheaterfans.com
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 30, 2013). "Nominations Announced for 67th Annual Tony Awards; Kinky Boots Earns 13 Nominations". Playbill.com. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  26. ^ http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/KINKY-BOOTs-Jerry-Mitchell-Wins-Best-Choreography-20130609
  27. ^ Hetrick, Adam and Gans, Andrew. Billy Porter, Andrea Martin, Pippin, Matilda, Vanya and Sonia Win Drama Desk Awards" playbill.com, May 19, 2013
  28. ^ "'Bring it On' Performs on 'The Today Show'" today.com, June 19, 2012
  29. ^ "'Bring it On' Performs on 'The Today Show'" today.com, June 19, 2012
  30. ^ Bring it On performs at Thanksgiving Day Parade" youtube.com, November 23, 2012
  31. ^ Bring it On performs on America's Got Talent" youtube.com, August 23, 2012
  32. ^ "Original Cast Recording of 'Bring It On' Released Digitally Sept. 25" Playbill, September 25, 2012

External links[edit]